thu 02/02/2023

England

Empire of Light review - cinema of broken dreams

Sam Mendes assembled most of the ingredients necessary to make Empire of Light a wrenching English melodrama with a potent social theme. The stars are Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Micheal Ward and Toby Jones. Mendes teamed with his usual...

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Patrick Duff: The Singer review - agony and ecstasy of a rock'n'roll life

As our favourite rock stars become elders, there has been a steady flow of autobiographies, some ghosted, some authentically authored; more or less confessional, revisiting the ups and downs of life-journeys lived beyond the fatal 27th birthday that...

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Matilda the Musical review - a dizzying, smartly subversive delight

I bow to no one in my affection for Matilda the Musical onstage, which I've loved across multiple iterations, from Stratford-upon-Avon to the West End and Broadway, and numerous cast changes, too.But Matthew Warchus's screen iteration of his Roald...

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Blood, Sex & Royalty, Netflix review - yo, bros, get down with the GOAT, Henry VIII

“It was like Woodstock on steroids,” opines an expert in Netflix’s new release about the doomed marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (yes, another one).Not sure you remember anything of that description from your history lessons? That would be the...

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A Christmas Carol, RSC, Stratford review - family show eases back the terror and winds up the politics

Life is full of coincidences and contradictions. As I was walking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on his feet in the House of Commons delivering yet another rebalancing of individual and collective resources. On...

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Living review - Bill Nighy's masterpiece

Living begins with a ravishing immersion in vintage footage of a lost world, primary colours popping on a Fifties summer’s day in Piccadilly. Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch’s opulent score adds to the poignancy of an orderly, comfortable England: the...

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The Crown, Season 5, Netflix review - is the royal epic outstaying its welcome?

Now into its fifth season, Netflix’s royal pageant is entering that danger zone where once-majestic TV series suddenly find they’re running out of steam. Perhaps Harry and Meghan’s publicity-hogging shenanigans and the real-life loss of the Queen...

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The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Orange Tree Theatre review - two-hander gets a punchy refresh

This is not a play for the squeamish: here be blood and cum and unsavoury descriptions of genitalia, male and female, that make you wonder why humans relish sex so much. And it’s all played out in the close quarters of the small in-the-round...

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Album: Architects - The Classic Symptoms of a Broken Spirit

Last year, Brightonian metal outfit Architects were propelled into new territory with For Those That Wish to Exist, achieving their first UK number one album. In all measures a roaring success, they sonically edged into the uncharted too. Their...

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Album: The Unthanks - Sorrows Away

They've been away for a long time, not just due to that virus. Sisters Rachel and Becky have been busy with other projects including a score for Mackenzie Crook's Worzel Gummidge and works inspired by Emily Bronte and Molly Drake. So this...

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The Lost King review - fact or fiction?

Richard III is a controversial figure, and will remain so after this film, which tells the remarkable story of how Philippa Langley, a woman with no background in academia, archaeology or as a historian, led the search to find the grave of the “...

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Jaminaround, Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne review - contemporary sounds in an archaic setting

The most unlikely venue: an extraordinary, authentic-as-can-be replica of a large Iron Age roundhouse. There’s a turf and grass roof, and the structure, made of immense roughly carved oak trunks, defies belief.You walk in, there is a kind of half-...

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