tue 19/01/2021

London

Apartment House, Wigmore Hall online review - introspective music for isolated times

Another year, another lockdown. Though I have little doubt this was not the way most us of hoped to start 2021, we can at least be grateful that we’re not suffering quite the same drought of live music we experienced back in March. Despite the...

Read more...

Gabrieli Consort, McCreesh online review - joyous Bach Christmas Oratorio

After the main portion of the Voces8 Live from London Christmas festival revelled in the variety of its groups and repertoire, the final stretch allowed a single group to explore a single masterpiece by a great composer. And although it offered...

Read more...

Bridgerton, Netflix review - bodice-ripper cliches recycled in Regency romp

At first glance you might mistake Bridgerton (Netflix) for the latest effusion from the pen of Lord Fellowes, since it conforms so closely to the Fellowesian pattern of manners, money and mores among the English aristocracy. Even the title sounds...

Read more...

Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, Royal Court online review – the news, but better

Edition 2 of Living Newspaper: A Counter Narrative, an experimental new piece of online theatre from the Royal Court, doesn’t mess around. Within minutes, a cry of "Tory scum" is echoing around the Jerwood Theatre – the refrain of an anarchic...

Read more...

Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603, BBC Two review – plaguey beaks and bubonidiots

If you’ve loved every episode of Ben Elton’s Shakespeare and Co comedy, you’ll know what to expect – but you’ll have to swallow bittersweet pills from only two of the excellent ensemble who’ve given us such comfort and joyous rapid-fire delivery of...

Read more...

Albums of the Year 2020: Cleo Sol - Rose in the Dark

Among the glints of light in this overcast year, one particularly bright one has been the state of British soul music. Not just in the sense of good records released, although there’ve been plenty of those – but something significantly deeper: a...

Read more...

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Tate Britain review - enigmatic figures full of life

A person in a brown polo neck turns away, looking down (pictured below right). The encounter feels really intimate; we are almost breathing down this beautiful neck and exquisitely painted ear. Yet the subject retains their privacy; you can’t even...

Read more...

Small Axe: Education, BBC One review - domestic drama concludes groundbreaking film series with quiet power

The fifth and final film in the Small Axe series is titled Education. At first, it appears this refers to the education of the central character, 12-year-old London boy Kingsley Smith, impressively played by Kenyah Sandy, who’s transferred to a...

Read more...

Fast Food, Fast Music, Spitalfields Festival online - sizzling, scintillating fun and mastery

A good idea on paper – commission composers of all ages who happen to be women to write music for one, two or three instruments with the fundamental theme of swiftness and brevity, food element an optional extra – turns out to work brilliantly on...

Read more...

Not-quite-solitude on the 34th floor: violinist Maxine Kwok on the short film 'Rising'

2020: a year that at some point felt like the end of live performance for the world of the performing arts, certainly for the foreseeable future. Artists spent months without any form of collaboration, leading to a serious lack of motivation due to...

Read more...

City of London Sinfonia, Southwark Cathedral review – towards Haydn’s last symphony

Nearly two weeks into the latest lockdown, and already I feel nostalgic about the last day of freedom. You should too, just watching the film released last night of the CLS’s most recent happening in Southwark Cathedral. It’s of the evening...

Read more...

Small Axe: Mangrove, BBC One review - explosive start to five films about racial injustice

With the Black Lives Matter movement spurred this year by another wave of police brutality against African Americans, Steve McQueen’s blisteringly powerful, viscerally topical drama reminds us of the UK’s own torrid record in that regard,...

Read more...
Subscribe to London