sun 25/06/2017

1920s

The Discovery of Mondrian review - the most comprehensive survey ever

Standing inside the Gemeentemuseum’s life-size reconstruction of Mondrian’s Paris studio, the painter’s reputation as an austere recluse seems well-deserved. Returning from Holland to France after the First World War, he lived and worked in what...

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Turandot, Opera North

I’ve seen the future, and it’s semi-staged. The gains here are far more significant than the losses. And where Opera North’s minimalist Leeds Town Hall Ring let Peter Mumford’s video projections fill in the gaps, this new production of Turandot...

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Three Comrades, Sovremennik review - well-oiled Russian take on 1920s Berlin

Time runs on different lines in Russian theatre to our own. The 83-year-old Galina Volchek co-founded Moscow's Sovremennik Theatre in 1956, and has been its artistic director for the past 45 years; Three Comrades has held its place in the...

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Decline and Fall review - 'a riotously successful adaptation'

Like many first novels, Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall has a strong whiff of autobiography. It is a revenge comedy in which Waugh – like Kingsley Amis after him in Lucky Jim – transmutes his miserable experiences of teaching in Wales into savage...

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CD: Jarvis Cocker & Chilly Gonzales - Room 29

Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales’ first collaborative album is a song-cycle centred around the piano in the titular room of the Château Marmont in West Hollywood – a hotel with a reputation as something of a den of iniquity during the Roaring...

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The Wild Party, The Other Palace

The Other Palace’s housewarming party certainly lives up to its billing as a wild one – wet and wild, in fact, as the first three rows are sporadically doused with bathtub gin. The theatre formerly known as St James, revamped by purchaser Andrew...

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Isabelle Faust, Alexander Melnikov, Wigmore Hall

Polish composer Szymanowski's Ovid triptych Mythes achieved something like cult status thanks to an iridescent recording. Everyone knew the pianist, the great Krystian Zimerman; the violinist, Kaja Danczowska, less so (where is she now?). A better-...

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Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932, Royal Academy

This must be the most depressing exhibition I have ever seen. Dedicated to the leaders of the Russian Revolution, the first room features official portraits by Isaak Brodsky of Lenin and Stalin plus drawings and models of Lenin’s vast mausoleum in...

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Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four

"Oh what a beautiful morning! Oh what a beautiful day!" Curly the cowboy sang in the opening scene of Oklahoma!, the first musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein (1943). In the midst of war here was sheer optimism and celebration set – with some nods...

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Live by Night

The aura of Ben Affleck burneth bright. It only seems about 10 minutes ago that he starred in The Accountant, and now here’s Live by Night, his fourth outing as director, and the second movie on which he’s been writer, director and star. He’ll...

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Love's Labour's Lost/Much Ado About Nothing, RSC, Theatre Royal Haymarket

“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.” A sudden cold breeze blows through the endless summer afternoon of Love’s Labour's Lost in the play’s final moments. Death enters Shakespeare’s Edenic garden and innocence is lost. But what...

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Once in a Lifetime, Young Vic

An amplified crunch in the dark, sound without vision, kicks off this take on Moss Hart and George S Kaufman's light comedy about the advent of the talking pictures. It's a typical Richard Jones leitmotif, not as fraught with horror as the baked...

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