Musicians Ray Davies, Brian May and Bridget Jones's Diary author Helen Fielding are among the big names set to make appearances at an upcoming literature festival in the U.K. Queen star May will team up Midge Ure to discuss legendary 1985 charity concert Live Aid during this summer's (13) Cheltenham Literature Festival in Cheltenham, England, and The Kinks' Davies will also give a talk.
Fielding will unveil her highly-anticipated third installment in her Bridget Jones's Diary series, and other stars to join discussions include actress Emma Thompson, comedienne Jennifer Saunders, funnyman David Mitchell, The Beatles artist Peter Blake and historical novelist Philippa Gregory.
Former Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews will also be performing.
The event runs from 4-13 October (13).
The White Queen star Aneurin Barnard has defended the TV show's historical inaccuracies after the drama was criticised by viewers who spotted mistakes. The BBC drama, which is based on Philippa Gregory's 2009 novel of the same name, is set in 1464, but the show has been littered with costume and set blunders, prompting critics to claim the series' portrayal of the facts is inauthentic.
However, Barnard, who plays Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who later became King Richard III, has claimed the show would be "pretty boring" if it was factually accurate all of the time.
He tells Britain's the Radio Times, "This interpretation is based upon historical events but it has to reach certain standards of entertaining the audience. What kind of scene will entertain them more than if we just played the truth? Because the truth can be pretty boring. You have to up the stakes and make something up or twist it to make it a little bit more exciting."
The White Queen will air in the U.S. next month (Aug13).
Adapted from Philippa Gregory’s novel by no less than Oscar-nominee Peter Morgan (The Queen) this is a speculative dramatization of the relationship between sisters Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson) each of whom shared a bed at one time or another with no less a monarch than Henry VIII (Eric Bana). History has shown that Anne’s relationship with the King would have a mammoth long-lasting impact on the Throne and on the Church of England. However this film is more concerned with the intimate details of the sister’s relationship with each other and with Henry than with any historical resonance. This serves only to make a melodrama out of material with far greater potential. Few of these characters ever seem to perceive or even care about the consequences of their actions--so it’s not terribly easy to empathize with them despite the best efforts of Johansson and Portman to imbue their roles with emotional depth. Those expecting fireworks between onscreen siblings Portman and Johansson will find their dramatic scenes together more incongruous than incendiary. Neither is particularly bad although they are among the more unlikely screen siblings in recent memory and both are comfortable in period surroundings but there’s the unmistakable whiff of a missed opportunity in the air--that the hoped-for chemistry between them isn’t coming together. Although Bana is one of the handsomer screen Henrys he’s portrayed as little more than a bed-hopping hunk. He may exchange smoldering glances with Portman and/or Johansson but there’s a distinct lack of passion (on several levels) to these proceedings. David Morrissey sneers throughout as the manipulative Duke of Norfolk who essentially gets everybody into this mess in the first place. As the girls’ father Sir Thomas Boleyn Mark Rylance sports an ill-fitting beard and a befuddled expression throughout as he basically pimps his daughters out while Kristin Scott Thomas suffers nobly as Lady Elizabeth Boleyn who knew all along that this would end up badly--but whose warnings (naturally) went unheeded. Most of Justin Chadwick’s previous work has been in television and it shows. The Other Boleyn Girl is heavy on the talk and light on the action. This story might have been better and more persuasively told as a TV mini-series--as fans of the Showtime series The Tudors which covers some of the same dramatic territory might well attest. This story undoubtedly made for a juicy novel but comes up dry on the big screen. The Other Boleyn Girl is stately and opulent but the fires of the story’s passion have been dampened by soap suds. By the time the ax is ready to fall--and upon whose neck you should already know--the entire affair such as it is (and they are) feels anti-climactic. The viewer never really gets a sense of the scope of this story as if the filmmakers simply presumed the audience know the outcome from the beginning and felt no need to delve any further into the historical ramifications. To have combined the two approaches would have made for a much more well-rounded and satisfying film.