sun 22/05/2022

fairytales

The Golden Cockerel, English Touring Opera review - no crowing over this henhouse

A plea to anyone who was seeing Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera for the first time at the Hackney Empire: please don’t give up on ever seeing or listening to it again, as some I spoke to afterwards said they just had. I promise you, the fault lies in...

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Lucie Elven: The Weak Spot review - a cryptic modern fable

For most of us, fluttering our eyelids to convince a loved one to cook dinner is harmless meddling. Complimenting our boss on their new coat before asking for a promotion is necessary cunning. For the characters in Lucie Elven’s debut novel The Weak...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York's Theatre review - pure theatrical magic

This show has been a long time coming. Neil Gaiman had the first inklings of The Ocean at the End of the Lane when he was seven years old and living near a farm recorded in the Domesday Book. Several decades later, he wrote a short story for his...

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The Magician's Elephant, Royal Shakespeare Theatre review - family musical doesn't fully deliver

Trigger warnings have become commonplace in theatres these days, but few chill the blood like the description "a new musical" on a playbill. There are so many things to go wrong, so few ways to get things right and, never far away, the dissenters...

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Frozen, Theatre Royal Drury Lane review - twinkling spectacle with a sincere drama at its heart

Let it snow! The Broadway musical adaptation of the Disney film behemoth Frozen premiered back in 2018 and now, following Covid delays, a rejigged version finally makes its home in the West End – to the delight of the army of miniature Elsas in...

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Hansel and Gretel, British Youth Opera review - chaotic rewrite of a classic opera misses the mark

It’s hard to know where to start with this chaotic Hansel and Gretel, and not just because Humperdinck’s opera has been cut, spliced and re-stitched with a brand-new libretto, new characters and multi-track, multi-option audio. The restless,...

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Dream, RSC online review - gaming version unleashes revolutionary potential

Which of Shakespeare’s plays is most plagued by misperception? For my money, I would argue A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most people encounter it at school age because of the ease with which it can be dressed up as a light comedy involving fairies. Yet...

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Hansel and Gretel, Scottish Opera online - bewitching feast for ears but not eyes

Christmas isn’t just for Christmas, Daisy Evans’s bargain-basement fir-trees-and-tinsel production of Humperdinck’s evergreen masterpiece seems to be telling us. Filmed in Glasgow’s Theatre Royal last December, the February online premiere doesn’t...

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor? Written and directed by the team behind Channel 4’s...

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4/4, Royal Opera review – desire, loss and lunacy in four surprising acts

Think you’ve seen enough of monologues and duets over the past few months? Watch this and reel. Four British directors, four conductors with close ties to the Royal Opera and five singers based here, from South African and Spanish-born sopranos on...

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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.Enola Holmes ★★★★ Millie Bobby Brown gives the patriarchy what-for in...

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Pinocchio review - wooden heart

This seems a perfect project for Matteo Garrone, a director who has found new ways to conjure old Italian dreams, and invests even his most grimly realistic films with fairy tale logic and wonder. Carlo Collodi’s 1883 story is here returned to its...

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