tue 27/07/2021

Christmas

Gabrieli Consort, McCreesh online review - joyous Bach Christmas Oratorio

After the main portion of the Voces8 Live from London Christmas festival revelled in the variety of its groups and repertoire, the final stretch allowed a single group to explore a single masterpiece by a great composer. And although it offered...

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Roald and Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, Sky One review – twinkly tale for troubled times

They say "never meet your heroes". That may be true, but it forms the premise of a new TV drama concerning two of the world’s most famous children’s authors – Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl – who encounter each other at opposite ends of their life....

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Royal Opera Christmas Concert online review – pajama party around the Nutcracker tree

So Hansel and Gretel can’t cuddle up together in the dark forest, Musetta doesn’t fall into long-suffering lover Marcello’s arms and there’s no audience to play to (as there would have been three days earlier). No matter: the Christmas-tree-grown-...

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Album: Chilly Gonzales – A Very Chilly Christmas

What a welcome present this is! Fresh yet familiar, evocative and captivating, this is the perfect antidote to the usual saccharine festive fodder. There’s only enough schmaltz one can stomach, only so many jingle bells one can tolerate before your...

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Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603, BBC Two review – plaguey beaks and bubonidiots

If you’ve loved every episode of Ben Elton’s Shakespeare and Co comedy, you’ll know what to expect – but you’ll have to swallow bittersweet pills from only two of the excellent ensemble who’ve given us such comfort and joyous rapid-fire delivery of...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic online review - the bells have it once again

As proof that you can't have too much of a good thing, consider the return of Matthew Warchus's buoyant production of A Christmas Carol, now marking its fourth year at the Old Vic (with a lauded Broadway run last Christmas included, for good measure...

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Album: Carrie Underwood - My Gift

I'm sure there's an audience somewhere that will love this Carrie Underwood Christmas croonfest. The people on Pinterest who collect nicely designed Bible quotes, seasonal recipes and images of matching family onesies, perhaps?For those who don't...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl Christmas Special 2020: Donna Summer, Tom Sanders, The Kinks, Tru Thoughts, Spice Girls, Style Council and more

The music year draws to a close and theartsdesk on Vinyl presents its festive selection. We go easier on the cheesier at this time of year, but there are also gold nuggets in there too. Time to buy the vinyl lover in your life a little something?...

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Album: Dolly Parton - A Dolly Holly Christmas

Think hard. How much schmaltz do you think there is in this album? OK, double that. Now double it again. Nope, you’re still nowhere close. This is the world schmaltz lake with the entire EU cheese mountain forming an island in the middle, all...

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Nine Lessons and Carols, Almeida Theatre review – spiky portrayal of a world turned upside down

How do you create a secular version of the Nine Lessons and Carols? The original can feel like a formulaic trot through tunes and stories as stale as fossilised mince-pies. Yet it helps to remember that in essence it reflects on the story of a world...

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Album: Calexico - Seasonal Shift

Christmas albums are traditionally, pretty cheesy affairs and Seasonal Shift sees Tex-Mex rockers Calexico join in with the spirit of things, invite a disparate group of friends into the studio and lay the Panela on seriously thick. As well as some...

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Album: Chris Kamara - ...And a Happy New Year

Now this is exactly what I want for Christmas: a beloved fixture of Saturday afternoon TV putting a lounge jazz spin on some festive classics, backed by an 18-piece swing band. …And a Happy New Year is, somewhat implausibly, the second holiday...

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