wed 22/05/2024

magic

Spirited Away, London Coliseum review - spectacular re-imagining of beloved film

Legions of Ghibli fanatics may love the heartwarming My Neighbour Totoro and the heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies, but they revere Spirited Away, their, our, The Godfather and The Wizard of Oz rolled into one. Totoro has been magnificently...

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Richard, My Richard, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmund's review - too much history, not enough drama

History is very present in Philippa Gregory’s new play about Richard III. Literally - History is a character, played by Tom Kanji. He strides around in a pale trenchcoat, at first rather too glib and pleased with himself, but quickly sucked into the...

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Unbelievable, Criterion Theatre review - Derren Brown-directed show misses his otherworldly danger

Unbelievable is a strange title for a slightly strange show, the brainchild of Derren Brown, Andrew O’Connor and Andy Nyman, a trio with an impeccable pedigree in creating successful magic-based events. It’s a strange title because suspension...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2023 reviews: FOOD / Dusk

FOOD, The Studio ★★★There’s no denying it: Los Angeles-born Geoff Sobelle is a theatrical magician (quite literally – it’s how he began his career). Through a string of visually spectacular shows on the Fringe and more recently at the...

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Seraphina Madsen: Aurora review - the tarot won’t save us

“There is another world… a way of perceiving that is chaotic and awesome and terrifying,” announces Seraphina Madsen’s cigarillo-smoking, telepathic cat.Lecturing a teenage coven on the art of sorcery and how to tap into the powers of the “Unseen...

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The Art of Illusion, Hampstead Theatre review - a hit from Paris conjures up strange-but-true stories

First came Yasmina Reza’s 1994 long-runner Art; now another French hit, The Art of Illusion, has arrived after eight years in Paris. The two pieces couldn’t be more different: the former is a chatty spat between three sophisticated male friends (...

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Hex, National Theatre review - 12 months after being sent to sleep by Covid, Rufus Norris's show is back

Hovering way, way above us, three aptly named high fairies, in voluminous chiffon, open a show that may not be airy in the metaphorical sense, but invites us to cast our eyes upwards continually – no bad thing to do in the bleak midwinter of 2022....

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Wonderville Magic and Cabaret review - fast-paced show delivers the promised wonder

There’s nothing quite like magic, live, up close and personal. Sure there are the TV spectaculars, the casino resort mega-shows and even The Masked Magician to pull back the curtains, but there’s a frisson in the air when the card that’s in your...

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The Tempest, Shakespeare's Globe review - occasional gales of laughter drown out subtlety

Alexei Sayle, in his angry young man phase, once said that you can always tell when you’re watching a Shakespeare comedy, because NOBODY'S LAUGHING. That’s not entirely true, of course, but sometimes a director has to go looking for the LOLs and...

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The Tempest, Theatre Royal, Bath review - multi-dimensional Shakespeare classic overpowered by comedy

The Tempest, a rich and profound late work, is probably Shakespeare’s most complex and layered play: the combination of power politics, philosophy, magic and romance is dizzying and a challenge to any director who attempts to encompass the...

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Alcina, Glyndebourne review - Handel on the strand

Reviewing the Grange Festival production of Tamerlano the other day, I noted the difficulty Handel poses the modern director with his byzantine plots and often ludicrous love tangles, expressed through music of surpassing brilliance but mostly...

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Glastonbury Festival 2022: an unexpurgated odyssey around the best party on the planet

Last days of June 2022, I sit in my writing hut. My liver is radioactive jelly, my nose reinforced concrete, my leg muscles marathon-cramped, and poisoned perspiration rolls down my forehead, stinging my eyeballs.You’ll already have seen a trillion...

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