mon 25/05/2020

Ireland

'In a country of marvellous communicators': violinist Katherine Hunka on life with the Irish Chamber Orchestra

As a musician I spend so much time on the road that a day spent at home is a rarity. And now, with the restrictions we all face, and concerts an impossibility, I am becoming a keen gardener and making a lot of soup. It is also a time of reflection....

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Classical CDs Weekly: Bruckner, Holst, Piazzolla

 Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck (Reference Recordings)I’m midway through exploring a cycle of symphonies by Heinz Winbeck, a German contemporary composer very much in the Bruckner tradition. I’ll report...

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Blood, Series 2, Channel 5 review - expertly-crafted thriller turns the screw

Veterans of the first series of Blood will be familiar with writer Sophie Petzal’s fondness for leading the viewer up the garden path and round the mulberry bush as the story develops. Get ready to go through it all again.The setting is the rural...

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Normal People, BBC One review – adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel evokes the deep cut of first love

Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, was a psychologically rich, emotive journey into the psyches of two Irish teenagers who fall in love. Only two years on from publication, it has been turned into a 12-part...

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Sea Fever review - more ooze than aahs

When Sea Fever premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, no one could have guessed its story about an Irish fishing trawler attacked by a giant jellyfish would in one respect prove prophetic. Toward the end of writer-...

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Brendan Cleary, Great Eastern, Brighton review – last orders

St. Patrick’s Day, and socialising itself, has been all but cancelled. But turn the rickety door-handle of a bohemian pub near Brighton station, and a poignant scene is unfolding. The Irish poet Brendan Cleary’s reading has been officially called...

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Calm with Horses review - a stirring debut

Nick Rowland marks his breakout from TV drama with this very competent feature, an adaptation of Colin Barrett’s short story. Set in a bleak, rural Ireland, Cosmo Jarvis plays Arm, an ex-boxer with an estranged girlfriend, a non-verbal,...

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On Blueberry Hill, Trafalgar Studios review - superb acting, specious plot

Some wondrous acting is sacrificed on the altar of an increasingly wonky plot in On Blueberry Hill, the first play in 10 years from Sebastian Barry, the Irish playwright and novelist whose onetime Royal Court entry The Steward of Christendom...

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Album: The Boomtown Rats - Citizens of Boomtown

The new Boomtown Rats album – their first for 36 years! – is both preposterous and rather wonderful. This is as it should be. The Irish band surfed the so-called “New Wave” after punk rock to brief chart-topping stardom. They had some cracking...

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Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - raising women's voices

Recent politics surround the EU and nationhood, fantasies of Irish Sea bridges and trading borders more porous than limestone have revived the granular rub between Eire and Britain, and the Celtic Tiger cool of the Nineties is a history module these...

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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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