In Review

What’s on this weekend? From Imaginary Friend to England vs Brazil

Your guide to what’s worth seeing and reading this weekend

The Week’s best film, TV, book and live show on this weekend, with excerpts from the top reviews.

TELEVISION: England vs Brazil

Michael Potts for the Radio Times

“England host Brazil in a women’s friendly clash at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough this week. The Lionesses have no need to qualify for Euro 2021 due to hosting the competition, allowing them a chance to experiment against top opposition. However, life hasn’t been plain sailing for Phil Neville’s squad since their 2-1 defeat to the USWNT in the World Cup semi-finals. While Neville is taking the friendlies as chances to rotate his team and blood in new stars, he will still hope to triumph in every match.”

Kick off 12:45pm 5 October on BBC One

MOVIE: Joker

Terri White in Empire

“As Arthur/Joker, Joaquin Phoenix is astonishing. Phillips has said he had a picture of the actor above his screen when writing the script and it’s a belief that has paid off. Phoenix inhabits Arthur: having lost weight for the role, he looks thin, frail, hungry…Bold, devastating and utterly beautiful, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix have not just reimagined one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, but reimagined the comic book movie itself.”

Released 4 October

BOOK: Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Alison Flood in The Guardian

“There are elements of Imaginary Friend that are genuinely frightening: as the nice man talks Christopher into building a tree house – which, incidentally, he and his gang of friends pull off with amazing skill for a group of seven-year-olds – the real and imaginary worlds of Mill Grove begin to overlap, and the bad things that lurk around this town are gradually revealed…Reading this book alone in the house, late at night, I will admit to a thud of fear at a bump downstairs, and a rush to switch all the lights on.”

Published 1 October

STAGE: Master Harold…and the boys at The National Theatre

Nick Curtis in the London Evening Standard

“Athol Fugard’s semi-autobiographical study of ingrained prejudice in 1950s South Africa won Best Play at the 1983 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Roy Alexander Weise’s taut revival shows it to be an economical, passionate piece of writing, if overly pregnant with symbolism and charged language…This production confirms Weise as a serious talent, and shows Msamati and Animashaun at the top or their serio-comic game.”

Until 17 December in the Lyttelton Theatre

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