wed 03/06/2020

Liverpool

LFF 2017: Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool / Professor Marston and the Wonder Women reviews - stellar turns by Annette Bening and Rebecca Hall

Screen biographies are tricky things to pull off when the person portrayed has left behind an indelible screen presence. It was hard to love Michelle Williams dragging up for My Week with Marilyn; Grace of Monaco was far from Nicole Kidman...

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Sgt Pepper's Musical Revolution, BBC Two review - how the Fab Four changed pop music forever

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the triumphant vindication of the Beatles' decision to quit touring and instead exploit the possibilities of the...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Letter to Brezhnev

Letter to Brezhnev, released in 1985, was a delightful curio with sharp edges. A trans-cultural riff on Romeo and Juliet, it told of the sudden romance that erupts between a Kirkby girl and a visiting Soviet sailor one night on the tiles in...

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Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative, sick or in bad taste, for instance?), but judging by this opening episode of Little Boy Blue (ITV), screenwriter Jeff...

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Beethoven Ninth, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

The new season at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is focusing on revolutionaries. Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz all feature strongly over the next few months, as will Stravinsky and – where else but Liverpool? – The Beatles.The RLPO has another...

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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

It could be a book, film, TV or radio piece, essay or exhibition. If it’s about or based on The Beatles, the question is always the same: how on earth can anything new be said? In the case of Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years,...

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Vassa Zheleznova, Southwark Playhouse

In the town of Nizhny Novgorod where Maxim Gorky was born, it was said that “the houses are made of stone, the people of iron”. Vassa Zheleznova, the titular matriarch of this rarely performed play, is one such person. She is a businesswoman of...

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The Violators

British filmmaking does gritty suburban dramas better than anywhere. Stories stripped of superficial action, from Ken Loach’s early work through to more recent stand-out films like Tyrannosaur. The Violators offers a new voice producing a superb...

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The...

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Going Going Gone, BBC Four

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of challenge he’d faced with Sarah Palin or some of his previous targets. Doors were closed, but the keepers of the keys here were...

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10 Questions for Comedian Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle (b 1952) first came to fame at the birth of alternative comedy, as MC at the Comedy Store in London at the dawn of the 1980s. He cemented his reputation via his recurring role in the anarchic student sitcom classic The Young Ones, as...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's demeanour haven't helped.All this changed after a night...

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