thu 23/05/2019

Northern Ireland

Derry Girls, Series Two, Channel 4 review - welcome back, gang

When Derry Girls premiered on Channel 4 in early 2018, there was little fanfare. But it’s been a whirlwind year for the four girls from Derry (and the wee English lad), capturing British hearts before conquering the US through Netflix...

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Cyprus Avenue, Royal Court Theatre review - Stephen Rea is utterly compelling

David Ireland is a playwright who likes to jolt his audience and Cyprus Avenue, a dark absurdist comedy about an Ulster unionist afraid of losing his identity, does just that. This co-production between Dublin's Abbey Theatre and the Royal Court was...

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Death and Nightingales, BBC Two, review - slow, lyrical, slightly dull

And now for something completely different from The Fall. The nerve-shredding drama from Northern Ireland was written by Allan Cubitt and featured, as its resident psychopathic hottie, Jamie Dornan (pictured below). It seems the two couldn’t get...

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Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single...

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Come Home, BBC One review - a drama of family disintegration, divided loyalties

A woman walks out on her husband and their three kids – two teens, one five-year-old - after 19 years of marriage. She doesn’t want custody. What could be so wrong with the man that she’s driven to such drastic action? Eleven months later, Greg (...

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Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

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Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet curiously anodyne — the ranks of white cubicles could belong to a jobs fair, except there’s a Miró round the corner. And it’s...

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66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

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The End of Hope, Soho Theatre review - initially bold but not quite enough

In David Ireland's new hour-long two-hander – a co-production between Soho Theatre and west London's Orange Tree – two strangers, Janet and Dermot, meet for a casual hook-up arranged over the internet. The glitch, or at least...

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DVD: Every Picture Tells a Story

James Scott’s filmography is wide-ranging, including the 1982 short film A Shocking Accident, based on the Graham Greene story, which won an Academy Award the following year, and other works on social questions. But these documentaries, several...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Does a review of a 25-year-old film need a spoiler alert? Much of the success of The Crying Game – its 1992 release earned both six Oscar nominations and huge box office returns (although not enough to save its producers from bankruptcy) – is...

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My Mother and Other Strangers, BBC One

This new wartime drama launched on Remembrance Sunday is a curio. The setting of My Mother and Other Strangers is rural Northern Ireland in 1943, where it’s green and wet and a long way from the conflict. Into the midst of the fictional Moybeg on...

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