sat 24/06/2017

America

Gloria, Hampstead Theatre review – pretty glorious

As with life, so it is in art: in the same way that one can't predict the curve balls that get thrown our way, the American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins defies categorisation. On the basis of barely a handful of plays, two of which happen now...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Falla, Ravel, Antoine Tamestit, The American Brass Quintet

 Falla: Nights in the Garden of Spain, Ravel: Piano Concertos Steven Osborne (piano), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ludovic Morlot (Hyperion)Steven Osborne's solo Ravel anthology is among the best available, and it's good that he's now...

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Whitney: Can I Be Me review - tragic account of superstar who fell to earth

The statistics of Whitney Houston’s career are flabbergasting in this post-CD era. Her 1985 debut album sold 25 million copies. “I Will Always Love You” is the best-selling single by a female artist in music biz history. Its parent album, the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: One-Eyed Jacks

One-Eyed Jacks, the only film Marlon Brando ever directed, is a masterpiece by any reckoning, a classic western about love and treachery, as well as a startling and boundary-breaking re-invention of the genre.The tragedy unfolds, through many twists...

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Elif Batuman: The Idiot review - memories of student life and travels meander

University, anyone? Student days? If you were ever an undergraduate, who does not remember the simultaneous sense of dislocation and excitement, the feeling of the familiar combined with a heady awareness that we might fall off a cliff,...

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The Handmaid's Tale, Channel Four review - triumphant dystopian drama

The second episode of Bruce Miller’s brilliant dramatisation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale on Channel 4 finds Offred (the wonderful Elisabeth Moss) being penetrated by Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes, looking conflicted). Of...

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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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An Octoroon review - slavery reprised as melodrama in a vibrantly theatrical show

Make no mistake about it, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is a playwright to watch. London receives its first opportunity to appraise his vibrant, quizzical talent with this production of An Octoroon, for which he received an OBIE in 2014 (jointly with his...

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Swans, Asylum, Birmingham

There are not many bands who are obtuse enough to begin a gig with a 45 minute unrecorded song, especially when they are preparing to go their separate ways at the end of the tour and have no plans for further recording. Sonic adventurers Swans,...

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CD: Mark Mulcahy - The Possum in the Driveway

Initially released to coincide with Record Shop Day (we’re in the UK so yes, it’s a shop, thanks very much), we’re a little late out of the blocks with the Miracle Legion frontman’s latest solo venture, but then, The Possum in the Driveway is an...

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10 Questions for film director Roger Donaldson – 'motor racing in the 1960s was incredibly dangerous'

An Australian who emigrated to New Zealand in 1965, Roger Donaldson cut his teeth in documentaries and TV before launching into a career in feature films. His first feature, Sleeping Dogs (1976), on the unlikely theme of a New Zealand plunged into...

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The Gabriels, Brighton Festival review - hilarious drama in the shadow of Trump

The subtitle of Richard Nelson’s new trilogy suggests an anti-Trump polemic. Instead, its miraculous, almost invisible craft fulfils the President’s most hollow promise. It restores full humanity to a family of lower-middle class Americans who often...

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