sun 16/06/2019

aristocracy

Pitzhanger Manor review - letting the light back in

When in 1800 the architect Sir John Soane bought Pitzhanger Manor for £4,500, he did so under the spell of optimism, energy and hope. The son of a bricklayer, Soane had – through a combination of talent, hard work and luck – risen through...

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Mary Queen of Scots review - Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie excel

Very much a woman of today, the Catholic Stuart heroine (Saoirse Ronan) of Mary Queen of Scots frequently hacks her way out of a thicket of power-hungry males, enjoys it when her English suitor Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden) goes down on her, and is...

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Ralegh: the Treason Trial, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - gripping verbatim court case

Forget the cloak in the puddle. Never mind potatoes and tobacco. The children's book cliché of Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh as he seems to have preferred in an age of changeable spelling) represents little of the real man and is at best misleading...

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Peterloo review - Mike Leigh's angry historical drama

Considering how the UK prides itself on having created the "Mother of Parliaments" and its citizens having once chopped off a king's head for thwarting its will, remarkably little is taught in our schools about one of the seminal events on the way...

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Iolanthe, English National Opera review - bright and beautiful G&S for all

Very well, so ENO's latest Gilbert and Sullivan spectacular was originally to have been The Gondoliers directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. But that Venetian fantasia has already been seen at the Coliseum in recent years,...

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A Woman's Life review - simple but affecting

A Woman’s Life first premiered at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, alongside the likes of La La Land, Arrival and Jackie. Though it’s taken longer to get to our shores than its contemporaries, the film feels fresh and relevant. This...

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The Melting Pot, Finborough Theatre review - entertaining morals

Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play The Melting Pot characterises Europe as an old and worn-out continent racked by violence and injustice and in thrall to its own bloody past. America, on the other hand, represents a visionary project that will “melt...

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Canaletto & the Art of Venice, The Queen's Gallery - preview

Even today, the perception of Venice as a city only half-rooted in mundane reality owes a great deal to Canaletto (1697-1768), an artist who made his name producing paintings for English tourists visiting Italy in the 18th century. Recognisable...

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The Libertine, Haymarket Theatre

Restoration theatre has the reputation of being a rake’s paradise – all those randy young aristos in hot pursuit of buxom wenches. But even in the depths of 17th-century playwriting, there was room for repentance and regret among the discarded...

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Highlights from the Portland Collection, Harley Gallery, Welbeck

Here be two modestly scaled masterpieces from the 1760s by George Stubbs, highlights of a centuries-old tradition of painting the horses owned by the Dukes of Newcastle and their lateral descendants the Dukes of Portland (the Devonshires are also...

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Jean-Etienne Liotard, Royal Academy

Unswervingly confident, relaxed and assured, the élite of the 18th century are currently arrayed on the walls of the Royal Academy, gazing down at us with the utmost assurance of their unassailable place in the world, bright eyed and dressed to...

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The Frozen Scream, Wales Millennium Centre

There are moments in this collaboration between performer and theatre impresario Christopher Green and best-selling novelist Sarah Waters, where, rather like with a Stewart Lee stand-up routine, the audience has to make a conscious decision whether...

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