Austin Powers Verne Troyer Dies Aged 49

Verne Troyer the beloved Austin Powers star, best known as diminutive super villain Mini-Me, has sadly died at the age of 49.  His family confirmed the news on a post on his official Facebook page read.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. .. Over the years he’s struggled and won… but unfortunately this time was too much.”

News of his death follows his admission to hospital in Los Angeles earlier this month, although precise details about his health were not made public at that time. Troyer had been hospitalised last year due to ongoing substance abuse issues and released a statement at that time addressing the concerns of his fans and thanking them for all their messages of support.

Troyer featured in countless films and tv shows in a lengthy career that saw him feature in Harry Potter and Austin Powers among countless other big screen outings. He notably worked with friend Heath Ledger on Terry Gilliam’s fantasy adventure The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and was a frequent presence on British television screens as part of Celebrity Big Brother and gameshow Celebrity Juice.

He was also a passionate advocate for a number of charities and an inspirational figure for many differently abled performers due to his success and outspoken challenging of Hollywood stereotypes.

He will be deeply missed and we look back on the time we were lucky enough to spend with him with both sadness and joy.

New Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Poster

Check out a brand  new poster shot and latest details for Jurassic World Fallen ahead of the launch of a final full length trailer tomorrow.

It’s been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment.  Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.  Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission.  Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favourite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before.  Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Stars Pratt and Howard return alongside executive producers Steven Spielberg and Colin Trevorrow for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.  They are joined by co-stars James Cromwell, Ted Levine, Justice Smith, Geraldine Chaplin, Daniella Pineda, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Isabella Sermon, while BD Wong and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles. Directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible), the epic action-adventure is written by Jurassic World’s director, Trevorrow, and its co-writer, Derek Connolly.

Game Of Thrones Wins Special BAFTA Award

Landmark fantasy series Game of Thrones is to be honoured with a special award at this year’s Bafta Television Craft Awards.

Actors John Bradley (who plays Samwell Tarly) and Hannah Murray (Gilly) will accept the award on 22 April on behalf of HBO drama’s production team.

The Special Award recognises the skill behind the making of the series and its outstanding contribution to pushing the boundaries in its field. The award also recognises the support the series has given to the UK television industry.

Reacting to the news of the awards recognition the shows executive producers DB Weiss and David Benioff said:

“This award makes us extremely happy on behalf of the people who actually earned it – all our brilliant, talented, hard-working department heads and crew. Many, many people work insanely hard to create any film or television show. They are creators every bit as much as actors, writers, producers or directors, and deserve to be recognised as such.”

Bafta’s television committee chair Krishnendu Majumdar also added

“The craft behind what is one of the most popular dramas of our time is nothing short of incredible, from the breath-taking location shots to the intricately designed costumes and set pieces, and not forgetting the level of detail from the make-up and prosthetic team to name a few.”

The BAFTA Television Craft Awards ceremony will take place in London this weekend, hosted by Stephen Mangan and honouring shows across a wide range of technical categories ahead of the main BAFTA TV Awards taking place next month.

BAFTA Games Awards Winners 2018

BAFTA has announced the winners of tonight’s British Academy Games Awards, which celebrated the very best in games of the past year. The ceremony was hosted by Dara O’Briain at Troxy, London.

What Remains of Edith Finch, the second game from BAFTA-winning developer Giant Sparrow Studios, won Best Game. Giant Sparrow previously won for The Unfinished Swan in the debut game category in 2013.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, which explores the titular character’s struggle with mental health issues, won Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, British Game, Game Beyond Entertainment and Melina Juergens won in the Performer category for her role as Senua.

Super Mario Odyssey, the 3D platform game from Nintendo, won Game Design and Family.

Another eight games were winners on the night. The hand-drawn story puzzle game, Gorogoa, won Debut Game. Following its win at last year’s awards for Multiplayer, the team-based first-person shooter Overwatch won Evolving Game. Golf Clash, the real-time multiplayer game, won Mobile Game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the action-adventure game, won the BAFTA for Game Innovation. The role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin 2 won in Multiplayer. Cuphead, the run-and-gun indie game, won in Music. Night in the Woods, the adventure game focusing on exploration, story and character, won the BAFTA for Narrative. The action role-playing game Horizon Zero Dawn won for Original Property.

The Fellowship was presented to Tim Schafer in recognition of his outstanding creative contribution to the industry and for his illustrious career in game design.

Full List of Nominees and Winners in Bold below for all categories. 

FELLOWSHIP
TIM SCHAFER

 

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY Development Team – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

 

AUDIO ACHIEVEMENT
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD WAR II Development Team – Sledgehammer Games/Activision
DESTINY 2 Development Team – Bungie/Activision
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE David Garcia Diaz – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II Development Team – DICE/Electronic Arts
UNCHARTED: THE LOST LEGACY Development Team – Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

 

BEST GAME
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

 

BRITISH GAME
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
REIGNS: HER MAJESTY Leigh Alexander, François Alliot, Arnaud De Bock – Nerial Ltd/ Devolver Digital
THE SEXY BRUTALE Charles Griffiths, James Griffiths, Tom Lansdale – Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works/ Tequila Works
SNIPER ELITE 4 Development Team – Rebellion/ Rebellion
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER II Development Team – Creative Assembly/ SEGA

 

DEBUT GAME
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HOLLOW KNIGHT Development Team – Team Cherry/Team Cherry
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/Finji
THE SEXY BRUTALE Charles Griffiths, James Griffiths, Tom Lansdale – Cavalier Game Studios and Tequila Works/Tequila Works
SLIME RANCHER Development Team – Monomi Park/Monomi Park

 

EVOLVING GAME
CLASH ROYALE Development Team – Supercell/ Supercell
FINAL FANTASY XV Hajime Tabata – Square Enix/ Square Enix
FORTNITE Development Team – Epic Games/ Epic Games
OVERWATCH Development Team – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX SIEGE Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft

 

FAMILY
JUST DANCE 2018 Development Team – Ubisoft Paris/ Ubisoft
LEGO WORLDS Development Team – TT Games/ WB Games
MARIO + RABBIDS KINGDOM BATTLE Development Team – Ubisoft/ Ubisoft
MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
SNIPPERCLIPS Development Team – SFB Games/ Nintendo
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo

 

GAME BEYOND ENTERTAINMENT
BURY ME, MY LOVE Development Team – The Pixel Hunt & Fig/ ARTE & Playdius
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
LAST DAY OF JUNE Massimo Guarini, Elia Randon, Andrew Thompson – Ovosonico/505 Games
LIFE IS STRANGE: BEFORE THE STORM Development Team – Deck Nine Games, Square Enix/Square Enix
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
SEA HERO QUEST VR Matthew Hyde, Max Scott-Slade, Hugo Scott-Slade – Glitchers/ Glitchers

 

GAME DESIGN
ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS Development Team – Ubisoft Montreal/ Ubisoft
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
NIER: AUTOMATA Development Team – Platinum Games, Square Enix/ Square Enix
SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

 

GAME INNOVATION
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Development Team – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
NIER AUTOMATA Development Team – Platinum Games, Square Enix/Square Enix
SNIPPERCLIPS Development Team – SFB Games/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

 

MOBILE GAME
BURY ME, MY LOVE Development Team – The Pixel Hunt & Fig/ ARTE & Playdius
GOLF CLASH Paul Gouge, Alex Rigby, Gareth Jones – Playdemic/Playdemic
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
KAMI 2 Development Team – State of Play/State of Play
MONUMENT VALLEY 2 Development Team – ustwo games/ustwo games
STRANGER THINGS: THE GAME Development Team – BonusXP, Inc./BonusXP, Inc.

 

MULTIPLAYER
DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN 2 Development Team – Larian Studios/ Larian Studios Games
FORTNITE Development Team – Epic Games/ Epic Games
GANG BEASTS Development Team – Boneloaf/ Double Fine Productions
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
SPLATOON 2 Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW Development Team – Red Storm Entertainment/ Ubisoft

 

MUSIC
CUPHEAD Development Team – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GET EVEN Development Team – The Farm 51/ Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE David Garcia Diaz, Andy LaPlegua – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Development Team – Nintendo EPD/Nintendo
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Jeff Russo – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

 

NARRATIVE
HELLBLADE: SENUA’S SACRIFICE Tameem Antoniades – Ninja Theory Ltd/ Ninja Theory Ltd
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
TACOMA Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja – Fullbright/ Fullbright
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive
WOLFENSTEIN II: THE NEW COLOSSUS Jens Matthies, Tommy Tordsson Björk, Tom Keegan – Machine Games/ Bethesda

 

ORIGINAL PROPERTY
CUPHEAD Chad Moldenhauer, Jared Moldenhauer – StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc./StudioMDHR Entertainment Inc.
GOROGOA Development Team – Jason Roberts, Buried Signal/Annapurna Interactive
HORIZON ZERO DAWN Development Team – Guerrilla/Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
NIGHT IN THE WOODS Scott Benson, Alec Holowka, Bethany Hockenberry – InfiniteFall/ Finji
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS Development Team – PUBG Corp/ Bluehole, Inc.
WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH Development Team – Giant Sparrow/Annapurna Interactive

 

PERFORMER
ABUBAKAR SALIM as Bayek in Assassin’s Creed Origins
ASHLY BURCH as Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn
CLAUDIA BLACK as Chloe Frazer in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
LAURA BAILEY as Nadine Ross in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
MELINA JUERGENS as Senua in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
VALERIE ROSE LOHMAN as Edith Finch in What Remains of Edith Finch

Quiz Review

The Plot

Based on the most infamous scandal in gameshow history, Quiz re-examines the case of Charles Ingram, an army major who won a million pounds on gameshow Who wants to be a Millionaire?, only to be subsequently accused of an elaborate conspiracy involving his wife and another contestant on the show to cheat their way to the jackpot.

The Good

Those with any passing familiarity with the hysterical media coverage of the ‘Coughing Major’ case may enter the theatre with a pretty clear view of both what happened and what kind of people notorious couple Charles and Diana Ingram really are. What James Graham’s production skilfully does is embrace and challenge those well-established opinions with equal passion, profoundly impacting surprised audiences in the process.

Quiz leads audiences though the murky evolution of TV quiz shows, poking fun at the quirky theatrics and greedy consumerism and ruthlessness that underpins it. The productions use of video screens, Electronic keypads and frequent audience participation helps capture the peculiar quiz show world, whilst further investing audiences in proceedings by making them more explicitly involved and complicit. While seemingly silly it’s a fairly effective trick that pays off well during the shows more dramatic moments.

Quiz boasts a versatile ensemble of actor that offers audiences a compelling mix of pageantry and pathos. Keir Charles is a flamboyant delight as an exaggerated but instantly recognisable version of Chris Tarrant. Helping paint a vivid portrait of the gameshow’s most public face. True praise belongs however to Stephanie Street and Gavin Spokes as the Ingrams, at the heart of the production their performances morph effortlessly as required between comedy and poignant tragedy.

Leading man Gavin Spokes in particular does magnificent work at capturing the memorable eccentricities of Major Ingram whilst also managing to craft a vulnerable performance with sincere depth. Quiz goes well beyond mere impersonations in its quest for drama and truth.

The Bad

While the show’s second act bristles with anger and tragedy that is likely provokes plenty of audience self-reflection, it’s fair to say that the show’s first half is sometimes a little less focused as it has fun setting up the myths and misconceptions it later delights in tearing down. Frequent audience participation may be good natured fun, designed to set the scene for the gameshow drama, but at times it gives the show a pantomime like quality that belies some of the serious themes it truly explores.

Likewise while the production offers audiences excellent arguments based on compelling facts, more stubborn spectators may not entirely welcome having their established preconceptions so directly challenged. Nobody like to feel wrong and changing minds is never easy.

The Ugly Truth

Quiz is a fascinating theatrical experience that provides audiences with frequent laughs and many lingering questions. It’s playful and interactive approach allows it to gently confront audiences with uncomfortable truths about what we believe and just how easily we can be deceived. Quiz is a fun and thoughtful night out combining technology and mass media motifs with classic West End showmanship.

Review by Russell Nelson