sat 22/01/2022

Australia

Raymonda, English National Ballet, Coliseum review - a creaky old standard, lavishly restored to health

Neglected classics, whether books, plays or ballets, are usually neglected for a reason, and so it is with the three-act ballet Raymonda. A hit in 1898 for the Imperial ballet in St Petersburg but unperformed in this country since the 1960s, its...

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Album: Grace Cummings - Storm Queen

Although Storm Queen begins forcefully with the suitably tempestuous “Heaven,” the most affecting track on the second album from Melbourne’s Grace Cummings is the sparse, reflective “Two Little Birds.” The two performances capture the opposing poles...

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The Tourist, BBC One review - gripping Outback thriller from the Williams brothers

This latest outing from the astonishingly prolific Jack and Harry Williams (The Missing, Baptiste, The Widow, Strangers etc) gives itself a huge leg-up by exploiting the epic lonely spaces of the Australian Outback.The opening sequence of episode...

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Album: SJS - The Unlikely Event

Just as love's downward spiral can deconstruct a lover's sense of self, so SJS's plangent post-modern prog deconstructs itself as it ebbs and flows toward gorgeous but muted crescendos.On the band's second album The Unlikely Event, lovely ...

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Blu-ray: Celia

Ann Turner’s 1989 feature debut Celia is one of the great coming-of-age films, an enthralling tale of pre-pubescent angst set against a backdrop of post-war Australian social and political history.Contemporary distributors did not know how to...

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Rice, Orange Tree Theatre review - whip-smart, but unsure where it stands

“Careful, there’s a hole in the floor.” The warning’s an unusual one, passed along conscientiously by the stewards at the door of the tiny Orange Tree Theatre.The hole in question is long and angular and will soon be filled with water, stretching...

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Lie With Me, Channel 5 review - abuse and betrayal in the Melbourne suburbs

A joint production between Channel 5 and Australia’s Network 10, the four-part mystery Lie With Me didn’t do itself many favours by kicking off with its least persuasive episode. However, if you stuck with it, hidden layers began to reveal...

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Album: Chet Faker - Hotel Surrender

Chet Faker is Melbourne-born musician Nick Murphy’s alter ego, an avatar he has stepped in and out of with gentle grace over more than a decade of finding a voice that's very much his own. Once described in The Guardian as a purveyor of “mellow-...

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Album: Tones and I - Welcome to the Madhouse

This writer has often pleaded to move away from vocal homogeny in pop. The current value placed on technical skill and hackneyed vulnerability-signifying has become a bore. It’s limiting that Chris Martin-meets-Ed Sheeran or Beyoncé-meets-Whitney...

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Blu-ray: Lake Mungo

Lake Mungo (2008) is a dread-laden Australian Gothic thriller that masquerades as a straight-faced documentary.It’s also an analysis of grief that questions who or what it's for; a disquisition on representation that emphasises our psychological...

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Sequin in a Blue Room review - soullessness and sex in Sydney

Sequin is the screen name for the questing 16-year-old at the slowly awakening heart of Sequin in a Blue Room, a 2019 Australian film only now reaching the UK. The graduation project of its New Zealand-born director and co-writer Samuel Van Grinsven...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Tame Impala - InnerSpeaker (2010➝2020)

Heard now, InnerSpeaker sounds as it did when it was issued in 2010. Tame Impala’s debut album was crisp, fizzing; a pithy collection of psychedelic rock nuggets which made its case instantly. This was modern psychedelia, infused with a dash of...

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