sat 04/07/2020

Paris

Album: Jehnny Beth - To Love Is To Live

Jehnny Beth was the formidable and mysterious leader of Savages’ flinty monochrome attack, remoulding stark post-punk into gender-fluid shapes. Retiring the band after two Mercury-nominated albums, and returning to France after more than a decade of...

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The World's Greatest Paintings, Channel 5 review - enthusiastic presenter but no dazzling revelations

Andrew Marr’s art show is a lot of fun, although engulfed in almost overwhelming banality and cliché. Our enthusiastic presenter is a self-confessed addict of art. As a pillar of television presentation, he is a natural for this series looking at...

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Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death, since this entertaining, though melodramatic, new French import (Channel 4) began with the dramatic collapse on the podium...

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Alex George: The Paris Hours review - captivating yet frustrating

A century on, the années folles of Paris between the wars do not cease to excite readers and writers of all varieties. Alex George’s latest novel, The Paris Hours, draws on the myriad charms the interwar period has to offer, condensing them into a...

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Rebuilding Notre-Dame: Inside the Great Cathedral Rescue, BBC Four review - a race against time

One year on the world is drastically altered, but footage of Notre Dame’s stricken spire collapsing in flames is no less shocking. That this event, endlessly replayed, has not paled against the new reality of daily death tolls is testament to the...

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Flowers for Mrs Harris, Chichester Festival Theatre online review - a warmly open-hearted weepie

18 months or so after it opened in Chichester, Flowers for Mrs Harris launches a sequence of streamed productions from the West Sussex venue just in time to allow a new British musical to join the ever-swelling ranks of theatrical offerings online....

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Charpentier Christmas settings, Solomon's Knot, St John's Smith Square review - pastoral shades

There is no mention of Marc-Antoine Charpentier in David Cairns's comprehensive Berlioz biography. It seems extraordinary that the master of the most intimate and moving of musical Christmas stories, L'enfance du Christ, knew nothing of the next...

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Svetlana Zakharova, Modanse, London Coliseum review - impeccably chic but soul-less

What price a pair of seats at the ballet? If you’re talking the latest starry Russian import then, with a few perks thrown in, you might not see much change from £800. And yet the size of the first-night crowd queuing for Modanse, a double bill...

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Orphée, English National Opera review – through a screen darkly

Like almost everything that it touches these days, English National Opera’s autumn season of shows rooted in the Orpheus myth has enjoyed a fairly mixed reception. The company’s programme of visits to the Underworld concludes with another high-risk...

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Spiral, Series 7, BBC Four review - hard-hitting return of our favourite French cop show

And welcome back to our favourite French cop show – perhaps our favourite cop show from anywhere, in fact – which has raced into its seventh series (on BBC Four) with some typically grimy storylines about death and lowlife in a very de-romanticised...

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Non-Fiction - adultery spices up digitisation drama

It isn’t provable whether adultery is more accepted in French bourgeois life than in that of other countries, but French films often suggest it’s nothing to get in a lather about. Olivier Assayas’s Non-Fiction, in which three of the four main...

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Manon, Royal Opera House review - splendid start to the season

The Royal Ballet’s choice of season opener could be dismissed as safe and predictable. But as the glorious naturalistic detail of 1830s Paris unfolds in Kenneth MacMillan’s 1974 retelling, you see the reasoning. It’s only a year since the Royal...

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