thu 13/12/2018

fairytales

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention. Assassination Nation ★★★★ Social media witch-hunt faced down by...

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The Nutcracker, Royal Ballet review - a still-magical tale of two couples

Once a year is never too often to revisit one of the most perfect of all orchestral scores (not just for the ballet), a climactic Russian Imperial Pas de deux and the old-fashioned magic of illusionist painted flats flying in and out across a...

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Cendrillon, Glyndebourne Tour review - too many ingredients in the magic soup

Supernatural wonders, consciously avoided in Rossini's enlightened tale of goodness rewarded La Cenerentola and unrealised by second-rank composer Isouard in his 1810 Cendrillon, recently uneathed by Bampton Classical Opera, flood Massenet's gem-...

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Isouard's Cendrillon, Bampton Classical Opera review - stepsisters shine in fairy-tale bagatelle

Cinderella as opera in French: of late, the palm has always gone to Massenet's adorable (as in a-dor-Ah-bler) confection, and it should again soon when Glyndebourne offers a worthy home to the master's magic touch. The Cendrillon of Maltese-born...

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Disenchantment, Netflix review - Matt Groening show has promise after poor start

It’s an event that only comes around once a generation: a new Matt Groening TV series. The Simpsons is rightly regarded as one of the greatest shows ever made. It changed the face of American television, and 10 years later was followed Futurama, a...

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A Sicilian Ghost Story review - a beautiful, confusing journey

Childhood is an inimitable experience – the laws of the world are less certain, imagination and reality meld together, and no event feels fixed. A Sicilian Ghost Story recreates this sensation in the context of real world trauma, producing a...

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A Monster Calls, Old Vic - wild, beautiful theatre that beguiles and bruises

A raw pagan vitality animates this extraordinary story about a teenage boy wrestling with tumultuous emotions in the face of his mother’s terminal illness. Director Sally Cookson has taken the potent blend of myth and realism in Patrick Ness’s book...

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Pin Cushion review - a twisted fable of daydreams and bullies

On the surface, Pin Cushion is a whimsical British indie, packed with imagination and charm. But debuting director Deborah Haywood builds this on a foundation of bullying and prejudice, creating a surprisingly bleak yet effective film.Teenager Iona...

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Lohengrin, Royal Opera review - swan mystery musically illuminated

It's awfully long for a fairytale in which a mystery prince helps a damsel in distress, and she asks him the question she shouldn't. Myth tends to go deeper, as Wagner did in The Ring of the Nibelung after Lohengrin. Here he captures the magic of...

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Coraline, Royal Opera, Barbican review - spooky story, underwhelming score

With the eyes of musical fashion turned relentlessly on the calculating stage works of chilly alchemist George Benjamin, hopes ran high for a brighter spark in a new opera by his contemporary Mark-Anthony Turnage. Would Coraline, a music-drama for...

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Hansel and Gretel, RNCM, Manchester review – an urban dream

Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is a ‘"fairytale opera" (its composer’s description), and yet one characteristic frequently commented on is its "Wagnerian" scoring. For this production, with David Pountney’s English translation, the RNCM...

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Baráti, Lyddon, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Stravinsky's bright but derivative beginnings

"You have to start somewhere," Debussy is reported to have said at the 1910 premiere of The Firebird. Which, at least, is a very good "somewhere" for Stravinsky, shot through with flashes of the personality to come. The Symphony in E flat of two...

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