tue 21/11/2017

Scotland

The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Tabula Rasa, Traverse Theatre review - honest, compassionate, but not always convincing

Collaboration and collegiality are becoming ever more important across the Scottish arts scene, it seems. Glasgow theatre company Vanishing Point teamed up with Scottish Opera earlier this year for a double-bill based around Bartók’s Bluebeard’s...

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Orpheus Caledonius, Brighton Early Music Festival review - a thrilling meeting of musical clans

In 1725 a collection of some 50 songs was published by one William Thomson. You might not know his name, or even the names of the songs, but given the first bar of most I’m betting you could hum them from beginning to end. The work? Orpheus...

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Lammermuir Festival 2017 review - rich and deeply rewarding

Increasingly, the Lammermuir Festival is – one audience member whispered conspiratorially to me – what East Lothian music lovers are switching to alongside the Edinburgh International Festival. It’s insidious to compare, of course – but still, you...

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Ramona Tells Jim, Bush Theatre, review – kooky, teenage heartbreak

Location, location, location. Jim thinks he lives in the “shittiest” small town in Scotland. It’s Mallaig, on the west coast, and he’s a deeply troubled 32-year-old, working for a fish merchant and as a nature guide, but having no friends. His flat...

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What Shadows, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh review - compelling, urgent, unashamedly provocative

You’ve got to hand it to David Greig. The artistic director of Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre has shown quite a knack for surfing the zeitgeist with his programming – and more importantly, tackling urgent political issues in a properly theatrical way.He...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2017 review: Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra - gentle, old-fashioned humour

It’s a tricky thing to get right, musical comedy. For every Victoria Wood, Tim Minchin or Bill Bailey, there are others – plenty of them at the Edinburgh Fringe, in fact – who find it more of a challenge to meld together the two forms so that they...

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Moon Dogs review - gritty, refreshing and very funny

It’s a road movie, a rites-of-passage drama, a romantic comedy (even a teen sex romp at times), by turns whimsical, brooding and downright dark. Moon Dogs seems pulled in so many directions at once that it’s a wonder the film holds together at all....

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Iestyn Davies, AAM - exquisite and enlightening

“An affectionate look at different nationalities through their horses.” That was the memorably bizarre description by harpsichordist/conductor Richard Egarr of Telemann’s Les nations suite, with which he opened his second Queen’s Hall concert...

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Verdi's Macbeth - exhilarating and overwhelming

Skeletal horses; piles of newborn babies smothered in a bloody sheet; a whole garden centre of prickly pears. There’s no denying that Italian director Emma Dante’s new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, which Turin’s Teatro Regio brings to the Edinburgh...

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 reviews: Meet Me at Dawn / The Shape of the Pain / Wild Bore

 Meet Me at Dawn ★★★★★ Edinburgh-based playwright Zinnie Harris is the subject of a particular focus at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, with three productions in collaborations with leading Scottish theatre companies. Her...

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Edinburgh Festival 2017 review: Andreas Haefliger

It was an intriguing, contrast-filled programme that Swiss-born pianist Andreas Haefliger brought to Edinburgh for his Queen’s Hall recital at the International Festival. Two masterpieces of musical picture painting – Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an...

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