tue 17/07/2018

England

Unforgotten, Series 3, ITV review - death on the M1

So it’s back to London’s Bishop Street police station for a third series of screenwriter Chris Lang’s cold case saga. The understated rapport of lead duo DI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DS Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) has become one of TV’s...

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DVD: New Town Utopia

You come to Christopher Ian Smith’s New Town Utopia expecting a damning indictment of post-war British planning. But while there are melancholy moments, this is mostly an upbeat documentary. Smith manages, without the use of CGI, to make the much-...

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Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single...

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Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, BBC Two review - blues, booze and dues

There’s undoubtedly a memorable film to be crafted from the life of guitar legend and grand old survivor Eric Clapton – for instance, Melvyn Bragg made a very good South Bank Show about him in 1987 – but the longer this one goes on, the less it has...

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The Bookshop review - lost in translation

"All this fuss over a bookstore?!" That's likely to be a common reaction to Spanish director Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop, which adapts a slender if much-admired 1978 novel by the quintessentially English Penelope Fitzgerald in order to cock a...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wilton's Music Hall review - a stereotype-smashing evening of pagan delights

The Faction’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a production in which women are more likely to kick ass than sleep with one – a muscular, mischievous take on the Bard’s most light-hearted play about forbidden love. As might be expected, this boldly...

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The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Grange Festival review - enjoyable if conventional production

Just as the Last Night of the Proms is an end-of-term party with a concert tacked on, The Grange Festival (like other similar venues) offers a massive picnic interspersed with some opera. Unlike the Proms, however, where anyone can get in wearing...

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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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King Lear, BBC Two review - modernised TV adaptation is a mixed blessing

Some have contended that King Lear is unstageable, and perhaps it’s unfilmable too. Richard Eyre‘s new version for the BBC sets Shakespeare’s most remorselessly bleak tragedy in a pseudo-modern Britain where historic stately homes co-exist with...

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A Very English Scandal, BBC One review - making a drama out of a crisis

There was a time when Hugh Grant was viewed as a thespian one-trick pony, a floppy-haired fop dithering in a state of perpetual romantic confusion. But things have changed. He was excellent in Florence Foster Jenkins, hilariously self-parodic in...

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On Chesil Beach review - perfect playing in a poignant Ian McEwan adaptation

Ian McEwan has said that he decided to adapt his 2007 novel On Chesil Beach for the screen himself at least partly because he did not want anyone else to do so (with earlier works, including Atonement, he was glad not to have taken on the adaptation...

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