wed 22/08/2018

memoir

Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The students are mostly girls between fifteen and sixteen and...

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Fun Home, Young Vic review - a simply sublime musical memoir

It seems only too fitting that David Lan’s luminous reign at the Young Vic should draw to a close with this bold, creatively thrilling international import. Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s Tony-winning musical, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2013,...

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Sarah Langford: In Your Defence review - messy lives

When Sarah Langford goes to work, she puts on warpaint and wig and acts. But she is not an actor. She defends those who might or might not be guilty of the crimes with with they’ve been charged, or she acts on behalf of those bringing prosecutions...

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My Name is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre review - Laura Linney is luminous in a flawless production

In Harold Pinter’s memory play Old Times, one of the women declares, “There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened.” Elizabeth Strout’s heroine in My Name Is Lucy Barton is in the reverse position. When it comes to...

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Clancy Sigal: The London Lover review - a merry prankster's very long weekend

To readers of newspapers and magazines, the name Clancy Sigal will be very familiar, probably as a film reviewer. Addicted to writing, and to his old Smith Corona #3 portable typewriter, “Hemingway’s preferred machine”, he was a version of the man...

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Danny Baker, Touring review - boy, can he talk

The first thing that greets the audience in the foyer for Danny Baker's new show, Good Time Charlie's Back!, which I saw at Princes Hall in Aldershot, is the merchandise stall, selling various items; T-shirts for £20, programmes at £10 (pre-...

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Christie Watson: The Language of Kindness review - tender memoir, impassioned indignation

Anecdotal story-telling wrapped up in hypnotic prose, Christie Watson’s narrative is a gentle, emotive five-part layered package of reflection and indignation. It is part memoir-autobiography, part history of nursing (Indian, Greek, Byzantine and...

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Antony Sher: Year of the Mad King - extract

In 1982 Antony Sher played the Fool to Michael Gambon’s King in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of King Lear. Shortly after, he came back to Stratford to play Richard III, for which he won the Olivierand Evening Standard Awards for Best...

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John Tusa: 'the arts must make a noise' - interview

In our era of 24/7 news, downloadable from anywhere in the world at the touch of an app, it's hard to remember that not so very long ago the agenda was set by the BBC - the Home Service as Radio 4 was then called, and BBC TV, just the one channel,...

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Afua Hirsch: Brit(ish) review - essential reading on identity

Usually extracts in newspapers should stimulate the appetite of the reader to get with it; this is a rare moment when the glimpses afforded to Afua Hirsch’s Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging have peculiarly maligned a complex and amply...

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David Lodge: Writer’s Luck - A Memoir 1976-1991 review - literary days, in detail

Metaphor, metonymy, simile and synecdoche, anyone? FR Leavis, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode? If any of this, and more, turns you on, this lengthy memoir will be irresistible. It is almost a day-by-day account of 15 years of the...

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Jaron Lanier: Dawn of the New Everything review - pioneer of virtual reality tells his story

Jaron Lanier has quite a story to tell. From a teenage flute-playing goat-herd in New Mexico to an “intense dreamer”, and a maths student capable of arguing, about films for example, with “supremacist. Borgesian flair”, then onwards and upwards,...

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