tue 14/07/2020

Cornwall

Poldark, Series 2 Finale / Planet Earth II, BBC One

So, a rough tally. We’ve had a trial, a near suicide, a punch-up, death by drowning, a near bankruptcy, a tin rush, another punch-up, a baby, a probable rape, a riot, another baby, and another one on the way, possibly a product of that probable rape...

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Oil, Almeida Theatre

Ambition trumps (if you'll forgive that verb) achievement in Ella Hickson's new play, a long-aborning exercise in time-travel whose audacity of vision can't override one's impression that the final result is an effortful slog. Tracing a mother-...

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Poldark, Series 2, BBC One

Those who frequent Cornwall know that most of its place names begin with one of three prefixes. Indeed, check your copy of Richard Carew’s Survey of Cornwall (1602) for the source of the rhyme: “By Tre, Pol and Pen / Shall ye know all Cornishmen”. (...

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CD: Jim Causley & Luke Thompson - The Clay Hymnal

Devonian singer and accordionist Jim Causley released Cyprus Well, settings of his relative Charles Causley's poems, in 2013. What may be his finest album to date, Forgotten Kingdom, came early this year, and now he has released a second album of...

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How the Other Half Loves, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves – first performed in 1969, in the round at the Library Theatre in Scarborough – was only his second play. Already, though, it has a few Ayckbourn tropes – warring couples and interconnecting sets – and...

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And Then There Were None, BBC One

None, or two? Only the tiniest whiff of spoiler is involved in pointing out that while the stage version, or at least the one I saw with an actor friend playing an early victim, settled for a semi-happy ending, this magnificently brooding adaptation...

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Tristan und Isolde, Longborough Festival

It’s well-known that Wagner shelved The Ring two thirds of the way through in favour of Tristan with the aim of producing something that could be put on quickly in a conventional theatre. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. Yet Tristan,...

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The Pirates of Penzance, English National Opera

When ENO announced its return to Gilbert and Sullivan, rapture at the news that Mike Leigh, genius Topsy-Turvy director, would be the master of wonderland ceremonies was modified by its choice, The Pirates of Penzance. Last staged at the Coliseum –...

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The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

When does a Gilbert and Sullivan chorus make you laugh, cry and cheer as much as any of the famous set pieces? In this case when Major-General Stanley’s daughters “climbing over rocky mountain” wear pretty white dresses but turn out to be gym-...

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theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Remember when festivals were only about what they were ostensibly about? When, say, Reading offered nothing beyond hard rock bar disgusting toilets, overpriced hamburgers and the prospect of a punch-up. When literary festivals dealt only in, well,...

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The Pirates of Penzance, Scottish Opera, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Of all the Savoy operas, this merry clash of pirates, policemen and a Major-General flanked by an entire chorus of loving daughters finds Sullivan most in tune with the mid-19th century Italian opera he so lovingly spoofs. So why can’t Martin Lloyd-...

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The Hitchcock Players: George Sanders, Rebecca

Many an English actor has found himself playing a suave and supercilious Hollywood villain, but none has done it with the exquisite finesse of George Sanders. His performance as Jack Favell in Rebecca only brought him a handful of scenes in a movie...

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