tue 23/07/2019

1950s

Tell It to the Bees review - taboo love in 1950s Scotland

In Tell It to the Bees, sex is aberrant unless it’s conducted by a straight married couple. Since Annabel Jankel’s low-key drama is set in a grim Scottish mill town in 1952, you can add “white” to that dictum. We’re in the land of John Knox here and...

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Noye's Fludde, ENO/Theatre Royal Stratford East review - two-dimensional music theatre

Benjamin Britten's musical mystery tour is still bringing young communities together to work with professionals at the highest level 61 years on from its premiere in a Suffolk church, and Lyndsey Turner's sweet production at Stratford must have been...

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Trouble in Tahiti/A Dinner Engagement, Royal College of Music review - slick, witty and warm

It’s a clever decision to pair Lennox Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement with Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. The first is all about happily-ever-after, while the second is all about what happens next. The optimistic grime and smog of 1950s...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Marty Wilde

Although Marty Wilde will forever be inextricably linked with the late 1950s British rock ‘n’ roll wave he rode, his career did not peter out as musical styles transformed. While he didn’t have the high-profile mutability of Cliff Richard or claim a...

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Wife, Kiln Theatre review - queer epic is joyful and intense

In one lifetime, the many loves that once dare not speak their names have become part of everyday chatter. But it would be shortsighted to believe that ancient prejudices are easy to overcome, or that change does not run the risk of creating...

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Lee Krasner: Living Colour, Barbican review - jaw-droppingly good

If you know of any chauvinists who dare to maintain that women can’t paint, take them to this astounding retrospective. Lee Krasner faced patronising dismissal at practically every turn in her career yet she persisted and went on to produce some of...

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Summer of Rockets, BBC Two review - pride and prejudice in 1950s Britain

Hallelujah! At last the BBC have commissioned a Stephen Poliakoff series that makes you want to come back for episode two (and hopefully all six), thanks to a powerful cast making the most of some perceptively-written roles.His most recent efforts,...

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Orpheus Descending, Menier Chocolate Factory review - Tennessee Williams scorcher needs more firepower

Where would Tennessee Williams's onetime flop be without the British theatre to rehabilitate it on an ongoing basis? Arriving at the Menier Chocolate Factory in a co-production with Theatre Clwyd, where Tamara Harvey's production has already been...

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Blu-ray: Khrustalyov, My Car!

The title of Khrustalyov, My Car! comes, infamously, from the words uttered by NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria as he departed the scene of Stalin’s death in March 1953, and Alexei German’s film comes as close as cinema can to dissecting the surreal terror...

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Billy Budd, Royal Opera review - Britten's drama of good and evil too much at sea

On one level, it's about Biblically informed good and evil at sea, in both the literal and the metaphorical sense. On another, the love that dared not speak its name when Britten and E M Forster adapted Hermann Melville's novella is either repressed...

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Rock Island Line: The Song That Made Britain Rock, BBC Four review - the early dawn of Britpop

If you were a fan of “Rock Island Line” when it became a pop hit, you’d have to be at least in your mid-70s now. In 1956, Paul McCartney heard Lonnie Donegan perform it live in Liverpool, and Paul’s rising 77. How many below that age know it is moot...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The White Reindeer

Finnish horror is a niche genre if ever there was one. Erik Blomberg’s directorial debut The White Reindeer is a seminal example, a beguiling, unsettling little film that’s two parts local colour to one part metaphysical thriller. Blomberg cut his...

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