tue 20/11/2018

Ireland

Black 47 review - a gripping and unusual drama

Even for those with only a passing acquaintance with Irish history, the Famine – or the Great Hunger – looms large, when British indifference to the failed potato crop in large parts of Ireland resulted in the deaths or emigration of nearly a...

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Aristocrats, Donmar Warehouse review - fresh but uneven

Chekhovian is a rather over-used word when it comes to describing some of the late Brian Friel's best work, but you can see why it might apply to Aristocrats, his 1979 play which premiered at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin before becoming a...

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Roderic O’Conor and the Moderns, National Gallery of Ireland review - experiments in Pont-Aven

In the autumn of 1892 Émile Bernard wrote home to his mother that, following the summer decampment to Pont-Aven of artists visiting from Paris and further afield, there remained "some artists here, two of them talented and copying each other. One...

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Brian Friel, the private playwright of Ballybeg

Brian Friel, who died in 2015 at the age of 86, was a shy man who shunned interviews, keeping his powder dry for the work and shrouding his personal life in mystique. Not that he never opened his mouth at all. When Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) was...

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Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single...

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The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Noel Coward Theatre review - Aidan Turner makes a magnetic West End debut

Aidan Turner may not reveal those famously bronzed pecs that have made TV's Poldark box office catnip in his West End debut. But what Michael Grandage's funny and fiery revival of The Lieutenant of Inishmore reveals in spades is the...

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Translations, National Theatre review - an Irish classic returns with cascading force

What sort of physical upgrade can a play withstand? That question will have occurred to devotees of Brian Friel's Translations, a play that has thrived in smaller venues (London's Hampstead and Donmar, over time) and had trouble in larger spaces: a...

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Ian Rickson: 'I'm an introvert, I want to stop talking about myself' - interview

Ian Rickson’s route into theatre was not conventional. Growing up in south London, he discovered plays largely through reading them as a student at Essex University. During those years he stood on a picketline in the miners’ strike, and proudly...

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William Trevor: Last Stories review - final intimations

An Irishman who spent more than half a century in London and then Devon, and a prolific writer – nearly 20 novels and novellas, some 20 collections of short stories in varying combinations – William Trevor (1928-2016) is often eulogised as a modern...

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The Woman in White, BBC One review - camp Victoriana

The BBC excels at a very particular kind of drama, namely one where production values overawe dramatic content. Its version of The Woman in White (BBC One) proves no exception. Our hero is Walter, a bemused sappy painter played by ex-Eastender Ben...

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CD: U2 - Songs of Experience

When Irish rock band U2 marked the release of 2014’s Songs of Innocence by loading it into everyone’s iTunes for free, it was an attempt to find a new angle on the "event release". While it was certainly that, it wasn’t, shall we say… universally...

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CD: Martin Hayes Quartet - The Blue Room

Recorded at beautiful Bantry House in the far south-west of Ireland, The Blue Room is the debut of West Clare’s fiddle player extraordinaire Martin Hayes’ new quartet, comprising bass clarinettist Doug Wieseman, viola d’amore player Liz Knowles, and...

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