sat 17/08/2019

Pakistan

theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Ayub Khan Din

It’s been quite a journey for Ayub Khan Din. Born in 1961, the acclaimed playwright grew up in a crowded Salford household, the youngest child of a Pakistani father and a white English mother. The cultural clashes he witnessed – as his Anglicised...

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Last Tango in Halifax, Series 3, BBC One / Homeland, Series 4 Finale, Channel 4

Back for its third series [***], Sally Wainwright's saga of Yorkshire folk continues to tread a precarious line between syrupy soapfulness and a family drama with sharp little teeth. Its excellent cast helps to carry it over the worst of the soggy...

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Homeland, Series 4, Channel 4 / The Code, BBC Four

It was tempting to assume that Homeland [****] had died along with Damian Lewis's Brody, last seen dangling gruesomely from a crane in Tehran at the end of series three, but this tense and uncomfortable season-opener suggested that all may not be...

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The Djinns of Eidgah, Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court is justly proud of being the home of British new writing, but it is also a venue which has a great tradition of staging work from abroad. From bringing Brecht and Beckett here in the 1950s to its more recent international summer...

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DVD: Zero Dark Thirty

Despite its five Oscar nominations, in the end Zero Dark Thirty only won for Best Sound Editing, with the Academy showing a distinct preference for the more "thrillerised" version of US foreign affairs displayed in Ben Affleck's hugely entertaining...

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Just like Vietnam in 1970s, the so-called War on Terror has been a boon to filmmakers. It has allowed Hollywood to send another generation of buff leading males off to the front and, as the ordnance explodes, bravely question why it is that they are...

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theartsdesk in Lahore: Music, mysticism and fistfights

On Wednesday I will strap on a guitar and take the stage at the Royal Festival Hall for the opening night of this year's Alchemy Festival. I am the musical director and happy accompanist to a line-up of spectacularly talented musicians, all with...

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Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty could have easily gone by the name of the Danish thriller from last year, The Hunt, it’s so furiously single-minded. As it is, the film's striking title is a military term for half-past midnight - the timing of the Navy SEAL raid...

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Midnight's Children

It’s always the second-rate fiction which makes first-rate films, because there’s nothing to lose but plot. Midnight’s Children, lest anyone be allowed to forget, is first-rate fiction. It has won the Booker, the Booker of Bookers and James Tait...

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Akram Khan's Desh, Sadler's Wells

I’ve seen Akram Khan’s Desh twice. The first time I sat in my favourite spot – the front row – close enough to smell the sweat drenching his shirt as the demanding physicality of this ambitious solo work became evident. But I could also see him...

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Globe to Globe: The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's Globe

The battle of the sexes took on a bright and breezy tone in Pakistan's contribution to the Globe's ongoing Bardathon, the Theatre Wallay-Kashf's rumbustious production of The Taming of the Shrew. It's been more customary of late to treat this most...

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South Asian festival at Southbank

Southbank Centre’s third annual Alchemy festival returns 12-22 April with a mix of music, dance, literature, film, fashion and design reflecting the economic and cultural landscape of the Indian subcontinent. The centre's Thames-side venues and...

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