thu 19/09/2019

England

Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim compassion

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with 2014’s Beyond Caring, followed by LOVE two years after that. These are bleak dramas that show human...

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Gazelle Twin, Mirth, Marvel and Maud review - sardonic folk

Elizabeth Bernholz, known on stage as Gazelle Twin, comes straight from a line of musical visionaries – rebels and misfits whose influences fleet through her songs like will-o’-the-wisps. Here is the formal, clever ennui of The Stranglers, the...

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What Girls Are Made Of, Soho Theatre review - euphoric gig-theatre

It’s now Edinburgh Fringe transfer season in London, but here’s one they made earlier: Cora Bissett’s Fringe First-winning autobiographical play from the 2018 Festival about her time in 1990s indie band Darlingheart. Though the broad shape of this...

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Prom 53: Connolly, Gregory, Tappan, BBCSO & Chorus, Davis review - citizens of the world unite

Let's be clear: this was a Prom of world-class works by English composers, not a conservative concert of English music. Politically speaking, Elgar was one of the few on the right, but how different inwardly, speaking through the poet Arthur O’...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Gounod, James MacMillan, Johannes Pramsohler

 Gounod: Symphonies 1 and 2 Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier (Chandos)Roger Nichols’ lucid sleeve note underlines the point that Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique singularly failed to kick off a 19th century French symphonic...

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DVD: Are You Proud?

Ashley Joiner’s expansive documentary Are You Proud? opens with the testament of a redoubtable nonagenarian remembering his experiences as a gay man in World War II. Though followed by the admission that he had to live his later life as a lie, it’s...

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Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival review - teenage dreams

If you’d started senior school when this production premiered, you’d be finished by now and out in the world of work or at university, your first year days a distant memory. A lot’s changed since the curtain first came up on this version in 2011,...

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Cindy Sherman: #untitled, BBC Four review - portrait of an enigma

Cindy Sherman predicted the selfie, so goes the claim. From our current standpoint, it is all too easy to analyse her many hundreds of photographic self-portraits made since the late 1970s as cultural forebears of the digital medium. What this BBC...

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Eugene Onegin/Georgiana, Buxton Festival review - poetry and pantomime

It’s the saddest music in the world: the quiet heartbeat and falling melody with which Tchaikovsky opens his opera Eugene Onegin. Imagine a whole society, a whole lifetime of solitude, longing and disillusion, evoked in a single bass note and a few...

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Charles I: Downfall of a King, BBC Four review - beheaded monarch upstaged by exotic presenter

“I want to discover how our government could fall apart and the country become bitterly divided in just a few weeks,” historian Lisa Hilton announced at the start of her BBC Four account of the traumatic demise of Charles I. In a mere 50 days in...

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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13-3/4, Ambassadors Theatre review - needs a chill pill

Time hasn't necessarily been kind to this slow-aborning West End transfer of a show first seen (and lauded) in its 2015 debut in Leicester and then again two years later for a summer run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The Secret Diary of Adrian...

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The Turn of the Screw, Garsington Opera review - superb music drama on an open stage

The famous ambiguity of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is whether the ghosts that take possession of the two children are real or merely figments of the young Governess’s imagination. Britten’s opera resolves this unequivocally in favour of...

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