sun 25/06/2017

satire

The best TV to watch this week

Channel-rich but time-poor? We sift the schedules for you.Friday 23 JuneVersailles, BBC Two – final episode of Series 2, with Louis XIV (George Blagden) arresting, torturing and burning his opponents to tighten his grip on the throne. The...

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Hir, Bush Theatre review – transgender home is sub-prime

Donald Trump’s electoral success was, we have been told, fuelled by the anger of the American working class. But how do you show that kind of anger on stage, and how do you criticise its basis in traditional masculinity? One way, and this is the...

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The Mikado review - Sasha Regan's all-male operetta formula hits a reef

Men playing boys playing girls, women and men, all female parts convincingly falsettoed and high musical standards as backbone: Sasha Regan's single-sex Gilbert and Sullivan has worked a special magic on Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, HMS...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Catfight

Catfights can be entertaining, till the blood starts to flow – or, as in Onur Tukel’s brutal social comedy, you take turns putting your opponent in a coma. During three increasingly ritualised donnybrooks, Anne Heche and Sandra Oh batter past the...

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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui review - 'Lenny Henry covers Trump's greatest hits'

It’s a bigly Trump-fest over at the Donmar, with adaptor Bruce Norris determined to make Brecht great again – or at least pointedly contemporary. Despite a legal disclaimer in the knowing prologue, the current tangerine regime looms large, replacing...

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Patience/Tosca, English Touring Opera

How well do you know your bad Victorian poetry? “When through the purple corridors the screaming scarlet Ibis flew/In terror, and a horrid dew dripped from the moaning Mandragores.” Go on, guess the author. Or how about this? “What time the poet...

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Fracked! Alistair Beaton on his anti-fracking satire

If you’d asked me five years ago whether I might one day write a comedy about fracking, I’d have wondered whether you were entirely in possession of your faculties. Not because fracking sounds dull and boring (although let’s be honest, it does), but...

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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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The Wipers Times, Arts Theatre review - 'dark comedy from the trenches'

You may be having a moment of déjà vu, as Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s new play (which lands in the West End after a UK tour) was previously a BBC film (shown in 2013), and a very fine one too, covering as it does a true story from the First World...

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CD: The Residents - The Ghost of Hope

The Residents' famous fusion of Fred Astaire’s most dapper top hat’n’tails look with a giant eyeball head is a masterpiece of surreal imagery. The subversive California outfit, who’ve been going for over 40 years, have regularly veered into other...

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Top Trumps, Theatre 503

There's an irony to be found in the fact that America's 45th president is already abolishing any and all things to do with the arts even as his ascendancy looks set to provide catnip to artists to a degree not seen since the heyday of Margaret...

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Two Quixotes, The English Concert, Bicket, Wigmore Hall

They dreamed the impossible dream in 1970, turning aspects of Cervantes' Don Quixote into the musical Man of La Mancha. But Purcell, Eccles and the lively dramatist Thomas D'Urfey - anyone know his hit song "The Fart"? - got there first nearly 300...

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