mon 29/05/2017

Wilde

Queer British Art 1861-1967, Tate Britain

"Good for the history of music, but not for music," one of Prokofiev's professors at the St Petersburg Conservatoire used to say of artistically dubious works which created a splash, according to the composer's diaries. I'm not even sure that this...

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Travesties, Menier Chocolate Factory

Is this the most dazzling play of a dazzling playwright? First staged in 1974, Travesties is the one which manages to squeeze avant-garde novelist James Joyce, Dada godfather Tristan Tzara and communist revolutionary Lenin into a story which...

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Blu-ray: The Glass Key/The Blue Dahlia

In popular accounts of Hollywood history, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, the insolent real-life first couple of Warner Bros film noirs, have traditionally overshadowed Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. Paramount's fallen angels were quieter...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Royal Opera, Barbican

Some new operas worth their salt work a slow, sophisticated charm, but the handful that holler "masterpiece" grab you from the start and don't let go. Gerald Barry's shorn, explosive Wilde – more comedy of madness than manners – was so obviously in...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre

Geoffrey Rush has done it, Gyles Brandreth has done it, Stephen Fry came close to doing it, and now David Suchet is giving it a go – donning drag and a perpetually disgusted expression to play everyone’s favourite drawing-room gorgon, Lady Bracknell...

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Prom 58: Salome, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Runnicles

So here’s where I join the ranks of Old Opera Bores by declaring this Salome, Nina Stemme, the best I’ve seen since Hildegard Behrens in 1978, and this Salome as in Richard Strauss’s Wilde opera from Donald Runnicles and his Deutsche Oper Berlin...

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Lady Windermere's Fan, King's Head Theatre

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” declares Lord Darlington in Act II of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. He’s the classic Wildean cad - unprincipled, facetiously witty and in this production, possessed of the...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Harold Pinter Theatre

“Some might say we’re getting too old for this sort of thing,” declares Martin Jarvis’s Jack Worthing, going off Wlldean piste. Well, we did wonder whether the reunion of Jarvis with Nigel Havers’s Algernon after 32 years might not be some sort of...

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Dorian Gray, Riverside Studios

Adapted by Linnie Reedman and with music by Joe Evans, Oscar Wilde’s only novel – the more scandalous original version serialised in 1890, which Wilde himself later expurgated – finds a new lease of life narrated by one of its minor characters:...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Linbury Studio Theatre

If you were new to contemporary opera, you might think it was forbidden for modern works to be funny. Tragedy is still the default setting for major commissions. You only get serious money if you have serious thoughts and serious music, it seems. At...

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The Judas Kiss, Duke of York's Theatre

David Hare's 1998 play wasn't terribly well received when it was first produced by the Almeida; several critics regarded it as a thin work, weakly directed by Richard Eyre, and opined that Liam Neeson was miscast in the role of Oscar Wilde. Now...

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Lady Windermere’s Fan, Royal Exchange, Manchester

It’s ironic that Oscar Wilde should escape to the Lake District in 1891 to write a play satirising London society, his first success in the theatre. He took such a shine to the region’s place names that he used them for some of the characters –...

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