tue 23/04/2019

America

Reissue CDs Weekly: Terry Allen

Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies survived, and in the ensuing medical chaos his arms and legs were re-attached to them rather than him. The narrator says “At the...

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Chimerica, Channel 4 review - fake news, true drama

Chimerica is a stage-to-screen adaptation that has certainly kept up with the times. When it opened at the Almeida back in 2013 – a West End transfer followed, along with an Olivier award for Best New Play – Lucy Kirkwood’s drama was (very...

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Dragged Across Concrete review - Mel Gibson's hard-boiled high

Mel Gibson’s vile drunken rants a decade ago, his 63 years and the price of both inform his role as cop Brett Ridgeman. Writer-director S. Craig Zahler won’t comment. But as Ridgeman and patrol partner Anthony (fellow Hollywood right-wing rarity...

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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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CD: Sun Kil Moon - I Also Want to Die in New Orleans

Like Dylan when he went electric, and Waits when he went Beefheartian, Mark Kozelek (aka Sun Kil Moon) divided his fans when he moved from jangly elegiac rock of standard proportions to expansive, digressive prose enquiries into the crumbling state...

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The Crucible, The Yard Theatre review - wilfully over-stirred

The Crucible is a play that speaks with unrelenting power at times of discord, most of all when the public consciousness looks ripe for manipulation. Never more appropriate than now, you might think – and in a year in which the work of Arthur Miller...

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Blu-ray: Detour

“Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you,” Al Roberts (Tom Neal) says in Detour (1945), as if his native pessimism and self-destructive choices had nothing to do with his inexorable descent into hell.Edgar G Ulmer’s minimalist...

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Us review - can Jordan Peele deliver the thrills again?

Us is Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to his 2017 horror film, Get Out, which won the first-time writer-director an Oscar for best original screenplay. A lot has been riding on this, Peele’s sophomore film with questions being raised over...

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Downstate, National Theatre review - controversial but also clear-eyed and compassionate

"Some monsters are real," notes a retribution-minded wife (Matilda Ziegler) early in Downstate, Bruce Norris's beautiful and wounding play that has arrived at the National Theatre in the production of a writer's dreams. But by the time this restless...

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Admissions, Trafalgar Studios review - topical and whiplash-smart

Joshua Harmon knows how to stir and excite an audience and does that and more with Admissions, newly arrived in the West End as part of the ongoing tsunami of American theatre across the capital just now. Opening the same day as news reports of...

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Dorothea Tanning, Tate Modern review – an absolute revelation

Tate Modern’s retrospective of Dorothea Tanning is a revelation. Here the American artist is known as a latter day Surrealist, but as the show demonstrates, this is only part of the story. Tanning’s career spanned an impressive 70 years – she died...

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Waitress, Adelphi Theatre review - sweet if sometimes silly musical arrives from Broadway

There's a lovely, quietly subversive musical lurking somewhere in Waitress, and for extended passages in the second act that show is allowed to shine through. The flip side means putting up with an often coarse first act that seems to have taken its...

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