sat 24/07/2021

London

Uprising, BBC One review - powerful documentary about the New Cross fire

Earlier this year, Steve McQueen addressed the forgotten history of black British people through the Small Axe dramas he made for the BBC. Now McQueen has turned to documentary for Uprising. It airs over three successive nights and was co-directed...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing. It is...

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Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - unsatisfactory mix of clumsy and edgy

"It is dangerous for women to go outside alone," blares the electronic sign above the stage of the new Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. This disquieting sentiment obviously takes some of its resonance from the Sarah Everard case, yet it also...

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The Invisible Hand, Kiln Theatre review - balanced on a knife edge

A lot’s changed since Kiln Theatre boss Indhu Rubasingham directed The Invisible Hand’s first UK outing in 2016, not least the theatre’s name (it was known as the Tricycle back then). But in Rubasingham’s capable hands, American Ayad Akhtar’s taut...

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Blu-ray: West 11

The first 10 minutes of West 11 are arresting, with a sweeping crane shot over an ungentrified West London and a zoom in through an attic bedsit window. The credits reveal that the screenplay is by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, from a once-...

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Never to Forget, Spitalfields Festival review – moving musical tributes to lost care and health workers

During early lockdown in 2020 Howard Goodall published an article pondering the role of the composer in a pandemic. His answer was that music has throughout history been successful at memorialising people and events, and that it could do so again....

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Album: Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow

Emma-Jean Thackray is not lacking in audaciousness. This is, after all, a white woman from Leeds barely into her thirties, raised on bassline house and indie rock, making music whose most obvious comparisons are with some of the most revered (in the...

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J'Ouvert, Harold Pinter Theatre review - formless yet fabulous

A welcome West End upgrade is the order of the day at J'Ouvert, the debut play from Yasmin Joseph whose 2019 premiere at South London's Theatre 503 additionally marked the directing debut of the actress Rebekah Murrell. And now here it is, all but...

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Out West, Lyric Hammersmith review – not quite a hat trick

It is an index of the ambition of some venues that they are not only reopening their doors, but also staging plays that remind us of the talents of our best writers and actors. Although the stage monologue has recently been almost as infectious as...

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Bank Job review - an inspirational look at finance

A fun film about finance – really? From the very first frame I was hooked on this can-do documentary; it’s that good. A young family – parents, Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell, two kids and two dogs – gather at the front door of their Victorian...

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The Death of a Black Man, Hampstead Theatre review - blistering theatre with an unflinching vision

This blistering, fearless play about an 18-year-old black entrepreneur on the King’s Road raises a myriad of uncomfortable questions that resonate profoundly with the Black Lives Matter debate. It’s just one remarkable aspect of The Death of a Black...

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Gweneth Ann Rand, Simon Lepper, Wigmore Hall review - a richly hued collection of songs

In the final concert marking the Wigmore Hall’s 120-year anniversary, soprano Gweneth Ann Rand and pianist Simon Lepper gave a programme of songs curated by Rand, titled "An Imperfect Tapestry". Described by Rand as "a personal reflection of black...

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