tue 26/10/2021

19th century

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain review - visually arresting biopic

On its surface, a biopic of a late-Victorian artist starring big British talents including Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrea Riseborough and Claire Foy, sounds like typical awards fare for this time of year. Will Sharpe, best-known for directing the dark...

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - routine clouds the best in this season opener

Another season, another new production of Verdi’s nastiest masterpiece. For which we should be profoundly grateful after the tribulations of the last 18 months. Yet how quickly elements of the routine can corrode the soul of the spectator, just as...

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The North Water, BBC Two review - a terrible voyage into the great beyond

It’s perhaps unfortunate that The North Water arrives on BBC Two only a few months after The Terror, since it’s impossible to avoid the parallels between them. They’re set only a few years apart (1859 for The North Water, 1845 for The Terror), both...

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The Barber of Seville, Welsh National Opera review - back to work in an old banger

Welcome back, WNO! Yes, emphatically, and with a loud hurrah, which is precisely what the company received, and rightly received, from the somewhat arbitrarily scattered first night Millennium Centre audience for their opening revival of The Barber...

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Luisa Miller, Glyndebourne review – small-scale tragedy, big emotions

“Time-travelling” is how Enrique Mazzola, the superb first conductor of Glyndebourne’s last new production of the main season, described the slow-burn trajectory of Verdi’s semi-masterpiece Luisa Miller in his First Person here on theartsdesk....

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Mr and Mrs Nobody, Jermyn Street Theatre review – as comfortable as afternoon tea with jam puffs

If you’re looking for a distraction from the apocalyptic headlines that seem to be the norm right now, then it may appeal to descend into the pleasantly air-conditioned surroundings of Jermyn Street Theatre and take a trip to 1888. Here you will be...

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The Barber of Seville, Clonter Opera Theatre review - youthful enthusiasm triumphs

Harnessing the enthusiasm of youth has always been what Clonter Opera, on a farm in Cheshire, is about with its summer productions. The house is relatively small (there’s always a reduced orchestration as accompaniment), and the idea is that...

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Blu-ray: Flowers of Shanghai

Rounding out a decade of personal success – beginning with his Cannes Jury Prize-winning The Puppetmaster (1993), followed by a best director award for Good Men, Good Women (1995) – the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien...

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Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - taking Beethoven seriously

Tabita Berglund is that rare species, an up-and-coming orchestral conductor attracting enough attention to secure repeated international bookings in even these straitened times. She also happens to be female and young, which until relatively...

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Victoria Mas: The Mad Women's Ball review - compelling plot meets disquieting history

To this day, if you take a stroll down Paris’ Boulevard de l’Hôpital, you’ll come across an imposing building: the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière. It’s one of Europe’s foremost hospitals. It’s the place where 20th-century icons Josephine Baker and Michel...

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Turner's Modern World, Tate Britain review - the universal artist

When Turner’s Modern World opened at Tate Britain last autumn only to close again days later, we might have felt then an echo of sensations and sentiments powerfully expressed in the exhibition itself. Its subject is the dirty cacophony of newly...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - brassy, bouncy optimism

Sir Mark Elder is back with the Hallé for the latest (and penultimate) filmed concert in their “Winter Season” of 2020 and 2021, including the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Second Symphony. He introduces it from the Bridgewater Hall foyer, and...

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