tue 25/06/2019

Iraq War

On Her Shoulders review - half-life of a campaigner

In September 2014, after three months of captivity, Nadia Murad escaped ISIS control in Mosul, Iraq. Since then, she has dedicated her life to travelling the world and telling everyone who will listen about the plight suffered by her Yazidi people,...

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The Deminer review - life on the edge in Iraq

Major Fakhir is a deminer, responsible for disarming hundreds of mines around Mosul every week. His American counterparts know him by a different title: Crazy Fakhir, a man who rides the edge of his luck, constantly in imminent danger. Yet to him,...

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Lisa Halliday: Asymmetry review - unconventional and brilliant

Lisa Halliday’s striking debut novel consists of three parts. The first follows the blooming relationship between Alice and Ezra (respectively an Assistant Editor and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer) in New York; the middle section comprises a...

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Soldier On: a theatrical treatment of PTSD

I was invalided out of the army in 1986. I’d been an army scholar through school and had a bursary at university. I went on to drama school then became an actor, and subsequently a writer and director. But I’ve always been passionately interested in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Director Peter Kosminsky, Part 2

It was only at the dawn of the Blair age that Peter Kosminsky truly emerged as a basilisk-eyed observer of the nation’s moral health. By the time New Labour came to power in 1997, Kosminsky had been working for several years on a film which was...

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Fearless, Series Finale, ITV review - big build-up to an anticlimax

It was a coup by ITV to get Homeland writer Patrick Harbinson to pen this paranoid-conspiracy series, and rather droll to get Helen McCrory (wife of Homeland’s Damian Lewis) to play the lead. Yet even though the story of high-minded human rights...

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Occupational Hazards, Hampstead Theatre review - vivid outline in search of a fuller play

"This is the most fun province in Iraq" isn't the sort of sentence you hear every day on a London stage. On the basis of geographical breadth alone, one applauds Occupational Hazards, in which playwright Stephen Brown adapts global adventurer-turned...

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Running Wild, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Running Wild is a theatrical safari with no expenses spared. This latest stage adaptation of a novel by Michael Morpurgo (of War Horse fame) boasts a jungle-full of puppets – a majestic elephant and some affectionate orangutans included – and a...

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Dan Cruickshank's Civilisation Under Attack, BBC Four

This was one of the most disturbing, terrifying and informative programmes imaginable, made more so by Dan Cruickshank’s calm demeanour as he interrogated everyone from scholars to fanatics about the actions and rationale of the Islamic State (IS)...

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Tyrant, Fox

Created by Gideon Raff, mastermind of Homeland and its Israeli forerunner Prisoners of War, and produced by Howard Gordon (who worked on Homeland and 24), Tyrant parades its roots on its sleeve. Its mix of action thriller and family drama, all...

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The Guest

Dan Stevens puts Downton behind him to become a CIA-built killing machine laying low in a New Mexico small town, in Adam Wingard’s bonkers new thriller. He looks all the better for it. Aristocratic English charm translates into Southern civility as...

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Eldorado, Arcola Theatre

There is something forensic about Marius von Mayenburg's examination of human nature in this 2004 play, written when he was in his early 30s and the Iraq war still on the television news. Eldorado, a money-making project to rebuild some of the...

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