wed 15/07/2020

family relationships

The Photograph review - star-powered romance mostly simmers, sometimes soars

The Photograph, from writer-director Stella Meghie, tells twin tales. The first is all flashback and follows Christine (Chanté Adams, pictured below with Y'lan Noel), a young photographer balancing love and ambition. The second follows...

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Downhill review - American remake wanders off-piste

It’s hard to believe that Jesse Armstrong (Succession, Veep) co-wrote the screenplay for this feeble American remake of Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure (2014). Where Force Majeure is subtle, dark and original (never have electric...

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Berlinale 2020: Berlin Alexanderplatz review - a contemporary twist on a classic

Burhan Qurbani isn’t the first director to bring Alfred Döblin’s seminal 1929 novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz, to the screen. First, there was the Weimar Republic era adaptation that Döblin himself worked on. Fifty years later, Rainer Werner...

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The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre review - Moses musical goes big and broad

The theatre gods rained down not fire and pestilence, but a 45-minute technical delay on opening night of this substantially revised musical – a stage adaptation of the 1998 DreamWorks animated movie. But nothing could entirely halt this juggernaut...

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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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Simon Evans, Blackheath Halls review - a big reveal worth waiting for

Simon Evans is a comic known for pithy observational humour, and an often acerbic take on politics, with occasional bits of biography thrown in. But The Work of the Devil (which started life at the Edinburgh Fringe last year as Dressing for Dinner...

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The Stranger, Netflix review - strong cast grapples with labyrinthine plotting

This eight-part mystery from Netflix is based on the titular novel by American writer Harlan Coben, who has formed a production company with Rochdale’s own Nicola Schindler, the production brains behind Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and many...

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Sex Education, Series 2, Netflix review - the teen sex show we deserved

Netflix’s Sex Education has returned to our screens and streams. The show made waves last year for its refreshing take on the teen comedy-drama. It took on abortion, consent and female pleasure — subjects strikingly absent from our actual high...

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Jen Brister, Soho Theatre review - parenting, privilege and porn under scrutiny

Jen Brister loves her five-year-old twin boys, she is at pains to tell us, even when they have a major meltdown and, like Little Lord Fauntleroys, refuse to eat broken biscuits. Stories like these are sprinkled throughout her new show, Under...

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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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Endgame/Rough for Theatre II, Old Vic review - Beckett played for laughs

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.” Director Richard Jones has certainly taken Beckett’s words to heart in this vividly comic, star-cast Old Vic double bill, pairing Endgame with a lesser-known short play – which acts as a sort of stylistic and...

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Plus One review - charm, yes, but irritation too

The fast-rising young actor Jack Quaid comes naturally by the ease with which he takes to Plus One, a modern-day inheritor of the sorts of romcoms his mum, Meg Ryan, used to do alongside Tom Hanks. Playing a damagingly choosy singleton called Ben...

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