Where to see @BreatheMov in the UK


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MV5BMTg5OTcyODA1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTQzNDY3MjI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Breathe is the story of Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) who, after contracting polio and requiring a respirator to breathe, became a disability rights’ activist seeking to end the practice of hiding people with disabilities away from normal life. Despite serious challenges he lived life to the full thanks to the incredible support of his wife Diana (Claire Foy) – who refused to give up on him or let him give up on himself – and the film is incredibly uplifting, while not shying away from the reality of his situation. Jonathan Cavendish (Robin and Diana’s real life son) is the film’s producer and Andy Serkis directed it.

There’s a great supporting cast with Hugh Bonneville playing a slightly eccentric but brilliant inventor who comes up with a wheelchair respirator that means Robin is no longer restricted to lying in bed. Stephen Mangan plays a warm-hearted doctor who wants his patients to have a better quality of life, beyond simply keeping people alive.

Tom Hollander plays Diana’s twin brothers (Bloggs and David Blacker) and he brings lots of humour to the roles and to the film. The brothers bicker constantly, but affectionately, but Tom also has some great reaction shots to the slightly odd things happening on the screen (no spoilers). You should go and see if it you can!

(We’re on Instagram and Twitter too)

There’s a nice article on the depiction of twins in film which includes Tom’s roles: Double Duty. “Playing against himself “required extraordinary technique from Tom, who really is a virtuoso actor,” notes Serkis.

If you’re in the UK here’s how to find a screening near you…

IMDb helpfully now includes showtimes on the film’s main page which I assume are linked to your location (I see showtimes for London). If the film’s not yet released where you are (you can check the various release dates for different locations) then you might not see this information yet. You can select a different country location and post / ZIP code though.

The LondonNet website also lists both the alphabeticised ‘A-Z of films showing in London‘ and ‘A-Z of films showing in the UK and Irish cinemas‘. Here’s the London page for Breathe (regular screenings, see other options below).

At 7pm on Monday 30th October there’s a screening plus Q&A at The Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise.

Screenshot 2017-10-28 02.32.45

There are a variety of other types of screenings, look out for these. There was also an autism-friendly screening in Woking on Friday 27th October (the day of the film’s release in the UK and I believe the US too) but I don’t know of any others at the moment.

Screenshot 2017-10-28 02.00.37



News – September 2017 (pt2!): Have I Got News For You, Queen biopic, #RevolutionFilm


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So much Tom Hollander news we’ve had to make a part 2 😉 Part one was News – September 2017: Travesties, A Legacy of Spies, Breathe, Tulip Fever

Have I Got News For You (#HIGNFY)
Recorded (and originally broadcast) in December 2016 the episode in which Tom is the guest presenter will be repeated on Channel Dave (Freeview 12) on Sunday 1 October at 9pm and repeated a few hours later at 1am on Monday morning. [Info]

Queen biopic
Tom will portray Jim Beach, who was Queen’s manager from 1978, in the new Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody due for release in Christmas 2018. More info linked in the tweet below, and in Deadline (hat tip Lucky Lazy on Twitter).

Aidan Gillan will play Queen’s manager from 1975 to 1978 (he previously acted on stage with Tom, in 1995, in Jez Butterworth’s ‘Mojo‘).

Revolution: New Art for a New World
Released last year this documentary on Russian avant-garde art will be screened later this year on BBC Four as part of its Russian Season. Tom speaks the words of artist Kazimir Malevich [more info].


🔳 Revolution: New Art for a New World to screen on BBC4 this Autumn 🔳


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Margy Kinmonth’s excellent documentary ‘Revolution: New Art for a New World‘ on art from the Russian avant-garde movement will be screened on BBC Four this Autumn, as part of the BBC’s Russian Season to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution. The exact date and time are to be confirmed but it’s provisionally in the schedules for Wednesday 8 November 2017 at 9pm. There will also be a press screening of the film at 6.30pm on Tuesday 10 October (scroll to the bit saying ‘RSVP FOR PRESS SCREENING & VENUE’ on this page for details of who you have to contact if you want to go – you may need press credentials though).


Tom Hollander narrates the role of artist Kazimir Malevich and the film re-unites him with his Pride and Prejudice co-star Matthew McFadyen. Malevich painted this black square (I don’t think the emoji makers were copying him but they have given us this 🔳)

Malevich - Black Square (1915). Photo © www.foxtrotfilms.com

Full details on contributors (often relations of the artists whose art features) can be found in this press pack, and more pictures (see ‘STILLS’) and the poster are available here.

Also: Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties which will be transferring to Broadway in Spring next year covers a similar time-period being also set in / around the same time period. Tom Hollander plays Henry Carr, the lead character.





News – September 2017: Travesties, A Legacy of Spies, Breathe, Tulip Fever


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Travesties: Tom Stoppard’s play which had a hugely successful run at the Menier Chocolate Factory before transferring to London’s West End will now move to New York’s Broadway next Spring, with Tom Hollander reprising his role as Henry Carr and Patrick Marber directing [more info].

#ALegacyOfSpies: Tom has narrated John le Carré’s latest book which is available from iTunes UK and Audible (reviews are great for both book and Tom’s narration, Audible: 4.8/5 “Tom Hollander’s narration is magnificent.“) [more info]. Tom has narrated a number of audio books and done other voicework, more on that here.

Breathe: Andy Serkis’ directorial debut is having a gala premiere at the BFI’s London Film Festival on 4 October 2017. Public tickets go on sale at 10am on 28 September (assuming it hasn’t already sold out!) [more info]. Tom plays Diana Blacker’s twin brothers, David and Bloggs Blacker.

Tulip Fever: the story of forbidden love among the tulips has finally been released, though no release date for the UK as yet. Tom plays Dr Sorgh.

Tom has also appeared at Letters Live at the Wilderness Festival (August 2017, see pic below) [more info].





.@TravestiesPlay heads to New York with Tom Hollander as Henry Carr


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Here’s some good news if you’re able to get to New York next Spring. The “exuberant revival” of Travesties by Tom Stoppard is on its way over to Broadway next April, with Tom Hollander reprising his leading role as forgetful consular official Henry Carr (for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, the play was nominated for five Oliviers).

Patrick Marber who directed it in London will also direct it in New York, but information about the other cast and crew has not yet been published.

The 2016 London revival began at the Menier Chocolate Factory and then transferred in early 2017 to the West End, at the Apollo Theatre. Previews for the New York run will begin on 29 March 2018 with the play opening on 24 April (last performance 17 June 2018), at the Roundabout Theater Company’s American Airlines Theater.

More information below and, of course, some tweets 🙂

Here’s Tom on the Andrew Marr show talking about the play…



If you’d like to find out some more about the real history behind the fictional Henry Carr (Tom’s role) then these blog posts are very good.


Further reading about the New York revival
London Success ‘Travesties’ to Play Broadway (16 August 2017) Variety
and The New York Times article below.


#ALegacyofSpies and other audiobooks read by Tom Hollander


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Tom Hollander will be reading the audiobook version of John Le Carré’s ‘A Legacy of Spies’ which is due for release in September.

Lovely news reached Team Hollander towers yesterday, from Penguin Books who shared the above tweet on Twitter. You can pre-order Tom Hollander reading ‘A Legacy of Spies’ here, from Audible UK.

Tom recently won a BAFTA for his role in Le Carré’s The Night Manager so it seems rather fitting that he’s doing the reading duties. Below you can find out more information about some of the other audio books that Tom’s read and a selection of tweets from people who’ve clearly enjoyed his excellent work.

Although this quote is about voice-overs rather than audiobooks I thought it was interesting nonetheless: “I really love voice-overs; I love the concentration and the detail of a voice-over because it’s very technical. It’s like if you were a painter and you had to do a line drawing as an exercise. I suppose it’s quite intimate too. And it’s very pure, yeah. It’s just you and a script and you have to bring some sort of humanity to it so that the audience listening can connect with it. I’ve enjoyed that a lot recently.
Source: Hunger TV interview (2014)

List of audiobooks read by Tom Hollander from Audble UK, see also this list of Tom’s voicework from Thomagination which includes lots of other things he’s done / narrated.

  • In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant (2006)
  • The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville (2009)
  • Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square by Geraint Anderson (2009)
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (2010)
    a nice review of Tom’s reading of Clockwork Orange
  • Theremin (radio play) by Melissa Murray (2011)
  • The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (2012)
  • Conrad: The Chrestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones (2012)
  • Agatha Christie: Twelve Radio Mysteries (2016) – several readers including Tom
  • Fare Thee Well by Lord Byron (2017) – poem (3 minutes)






Quacks: James Wood (writer & co-creator of Rev.) has a new show coming to BBC2 [Tue 15th Aug]


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This sounds rather good fun, a new series about Victorian medicine that’s also a comedy. It’s written (and Executive Produced) by James Wood who brought us Rev.

It gets a good write-up in this interview with James and the cast in the Independent.

“‘I gave myself a medical historical education and puked it back out as comedy,’ says ‘Rev’ creator James Wood of his new BBC2 comedy ‘Quacks’.

“…Quacks is surely one of the most original new TV shows of the year, unsurprisingly since its creator, James Wood, has a track record in unlikely but engagingly droll TV shows; he wrote Rev, the Bafta-winning comedy starring Tom Hollander as an inner-city vicar, and, earlier this year, a delightful adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall…“.

Apparently one of the cast is a ‘self-experimenting anaesthetist’… hmm, remind you of anyone? 😉

We can expect guest appearances from a couple of the Rev. cast too – Miles Jupp (Nigel) and Kayvan Novak (Yussef Hasan, the local imam).

Quacks will begin screening on BBC2 next Tuesday (15 August) from 10-10.30pm.

Further reading









Tom Hollander @LettersLive / @WildernessHQ Festival 2017 #letterslive #wilderness2017 #wildernessfestival


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Tom Hollander (wearing a lovely shirt from Indigo Island) and Ian McShane at Wilderness Festival 2017 after performing at Letters Live on Sunday 6th August. Both chaps looking gorgeous in blue 🙂

A lovely surprise this weekend was discovering that Tom Hollander was at the Wilderness Festival in Oxford. He took part in two performances of Letters Live (in which actors read out letters – the letters can be funny / sad or from famous / non-famous people, it’s a really great event) over the weekend. The first performance was – annoyingly – a surprise / secret one on Saturday night which I missed hearing about until the next day (although Letters Live did actually tweet about it) – and that was how I discovered that Tom was at the festival – hooray.









Letters Live at Wilderness Festival 2017 - participants close-up

The ‘cast’ of Letters Live taking a well-earned bow at the end of a lovely event.

I was delighted that he was at the Sunday afternoon performance too though (Mark Strong, who’d been at the Saturday evening performance hadn’t been able to stay so I’m sorry to have missed him) and he read some lovely letters along with Russell Brand, Ian McShane, Tony Robinson, Louise Brealey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Amanda Abbington and Zawe Ashton.

The line-up of speakers is kept secret before the event (though I suppose the cat was slightly out of the bag on Sunday morning after the surprise gig) and the actors bring the letters to life, and it’s all rather magical. Zawe Ashton’s been acting for a while though I hadn’t actually come across her before, but she was absolutely brilliant reading letters from a very young Madonna to Stephen Lewicki, and a rather miffed Billie Holiday to Tallulah Bankhead.

I wrote down (on my phone) a very scrappy list of readers and the letters they read (and please let me know if you spot errors or omissions). Apologies if you’re one of the people who read and I’ve misattributed anything, it’s all a bit of a lovely blur now. You can hear Jo Whiley’s interviews with the actors (from 1hr 8min onwards) including Amanda Abbington, Tom Hollander, Mark Strong and a longer one with Benedict Cumberbatch on letter-writing for another month [at 10 August 2017].

John Lloyd introduced, off-stage, each letter and its reader.

  • Ian McShane and Russell Brand read an exchange on the marvels of whiskey/whisky
  • Tony Robinson read a letter which I didn’t manage to make a note of
  • Zawe Ashton read Madonna Ciccone’s letter to Stephen Lewicki
  • Benedict Cumberbatch read a letter from Iggy Pop to Joshua Berger, he also read a letter from his mum Wanda (delivered on-stage by the Wilderness Festival’s own ‘Post Office’ team!) which thanked him and last night’s crowd for singing her a happy birthday video
  • Russell Brand read a very funny letter from a man who’d spent an entire year trying to seduce his wife and recording every rejection she’d given him.
  • Louise Brealey read a lovely letter from Rachel Carson, about life and monarch butterflies
  • Tom Hollander read the unintentionally hilarious proposal from a farmer, Simon Fallowfield, to his intended Mary Foster. The letter was written in 1866 but the proposal was rejected (possibly the P.S. didn’t help, haha). Tom did a brilliant accent for this letter.
  • Amanda Abbington read a letter from a convicted woman to her two children before she and her (also convicted) husband were executed






Letters Live at Wilderness Festival 2017 - Louise Brealey and Benedict Cumberbatch

Louise Brealey and Benedict Cumberbatch pondering the relative merits of cats and dogs

  • Louise Brealey and Benedict Cumberbatch had a lot of fun reading a series of exchanges from the Guardian’s letter pages (one example here) on whether cats are more fascistic than dogs
  • Ian McShane read a letter from Hunter S Thompson in reply to Anthony Burgess who’d written asking if he could send a 50,000 word novella in place of the ‘think piece’ he’d promised Rolling Stone magazine. Thompson’s reply pulled no punches.
  • Tom Hollander read a brilliant letter from someone with bipolar disorder who wrote complaining that a cartoon on the topic had offended him… though on reflection a few days later he changes his mind 😉
  • Zawe Ashton read Billie Holiday’s letter to Tallulah Bankhead
  • I’m afraid I didn’t write down who read the letter from Edmund Howard, written in 1535 to a woman who was trying to cure his kidney stones. It sounded painful.
  • Ian McShane read a letter from Kurt Vonnegut in support of his son who wished to be a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War
  • Amanda Abbington read Tina Fey’s pithy responses to internet trolls
  • Tom Hollander read John Steinbeck’s letter to Marilyn Monroe requesting her autograph for his smitten nephew
  • Tony Robinson read, hilariously, a letter from Lewis Carroll apologising to a friend with whom he’d promised to do a photography project
  • Ian McShane read a letter from Sir Archibald Clark Kerr to Lord Reginald Pembroke
  • Louise Brealey read Patti Smith’s letter to Robert Maplethorpe
  • Benedict Cumberbatch read a letter written in 1919, I think from Katherine Mansfield to John Middleton Murry but sadly my notes on the topic were poorly taken

I was lucky enough to meet Tom shortly afterwards and get his autograph, thanks Tom 😀

Also thank you to Letters Live for a lovely event (my fourth) and to the Wilderness Festival for a wonderful five days’ entertainment and relaxation. What a lovely place to be.

You might also enjoy Tom Hollander’s Letter to my younger self, and his own writings in The Spectator and elsewhere.





















And from the previous night’s gig at which Tom read a letter from Leonard Cohen and one from composer Percy Grainger, on his rather enthusiastic sex life: “Rev star Hollander brought roars of laughter from the audience as he faithfully quoted an outrageously graphic love letter by Country Gardens composer Percy Grainger, as florid as it was pornographic.”




What’s Letters Live?
Letters of Note (Twitter) began a few years ago thanks to Shaun Usher, with a website sharing all sorts of amazing letters and then later he came up with the brilliant idea of having them read live, and Letters Live (Twitter) was born.

The next Letters Live event is on 27 August in Edinburgh (part of the festival) and tickets are still available at the time of writing, but they tend to sell out.

What’s the Wilderness Festival?
A wonderful, relaxed festival of music, crafts, art, glitter, talks & debates, fine dining and excellent loos which takes place every year in Cornbury Park in Charlbury, Oxford. 2017 was its seventh outing, there’s a nice review of one of the early events here. (Website, Twitter).