sat 16/11/2019

politics

The Report review - searing political drama

It should come as no surprise that the writer of Side Effects and Contagion, Scott Z. Burns, is capable of directing a whip-smart drama like The Report. Known for his collaborations with Steven Soderbergh, most recently on...

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Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

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Sorry We Missed You review – Ken Loach's unapologetic assault on the gig economy

If the recent period of British history that has involved recession, austerity, the hostile environment and Brexit is to have chroniclers, who better than Ken Loach and his trusty screenwriter Paul Laverty. Their blend of carefully researched social...

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Ben Elton, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall review - magnificent return to stand-up

It has been 15 years since Ben Elton, known as Motormouth in his 1980s heyday – last toured. A decade-and-a-half ago, one of the instigators of alternative comedy tells us at the top of the show, he could have still passed muster as young or cool....

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Black and Blue review - police thriller aims high and misses

Police corruption has fuelled many a Hollywood thriller, but sadly Black and Blue is no Training Day or The Departed. Naomie Harris plays US Army veteran turned rookie cop Alicia West, just three weeks into a career with the New Orleans police...

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Official Secrets review – powerful political thriller

Early in the political drama Official Secrets, Keira Knightley’s real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun watches Tony Blair on television, giving his now infamous justification for the impending Iraq War, namely the existence of weapons of mass...

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'A laboratory for everything': Jasper Parrott on the future of his classical music agency

Fiftieth anniversary? It seems incredible but also so exhilarating not least because these times we live in now seem to me to be a golden age for music of all kinds and in particular for what we label so inadequately classical music. This flowering...

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Rigoletto, Welsh National Opera review - same old update, fine performance

Considering the doubtfulness of its underlying idea, James Macdonald’s production of Rigoletto has shown remarkable staying power since its Cardiff début 17 years ago. It’s true that this particular opera - which, unlike one or two others of Verdi’s...

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Russell Howard, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena review - a return with bite

It’s been two years since Russell Howard last performed stand-up. That’s a long gap for such an established fixture of British comedy. As he points out, the world has changed, something reflected in his new show Respite. There are still the...

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CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant posthumous offering, definitely not something cooked up from tasty leftovers, but a well thought-...

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The Cameron Years, BBC One review - quite interesting but a bit boring

David Cameron has been a recluse since the fateful days of June 2016 when the referendum on EU membership didn’t go quite the way he’d hoped. He’s probably been living through a private purgatory. “I think I will think about this forever,” he...

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Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim compassion

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with 2014’s Beyond Caring, followed by LOVE two years after that. These are bleak dramas that show human...

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