An amazing technical achievement: Life of Pi at Wyndham’s Theatre reviewed

Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi is a complicated organism. The action starts in southern India where we meet a precocious teenager, Piscine, who tells his parents that he wants to be known as Pi. The family own a failing zoo and they buy a Bengal tiger to attract fresh customers. The new arrival promptly rips the head off Pi’s pet goat and eats it. Next they take a ship to Canada, with the zoo stowed in the luggage hold, but the vessel hits stormy weather. The beasts break out of their cages and start to eat each other. And when the ship sinks, Pi finds himself on a life

The genius of stop-motion wizard Ray Harryhausen

Modern Two in Edinburgh reopens this week, and what more fitting subject for a show in a time of global catastrophe than Ray Harryhausen, titan of cinema, creator of beasts, destroyer of cities, king of adventure? If you were near a screen at any point during the Cold War, you almost certainly watched Harryhausen movies. The tentacled Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, so realistic it was awarded an X certificate upon arrival in Britain; the mythical marvels of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad; and the vicious skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts captivated generations of viewers. These indelible creations, all handmade by one man, the animator, special-effects pioneer and producer Ray