Cultural Life: Oliver Chris, actor


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The Independent Culture

Theatre: 'Matilda: the Musical' is brilliant on every level. Tim Minchin is a genius. Bertie Carvel makes a delicious psychotic old hag. The kids are also unbelievable. If an eight-year-old getting a standing ovation doesn't bring a tear to your eye then you've a heart of stone.

Books: I'm now reading 'The Magus', and if it comes up in conversation people go, "...Ooh you're reading 'The Magus'!" John Fowles was one seriously clever dude.

Visual Arts: I went to the Postmodernism exhibition at the V&A. It was good but it gave me a headache.

Television: Mostly, I watch TV with the bitter scorn, jealousy and contempt that only an actor can muster, but sometimes things come along that transcend even my embittered pettiness. BBC4's 'Holy Flying Circus' was awesome; funny, insightful, brilliant and brave. Channel 4's 'Top Boy' was also great, ya get me, bruv? Beautifully directed and acted and not too gritty.

Films: Judging from the reaction, casting shadows of doubt on Shakespeare is like pie-ing Judi Dench in the face. Unacceptable. But, whether you believe the premise or not, I think 'Anonymous' has quite a lot going for it. Mostly, that it's massively reverential to the content and significance of the plays themselves and it makes them look really cool. I really don't know why we get so snooty about bending the truth in British cinema.

Music: Recently, I've been listening to Bon Iver. You can't beat it for a bit of whiny, middle-class-electro-trance. Tom Waits and I get on extremely well after a long night on the dirty Martinis. And I love anything by Kenny Loggins. Deal with it.

Oliver Chris performs in 'One Man, Two Guvnors' at the Adelphi Theatre, London, WC2 ( to 25 February