sat 23/06/2018

America

Kiss Me, Kate, Opera North, London Coliseum review - Cole Porter delivered in true company style

First palpable hit of the evening: a full orchestra in the pit under hyper-alert Opera North stalwart James Holmes, saxophones deliciously rampant. Second hit: they've got the miking of the voices right (very rare in West End shows). Third: the...

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David Byrne, Eventim Apollo review - twice in a lifetime?

Forgive the sports metaphor, but David Byrne knocked this one out of the park. Coming out of the concert at the Eventim Apollo, you felt that the presentation of popular music had changed - that to go on stage with a conventional band with the usual...

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Finishing the Picture, Finborough Theatre review - projections in a realm of mirrors

In the early 20th century, Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov spliced together images of people looking at things with a bowl of soup, a woman on a divan and an open casket. Each object represented a different emotional state – hunger, desire and grief...

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Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott: Swan Song review - Capote redux

Here you will find Babe Paley, Slim Keith, CZ Guest, Gloria Guinness, Lee Radziwill, Marella Agnelli, the stylish leaders of society, gorgeous, gilded, well-married ladies: the men they were with – billionaires, corporate and cultural leaders –...

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Notes From the Field, Royal Court review - sobering report from the frontline of race

Anna Deavere Smith contains multitudes. As the solo performance artist recounts the testimonies she has selected from the more than 250 people she interviewed for this portrait of inequality and the criminal justice system in America, it is as if...

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Un ballo in maschera, Grange Park Opera review – singing out against the American grain

Stumble across Grange Park Opera’s new brick-clad “Theatre in the Woods”, nestled amid a labyrinth of gardens and orchards next to the rambling Tudor pile of West Horsley Place in Surrey, and on a mild June evening you may feel as if you have fallen...

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Robert Gordon: Memphis Rent Party review - a fast-moving Mississippi anthology

“There’s a rhythm in the air around Memphis, there always has been,” Carl Perkins once said. "I don't know what it is, but it's magic." The city on the Mississippi lives up to its musical heritage with performance venues aplenty, and a host of...

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Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios review - family drama, creepy and cruel

Right from the beginning of Simon Evans’s production of Tracy Letts's 1993 play, it’s clear we’re in for an intense, raw experience. A storm of almost symphonic musical accompaniment roars, lightning flashing over the claustrophobic trailer...

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My Friend Dahmer review - sympathy for the devil

“He’s not a sideshow attraction,” we hear towards the end of Marc Meyers’s queasily compelling My Friend Dahmer, when one of the “Dahmer Fan Club”, a group of high school sham-friends-cum-taunters who have been treating the film’s teen protagonist...

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Meg Wolitzer: The Female Persuasion review - the many faces of feminism

Meg Wolitzer’s 10th novel has been hailed as a breakthrough, a feminist blockbuster, an embodiment of the zeitgeist. (Nicole Kidman has bought the film rights, which goes to show.) But in all her fiction, she deftly explores motherhood, career,...

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Big Sky, Big Dreams, Big Art: Made in the USA, BBC Four review - unexpected facts aplenty

“Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light” was a vision of the American flag, that star-spangled banner, riding proud from Francis Scott Key’s patriotic poem of 1814 based on an episode in the War of 1812. His sentiments were decades later...

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The Handmaid's Tale, Series 2, Channel 4 review - it's not getting any better for Offred

Not the least startling element of Bishop Michael Curry’s house-rockin’ sermon at the royal nuptials was his quotation from the old spiritual “There is a balm in Gilead”. Evidently the Bishop was not referring to the endlessly looping nightmare that...

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