tue 13/04/2021

1930s

Six Minutes to Midnight review - Judi Dench retains her dignity

It can't be easy maintaining dignity when everyone in your vicinity is losing theirs. But that's the position in which the inimitable Judi Dench finds herself in Six Minutes to Midnight, a bewildering movie in which star and co-author, Eddie Izzard...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mädchen in Uniform

The late Weimar-era film Mädchen in Uniform (1931) was visionary – a delicate Queer love story set in a repressive girls’ boarding school that denounced the Prussian militarist creed as dehumanising. Like The Blue Angel (1930), another German early...

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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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Jackie Kay: Bessie Smith review – vivid writing about the Empress of the Blues

Blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) had much more than an astonishingly powerful voice. It may already be almost a hundred years since she made her most significant recordings – she is from an era before amplification –  and yet her unfailing...

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The Dig, Netflix review - a haunting exploration of time and timelessness

The Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk has proved to be one of the most valuable archaeological finds ever made in Britain, shedding priceless light on the Anglo-Saxon period of the 6th and 7th Centuries. Simon Stone’s drama (adapted from John...

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Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots. And now as if to pick up the baton,...

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Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several respects and features poet laureate Simon Armitage reading both his the...

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The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major obstacle to a production of The Seven Deadly Sins. How else is the opera’s protagonist to be seen to visit seven American cities...

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Rebecca review - mishap at Manderley

When it was announced that Ben Wheatley would be directing a new version of Rebecca, his fans must have wondered what kind of exciting damage he would do to the neo-Gothic template of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel – and how he might spin the...

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BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

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Blu-ray: Show Boat (1936)

Stretching from the 1880s through the 1920s, Edna Ferber’s 1926 novel Show Boat, about three generations of entertainers aboard a Mississippi steamer, became the 1928 Jerome Kern–Oscar Hammerstein musical, a part-musical 1929 film, next the 1936...

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Perry Mason, Sky Atlantic review - low life and hard times in Depression-era LA

Rather like David Suchet’s Poirot, the world will always think of Raymond Burr as the doughty defence lawyer Perry Mason, whom he played in nine TV series and 26 TV movies between 1957 and 1993. But Burr’s Mason existed before the age of the prequel...

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