tue 21/05/2024

Holocaust

First person: playwright Paul Grellong on keeping pace with American politics

I’m writing this in the lobby of the Menier Chocolate Factory a couple of hours before the first preview. I was last here in February for the start of rehearsals. In the time since, I’ve made a handful of, one hopes, helpful adjustments to the...

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Theresienstadt-Terezin 1941-1945, Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall review - memorial music of stunning impact

Towards the end of his book Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann deploys a cogent expression: “chasing history, before it disappears”.Last time the Nash Ensemble devoted a weekend here to music from the Terezín concentration camp, in 2010, there...

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Nachtland, Young Vic review - German black comedy brings uneasy humour and discomfiting relevance

If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came to mind more than once during Patrick Marber’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2022 play, Nachtland. I know it’s...

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Occupied City review - unquiet Nazi crimes

“I feel as if I am live reporting from a shipwreck,” Dutch-Jewish journalist Philip Mechanicus wrote en route to his concentration camp murder. Steve McQueen’s four-hour reverie on Amsterdam’s Nazi occupation teases out the scars of that arbitrary,...

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The Zone of Interest review - garden gates of death

The jokey serious point in Mel Brooks’s The Producers is that you shouldn’t be able to make a musical set among Nazis. But if you shouldn’t make a musical, can you make any fiction?The renowned chronicler of the death camps, Elie Wiesel, said that a...

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The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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The White Factory, Marylebone Theatre review - what price dignity in hell?

This powerful play’s immediate backstory, with Moscow sentencing its author to eight years’ jail and its director going into forced exile, is not its immediate theme – and all the better for it, for how can anyone yet make any authentic dramatic...

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A. Anatoli: Babi Yar - The Story of Ukraine's Holocaust review - a masterpiece uncensored

The great Russian novelists of the 19th century wrote what Henry James called "large, loose, baggy monsters" out of belief that "truth" was more important than artistic form. The 20th-century Russian-Ukrainian writer A. Anatoli, who renounced his...

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Watch on the Rhine, Donmar Warehouse review - Lillian Hellman's 1940 play is still asking awkward questions

We’re reminded, in a grainy black and white video framing device, that, as late as the summer of 1941, the USA saw World War II as just another European war. As brilliantly illustrated in Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America, not only was such...

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Three Minutes: A Lengthening review - superb portrait of a vanished world

We hear the projector whirr as the mute 16mm film flows through the sprockets and on to the screen. For three minutes and a little longer we watch children and adults spilling out of buildings, intrigued by the novelty of a camera on their streets....

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Olivier Guez: The Disappearance of Josef Mengele review - the Nazi who was never found

Bringing Olivier Guez’s novel The Disappearance of Josef Mengele on a beach holiday may seem like an odd choice (such is the lot of a reviewer). This incongruity transformed into something stranger, however, when I learned that the Nazi doctor Josef...

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Total Immersion: Music for the End of Time review - miracles from the house of the dead

History’s most grotesque act of cynicism has to be the model ghetto the Nazis mocked up for the cameras in Terezin/Theresienstadt in October 1944, several days before transporting all the musicians and smartly-dressed attendees present at the...

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