sun 09/05/2021

London

Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian Gallery review - apocalyptic sheds

Sheds have flourished in lockdown: they’ve always been places to escape to and in the past year, when spruced up as home offices, even more so. They’re also emblems of isolation. Poltergeist (main picture) and Doppelganger, the works that...

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Tarantula, Southwark Playhouse online review – spine-tingling love and trauma

I think I can safely say that polymath playwright Philip Ridley has had a good lockdown. In March last year, when The Beast of Blue Yonder, his new show for Southwark Playhouse, was closed due to the pandemic, he came up with an idea called The...

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Booth, Nash Ensemble, Wigmore Hall online review - contemporary music programme lacks diversity

Wigmore Hall does not dish up a great deal of contemporary music, preferring a menu of mainstream chamber music. But this programme by the Nash Ensemble offered a different kind of mainstream: within the world of contemporary music this was a middle...

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Blu-ray: To Sir, with Love

To Sir, With Love is a very loose adaptation of ER Braithwaite’s autobiographical novel. Reflecting on his experiences as a teacher in London’s East End in the late 1940s, Braithwaite’s commentary (one of two provided here) advises us that “as you...

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Album: AJ Tracey - Flu Game

AJ Tracey is one of Brit rap’s aristocracy now. Along with the likes of Stormzy, Dave, J Hus and lately Headie One, he is massively bankable, with streams in the tens of millions for singles, sellout shows in Alexandra Palace, and radio ubiquity. It...

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Too Close, ITV review - capable cast struggles with unrewarding material

What may have happened here is that an intriguing book has been turned into a not so great TV series. Too Close was Natalie Daniels’s well-received first novel, and she has adapted it for this ITV three-parter under her real name of Clara Salaman....

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DVD/Blu-ray: Catch Us If You Can

Catch Us If You Can, the 1965 road movie starring Barbara Ferris and the eponymous drummer and guiding force of the Dave Clark Five, proved a more trenchant satire of capitalism in the embryonic Swinging ‘60s than did the box-office smash it was...

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Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words

“The crocus of hope is, er, poking through the frost.” When he uttered that dodgy metaphor back in February, Boris Johnson probably didn’t predict that it would become the opening number of the third edition of Living Newspaper, the Royal Court’s...

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Assembly, Donmar Warehouse online review - the future is coming, ready or not

“Your task is to imagine the future.” That’s what the citizens of Assembly, a new streamed production performed and devised by the Donmar Warehouse’s Local Company, are told. It can be anything they like, so long as they make it together – which is...

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‘The Healing Power of Music’: composer Nigel Hess on great-aunt Myra’s wartime concerts

It has been well-documented over the last few months that there has been an upsurge in listener numbers for many radio stations offering classical music – notably BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and Scala Radio – and, during these unprecedented times it...

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DVD: T S Eliot - The Search for Happiness

“How it went with the women,” Martin Amis’s phrase for what most straight men are likely to contemplate in the evenings of their lives, would have made an ideal alternative subtitle for the 50-minute documentary T S Eliot: The Search for Happiness....

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Sean Shibe, Wigmore Hall online review - persuasive and poignant

Returning to the Wigmore Hall for another socially distanced concert, Edinburgh-born guitarist Sean Shibe brought a programme of moving, often melancholy music, apt for these still locked-down times. He opened with a trio of works by John Dowland...

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