Sally phillips

Ugly and humdrum: Brokeback Mountain, at @sohoplace, reviewed

Brokeback Mountain, a play with music, opens in a scruffy bedroom where a snowy-haired tramp finds a lumberjack’s shirt and places it over his nose. Then he inhales. Who is this elderly vagrant? And why is he absorbing the scent of an abandoned garment? Two hours later, at the play’s close, we finally learn that the old man, Ennis, is sniffing a shirt that once belonged to Jack Twist who became his lover while they worked as shepherds in Wyoming. Yes, shepherds. The ‘gay cowboy’ label is a misnomer because the lads are ranching sheep, and their affair belongs to the half-forgotten days of homosexual persecution. The precise year, 1963,

Quietly devastating: Nowhere Special reviewed

Off the Rails is one of those gentle ensemble comedies that we do so well (Calendar Girls, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, etc.), except when we don’t, and it all falls rather flat, and feels like the B-side of a Richard Curtis film. This comes in, alas, at the flatter, B-side end of the spectrum, even if its heart is in the right place and all the other things you say when a film doesn’t deserve a kicking. But you can’t really say it’s any good. Plot-wise the deal is: to comply with the dying wish of their best friend, Liz (Sally Phillips), Kate (Jenny Seagrove) and Cassie (Kelly Preston) must