wed 24/05/2017

history

Richard III review - Greg Hicks gruesomely impressive as power-crazed ruler

There may never have been a time when Shakespeare’s Richard III did not have contemporary relevance, but surely never more than it does right now. And it’s to the credit of director Mehmet Ergen that this production doesn’t go to town on it, but...

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Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play

"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On the basis of geographical breadth alone, one applauds Occupational Hazards, in which playwright Stephen Brown adapts global adventurer-turned...

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All Our Children review - shameful historical period horrifies anew

How do you tell a story as complex as the eugenics movement, which is pursued afresh in writer-director Stephen Unwin's new play All Our Children? Its idealistic origins lie in Britain with Francis Galton in 1883, before leading to forced...

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Neruda, review - 'poetry and politics'

Chilean director Pablo Larrain has described Neruda as a “false biopic”, and it’s a film that surprises on many levels in its presentation of Pablo Neruda, the great poet who is his country’s best-known cultural figure. It captivates for the scope...

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Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman, review - 'lugubrious'

Mary Magdalene: Art's Scarlet Woman (BBC Four) is, says art critic Waldemar Januszczak, a film about a woman who probably never existed. "So why,” he asks, “are we so obsessed with her?” He delivers the answer in breathy, lugubrious tones as if...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Ludwig

No-one has ever matched costume drama to psychological depth quite like Luchino Visconti. Much of it has to do with what Henry James termed a "divided consciousness": as a nobleman who became a communist in World War Two and was relatively open...

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Sunday Book: Helen Dunmore - Birdcage Walk

Birdcage Walk in Bristol really exists. It runs under an arched canopy of branches though a long-disused graveyard in Clifton. At this eerie spot, all that remains of the blitzed church of St Andrew’s, rosebay willowherb grows waist-high but “no one...

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DVD: The Spring River Flows East

There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’s melodrama dates its 14-year timespan – events unroll from 1931 to the end of the war in 1945 – with reference to the...

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Sunday Book: Daniel Levitin - A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics

Daniel Levitin makes one reference to Donald Trump in this book (to the latter’s claim to have seen on TV “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in Jersey City cheering when the Twin Towers fell) but he couldn’t have known quite how apposite these...

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Dr Michael Scott: How to make the most of globalisation

The Guardian called Brexit “a rejection of globalisation.” That’s as may be, but the reality is we cannot, however much we might want to, check out of the globalised world in which we live. Globalisation has defined the 20th and 21st century and...

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War in the Sunshine, Estorick Collection

North London’s much loved Estorick Collection is reopening its doors after a five-month spruce up. The Georgian listed building that houses a 120-piece collection of modern Italian art now boasts a new glass conservatory, opened out entrance hall...

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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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