thu 18/04/2024

medieval

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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The Mongol Khan, London Coliseum review - unique operatic spectacle utterly overwhelms flaws in pacing and story

“But that’s what they’re paying for!” replied my son as we, a little shellshocked by the previous three hours, skirted Trafalgar Square on the way home. I had reservations about some key components of the alchemy that produces great theatre, but...

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Tony Williams: Cole the Magnificent - fantastical tale blends myth, poetry and comedy

Cole the Magnificent is a picaresque, fantastical tale of the life (or lives) of a man, Cole, following his adventures as he progresses through a mythical pre-Norman Britain, from adolescence to old age, and beyond. It is episodic and poetic, by...

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Robin Hood. The Legend. Re-written, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - no bullseye for new take on familiar characters

After the pantos, the movies (epic, camp and animated) and the television series, is there anything new to be mined in the story of Robin Hood? Probably not, as this messy, misjudged show takes that hope and fires an arrow through its heart.We’re in...

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Mary Wellesley: Hidden Hands review - passion in the parchment

Outside Wales – even, perhaps, within it – few students will have run across the verse of Gwerful Mechain. The free-spirited poet of the late 15th century may come as a thrilling surprise (one of several) to readers of Mary Wellesley’s Hidden Hands...

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The Old Guard review - serious silliness

It’s hard to take The Old Guard seriously — it’s an action film about thousand-year-old immortal warriors. Pulpy flashbacks and fake blood abounds. But The Old Guard doesn’t need to be serious or even memorable: it’s a fun, feel-good film, a rare...

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Matthew Kneale: Pilgrims review – adventures on the road to Rome

Some things really never change. After a blatant cheat perpetrated by a well-connected lout, one of the humblest pilgrims in Matthew Kneale’s band reminds us that “rich folks’ justice is a penny to pay, poor folks’ justice is dangling from a rope”....

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Valerie Hansen: The Year 1000 review - the first globe-trotting age

In 1018, the Princess of Chen – a member of the Liao dynasty that ruled northern China – was buried in a treasure-filled tomb in Inner Mongolia. Excavated in the 1980s, her grave contained luxury items sourced in Egypt, Syria, Iran, India, Sumatra...

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Rumpelstiltskin, Sadler's Wells Digital Stage review - spins an engaging yarn for young audiences

The latest in Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage programme – an impressively assembled online offering to keep audiences entertained during the shutdown – is balletLORENT’s family-friendly dance-theatre production Rumpelstiltskin. It was...

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Onward review - do you believe in magic?

Welcome to New Mushroomton: a fantasy land that’s forgotten itself. This is how we’re introduced to Pixar’s Onward, which is set in a Dungeons & Dragons daydream of suburbia. Director Dan Scanlon’s film is a tribute to his late father, but it...

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Disenchantment, Netflix review - Matt Groening show has promise after poor start

It’s an event that only comes around once a generation: a new Matt Groening TV series. The Simpsons is rightly regarded as one of the greatest shows ever made. It changed the face of American television, and 10 years later was followed Futurama, a...

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Isabeau, Opera Holland Park review - Mascagni's lumpy Godiva-ride rarity

Valiant Opera Holland Park, always taking up the gauntlet for Italian operas which should mostly never be staged again. Worst was Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini, where musical ambition vastly outruns technique and inspiration. Mascagni's Iris with...

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