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The Shawl

Teletext, 9th November 2001, Phil Penfold

The Shawl takes us to a room where a clairvoyant is about to meet his new client, a young woman in distress and seeking guidance.

Writer David Mamet suggests that the man (played with stunning clarity by Michael Pennington) is part psychic, part psychiatrist. Like Sherlock Holmes, he can deduce a great deal about his subjects by their clothes, movement and expressions.

David Mamet must have sat in on psychic sessions, judging by the way he cuts through the babble, presenting us in The Shawl with a fraudulent character who may have a mental gift.

The Stage and Television Today, 15th November 2001, John Highfield

A fascinating study of mediumship, lies and professional deception, very much in the Mamet vein of double crosses and intrigue.

Teresa Banham is the woman looking for answers from the grave, but much more interesting – mainly because we get only the most tantalising of glimpses – is the relationship between Michael Pennington’s fraud and Jamie Glover as his younger apprentice.

A fascinating blend of the dangerous and the ambiguous.

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