tue 14/07/2020

England

Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than limestone have revived the granular rub between Eire and Britain, and the Celtic Tiger cool of the Nineties is a history module these...

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A Number, Bridge Theatre review - a dream team dazzles anew

There are any number of ways to perform A Number, Caryl Churchill’s bleak and beautiful play about a father and three of who knows how many of his genetically cloned sons. Since it first opened at the Royal Court in 2002, this hourlong two-hander...

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Classic Albums: Tears for Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, BBC Four review - anatomy of an anthem

Roland Orzabal, co-founder and lead guitarist of Tears for Fears, laughs to himself often during this documentary — the latest in the BBC’s often-excellent, always-forensic Classic Albums series. “I agree, I agree, it sounds great,” says Orzabal. He...

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Albion, Almeida Theatre review - more rewarding and resonant than ever

It's not been three years since Albion premiered at the Almeida Theatre, since which time Brexit has happened and, not without coincidence, Mike Bartlett's time-specific play is beginning to look like one for the ages. Set amongst a...

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Classical CDs Weekly: William Mathias, Vaughan Williams, Judith Weir

 William Mathias: Choral Music St John’s Voices, The Gentlemen of St John’s, Graham Walker (director) (Naxos)I've a soft spot for neglected instruments, so any CD which includes a credit for chime bars is all right with me. Here they're...

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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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