Hungering for a climax? Catch chapter three of teen fiction franchise in Royston this weekend

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 - Credit: Archant

Much-praised The Imitiation Game is also screening at the Picture Palace

There are two very different takes on conflict screening at Royston’s Picture Palace this weekend.

First up it’s teens against the world in a blockbuster with one of those convoluted titles that tell you it’s a franchise.

In this case it’s the third instalment of the hugely successful Hunger Games series, and critics have said that this chapter is treading water – not least because the final book in the trilogy penned by Suzanne Collins has been split into two to make the most of the box office potential.

Those who have followed the kill or be killed adventures of teen heroine Katniss Everdeen in the first two outings will be impatient to see what happens, but they’ll have to bide their time until later this year for the story to come to a climax.

In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, which is showing at the Royston venue on Friday and Saturday night, there more wordy angst than action as rebels try to recruit eagle-eyed archer and determined survivor Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, to their cause while Donald Sutherland’s wily president does his best to sideline her.

There are performances at 7.30pm on both evenings, and you can book tickets online at

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There’s also a screening on Sunday, but this story is much more rooted in reality.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as maths genius and computing pioneer Alan Turing, who famously helped crack key German codes and turn the tide of the Second World War in favour of the Allies. Despite his crucial work, he fell foul of the authorities because of his homosexuality and killed himself less than 10 years after victory was secured. The film has been widely praised and tipped for top honours, and will be shown at 5pm.

On the multiplex front, Liam Neeson returns as the tetchy dad with a very special set of skills in Taken 3, which offers few surprises and ticks the formula boxes.

Into The Woods, based on the fairytale-inspired Stephen Sondheim musical, is the first big offering of the year from Disney and features a starry cast including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Tracey Ullman.

And also building up decent word of mouth is Foxcatcher, an unlikely ‘based on true events’ tale about an eccentric millionaire (Steve Carell is a breakout role) who decides to train two top wrestlers towards golden glory at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are the grapplers, and there are lots of other big names in an impressive cast.