tue 17/10/2017

1950s

Osud/Trouble in Tahiti, Opera North - swings and roundabouts in a surprising double-bill

It was a topsy-turvy evening. Sometimes the things you expect to turn out best disappoint, while in this case the relatively small beer yielded a true "Little Great" of a production and the best singing in Opera North's latest double bill (subject...

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Sparks, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire review - age does not wither them

It’s more than 40 years since Sparks appeared on Top of the Pops with “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”, one of a handful of hits from the brothers Mael, Ron and Russell, who grew up in 1950s and ‘60s LA detesting the “cerebral and sedate...

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Trouble in Mind, The Print Room review - Tanya Moodie is a treat to watch

Truth is pursued in different ways in Alice Childress’s groundbreaking 1955 Trouble in Mind, and its play-within-a-play story of rehearsals for a Broadway show fully mines the range of theatrical opportunities, for much comic as well as rather more...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Oh dear. I thought that this was going to be one of those exciting fantasy films that livened up TV on weekend afternoons in my childhood, and that there would be kitschy special effects and ludicrous dialogue. But no, it's not 20,00 Leagues under...

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Neil Sedaka, Royal Albert Hall review - sparkly veteran defies the decades

As pretty much everything but a plague of locusts is visited upon this grim old world, an evening in the company of Neil Sedaka is the greatest of pick-me-ups. At the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, as his UK tour drew to a close, the capacity audience...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Love of a Woman

In Jean Grémillon's final fiction film The Love of a Woman, Marie Prieur (Micheline Presle) arrives on the Breton island of Ushant to replace the tiny settlement's aging Dr Morel (Robert Naly). While showing Marie her new digs and surgery, Mme Morel...

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Blu-ray: Terror in a Texas Town

Many of the best Westerns, that quintessentially American genre, are rooted in a Christian view of the world: the dark forces of Satan pitted against angels, saints and the figure of Christ the Redeemer. In Terror in a Texas Town, Joseph H Lewis's...

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Mr Gillie, Finborough Theatre review - theatrical buried treasure

Labels have their uses but they can also be a blight. The works of the Scottish playwright James Bridie – with their regional accents and domestic settings – bear many of the hallmarks of so-called Kitchen Sink drama but didn’t make the canon. Not...

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Little, CBSO, Seal, Symphony Hall Birmingham

The CBSO is justifiably proud of its association with Benjamin Britten. There’s rather less proof that he reciprocated, dismissing the orchestra as "second-rate" after it premiered his War Requiem in 1962. Throughout the 1950s, he’d repeatedly...

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La Strada, The Other Palace review - Fellini's tragicomedy becomes a noisy romp

Hitting the essence of a Fellini masterpiece in a different medium is no easy task. Try and reproduce his elusive brand of poetic melancholy and you'll fail; best to transfer the characters to a different medium, as the musical Sweet Charity did in...

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Billy Bragg: Roots, Radicals and Rockers review - riffing on skiffle, and more besides

Wow! An unconventional opening for a book review maybe, but ‘“wow!” nonetheless. Subtitled "How Skiffle Changed the World", this is an impressive work of popular scholarship by the singer, songwriter and social activist whose 40-year (and counting)...

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The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta formula hits a reef

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's single-sex Gilbert and Sullivan has worked a special magic on Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, HMS...

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