wed 22/08/2018

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Jake Shears, Concorde 2, Brighton review - a blitz of glitz

One of the biggest crowd roars of the night comes right at the start when Jake Shears runs onstage. He is wearing a grey top hat, a white tail-jacket with glittered lapel-edging, silver glittery trousers, a tight black sequinned vest top, and a bow...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: Orpheus / Bottom / Backup

 Orpheus ★★★★  This unashamedly sentimental storytelling show got its premiere a couple of years back in the back garden of a cheese shop in Cromarty, before touring the Scottish Highlands, we’re told. With its lo-fi, minimalist...

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DVD: Al Berto

There are plenty of reasons to be apprehensive about biopics of poets. The activity of writing is most often, after all, anything but cinematic, unless its moments of creativity are forced, while the “myth” of the poet all too easily becomes...

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Homos, or Everyone in America, Finborough Theatre review - a complex pattern of glee and profundity

I’m still not entirely sure what the full associations of the title of New York playwright Jordan Seavey’s new play – its second element, at least: the first speaks for itself – may be, but with writing this accomplished any such uncertainties fall...

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CD: Jake Shears - Jake Shears

There are two schools of thought on the Scissor Sisters. One was that they were vapid, over-cheery retro-pop of the worst order. The other is that they were an extension of New York’s ever-mischievous underground in all its underground LGBT+ disco...

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The Importance of Being Earnest, Vaudeville Theatre review - Sophie Thompson triumphantly tackles the handbag challenge

Any actor playing Lady Bracknell must dread the moment when she (or, indeed, he) has to deliver that unforgettable line about a significant piece of hand luggage. Since Edith Evans's wavering, vibrato, multi-syllable version of "a handbag?",...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Opera Holland Park - stylish staging, world-class singing

"When the new god approaches, we surrender, struck dumb". Especially if, for the singer of those words, popular entertainer Zerbinetta, the “new god” takes the shape of same-sex love. Director and designer Anthony McDonald locates the real “mystery...

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CD: Lotic - Power

An extraordinary musical movement has been bubbling over from the far left field into the public consciousness in the last couple of years. A very loose international alliance of musicians like Elysia Crampton, GAIKA, Ziúr, Arca, Rabit, Yves Tumor,...

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CD: Years & Years - Palo Santo

It’s three years since Years & Years’ debut album Communion, with its monster singles “King” and “Shine”, put them on the map as major pop stars. Their music was smartly (albeit faintly) flavoured with sounds ranging from LA alt-hip hop to Hot...

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Fun Home, Young Vic review - a simply sublime musical memoir

It seems only too fitting that David Lan’s luminous reign at the Young Vic should draw to a close with this bold, creatively thrilling international import. Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s Tony-winning musical, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2013,...

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The Town Hall Affair, The Wooster Group, Barbican review - electric anarchy

Iconoclasm, orgasms, and rampant rhetoric are all on irrepressible display in The Wooster Group’s recreation of the 1971 Manhattan debate that pitted Norman Mailer against some of the leading feminists of the day. The evening proved almost as...

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The Happy Prince review - Wilde at heart

Oscar Wilde did not have a dignified departure. As soon as he died, his body began to emit a river of fluids from various orifices. At the graveside in Père Lachaise there were unseemly scenes which no witness was indiscreet enough to describe, but...

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