sun 22/05/2022

mental health

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Anyone Can Whistle, Southwark Playhouse review - full-on bonkers

Musicals don't get madder than Anyone Can Whistle, the 1964 Broadway flop from onetime West Side Story and Gypsy collaborators Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents which makes history of sorts at Southwark Playhouse as the first Sondheim show to be...

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Marianne Eloise: Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking review - bargaining with the devil

No mental health condition has become quite as kitsch as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Its tacky shorthands – the hand washing, the germaphobia, the clean freaks – have made their way into everything, from Buzzfeed listicles to The Big Bang Theory...

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Conundrum, Young Vic review - inscrutable and ungraspable

Conundrum is a tricky play. Written and directed by Paul Anthony Morris, founder of Crying in the Wilderness Productions, it’s an extended meditation on Blackness and what it means to live in a racist society. Anthony Ofoegbu is the star of the show...

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Sessions, Soho Theatre review – intense, but inconclusive

After lockdown, the stage monologue saved British theatre. At venue after venue, cash-strapped companies put single actors into simple playing spaces to deliver good stories for audiences that just wanted to visit playhouses again. But this theatre...

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Ruth Ozeki: The Book of Form and Emptiness review - where the objects speak

“Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” Ruth Ozeki’s latest novel takes its name from a Buddhist heart sutra that meditates on reality and questions of human existence. It’s a big question for a big book. A Zen priest as well as a teacher, writer,...

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10 Questions for writer Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Anyone familiar with psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk’s bestseller The Body Keeps the Score (2014) will recognise the ghost of his title in Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s My Body Keeps Your Secrets. His book is an essential text for understanding the...

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Shining City, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - occasional sluggishness alongside a true star turn

When Brendan Coyle, playing a modestly magnetic widower and sales rep called John in this revival of Conor McPherson's 2004 play Shining City, first appears on stage, he looks thoroughly bewildered. His eyes dart back and forth as he initially...

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Oliver Sacks: His Own Life review - a complex portrait of a complex man

It’s well worth tracking down one of the September 29 special cinema screenings of Ric Burns' lovingly made documentary portrait of the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, or seeking it out online. Famous for his vivid, insightful descriptions of...

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The Lodger, Coronet Theatre review - underdeveloped family drama

The Coronet Theatre is a beautiful space – it’s a listed Victorian building, and the bar’s like something out of a film about Oscar Wilde. Unfortunately, Robert Holman’s The Lodger, a new play about family and trauma, doesn’t live up to its...

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Second Spring review - intriguing film about a woman with an unusual form of dementia

“We want you to see a doctor. You’ve changed, and not in a good way,” says Kathy’s underwhelming husband, Tim (Matthew Jure).We don’t know what Kathy (Cathy Naden, making her film debut) was like before, but as things stand she seems to be following...

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I Am Victoria, Channel 4 review - improvised drama in need of more substance

This opener to the second series of Dominic Savage’s I Am… dramas starred Suranne Jones as the titular Victoria, an ultra-driven career woman surrounded by the trappings of material success but spinning into a dark vortex of depression. Jones’s...

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