sun 22/09/2019

Holland

Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre review - suffocatingly mannered

An excellent director makes a rare misstep with Amsterdam, in which a compelling if tricksy play is given an arch and mannered production that only distances the audience further. Not to be confused with either Rotterdam or Europe, two similarly...

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First Person: Matthew Xia on why his production of 'Amsterdam' feels especially pertinent and vital now

I’m currently opening Amsterdam, my first production for Actors Touring Company since being appointed Artistic Director last year, at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond and then in Plymouth early in 2020. And what better time to premiere a...

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High Society: Cannabis Café, Channel 4 review - pointless investigation into drug-taking

This was the first of a two-part investigation into... well, I don't know what. The voiceover of High Society: Cannabis Café said it was an experiment “to test the alleged benefits of weed” and the people featured all had “a personal motivation...

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Fellner, LSO, Haitink, Barbican review - the master at 90

So this is how Bruckner's Fourth Symphony should go. It's taken a master conductor just past his 90th birthday and an orchestra on top form to teach me. No doubt Claudio Abbado and Brucknermeister Gunter Wand could have done so, too, but I never...

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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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CD: My Baby - MOUNAIKI: By The Bright of the Night

My Baby are one of the most exciting live acts currently in existence. They’re a three-piece consisting of Dutch frontwoman guitarist/bassist Cato van Dijk, her brother, drummer Joost, and New Zealand blues rock guitar virtuoso Daniel Johnston....

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CD: Radar Men from the Moon - Subversive III: De Spelende Mens

Eindhoven art punks Radar Men from the Moon have been around since 2010 with a sound that has knitted together space rock, strange electronics and shoegaze flavours with a psychedelic view point. Subversive III: De Spelende Mens, however, is a...

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The Miniaturist, BBC One review - a lovely supernatural soap

Simon Schama called the Netherlands’ century of success an "embarrassment of riches". The thrust of Jessie Burton’s lavishly hyped debut novel The Miniaturist is that the Dutch felt guilty about their good fortune, and denied themselves the right to...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Howells, Karayev, Lotichius

Herbert Howells: Music for Clavichord Julian Perkins (Prima Facie)Herbert Howells was at a low ebb in the 1920s. His energies were sapped by ongoing health issues and resultant medical treatment. A severe creative crisis followed the disastrous...

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Loving Vincent review - Van Gogh biopic of sorts lacks language to match its visuals

Loving Vincent was clearly a labour of love for all concerned, so I hope it doesn't seem churlish to wish that a Van Gogh biopic some seven or more years in the planning had spent more time at the drawing board. By that I don't mean yet further...

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After the Rehearsal/Persona, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican - van Hove reconfigures Bergman

Three tall orders must be met in any successful transfer of an Ingmar Bergman text from screen to stage. First, take a company of actors as good as the various ones that the master himself assembled over the years, both in his films and in the...

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Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

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