thu 09/04/2020

mental health

System Crasher review – a compelling portrait of childhood violence and pain

Benni, the central character in German writer-director Nora Fingscheidt's haunting new film, has a life of tragedy and violence. She’s the product of a dysfunctional family and an abusive childhood that has left her rage-ridden and incapable of...

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Comedy Against Living Miserably, Dave review - standups tread the boards for CALM charity

This was the third collaboration between Dave and the mental health charity CALM (Comedy Against Living Miserably), hosted at EartH in Dalston by Joel Dommett. Its non-standard format comprised chunks of performances by the featured standup comics,...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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Sex Education, Series 2, Netflix review - the teen sex show we deserved

Netflix’s Sex Education has returned to our screens and streams. The show made waves last year for its refreshing take on the teen comedy-drama. It took on abortion, consent and female pleasure — subjects strikingly absent from our actual high...

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The Sunset Limited, Boulevard Theatre review - all talk, no theatre

Cormac McCarthy’s two-hander, premiered at Chicago's mighty Steppenwolf Theatre in 2006, has by this point been everything short of an ice ballet: a self-described “novel in dramatic form”, as one might expect from the American author of such titles...

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You Stupid Darkness!, Southwark Playhouse review - an intriguing muddle

Armageddon would appear to be at the gates in Sam Steiner’s intriguing if ramshackle play, a co-production between Paines Plough and Theatre Royal, Plymouth, that has reached London while still seeming a draft or so away from achieving its full...

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Elizabeth Is Missing, BBC One review - a tender but tough-minded drama about ageing and loss

In films, as in life, unreliable narrators are not hard to find. But there is something remarkable about the unreliable narrator of Elizabeth is Missing, BBC One’s newest feature-length drama. Its protagonist, Maud (Glenda Jackson), is unreliable in...

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The Party's Just Beginning review - a formidable debut

For an actor, there are few bigger risks than writing and directing your own film. Securing funding is pretty easy if you’re a household name, like Karen Gillan is, but that doesn’t mean your script is any good or your vision holds water. At their...

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Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart

Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and currently on its second year of a national tour. It also made a star...

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Joker review – a phenomenal Joaquin Phoenix on the mean streets of Gotham

When Joker won the Golden Lion in Venice in September, it was an unprecedented achievement, the first time a comic book-related film had won such a prestigious prize. But then, isn’t your typical comic book film. Starring a phenomenal...

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Phoenix review - Norwegian family tragedy with an autobiographical slant

“You’re so meticulous,” says Astrid (Maria Bonnevie) to her teenage daughter Jill (impressive newcomer Yvla Bjørkaas Thedin) as they create a batik artwork together at the kitchen table. Little son Bo (Casper Falck-Løvås) looks on as he munches a...

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Preludes, Southwark Playhouse review - journeying into the mind of Rachmaninoff

Where does music come from? That’s the vital question posed to Sergei Rachmaninoff in Dave Malloy’s extraordinary 2015 chamber work, as the great late-Romantic Russian composer – stuck in his third year of harrowing writer’s block – tries to...

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