tue 27/02/2024

LGBT+

Album: ANOHNI - My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross

A “back to basics” album is a risky thing. When an act has expanded into big, lavish or experimental production, it’s not a simple act to strip that away. Trying to go back to the intimacy or spontaneity of early work can feel forced: they may find...

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The Swell, Orange Tree Theatre review - mind-bending romantic drama

There are some songs, and singers, that make your heart swell. One of them, for me, is Ani DiFranco’s 1998 single “Little Plastic Castle”, so I was delighted to see that Isley Lynn, in the playtext of her new show at the Orange Tree Theatre, has...

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A Strange Loop, Barbican review - Black queer musical with confusing concept but an excellent lead

If you are going to see A Strange Loop, the new American musical trailing a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize that has arrived at the Barbican, here’s a checklist of topics to make sure you are on top of first: intersectionality, Harriet Tubman,...

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Album: Christine and the Queens - PARANOÏA, ANGELS, TRUE LOVE

Tony Kushner’s early 1990s play Angels in America is an epochal, mystical, political, state-of-the-nation address, revolving around the AIDs epidemic. By no means straightforward, its narrative runs the gamut from New York’s gay scene to God’s own...

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Album: Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

There’s been a good deal of discussion on “the socials” about how much Janelle Monáe’s sexy image is a new thing or a big deal.Casual viewers, still stuck on the suit-wearing image with which she crashed into public consciousness in 2010, have acted...

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F**cking Men, Waterloo East Theatre - sex and not much else

“This audience is very diverse, isn’t it?” joked one of the audience members at Fucking Men at Waterloo East Theatre, a reworking of Tony-winning writer Joe DiPietro’s seminal 2008 play (itself a reworking of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, written in...

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A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Finborough Theatre review - 86 years, punctuated by fun and funerals

The family pet dies. It’s a problem many parents face, and when Gracie learns from her evasive father that her dog isn’t just gone, but gone forever, her five-year-old brain cannot process it and so begins a lifelong relationship with deaths,...

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Brokeback Mountain, @sohoplace review - emotionally inert take on acclaimed tale of queer love

For a masterclass in expansive adaptation, one could do worse than turn to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain, based on American author Annie Proulx’s 1997 short story of the same title. Proulx’s restrained but searing tale of the queer...

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The Blue Caftan review - unstitching repression in Morocco

The eponymous garment in The Blue Caftan is a thing of beauty meticulously stitched and embroidered by Halim (Saleh Bakri), a maalem or master tailor, in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. His craftmanship, with its focus on intricate...

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The Vortex, Chichester Festival Theatre review - naturalism clogs up Coward's pipes

Sometimes I go outside and look at our kitchen drain. Where there should be a vortex there’s a largely static pool. Tree roots have recently grown through the old pipes, their clumps colonised with fat, dog hair and coleslaw bits, and though a bit...

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Album: 100 gecs - 10,000 gecs

If popular music is dead and done and there’s nowhere left to go, rising duo 100 gecs, from St Louis, Missouri, are here to prove there’s still deranged fun to be had cannibalising the corpse. The second album from the pair, both in their late...

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Joyland review - a tender tragedy

Partially banned in Pakistan, Saim Sadiq’s debut uses a young man’s affair with a trans woman to reveal the sadness and brutality of the nation’s patriarchal norms. It’s also a deeply sympathetic character study written from under the country’s skin...

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