mon 27/01/2020

England

Rosamund Lupton: Three Hours review - gripping thriller with a Macbeth twist

This is not a drill. Lock down, evacuation. An active school shooter is on the loose, actually more than one: two or three men in balaclavas with automatic shotguns. But this isn’t a high school or college in the USA – it’s in Somerset, England. A...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Schubert, Shostakovich, Berlinskaya-Ancelle Piano Duo

 Schubert: Symphony No 9 Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Maxim Emelyanychev (Linn)There’s a telling photo of Maxim Emelyanychev on page 11 of Linn's booklet, the conductor beaming at the camera, the body language suggesting he's having a hard time...

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Michael Hunter: The Decline of Magic review - when mockery killed witches

During a single day of bloated idleness last week, I managed to watch three televised ghost stories, adapted from the works of Charles Dickens and a brace of Jameses: MR and Henry. Christmas, moreover, will have proved again to millions that Harry...

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The Courier review – lacklustre hit job goes bad in every way

The Courier is a split entity that comprises two interlinked parts. One half involves a silent Gary Oldman who occasionally becomes hysterically enraged, the other a furious Olga Kurylenko who is never allowed a moment of silence. Director Zackary...

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Heston's Marvellous Menu: Back to the Noughties, BBC Two review - ghost of food trends past

Heston Blumenthal, of triple-cooked chips fame, is a mad food scientist. Well, that’s how we’re introduced to him in Heston’s Marvellous Menu. Tonight’s BBC Two programme had a rather theatrical premise: a chef recreating the complete dining...

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Ex Cathedra, Skidmore, Coventry Cathedral review - Christmas calm and contemplation

As they celebrate their 50th year, Ex Cathedra have brought their much loved Christmas music by candlelight concerts to churches all across England, before giving five concerts in the run up to Christmas at St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, in...

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Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, Episode Three, BBC Four review – more than a bit of Botticelli

Once again the whodunit becomes the whoforgedit in the newest installment of the Britain’s Lost Masterpieces series. Host and art historian Bendor Grosvenor introduces us to what is one of the most beautiful he’s ever seen: a Madonna and Child...

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Rich Hall's Red Menace, BBC Four review - laconic comic referees the Free World versus Communism

Who won the Cold War? Nobody, according to comedian Rich Hall in this 90-minute film for BBC Four. His theory is that after the symbolic fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, Russia and America merely “flipped ideologies”. The US government now...

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First Person: Simon Stephens - the contemplation of kindness

Light Falls is the sixth play that I have written for the Royal Exchange theatre in Manchester and the fourth that its outgoing Artistic Director, Sarah Frankcom, will direct.She directed On the Shore of the Wide World, Punk Rock and Blindsided. In...

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CD: Elbow - Giants of All Sizes

These horribly remarkable times can shake the strongest souls. Since the popular acceptance of The Seldom Seen Kid, Elbow at their worst have sometimes resembled their friends and supporters Coldplay, offering anthemic placebos to vaguely...

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Keane, De La Warr Pavilion review – hometown heartbreak

Keane grew up six miles away in Battle, making this night in balmy Bexhill-on-Sea as close as they can practically get to a hometown gig. Prior to their first headline tour in six years, they’re playing new album Cause and Effect in full in an “in-...

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CD: Keane - Cause And Effect

Keane were always the best of that post-millennium Coldplay crowd. Tim Rice-Oxley showed adult craft in his lyrics and keyboard textures on their 5 million-selling debut, Hopes and Fears, where the small-town specificity of Battle, Sussex’s biggest...

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