tue 19/02/2019

Australia

Safe Harbour, Series Finale, BBC Four review - too much message, not enough drama

Picture this. You’re sailing in the Timor Sea with family and friends on your luxurious yacht, hoiking the occasional plump fish out of the ocean to provide a ready meal washed down with Aussie plonk, when you suddenly chance across a decrepit,...

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Nolan: Australia's Maverick Artist, BBC Four review – a lust for life in all its aspects

Reckless, unstoppable, one step ahead of everyone else, a hell of a lot of fun, utterly charming, street smart – descriptions of the artist Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) poured out from colleagues, rivals, curators, art historians and dealers, not to...

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Car, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tognetti, Milton Court review - a rattlebag of happy collaborations

Presenting the last Mozart symphonies as a three-act opera for orchestra, as Richard Tognetti and his febrile fellow Australians did on Monday, was always going to be a supreme challenge. It worked, as Boyd Tonkin reported here. Since then, the...

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The Cry, BBC One review - every parent's nightmare

Following the runaway success of Bodyguard, Jed Mercurio is no doubt popping more champagne and saying “follow that”. Stepping up to BBC One’s Sunday 9pm slot is The Cry, which transports us from suicide bombs and political intrigue and instead...

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theartsdesk at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music - stratospheric performances by a tropical sea

North of Brisbane, south of Cairns and a short boat trip from the turquoise waters around the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is the site of a north-east Australian military base. Despite its dry-tropical beachside glories, it’s not necessarily the...

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CD: Iggy Azalea - Survive the Summer

In basic creative terms of the ingredients that make it up, this is not a bad record. Hip hop production is in extraordinary period right now, and the six tracks on this EP have the best production that money can buy: woozy, narcotic, digitally...

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Picnic at Hanging Rock, BBC One review - camp girls' school gothic

How many people were watching Picnic at Hanging Rock as it took its bow on BBC One? This opening episode happened to be preceded by a rival attraction on ITV. The premise of the story, set in Australia in 1900, is that almost no one sees three girls...

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Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - largely naff

A much tinkered-with show needs to go back to the drawing board, if this latest iteration of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical is any gauge. Having travelled across Sydney, Leeds, and Toronto on its extensively revised way to the West End, director-...

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Sweet Country review - hell in the Outback

Recently the world has been entertained by the shameless amateur theatricals from some of Australia’s lavishly-paid cricketers, but Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country transports us back to a harsher, crueller Australia, where men might have...

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Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Ruthless Jabiru is an all-Australian chamber orchestra based in London. It is the brainchild of conductor Kelly Lovelady, who in recent years has geared the ensemble towards political and environmental concerns. Previous projects have highlighted...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Hounds of Love

Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something about the heat. However, stellar performances and a refreshing depth in characterisation make this thriller stand apart from...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Berlin Syndrome

There’s an intriguing combination of style and atmosphere in Berlin Syndrome, one that proves that, although director Cate Shortland has embraced genre with conviction, she certainly hasn’t left the arthouse roots that she established with her first...

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