tue 21/11/2017

London

Marnie, English National Opera review – hyped new opera doesn’t hit the heights

The great and good of the London music scene were gathered at English National Opera last night for the unveiling of American Wunderkind Nico Muhly’s new opera, Marnie. Although it was commissioned by the Met in New York, somehow ENO managed to...

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The Rake's Progress, Wilton's Music Hall review - mercurial Stravinsky made cumbersome

If you're not going to mention the imaginative genius of Stravinsky, Auden and Kallman within the covers of your programme, and the only article, by the director, is titled "Acting Naturally", then the production had better deliver. That remarkable...

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Brakes review - dysfunctional relationships laid bare

Breaking up is hard to do, sang Neil Sedaka, and Mercedes Grower plays out that sentiment in a quirky, original and often funny film, which neatly subverts Hollywood romcom tropes.It's an episodic piece (with a stellar cast) that cuts between nine...

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Paddington 2 review - Hugh Grant’s superior baddie boosts sequel

Paddington 2 is that rare thing, a sequel that is more engaging than the original by dint of having a far better baddie. In the first film Nicole Kidman’s villainess was a bleached rehash of Cruella De Ville or Morticia – and it was far from her...

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Susie Boyt: Love & Fame review - as highly strung as a violin factory

At first glance, Susie Boyt’s sixth novel seems in danger of echoing her half-sister Esther Freud’s Lucky Break, another story about actors. But how unfair – of course Love and Fame has its own distinctive, witty brilliance. Eve Swift comes...

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CD: Squeeze – The Knowledge

When the songwriting partnership of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford returned two years ago, it was with a renewed sense of vim and vitality following nearly two decades away. The Knowledge continues that revival with a collection of songs that...

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Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Dulwich Picture Gallery review – more than Moominvalley

Born into an artistic Swedish-speaking household in Helsinki, Tove Jansson’s first, and most enduring, ambition was to be a painter. Although best known as the illustrator behind the creatures of Moominvalley, those plump white hippopotamus-like...

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Newsnight: Grenfell Tower - The 21st Floor, BBC Two review - a simple, moving reconstruction

The streets around Grenfell Tower on the morning after it was consumed by fire heaved with people. A stream of donors brought food, clothes and toiletries, while news crews and journalists came in vans or on foot as if arriving in a war zone. Not...

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Total Immersion: Julian Anderson, Barbican review - BBC ensembles showcase leading British composer

Julian Anderson’s 50th birthday this year was the prompt for the latest of the BBC’s Total Immersion days, devoted to the work of a single contemporary composer. I have long been a fan of Anderson’s music since hearing the marvellous Khorovod in the...

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Jonas Kaufmann: Tenor for the Ages, BBC Four review - a musical megastar with sword and shortbread

Now we know who sent Jonas Kaufmann the Union Jack boxer shorts for the Last Night of the Proms. Whether the sender’s identity is the bigger surprise, or the hint of ambiguity over whether the "Greatest Tenor in the World" had previously heard of...

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LFF 2017: Mindhunter / My Generation - Fincher comes to Netflix, Caine does Swinging London

They’re all going into TV nowadays, and here amid the cinematic runners and riders at the LFF is David Fincher directing Mindhunter. It's Netflix’s new series about the FBI in the Seventies, when the Bureau was slowly starting to realise that...

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2017 Parliamentary Jazz Awards: the votes are in

Held auspiciously on the hundredth birthday of one of the giants of the music, composer and pianist Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982), the winners of this year's Parliamentary Jazz Awards were announced at a congenial ceremony at London’s newest...

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