Review: An Evening With... the cast of This Is England, The Approach
Last Sunday may have seen the great and the good of Hollywood take to the red carpet for the Oscars but that was a very tame affair compared to the East Midlands' own acting royalty hitting the stage at a city centre pub for an evening of questions, answers, recriminations and revelations.
Shane Meadows'triumphant film and subsequent two TV series reflected the lives of a gang of friends growing up together through extraordinary times and judging by the camaraderie of the assembled actors they fairly well reflected their own journeys and relationships.
Amid the raucous and, dare I say it, alcohol-fuelled banter, many of them naturally referred to each other by their character names, making it easier to identify some of them who were mere children when the film was made seven years ago.
Thomas Turgoose needed very little encouragement from Andrew Shim (Milky) to start the evening off by bearing his buttocks to show us his tattoos, but later managed to speak with genuine affection about the working relationship the cast had with Meadows, who gave him his film debut as wannabe skinhead Shaun when he was just 13.
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Two of the top-notch ensemble notable for their absence were Nottingham’s own Vicky McClure (Lol) and recent Emmerdale star Joe Gilgun (Woody). A third, Stephen Graham, who played the utterly convincing thug-who-comes-good Combo, was at home babysitting but Shim called him and put him on speakerphone for the audience to hear yet more compliments for Meadows, who the Liverpool-born actor placed alongside Martin Scorcese as one of the two best directors he had ever worked with.
Among the other familiar characters present, including Smell (Rosamund Hanson), Banjo (George Newton) and Harvey (Michael Socha) the most vocal was Gadget (Andrew Ellis), who said that if another series was made he wanted Johnny Vegas to play his dad.
And it seems he may just get his wish, as Shim later revealed - officially or not - that two days earlier he had been in the pub with Meadows who was about to start writing a third series of This Is England, set in 1990, for Channel Four.
The only person who revealed more than Shim - apart from Turgoose's earlier disrobement - was the boyfriend of Chanel Cresswell (Kelly) who when it came to 'questions from the audience' took the chance to ask her to marry him.
She said yes, by the way.