tue 16/07/2019

class system

Elmgreen & Dragset, Whitechapel Gallery review – when is a door not a door ?

A whiff of chlorine hits you as you open the door of the Whitechapel Gallery. Its the smell of public baths, and inside is a derelict swimming pool with nothing in it but dead leaves and piles of brick dust. Damp walls, peeling paint and cracked...

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CD: Slaves - Acts of Fear And Love

When Kentish hardcore punk two-piece, Slaves emerged with their debut album, Are You Satisfied?, they caused quite a stir with lairy tunes of austerity Britain like “The Hunter”, “Sockets” and the magnificent “Hey”. Since the heady days of 2015,...

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Rachel Heng: Suicide Club review - skin-deep dystopia

When Lea is nervous she picks at the skin near the nail of her thumb. When she draws blood the wound repairs instantly because she is a member of the Second Wave endowed with SmartBlood™ and DiamondSkin™. Aside from this tic she is an otherwise...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Not far into Aftermath, Tate Britain’s new exhibition looking at how the experience of World War One shaped artists working in its wake, hangs a group of photographs by Pierre Anthony-Thouret depicting the damage inflicted on Reims. Heavy censorship...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Party

Take one of the strongest casts in British cinema and put them in a confined space; it was always going to be fun. Sally Potter’s The Party sets its sights on the duplicitous liberal elite, where venality hides behind paper-thin morals.Janet (...

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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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The Passing of the Third Floor Back, Finborough Theatre review - the better nature of Jerome K Jerome

Even by the standards of theatrical archaeology that the Finborough has made its own, The Passing of the Third Floor Back is a curiosity. Jerome K Jerome’s 1908 play was a long-running hit in the West End – with Johnston Forbes-Robertson, one of the...

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Happy End review - grimly compelling but to what end?

No movie that folds Toby Jones of all people into a Gallic entourage headed by Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant, the two as formidable as one might wish, is going to be without interest. Nor is it likely that the ever-severe Austrian...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L’albero deli zoccoli) is a glorious fresco that reveals, over the course of an unhurried three hours and with a pronounced documentary element that virtually...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Rita, Sue and Bob Too

Memory plays funny tricks; Alan Clarke’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too is fondly remembered as a cheeky 80s sex comedy. It’s not. There’s a fair bit of sex, and the laughs do come thick and fast, but the film leaves the bitterest of aftertastes. And, viewed...

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Jam review – obsession and resentment in the classroom

When TV drama tackles Britain’s class divide, the go-to working-class type is the northerner: gritty, blunt of vowel and partial to a deep-fried Mars bar. The first and perhaps only pleasant surprise in Matt Parvin’s debut play Jam, produced by the...

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