thu 18/01/2018

satire

Downsizing review - little things please little

Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In Election, About Schmidt, The Descendants and Nebraska, he puts America and Americans under the microscope from a variety of...

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The best TV to watch this week

Cure the January blues with our guide to the pick of the best dramas and documentaries coming to a TV near you or already available for streaming.Sunday 14 JanuaryThe Coronation, BBC One -– a rare interview with the Queen, in which she talks about...

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Alan Partridge: Why, When, Where, How and Whom?, BBC Two review - a helping of Christmas Partridge

Over 25 years since his modest inception as a parody sports reporter, Alan Partridge has become one of comedy’s most enduring icons. With a new BBC series expected in 2018, we were treated to a tribute (or Partribute, if you will) to the impressive...

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Blu-ray: Carrie

As we reach December, the year of Stephen King comes to a close with this 4K Blu-ray restoration of his very first film adaptation: Carrie. It was the first major success for Brian De Palma, Sissy Spacek and John Travolta, but how does the original...

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Network, National Theatre review - Bryan Cranston’s searing London stage debut

Outrage knows no time barrier, as the world at large reminds us on a daily basis. So what better moment for the National Theatre to fashion for the internet age a stage adaptation of Network, the much-laureled 1976 celluloid satire about lunacy...

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W1A, Series 3 Finale, BBC Two review - the satire gets to the end of its joke

Repetition can help clarity. It emphasises significance, and shines a light more directly onto something hidden. It can guide us gently into an area we might have otherwise circumvented, and urge us to stare at something for long enough to see...

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Princess Ida, National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company review - sparkling comedy, wobbly sets

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you have to be pretty silly to take Gilbert and Sullivan seriously. But even sillier not to. And positively heroic to revive the pair’s 1884 three-acter Princess Ida: the show which – updated to a...

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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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