Clubland review

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What has Tina Turner ever done to Brenda Blethyn? The question has to be asked after watching Blethyn inflict grievous bodily harm on ‘Nutbush City Limits’ in Cherie Nowlan’s Aussie comedy drama. Then again, that’s the least of the actress’ crimes in this tale of a blousy English comedienne whose disintegrating career on Sydney’s cabaret circuit sees her take out her frustrations on her virginal son (Khan Chittenden) and his retarded brother (The Proposition’s Richard Wilson). Better material would definitely have helped proceedings – and we’re not just talking about Blethyn’s man-bashing stand-up act (which Jo Brand apparently had a hand in writing). No, it’s Keith Thompson’s script that struggles here, his sub-Little Voice histrionics leaving next to nothing for the cast to work with. As for Blethyn... well, let’s just say a little Brenda goes a long way.

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