Sunday Review: In Defence of James Corden
The successful British export is under-appreciated at home.
James Corden has recently been in London, presenting episodes of the "Late Late Show". As ever, such an appearance produces a backlash in his home country. I don't really understand why, because, if I'm honest, I'm a James Corden fan.
The first time I saw him was at the National Theatre playing class clown Timms in Alan Bennett's "The History Boys". The show was an incredible, almost life-changing experience. This was down not just to the genius of Bennett's script, but the performances of the boys (including Dominic Cooper and Russell Tovey,) and the likes of Frances De La Tour and Richard Griffiths. It has meant that I've had a soft spot for Corden ever since. The film adaptation is not as magical as the original theatrical production but it is still worth checking out.
Corden was similarly impressive in the very energetic "One Man, Two Guvnors". I think it's best we all forget about "Cats" though - I've only seen some video clips and that's more than enough.
Corden's mainstream breakthrough moment came with "Gavin and Stacey", a sitcom he starred in and co-wrote alongside the brilliant Ruth Jones. Yet despite the popularity of both the sitcom and Corden's own character, Smithy, mention of him often produces a visceral, angry response from many. I joked on Twitter that I was worried about writing this piece for the unfollows/unsubscribes that would occur as a result... but I said it only half in jest. (Instead of unsubscribing, leave a comment explaining why you think I'm wrong!)
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