wed 26/04/2017

adaptation

The Handmaiden review - 'opulently lurid'

Park Chan-wook is a Korean decadent and moralist who’d have plenty to say to Aubrey Beardsley. The lesbian pulp Victoriana of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith proves equally amenable in this opulently lurid mash-up with a novelist he adores so much (the...

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DVD: Slaughterhouse-Five

“I never saw anything like it,” declares Billy Pilgrim in wonderment. “It’s the Land of Oz.” He has just seen Dresden’s splendour from the train carriage into which he and other American prisoners of war are crammed en route to the city. They’ve...

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The Lottery of Love, review - 'the fragile charm of artifice'

The social permutations of love are beguilingly explored in the 90-minute stage traffic of Marivaux’s The Lottery of Love, with Paul Miller’s production at the Orange Tree Theatre making the most of the venue’s unencumbered in-the-round space to...

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There's more to Karen Blixen than Meryl Streep

Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the prolific Danish storyteller, is perhaps most immediately recognised for the portrayal of her and her works on the big screen, above all by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. But her own story, and her place in the literary...

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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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Lion

The homecoming narrative is one of the most elemental ones we know, playing on the most primal human emotions. Stories of separation and reunion have been handed down from time immemorial, varying in their specifics but dominated by their intricate...

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The Kite Runner, Wyndhams Theatre

Khaled Hosseini's 2003 bestseller ticks all the boxes as an A-level text. A personal story with epic sweep, it interweaves the bloody recent history of Afghanistan with a gripping family saga. Its treatment of racism and radicalism is timely. Other...

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Silence

Audiences cannot fail to register the enormity of Martin Scorsese’s achievement in Silence. At 160 minutes, it hangs heavy over the film: adapted from the 1966 novel by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo, Silence has been close on three decades in...

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The Red Shoes, Sadler's Wells

Anyone expecting a knockout punch from Matthew Bourne’s latest creation is in for a let-down. His hotly anticipated take on Powell and Pressburger’s 1948 film, unlike his Swan Lake, is not going to send anyone out into the night weeping into their...

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The Pass

John Donnelly’s play The Pass scored a slate of five-star reviews when it ran at the Royal Court early last year – theartsdesk called it “scorching” – and plaudits for Russell Tovey’s central performance were practically stellar (“a star performance...

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Strictly Ballroom, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom started life as a short stage play in 1984, drawing on its creator’s own experiences in the heady world of amateur ballroom dancing. That the iconic 1992 film exists at all is something of a miracle; production...

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Akram Khan's Giselle, Sadler's Wells

Thank God for Akram Khan, English National Ballet, and Tamara Rojo. Their new Giselle, which finally arrived at Sadler's Wells this week after its Salford premiere in September, is a work of intelligence, power, beauty, and - most gratifying of all...

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