mon 15/04/2024

Newcastle

Tish review - haunting portrait of a driven working-class photographer

Paul Sng’s documentary Tish is one of the best British films of 2023 – both a heartfelt tribute to the life and work of the late photographer Tish (born Patricia) Murtha and a timely reminder of the war waged on the nation’s industrial working-class...

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FLIP!, Summerhall Edinburgh review - sassy, satirical parable

You can almost feel the energy blazing off the stage in this fast, furious and fiercely funny two-hander from writer Racheal Ofori and Newcastle-based Alphabetti Theatre. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a crucial plot twist, or a nifty swerve into new...

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Boy Parts, Soho Theatre review - not subversive enough

We’ve all heard of the male gaze, but what about its subversion? Overturning masculine dominance is one of the themes of Boy Parts, the acclaimed debut novel by Eliza Clark, first published in 2020 and now adapted as a monologue for the stage by...

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Album: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - Land of Sleeper

During the Dark Ages, it wasn’t unusual for people throughout England to raise the prayer “From the fury of the Northmen, deliver us, O Lord!”. Over a thousand years later, with the release of Geordie rockers Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs’ new...

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Blu-ray: Get Carter

Director Mike Hodges's Get Carter (1971) has been praised as the best British gangster film. I would go even further, and put it up against the best gangster films of all time, on the same level as Lang’s The Big Heat (1953), Melville’s Le...

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Rigoletto, Opera North review - Covid shocks, debut pleasures

Beware of joining the Duke of Mantua’s sleazy feast in time of Covid too late, as I did on Opera North’s Newcastle leg of its Verdi journey. You may find more than a couple of the distinguished guests on stage have fallen sick – three, no less, on...

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Album: Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

Grand, sweeping romanticism with strong Celtic leanings is the order of the day lately, in a way it hasn’t been since the 1980s heyday of U2, Waterboys, Bruce Springsteen, Dexys and Simple Minds. The likes of Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy, Declan...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing. It is...

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Album: Maxïmo Park – Nature Always Wins

Composed in the first lockdown, and recorded remotely, the seventh album from Newcastle’s Maxïmo Park was produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter). But it is not so much a record of the times as a snapshot of a time in the...

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Northern Chords Festival, Church of St James and St Basil, Newcastle review - high, lucid and bright

Whatever happens next – and even in Tier 3 the Royal Liverpool Phlharmonic goes on playing to carefully distanced audiences – this will be remembered by all participants as a day of dazzling brilliance, its bright autumn light matched by so much of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Albert Roussel, Roy Budd, Propellor

Albert Roussel Edition (Erato)Be grateful that Albert Roussel became a composer at all. Born in 1869 and orphaned at a young age, he was a talented pianist who joined the French navy as a teenager. Music was an enjoyable distraction during his...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Stormy Monday

Using Hollywood stars to prop up British crime thrillers is an ignoble tradition. Guy Ritchie’s Snatch misused Brad Pitt, but John Wayne’s execrable Brannigan is probably the worst example. So one’s hopes aren’t high for Stormy Monday, a 1987 noir...

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