fri 15/12/2017

Christmas

The Nutcracker, English National Ballet review - a thoroughly enchanting performance

The familiar doesn’t have to get old. Last night at the Coliseum there were children in the boxes, adults in the circle and grandparents in the stalls. Seasonal favourite Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker brings all ages to the ballet — as well as...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 35: Christmas 2017 Special with Pink Floyd, Mariah Carey, ELO, Madness and more

The music business is about to disappear on holiday wholesale and we won’t see hide nor hair of it until mid-January. There’s just time for one last 2017 vinyl celebration. Regular readers should be warned that theartsdesk on Vinyl becomes rather...

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CD: Gaspard Royant - Wishing You a Merry Christmas

French stylist Gaspard Royant has recorded at London’s garage-rock-central studio Toe Rag and been produced by Edwyn Collins. Both fit a worldview which encompasses collaborating with Eli Paperboy Reed, who crops up here on “Christmas Time Again”, a...

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The Box of Delights, Wilton's Music Hall review - children's classic novel transferred to stage

Theatreland is currently awash with pantomimes and rehashes of A Christmas Carol, so all credit to this ambitious new production, an adaptation of the 1935 children’s book, The Box of Delights. Long before Narnia, poet laureate John Masefield...

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CD: Tom Chaplin – Twelve Tales of Christmas

It’s easy to be cynical about Christmas pop albums. This is, of course, because so many of them are awful, hastily cobbled together collections of nothing, and about as much fun as munching your way through a kilo of sixpences hoping to find a tiny...

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CD: Sia - Everyday Is Christmas

Sia is a 21st century pop behemoth, an unstoppable figure who, despite no longer wishing to take part in the increasingly visual aspects of our social media age, still maintains a top-flight career. The best of her output hits the Venn diagram sweet...

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CD: Christmas with Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

It’s that time of year again, and we’re forced to endure crap Christmas songs while waiting to pay for milk and loo rolls. The fingers of one hand are sufficient for listing the world’s only good Christmas albums and songs: Phil Spector’s Christmas...

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Reza Aslan: God - A Human History review - on being 'sapiens', and believing

It is not just the season of holidays and holy days in the monotheistic religions; the art galleries and museums are busy reminding us of worlds beyond, with Imagining the Divine at the Ashmolean in Oxford, and Living with Gods at the British Museum...

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David Edgar: 'Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well'

Since mid-August, I’ve been doing something I swore I’d never do again. I’ve been rehearsing a new adaptation of a novel by Charles Dickens. Sometime in the autumn of 1979, I received a phone call from Trevor Nunn, artistic director of the Royal...

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Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, BBC One

The best thing about a year without Doctor Who? It’s been a year since we last heard people (adults) complain that the show’s increasingly labyrinthine, convoluted plots were too complex for children.But the best thing about this year’s Christmas...

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Crowe, La Nuova Musica, Bates, St John's Smith Square

Five seconds of cadenza in Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate would be enough to tell you that there's no more magical stylist among sopranos than Lucy Crowe. In an evening of Allelujas, Glorias and heartfelt Amens beautifully modulated by director of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Christmas 2016 (part 2)

Bach: Christmas Oratorio Dunedin Consort/John Butt (Linn)This set makes a brilliant counterpoint to last week’s modern instrument Sony recording, an earthier, differently flavoured set from one of the UK’s best period ensembles. John Butt uses just...

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