tue 27/09/2022

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The Darkest Part of the Night, Kiln Theatre - issues-led drama has its heart in the right place

Music plays a big part in the life of Dwight, an 11-year-old black lad growing up in early 80s Leeds. He doesn't fit in at school, bullied because he is "slow", and he doesn't fit in outside school, would-be friends losing patience with him.But he...

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Album: Kathryn Williams - Night Drives

Kathryn Williams’ creativity leaves most singers standing. She’s always up to something and it’s usually interesting. As well as multiple albums over two decades, including one themed around Sylvia Plath and another created with the poet Carol Anne...

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Mieko Kawakami: All the Lovers in the Night review - the raw relatability of loneliness

Mieko Kawakami is the champion of the loner. Since achieving immense success in the UK with her translated works, she has become an indie fiction icon for her modern, visceral depictions of characters who exist on the fringes of Japanese society....

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The False Servant, Orange Tree Theatre review - Marivaux's cruel comedy gets a modern spin

There probably isn’t a more able translator of vintage drama than Martin Crimp, the playwright whose 2004 version of Pierre Marivaux’s 1724 play about deceit, greed and sexual politics has been revived at the enterprising Orange Tree. The finale has...

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Kim Hye-jin: Concerning My Daughter review - room for complication

In this best-selling Korean novella, recently translated into English by Jamie Chang, Kim Hye-jin offers us the perspective of a Korean mother. It’s narrated entirely from the perspective of a woman of around 60 who has a daughter in her thirties...

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Legally Blonde, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a joyous Gen-Z musical makeover

The 2001 Reese Witherspoon-starring film Legally Blonde, upon which Heather Hach, Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin’s peppy Broadway musical is based, was something of a Trojan horse: a bubblegum-pink comedy with a feminist spine.Now Lucy Moss, co-...

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.I’m no expert on Russian culture, but I...

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Album: Harry Styles - Harry's House

Harry Styles’ previous two albums sounded like someone rifling pleasantly through the history of pop and rock, but always genially and politely. More entertaining than his scalpels-ready critics wished when One Direction paused in 2016, those albums...

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Bonnie & Clyde, Arts Theatre review - great songs, but plot fires too many blanks

One of the more irritating memes (it’s a competitive field, I know) is the “Name a more iconic couple” appearing over a photo of Posh and Becks, or Harry and Megan, or Leo and whoever. I’ve always been tempted to close the discussion down with a...

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Compartment No. 6 - strangers on a Russian train sweetly connect

Juho Kuosmanen’s Cannes Grand Prix-winner observes two strangers on a train, taking the arduous journey from Moscow to Arctic Murmansk in 1998. Laura (Seidi Haarla) is a Finnish student hoping to study ancient rock paintings, Ljoha (Yuriy...

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Tom Fool, Orange Tree Theatre review - testing family values

It’s not hard to see, watching Tom Fool at the Orange Tree Theatre, why Franz Xaver Kroetz is one of Germany’s most staged playwrights.Born in Munich in 1946, he’s known for unflinching portrayals of poverty and what it does to people. Directed...

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Steve, Seven Dials Playhouse review - everything’s charming, except the script

Steven (David Ames) is having a birthday party. He’s invited his closest friends – two of whom have recently started dating their personal trainer, Steve – and his partner, of course: Stephen (Joe Aaron Reid). Their eight-year-old son, Stevie, is...

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