mon 04/12/2023

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Helen Hawkins
Monday, 04 December 2023
A sun deck with seven pale-green padded loungers is the latest setting for the latest National Theatre premiere from American playwright Annie Baker to people in her...
David Nice
Monday, 04 December 2023
If ever a marriage was made in heaven, it would have to be the one between Lucy Crowe’s beleaguered Queen Rodelinda and Iestyn Davies’ King Bertarido, the husband she believes...
Gary Naylor
Monday, 04 December 2023
It’s 2012 and the London Olympics might as well be happening on the Moon for Jen and Stacey. In fact, you could say the same for everyone else scrabbling a living in Bradford – or...
Natalia Franklin Pierce
Monday, 04 December 2023
Despite my double-barrelled surname (my parents weren't married when I was born – so I was given both their names), a career within contemporary classical music definitely wasn't...
Liz Thomson
Monday, 04 December 2023
Down memory lane, taking us back some six decades to the Buffalo Springfield, the latest Neil Young album's almost 50 minutes of continuous music, each song segueing into the next...
Kieron Tyler
Sunday, 03 December 2023
Myriam Gendron's debut album Not So Deep As A Well was originally released in 2014 by Feeding Tube, a US label run by the prominent music writer Byron Coley. When it came out, he...
Nick Hasted
Saturday, 02 December 2023
There’s a thread of bright magic running through British cinema, from Powell and Pressburger through Nic Roeg, Derek Jarman...
Graham Fuller
Saturday, 02 December 2023
As the title character in Eileen, set in a miserable Massachusetts backwater in the days before Christmas 1964, Thomasin...
Aleks Sierz
Saturday, 02 December 2023
It’s an elementary fact that Dickens sells at this time of year — look at all the perennial Christmas Carols sprouting up...
Saskia Baron
Saturday, 02 December 2023
Fallen Leaves is Aki Kaurismäki’s 20th film, the one the Finnish director made after he said he’d retired from cinema...
Kieron Tyler
Saturday, 02 December 2023
The realisation that Shirley Hurt is the name assumed by Canada’s Sophia Ruby Katz for recording helps explain why her debut...
Gary Naylor
Friday, 01 December 2023
Next door to the beautiful Art Deco Littlewoods Pools Building, nearly 30 years standing derelict, a set of grey sheds stand...
Helen Hawkins
Friday, 01 December 2023
Mischief Theatre set themselves a big challenge when they evolved their brand of knowing slapstick. And not just about how...
Sarah Kent
Friday, 01 December 2023
It takes a brave or a foolhardy person to walk the streets wearing almost nothing but barbed wire and platform shoes,...
Guy Oddy
Friday, 01 December 2023
Ghost Woman’s 2022 self-titled album and this January’s swift follow-up Anne, If were both fairly laidback and spaced out...
Demetrios Matheou
Thursday, 30 November 2023
Rebecca Frecknall opened 2023 with a youthful, visceral, and brutal Streetcar Named Desire at The Almeida; she...
Thomas H Green
Thursday, 30 November 2023
A deathless trend in pop is taking great songs, slowing them down, doing orchestral versions, or rendering them raw acoustic...
David Nice
Wednesday, 29 November 2023
This is the show that launched a thousand puns, mostly ancient-Greek-oriented, and just as many corny rhymes, all delivered...
Bernard Hughes
Wednesday, 29 November 2023
Frank Bridge’s Phantasie Piano Quartet was astutely described by his student Benjamin Britten as “Brahms tempered with Fauré...
 

★★★ OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR, SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE Satirical wit and righteous anger

★★★★ THIS IS THE KIT, BARBICAN A beautifully orchestrated end to a tour

★★★ THE DANTE PROJECT, ROYAL BALLET Brave but flawed take on the Divine Comedy returns

★★★★★ A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE OLD VIC Older, wiser, and yet more moving

★★★★ QUEENDOM An LGBTQ+ performance artist takes to the streets of Moscow in protest 

★★★ MACBETH, THE DEPOT War in a warehouse scores on its beautiful line readings & spectacle

SOFT CELL - NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET Marc Almond & Dave Ball’s landmark 1981 debut

★★★★★ FALLEN LEAVES Aki Kaurismaki returns to the cinema with a touching tale of love

MARIA CALLAS AT 100 La Divina electrifying in live performances spanning 15 years

★★★★ THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA, LYTTLETON THEATRE Harriet Walter is a toweringly monstrous matriarch in Lorca’s tale of cruelty and repression

Pages

disc of the day

Album: Neil Young - Before and After

Another one for Young completists

tv

Boat Story, BBC One review - once upon a time in Yorkshire

New Williams brothers thriller is violent, far-fetched and extremely watchable

The Crown, Season 6, Netflix review - royal epic in a vain search for authenticity

It looks like news photos coming to life, but the dialogue and concept still jar

film

Powell and Pressburger: In Prospero's Room

A magical day at Derek Jarman’s Dungeness cottage, dancing with the ghosts of Shakespeare, Powell and Pressburger

Eileen review - a dank fairytale film noir

A naive prison worker crushes on a chic colleague in William Oldroyd's disturbing thriller

Fallen Leaves review - deliciously dry Finnish romcom

Aki Kaurismaki returns to the cinema with a touching tale of love

new music

Album: Neil Young - Before and After

Another one for Young completists

Music Reissues Weekly: Myriam Gendron - Not So Deep As A Well

The surprise reappearance of the Canadian stylist’s interpretations of Dorothy Parker’s poems

Album: Shirley Hurt - Shirley Hurt

Canadian singer-songwriter’s enigmatic debut

classical

First Person: Natalia Franklin Pierce, Executive Director of Nonclassical, on 'creating a sense of belonging'

On bringing classical music to wider audiences - and appealing for help in a good cause

Grosvenor, Park, Ridout, Soltani, Wigmore Hall review - chamber music supergroup in perfect accord

Thoughtful programming puts quirky novelty alongside big beasts

opera

Rodelinda, The English Concert, Bicket, Saffron Hall review - perfect team helps us stay the long Handel course

Saffron Hall celebrates its 10th anniversary in the greatest possible style

Gazzaniga's Don Giovanni, Royal College of Music review - a modest one-acter overloaded

Good young singers get more opportunities than the actual work offers

Jephtha, Royal Opera review - uncomfortable sacrifice oratorio not seismic enough

Sobriety and darkness eclipse Handel's dramatic vividness, despite strong performances

theatre

Infinite Life, National Theatre review - beguiling new comedy about a world of pain
Annie Baker delivers a richly satisfying piece about hungry women
£1 Thursdays, Finborough Theatre review - dazzling new play is as funny and smart as its two heroines
Seldom does one see a writer's vision so perfectly realised on stage
A Sherlock Carol, Marylebone Theatre review - merry, but mirthless
Seasonal Eng Lit mash-up returns with its festive message of forgiveness

dance

The Dante Project, Royal Ballet review - brave but flawed take on the Divine Comedy returns

Hell and Purgatory get vivid if diffuse music from Thomas Adès, but Heaven is pallid

The Limit, Linbury Theatre review - a dance-theatre romcom that lacks both rom and com

An attempt to amplify a playscript with dance suggests the play should be left to speak for itself

Anemoi / The Cellist, Royal Ballet review - a feast of music in a neat double bill

Rachmaninov and Elgar take the laurels in a brace of prize-winning one-act ballets

comedy

Trevor Noah: Off the Record, O2 review - welcome return to standup for the polyglot motormouth

Back on tour, the former TV host has lost none of his charisma and charm

Books

Anne Michaels: Held review - one story across time

Fragments span the genration gap in this daring family saga of inheritance and trauma

Ishion Hutchinson: School of Instructions review - learning against estrangement

A vivid eulogy for the Jamaican soldiers of the British West Indies Regiment

Jesse Darling: Virgins review - going straight

A Turner Prize-nominee turns their hand to poetry with this visceral first collection

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