thu 21/10/2021

London

Ridley Road, BBC One review - Jewish community fights Nazi nightmare in 1960s London

Neo-Nazis held a Trafalgar Square rally under the banner "Free Britain from Jewish Control" in the year of my birth; I had no idea until I watched Ridley Road. Most of us know about the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, but, until now, next to nothing...

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Colin Currie Group, RFH review - Reich premiere explores fresh territory

Single-composer programmes can be a bit dicey and there was a bit of trepidation approaching this one as Steve Reich is not a composer of massive range: he has been diligently tilling the same patch of soil since the 1970s. But alongside some Reich-...

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Rufus Wainwright, London Palladium review - superb musicianship and a warm welcome

Rufus Wainwright believes opera to be “the greatest art form that has ever existed on the planet” and of course he’s written an opera himself – Prima Donna, which has been described as “the work of a man who loves opera and the sensations it...

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The Midnight Bell, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells review - dance theatre at its most compelling

The British author Patrick Hamilton is best known for two highly successful plays, Rope (1929) and Gaslight (1939), which in turn became highly successful films. But it’s Hamilton’s novels, set among the fog-bound pubs and clubs of 1930s Soho, that...

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Hamlet, Young Vic review - Cush Jumbo flares in a low-key production

It is a truism that every Hamlet is different, depending more than any other play on the casting of the lead. Each production moulds itself around the personality of the actor playing the prince. In Cush Jumbo, working here with Greg Hersov, who...

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What If If Only, Royal Court review - short if not sweet

Few sights speak so eloquently of loss, of an especially cruel and painful loss, as one glass of wine, half-full, alone on a table. A man speaks to a partner who isn’t there, wishes her back, but knows that she has gone. Then another woman...

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Balimaya Project, Colectiva, Milton Court review - Africa and Latin Jazz re-invented

40 or so years on from the first wave of London gigs by musicians from West Africa – many of them at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden – London’s connection with the music of Senegal, Mali and the Gambia has taken a new and exciting turn.The...

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Back to the Future: The Musical, Adelphi Theatre review - a spectacular West End show to delight fans old and new

There’s a lot of going back to the future in theatres just now - shows (like this one) postponed by 18 months or so and delayed still further by co-star Roger Bart being indisposed on press night are bringing the bright lights back to the West End....

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Iestyn Davies, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, Kings Place review - Elizabethans and extraterrestrials

Music in London has faced down plagues, puritans, philistines and planners over the four centuries spanned by the Aurora Orchestra’s season-opener at Kings Place on Saturday. This concert in the venue’s “London Unwrapped” strand filled its main hall...

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Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre review - an amusing, if dated, revival of the Coward classic

We’re in an agreeable drawing room with an author, Charles Condomine, who is looking forward to having a bit of fun with a local spiritualist, Madame Arcati, whom he has invited over for an evening séance. But once a conversation with his wife, Ruth...

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Kanneh-Mason, Terfel, RPO, Philharmonia Chorus, Petrenko, RAH review - an anniversary feast

75 years after Sir Thomas Beecham founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it’s sobering to reflect that without this one person’s hubris and sheer cantankerousness, British musical life would be a whole lot worse off. Beecham, who fortuitously...

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Black British Musical Theatre 1900-1950, Wigmore Hall review – a disappointing missed opportunity

The Wigmore Hall is a bastion of white musicians playing the music of white composers to a largely white audience and it is to the credit of the management that, in seeking to diversify, it staged this lecture-recital on the history of black...

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