thu 18/07/2024

21st century

Nineteen Gardens, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs review - intriguing, beautifully observed two-hander tilts power this way and that

A middle-aged man, expensively dressed and possessed of that very specific confidence that only comes from a certain kind of education, a certain kind of professional success, a certain kind of entitlement, talks to a younger woman. Despite the fact...

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Feldmann, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - adventures in the unusual

For the most adventurous programme in its autumn Saturday series at the Bridgewater Hall, the BBC Philharmonic’s John Storgårds brought two works from his native Finland’s repertoire, and a concerto some distance from the beaten track.Like the Hallé...

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Manic Street Creature, Southwark Playhouse review - songs in the key of a traumatised life

There’s an old-fashioned feel to the story at its outset: Young woman, guitar in hand, Northern accent announcing as much as it always did, who makes a new life in London, all the money going on a room in Camden. One recalls Georgy Girl or Darling,...

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Marwood, Hallé, Adès, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - winning way with new music

Thomas Adès had a job to do in his first concert with the Hallé since being appointed Artist-in-Residence for the next two years: to win over the audience that came to witness it.It wasn’t a sell-out (anything that smacks of new music is unlikely to...

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Clyde's, Donmar Warehouse review - high-octane comedy with a soft-centre

Lynn Nottage’s second London opening this year, the Donmar premiere of Clyde’s, is a comedy about a sandwich, the perfect sandwich. With just a little more punch to the plotting it would be another masterwork from this award-winning American...

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Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play, Young Vic review - committed and important play let down by heavy-handed writing

Seldom can a title have given so much away about the play to follow, not just in terms of the subject matter but also in terms of the sledgehammer approach to driving home its points. Kimber Lee, who won the inaugural Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting...

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The Nettle Dress review - a moving story exquisitely told

Lasting just over an hour, The Nettle Dress is like a fairy story. It builds very slowly, each beautifully framed shot contributing toward a perfect little gem that tells a moral tale.A man spends seven years coming to terms with the loss of both...

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Mlima's Tale, Kiln Theatre review - simple, powerful tale about the rape of Africa

The work of the double Pulitzer-winning Black American dramatist Lynn Nottage has thankfully become a fixture in the UK. After its award-winning production of Sweat, the Donmar will stage the UK premiere of her Clyde’s next month, and MJ the...

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It's Headed Straight Towards Us, Park Theatre review - indigestible mix of fact and fiction

An impressive performance by Samuel West as one of two warring hams stuck on-set in a trailer over a not-so-dormant volcano in Iceland, endlessly waiting to shoot their scene and go home, tended by a young runner whose woke values soon clash with...

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Fremont review - lovely wry portrait of an Afghan refugee looking for love

A cameo by Jeremy Allen White wouldn’t usually excite interest, but the star of Disney+’s The Bear is big box-office now, so his presence in Fremont, however brief, will probably guarantee it an audience. There the curious will also find a gem from...

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Lie With Me review - a bittersweet enchantment

The English title of Olivier Peyon’s new movie is a rather hackneyed pun that not only doesn’t work in the original language but also manages to convey exactly the wrong meaning. Arrête avec tes Mensonges is a faintly Almodóvarian love story about...

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theartsdesk at the Buxton International Festival - bel canto in the High Peak

Bellini’s La Sonnambula is the highspot of a four-show lyric theatre bill at the Buxton International Festival this year, and demonstrates again how beautifully suited the small Matcham opera house in the High Peak is to mid-19th century bel canto...

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