thu 24/10/2019

Greece

The Mask of Orpheus, English National Opera review - amorphous excess

Advance publicity overstated the case for The Mask of Orpheus. "Iconic"? Only to academics and acolytes, for British audiences haven't had a chance to see a production since ENO's world premiere run in 1986. "Masterpiece"? Sitting there after the...

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Heartbreak Holiday, BBC One review - can it match up to Love Island?

The BBC’s version of Love Island has familiar ingredients: ten 20-somethings, many with pale manicures and hair extensions, on an island, in this case Mykanos. It’s not to everyone’s taste. “All I see is water, I don’t see no nail shops,” observes...

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Marianne and Leonard review - the artist, his muse and collateral damage

Nick Broomfield is never shy about inserting himself into his documentaries but here he has good reason: he was, briefly, a lover of Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen’s muse (So Long, Marianne was originally called Come On, Marianne; Bird on the Wire...

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Harold Pinter Theatre review - smart stagecraft, skimpy script

Better than the 2001 film but likely to disappoint devotees of the book, Captain Corelli's Mandolin onstage works best as a reminder of the identifiable stagecraft of its director, Melly Still. Playful, non-literal, and often endearingly physical (...

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Medea, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Barbican review - lacerating contemporary tragedy

Hallucinatory theatre has struck quite a few times in the Barbican's international seasons. On an epic scale we’ve had the Shakespeare compendiums Kings of War and Roman Tragedies from Toneelgroep Amsterdam, newly merged with the city's...

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Ariadne auf Naxos, Longborough Festival review - appetising energy and wit

Much as I love Strauss’s Ariadne in its final form, I have a sneaking nostalgia for the original version (attached to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme), which had Zerbinetta and her companions popping up after the...

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece, British Museum review - magnificence of form across the millennia

In bronze, marble, stone and plaster, as far as the eye can see, powerful figures and fragments – divine and human, mythological and real; athletes, soldiers and horses alongside otherworldly creatures like Centaurs – stride out. They pose, re-pose...

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The Durrells, Series 3, ITV review - a winter warmer from Corfu

When ITV scheduled this new series of The Durrells for mid-March, they probably didn’t imagine it would coincide with the return of the Beast from the East, with its blizzards and plummeting temperatures. Under these deep-frozen circumstances, what...

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The Return of Ulysses, Royal Opera, Roundhouse review - musical drama trumps dodgy stagecraft

The power of music solves every problem, at least when as bewitchingly performed as it was here. With the great mezzo Christine Rice voiceless for at least a night, and rising star Caitlin Hulcup singing for her from the midst of the instruments in...

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Classical CDs Weekly Special: Callas Live

Remastered they may be, but the 20 live operas recorded here between 1949 and 1964 vary soundwise from clean at best to atrocious, with all the caprices of stage noise and audience participation seemingly acceptable at the time (so often there's the...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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The Killing of a Sacred Deer review - edge-of-seat psycho-thriller

At first glance, the meetings between heart surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) and a 16-year-old boy, Martin (Barry Keoghan), lead one to fear the worst for the kid. Their stilted exchanges in public places, during which the man gives the teen...

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