sun 14/04/2024

London

Cassie and the Lights, Southwark Playhouse review - powerful, affecting, beautifully acted tale of three sisters in care

"In care". It’s a phrase that, if it penetrates our minds at all, usually leads to distressing tabloid stories of children losing their lives at the hands of abusive parents (“Why oh why wasn’t this child in care?”) or of loving parents separated...

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Scoop, Netflix review - revisiting a Right Royal nightmare

What with the interminable Harry and Meghan saga, the death of the Queen and the recent health scares for Kate and King Chuck, this is just what the Royal Family needed – the exhumation of Prince Andrew’s catastrophic 2019 Newsnight interview with...

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The Trouble with Jessica review - the London housing market wreaks havoc on a group of friends

Before moving house, Sarah (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (Alan Tudyk) are throwing a final dinner for their best and oldest friends. Sarah wants it to be special. It turns out to be very special. Disastrous, in fact.Director Matt Winn’s black comedy...

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St Matthew Passion, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - moving and humble

It is Passion season, and Bach’s St John and St Matthew – as well as his less well-known Easter Oratorio – have been well covered on theartsdesk in the last few weeks. Whether with large choir, small choir, or one to a part with no separate chorus,...

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Foam, Finborough Theatre review - fascism and f*cking in a Gentlemen's Lavatory that proves short of gentlemen

In a too brightly tiled Gentlemen’s public convenience (Nitin Parmar’s beautifully realised set is as much a character as any of the men we meet), a lad is shaving his head. He’s halfway to the skinhead look of the early Seventies, but he hasn’t...

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3 Body Problem, Netflix review - life, the universe and everything (and a bit more)

From Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and DB Weiss, in cahoots with Alexander Woo, 3 Body Problem is Netflix’s daring attempt to dramatise Liu Cixin’s novel The Three-Body Problem. A mind-bending sci-fi epic spanning multiple decades, while...

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Our Mother, Stone Nest review - musical drama in a mother's grief

Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is one of the most ineffable masterpieces of the 18th century, its poignancy increased by the fact that the 26-year-old composer died shortly after writing it. A medieval meditation about Mary at the foot of the cross, it...

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Blu-ray: Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing’s opening scene plays out like a sweary take on Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl, Meera Syal’s potty-mouthed PE teacher lambasting her Year 11 pupils with language that would now have her hauled up in front of a professional conduct...

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First Person: Laurence Cummings on his 25th and final year as Musical Director of the London Handel Festival

At the time of writing, rehearsals are well under way for the London Handel Festival 2024. It’s a big year for me as it’s my 25th and final year as Musical Director.Though preparations are keeping me very busy, I have found the odd quiet moment to...

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Cruel Intentions, The Other Palace review - uneasy vibes, hit tunes and sparkling staging

Transgression was so deliciously enticing. Back in the Eighties when I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the West End on three occasions, life was simpler – or so us straight white men flattered ourselves to believe. Consent was for unproblematic...

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Nachtland, Young Vic review - German black comedy brings uneasy humour and discomfiting relevance

If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came to mind more than once during Patrick Marber’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2022 play, Nachtland. I know it’s...

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Cable Street, Southwark Playhouse review - engaging new musical in an impressive staging

Hot on the heels of Brigid Larmour’s updating of The Merchant of Venice to the East End in 1936, a spirited new musical across town at Southwark Playhouse is tackling the same topic: the impact of rising British fascism in the same era,...

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