fri 22/03/2019

1950s

The Rubenstein Kiss, Southwark Playhouse review - slick spy drama doesn't quite come together

It's an ideal time to revive James Phillips's debut The Rubenstein Kiss. Since it won the John Whiting Award for new writing in 2005 its story, of ideological differences tearing a family apart, has only become more relevant. Joe Harmston directs a...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Human Desire

In an interview with Fritz Lang towards the end of his life, he dismisses Human Desire as a film he was contractually obliged to make and for which he had no great fondness. Certainly it isn’t his masterpiece, but it’s a lot more...

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Pinter Seven, Harold Pinter Theatre review - elaborations of anxiety

It was back to the very beginning for this final instalment of “Pinter at the Pinter”, with its pairing of A Slight Ache and The Dumb Waiter. Both were written at the end of the 1950s, which explained a certain rock’n’roll vibe in the auditorium,...

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Home, I'm Darling, Duke of York's Theatre review - Katherine Parkinson rules the roost

The Fifties? They were terrible: bone-cold houses where people huddled round the fireplace for heat, empty Sundays that lasted a month, drawn-out rationing, bread you could build houses with. It was all making do and mending and "grey meat, grey...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - film music flows

No one worried about melting icecaps and homeless penguins when Vaughan Williams wrote his score for the film Scott of the Antarctic around 70 years ago. (They do now, as a new music theatre piece by Laura Bowler to be premiered by Manchester...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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Stan and Ollie review - a worthy double act

Stan & Ollie unfolds mostly during Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy’s 1953 British concert tour, when the boys were on their last legs as a comedy act – Hardy was physically spent – but still showing flashes of their old genius. The lure of the tour...

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The Sound of Movie Musicals with Neil Brand, BBC Four review - genius of song and dance

The movie musical: money making or true art – or both? This was a programme to sing along to, in the company of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. In this second instalment of Neil Brand’s brilliant three-part history, he...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Invention for Destruction

Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (Vynález zkázy) was, for many years, his best-known film in the West, dubbed into English three years after its 1958 premiere as The Fabulous World of Jules Verne by an enterprising Hollywood producer. Both...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jazz on a Summer's Day

When Jazz on a Summer's Day was first seen in American cinemas in March 1960, it showed that seeing popular music live could be a leisure activity akin to watching high-end sports. Indeed, director Bert Stern intercut the musical performances he...

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Imagine... Becoming Cary Grant, BBC One review - contemplative portrait of a star

Mark Kidel has made a beautiful, ethereal film projecting his version of Cary Grant and as such it’s destined to be picked over by the actor’s legions of fans, each of whom will have a different version. But what would the man himself have thought...

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The Rake's Progress, British Youth Opera review - perfect poise in slippery Stravinsky

So it's been sellouts for half-baked if well-cast productions of The Rake's Progress and now Britten's Paul Bunyan at Wilton's Music Hall, while British Youth Opera's classy Stravinsky in the admittedly larger Peacock Theatre, several hundred yards...

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