fri 26/04/2019

mental health

CD: Kanye - Ye

Would it come as a terrible surprise to learn that this record is highly problematic? Well, duh. Kanye West is the sad clown narrating the global tragicomedy, a troll on an epochal scale, a bundle of contradictory drives all attempting to express...

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The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, Brighton Festival review - molto nervoso

Calixto Bieito has a reputation as a radical theatre-maker, and by any standards The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety is an unusual, genre-breaking piece; Bieito has described it as “like a symphonic poem for a quartet of musicians, and a...

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Tully review - Charlize Theron plumps for sentiment

Inside Tully – or maybe inside Charlize Theron’s massively pregnant belly – is a darker, more daring film trying to get out. There are startlingly original moments, but it’s as if writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, creators of Juno and...

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4.48 Psychosis, Royal Opera, Lyric Hammersmith review - despairing truth in song and speech

Depression, with or without psychotic episodes, is a rare subject for drama or music theatre - and with good reason: the sheer unrelenting monotony of anguish and self-absorption is hard to reproduce within a concentrated time-span. So we still...

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Booby's Bay, Finborough Theatre review - a bit fishy

Carry on out of London past the Finborough Theatre and you hit the A4. Follow it east as it becomes the M4, take a southern turn at Bristol for the M5 and you’re in the West Country. Bude and Bodmin, Liskeard, St Austell, Padstow, Mousehole, Newquay...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Television Personalities

How much of someone else’s despair is it possible to take? What are the limits on putting a sense of desolation or isolation into a song? Can such naked expression be mediated by a glossy production or crowded instrumental arrangements which...

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Out from the Darkness: painting out prison

When I was sent to an adult high security prison aged 14 all the normal colour, shapes and movement that I saw around me each and every day as a child disappeared. It wasn’t there. Prison does that; it’s all straight lines, hard on the eye, hard to...

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The A Word, Series 2, BBC One review - is it turning into 'Emmerdale' with a twist of autism?

At its weakest The A Word is just Emmerdale with a twist of autism, especially when the drama swivels away from the little boy to focus on adult infidelities, a grumpy patriarch, sibling rivalries and comedy Poles wisecracking in subtitles. But at...

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Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me, BBC Two review - 'like an alien from another planet'

Chris Packham, who devises and presents programmes about nature and animals, has described himself as "a little bit weird". This autobiographical documentary about himself explained what being on the autistic spectrum meant to him in particular in...

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Billion Dollar Deals That Changed Your World, BBC Two review - Big Pharma gets a diagnosis: it’s sick

“What if the way people understand the world is wrong? What if it isn’t politicians that shape the way people live their day-to-day lives, but secret business deals?” This is the question at the heart – and at the start – of Jacques Peretti’s...

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The 'self-experimenter': Howard Brenton on Strindberg in crisis

I wrote The Blinding Light to try to understand the mental and spiritual crisis that August Strindberg suffered in February 1896. Deeply disturbed, plagued by hallucinations, he holed up in various hotel rooms in Paris, most famously in the Hotel...

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Wasting Away, Channel 4 review - we can't fix people while the NHS is broken

Journalist Mark Austin is no stranger to conflict, having reported from war-torn landscapes including Rwanda, Iraq and even the ITN newsdesk. However, when the battle lines were drawn closer to home and involved an enemy he couldn’t see, the veteran...

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