tue 12/11/2019

#MeToo

Hannah Gadsby, Royal Festival Hall review - simply magnificent

It's a wonderful thing when a talented comic goes from niche performer to international star almost overnight, and that's what happened to Australian stand-up Hannah Gadsby. In 2017, she announced that her award-winning Edinburgh Fringe show,...

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Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: She Said review – better than the movies

October 5th in the United States is a day for righteous rage. In 2016 it marked the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Donald Trump made his now-infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment. In 2017, it was the date the New York...

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Carmen, Welsh National Opera review - intermittent brilliance in a gloomy, unclear environment

You can love Carmen as much as you like (as much as I do, for instance), and still have a certain sympathy for the poor director who has to find something new to say about a work so anchored in a particular style and place. For all its musical and...

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CD: Taylor Swift - Lover

If there's a central motif to the sprawling, 18-track opus that is Taylor Swift’s seventh release - and it’s an album that references both Drake and Springsteen, so it's hard to pin down - it first emerges in track three, the title track. Stripped...

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Cindy Sherman: #untitled, BBC Four review - portrait of an enigma

Cindy Sherman predicted the selfie, so goes the claim. From our current standpoint, it is all too easy to analyse her many hundreds of photographic self-portraits made since the late 1970s as cultural forebears of the digital medium. What this BBC...

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Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre review - Malkovich monologue is more chaff than wheat

John Malkovich is back in town - and he's starring in the most controversial play of the year. Trouble is, it might well also be the worst. When the subject of veteran American playwright David Mamet's new drama was announced as being about a...

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Le Nozze di Figaro, The Grange Festival review – the dark side of power

Productions of The Marriage of Figaro tend to press their thumbs on the comic or tragic side of the scales that hover so evenly throughout Mozart’s inexhaustible work. Director Martin Lloyd-Evans mostly favoured a darker interpretation at The Grange...

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Manon Lescaut, Opera Holland Park review - attempt to empower commodified woman falls flat

"Waiting is always wearisome," declare the socialites as glitter-and-be-gay Manon Lescaut receives in the home of her nasty old "protector" Geronte. Despite the numerous sugar-plums Puccini weaves into his first fluent operatic masterpiece, waiting...

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Seann Walsh, Broadway, Letchworth Garden City review - Strictly's bad boy tells his story

Let's start with that kiss – the one that propelled Seann Walsh from “Who?” in last year's Strictly Come Dancing line-up to being the “bad boy” of the series after pictures of his drunken late-night clinch with Katya Jones, his married professional...

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Aziz Ansari, Eventim Apollo review - show follows his #MeToo moment

Most people in the UK know American actor and stand-up Aziz Ansari from Parks and Recreation, where he played the sarcastic and underachieving local government official Tom Haverford. Comedy fans will also know him as a successful club comic on both...

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Downstate, National Theatre review - controversial but also clear-eyed and compassionate

"Some monsters are real," notes a retribution-minded wife (Matilda Ziegler) early in Downstate, Bruce Norris's beautiful and wounding play that has arrived at the National Theatre in the production of a writer's dreams. But by the time this restless...

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Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and Me, Channel 4 review - sordid revelations from the court of the King of Pop

Not just the Peter Pan of Pop, but also its very own Houdini. With the aid of shed-loads of money, an illusion-spinning PR machine and the most aggressive lawyers that money could buy, Michael Jackson managed to make it to his premature exit in 2009...

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