fri 22/10/2021

love

'The din is loud these days': playwright Cordelia Lynn on her imminent premiere at the Donmar Warehouse

As I write this, we've just had our final day in the rehearsal room and are going into tech onstage next week with my new play, which is also reopening the Donmar not only to live performance but follows major renovations at their home address.It’s...

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Album: James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart

There I was, gleefully prepared to give this a good kick-in but, annoyingly, it’s defied my expectations. I’ve come to associate James Blake’s singing with the worst excesses of I’m-so-vulnerable-me, post-Jeff Buckley, falsetto-voice-breaking, and...

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Metamorphoses, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - punchy, cleverly reworked classic

Ovid was exiled – or to put it in twenty-first century terms, "no-platformed" – by an indignant Emperor Augustus for the scandal caused by his three-book elegy on love, Ars Amatoria. Most scholars believe the intrigue behind his banishment to be...

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How to Survive an Apocalypse, Finborough Theatre review - millenarian millennials

Despite its painfully relevant title, How To Survive An Apocalypse was written in 2016. If only Canadian playwright Jordan Hall knew, eh? The end times aren’t just creeping but hurtling towards us, these days. Luckily for those weary of Covid...

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Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's Globe review - foot-stompingly good fun

The best version of Twelfth Night I’ve seen is not called Twelfth Night. For sheer knockabout entertainment, nothing beats the 2006 film She’s the Man. But Sean Holmes’ production for the Globe’s summer season, brimming with song and physical comedy...

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Thora Hjörleifsdóttir: Magma review - love burns in debut novel from Iceland

Thora Hjörleifsdóttir’s Magma is certainly not an easy read. It describes, in short chapters, the obsessive and ultimately destructive power of an abusive relationship. It is, at times, patchily written (perhaps because we have been...

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L'amico Fritz, Opera Holland Park review - slow-burning love, Italian style

“If this is love, then why have I fought it?” The stock romantic-comedy prevarications had a Greenwich Village setting in Bernstein’s Wonderful Town at Opera Holland Park less than two weeks ago. Last night, the place was nominally Alsace but the...

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Two of Us review - a lesbian love story with a difference

“Do you have a problem with old dykes?” demands Nina (the superbly ferocious Barbara Sukowa) of a bland, nervous young estate agent, halfway through this wonderfully original first feature from director Filippo Meneghetti. No, he stammers. “You see...

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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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Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre review - a starry revival

A cosmologist and a beekeeper walk into a barbecue. Or a wedding. The beekeeper is in a relationship, or married, or just out of a relationship, or married again. The cosmologist shares the secret of the universe with him: it’s impossible to lick...

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Blu-ray: Flowers of Shanghai

Rounding out a decade of personal success – beginning with his Cannes Jury Prize-winning The Puppetmaster (1993), followed by a best director award for Good Men, Good Women (1995) – the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien...

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In the Heights review - to life, Lin-Manuel Miranda-style

The general uptick of late in film versions of stage musical hits continues apace with In the Heights, which, to my mind anyway, is far more emotionally satisfying and visually robust onscreen than it was on Broadway, where it won the 2008 Tony for...

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