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What's Inside UK:Cue

England's Glory:
Carey Mulligan Poised for Hollywood's A-List

by Graham Fuller

The latest in a long line of English roses transplanted to America, albeit impermanently, Carey Mulligan may yet fare better in Hollywood than Madeleine Carroll, double Oscar-winner Vivien Leigh, Deborah Kerr, Julie Andrews, and Julie Christie. Her technical brilliance and emotional intelligence have so far led her to two great film performances, in 2009's An Education, her breakthrough, and 2010's Never Let Me Go, and two on the stage, in the 2008 Broadway production of The Seagull (imported from London's Royal Court) and off Broadway in the 2011 adaptation of Ingmar Berman's film Through a Glass Darkly. If there is a contemporary English model for success in America, it is the beloved Kate Winslet, but Mulligan, it seems, doesn't have Winslet's natural ebullience or gregariousness. Nor is it entirely clear what she wants from her career, though it's self-evident from her choices so far that acting in roles of increasing psychological depth is infinitely more important to her than red-carpet fame.

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Meryl's Oscar, Abi's Words

by Randee Dawn

When Abi Morgan started out writing a script about former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, she couldn't have known that The Iron Lady she was forging would ultimately win portrayer Meryl Streep her third Academy Award, which is exactly what happened at the end of February. Yet even if the film received mixed reviews, no one could question that the iconic actress had been given a kind of present: a thoughtful, insightful look at one of the more controversial political leaders of the 20th century, crafted by a playwright-turned-screenwriter who seems to have a unique perspective on shaping challenging, multilayered and not always sympathetic characters for both the small and large screen. The daughter of a theatre director and an actress, Morgan was behind not just The Iron Lady this year, but also the script for the rule-breaking Shame and the critically acclaimed BBC series, The Hour, which will air a second series of episodes later this year…

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The West End to Broadway Connection

by Elizabeth Sharland

It is very easy to make sweeping statements about the difference between the British theatre scene versus Broadway and the American theatre. Any thespian who travels between London and New York attending openings and perhaps closings of plays and musicals, has their own opinion, their likes and dislikes, and it is interesting to compare notes. During the golden age of the West End ('40–'50s) when Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Edith Evans, Sir Alec Guinness and a host of other celebrities were playing either in the West End or at the Old Vic, Broadway producers were bidding to bring them over to New York.

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Why Doctor Who Still Intrigues 50 Years Later

By Barnaby Edwards

Doctor Who. Two words that mean so much to so many generations of British children. It represents Saturday afternoons in front of the telly; silly knock-knock jokes; deadly pepperpots; police telephone boxes that are bigger on the inside than the outside, and adventures galore throughout time and space. It is a British institution and as quintessentially English as tea and biscuits.

For the uninitiated: This is a show about a man with two hearts who travels around time and space in a machine disguised as a British 1960s police box that is bigger on the inside than on the outside. He fights injustice wherever he finds it, feels that human beings are “quite his favourite species”, and when his body wears out he can change into a completely different one. This last facet of the character is one of the strokes of genius that has helped ensure the show's longevity, by giving a plot-based reason for changing the lead actor on a periodic basis, and thus refreshing the whole show on a regular basis.

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The Origins of James Bond

by Jonathan Boorstein

Before James Bond was nauseated by the scent and smoke and sweat of a casino at three in the morning at the beginning of Casino Royale in 1953, Richard Hannay ran up and down Thirty-nine Steps, Bulldog Drummond beat up any member of an ethnic or religious minority that dared to think he was equal to an Englishman, and Nayland Smith thwarted yet another of Fu Manchu's macabre plans for revolution, if not world domination. These heroes were Bond's literary fathers. The tradition of Empire and the spy story in late Victorian, Edwardian and post-World War I thrillers were concepts Ian Fleming was aware of, played with, and, in some cases, stole from.

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A 51st Anniversary Tribute to The Avengers

by Jonathan Boorstein

Last year, Patrick Macnee, who as Major John Steed, was one of the agents extraordinary who were The Avengers, posted on his website: "Fifty years ago – on January 7th, 1961, the first episode of The Avengers was broadcast. On February 9th, 1961 – the Beatles made their debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. A coincidence? Or was that year truly the moment when the grey England of the 1950's bloomed into something way more colourful?" The always charming, now 90-year-old Macnee is on to something there. To be fair, in 1961 it was really just a bud; it bloomed a couple of years later into its full Austin Powers glory as the mod and camp swinging sixties, Carnaby Street fashion, the Fab Four, and, here in the States, the British invasion. But for diehard Avengers fans, it will always be all about Steed and Mrs. Peel.

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The Ravishing Women of British Soap Operas

By Charles S.P. Jenkins

On 9 December 9 1960, the commercial television channel in Britain aired the first performance of what would become the world’s longest-running soap opera, Coronation Street. The programme was initially presented twice weekly in the early evening and lasted for 30 minutes. What was special about this programme was that its setting was a street in a working-class area of a city in the county of Lancashire, which is in the North of England and was once famous for both heavy industry and the manufacture of cotton goods. Although the show has always had interesting characters, one in particular that caught not only my eye, but that of just about every man in Britain.

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