tue 26/10/2021

16th century

Anne Boleyn, Channel 5 review - whispery and weepy

"Get out!" The order, spoken some way into the third and final episode of Channel 5's entry into the Tudor drama sweepstakes, Anne Boleyn, certainly seizes one's attention. Not only is our doomed heroine snapping under pressure on the way to one of...

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The Gesualdo Six, St Martin-in-the-Fields online review - perfectly polished polyphony

For their concert debut at St Martin-in-the-Fields, The Gesualdo Six brought a programme of English motets for the final instalment in the venue's trio of Easter concerts. Having come together for a one-off project in 2014, singing Carlo Gesualdo’s...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Blu-ray: The New World

Terrence Malick completists might consider this Blu-ray of The New World the dream version. Criterion's three-disc release contains the three different cuts of Malick's 2005 opus, which critics either believe is an incomparable masterpiece...

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The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

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The World's Greatest Paintings, Channel 5 review - enthusiastic presenter but no dazzling revelations

Andrew Marr’s art show is a lot of fun, although engulfed in almost overwhelming banality and cliché. Our enthusiastic presenter is a self-confessed addict of art. As a pillar of television presentation, he is a natural for this series looking at...

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Hilary Mantel: The Mirror & the Light review - magnificence must have an end

Praise be to quarantine days for the chance to savour this, the crowning glory of the Wolf Hall trilogy - if not with the supernatural vigilance and attentiveness of Thomas Cromwell himself, then at least with something of the leisurely diligence it...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Raining in the Mountain

King Hu is the original master of wuxia or martial arts films – visual feasts of balletic conflict and near-slapstick humour – and this 1979 film is one of his best, though perhaps less well-known than Dragon Inn (1967), A Touch of Zen (1971) and...

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Royal History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley, BBC Four review - is this version more valid than anyone else's?

Perhaps somebody at BBC Four has had a quiet word with Lucy Worsley, because in this first of a new three-part series she did hardly did any of her usual irritating dressing up. There had to be a bit, though. She appeared briefly as a monk carrying...

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Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch, BBCSO, Bychkov, Barbican review – fire and brimstone on a flat canvas

“Hieronymus!” bellowed David Wilson Johnson from the Barbican Hall’s circle on Saturday evening. “Hieronymus Bosch!” Commissioned by Dutch radio for a big piece to mark 500 years since the passing of the Dutch painter in 1516, the German composer...

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The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe review - a gallimaufry of acting styles

Need Shakespeare 's Falstaff charm to be funny? Those warm, indulgent feelings won by Mrisho Mpoto in the amazing Globe to Globe's Swahili Merry Wives and by Christopher Benjamin in a period-pretty version are rarely encouraged by this season's...

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Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, The Queen's Gallery review - peerless drawings, rarely seen

It is a commonplace to describe Leonardo as an enigma whose genius, and perhaps even something of his character, is revealed through his works. But as his works survive only in incomplete and fragmented form, it is drawing, the practice common to...

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