wed 19/02/2020

Ireland

Michael Keegan-Dolan, MÁM, Sadler's Wells review - folk goes radical

The Dingle Peninsula is a thumb of land that protrudes into the Atlantic as if trying to hitch a ride from Ireland to America. The choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan recently moved there, and its crags and vales and unspoilt coast have sucked him...

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Collapsible, Bush Theatre review - a high-wire solo engagement

There’s such remarkable symbiosis between material and performance in Irish dramatist Margaret Perry’s Collapsible that you wonder how the hour-long monologue will fare in any future incarnation. I don’t know how much Perry had the performer...

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On McQuillan's Hill, Finborough Theatre review - timely glance at Northern Irish myths and tensions

The news that the Continuity IRA created a bomb destined for England on Brexit Day has added to the timeliness of this revival of Joseph Crilly’s gut-punching comedy. Set in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement, it takes a merciless glance at...

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Eimear McBride: Strange Hotel review - keycards to the heart of a woman in flight

Hotels in fiction can serve as places of desolation or discovery; as escape hatches, or else punishment blocks. In her third novel, Eimear McBride channels this ambivalence but annexes it to another sub-genre - the narrative of life on the road,...

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Asking For It, Birmingham Repertory Theatre review - victim-blaming and abuse in small town Ireland

In a world where the contentious report of a young English woman gang raped by teenage boys in Cyprus last year continues to make headlines, Asking For It is more than relevant. Such scenarios are by no means new but are once again making news...

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Alice's Adventures Under Ground, Royal Opera review - a blast for children of all ages

"About as much fun as you can have with your clothes on," promised a member of the two Royal Opera casts teamworking their way through multiple roles and costume changes for what in effect is Alice's Adventures Under Ground and Through the Looking...

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How They Built the Titanic, Channel 5 review - the great liner revisited again, but why now?

The appalling fate of the allegedly unsinkable liner Titanic in 1912 has fuelled endless feature films and documentaries, not to mention a dismal drama series by Julian Fellowes (there was also a proposed Titanic II vessel which would have been...

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CD: The Script - Sunsets & Full Moons

Massively successful Irish trio The Script could, loosely speaking, be called a rock band. But they aren’t really, are they? Their sixth album is an indictment of the kind of music they play. It’s packed with over-produced post-Coldplay anthem-pop...

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Dublin Murders, Series Finale, BBC One review - eerie detective drama grips tightly

You wouldn’t expect a drama called Dublin Murders (BBC One) to be a laugh a minute, but the cumulative anguish, menace and torment of this eight-parter made it almost unbearable, even if viewers were thrown a tiny scrap of hope in the final frames....

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Two Door Cinema Club, O2 Academy, Glasgow - lively but risk averse party songs for the weekend

The onstage arrival of Two Door Cinema Club was heralded by a tongue-in-cheek video countdown that reached zero and then flashed up an error message, before asking the crowd to “try again”. In truth, the band’s own performance was never likely to...

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Blood Wedding, Young Vic review - inventive, poetic if over-stretched revival of Lorca's rural tragedy

Earthiness, lyricism, fatalism, the undeniable force of passion, of ecstatic attraction, known as "duende": these are the familiar ingredients of Lorca's plays set in rural Spain. Blood Wedding, written in 1932, was the first, followed by Yerma two...

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Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History, BBC Four review - Ulster's bitter sectarian war revisited

“The Troubles” is a polite euphemism for the ferocious storm of sectarian violence and political chaos which convulsed Northern Ireland for 30 years, before being brought to a close by 1998’s Good Friday Agreement. Irish journalist Darragh MacIntyre...

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