thu 23/05/2019

politics

Thatcher: A Very British Revolution, BBC Two review - demolishing the boys' club

Is there some tongue-in-cheek irony in BBC Two starting a five-part biographical documentary on Margaret Thatcher this Monday? Mrs Thatcher was Britain’s first female Prime Minister, Conservative to boot, and regardless of gender her years of...

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Alastair Campbell: Depression and Me, BBC Two review - is there an alternative to a life on anti-depressants?

Persistent depression is debilitating and terrifying, as Alastair Campbell illustrated vividly in this punchily-argued film. We first saw him looking like a disturbed, miserable ghost, as he described in his video diary a sudden plunge into...

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The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, Park Theatre review - unwieldy at times but undeniably funny, too

What could have been merely a cheap and cheesy piss-take registers as considerably more robust in The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson, journo-turned-playwright Jonathan Maitland's latest venture for his de facto home at north London's Park Theatre...

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Andy Hamilton, Brighton Festival 2019 review - gently amusing night of reminiscence

Taking place at the Theatre Royal, Andy Hamilton’s show is entitled An Evening with… rather than a straight stand-up and mainly consists of the comedy writer/performer and gameshow regular answering audience questions. During the first half this is...

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10 Questions for Director Benedikt Erlingsson

Benedikt Erlingsson (b.1969) was already an established theatre director and actor in Iceland when he directed his debut film, Of Horses And Men, an uncategorisable blend of humour, romance and horror, set away from Reykjavik amongst stubbornly...

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Woman at War review – timely comedy-drama about an eco-warrior with a difference

What is it about Nordic women and the environment? Hot on the heels of the London visit by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg – the most inspiring climate change campaigner since Al Gore – comes this timely, singular, enormously enjoyable comedy-...

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Styx review - high seas, high stakes refugee nightmare

The Mediterranean’s massacres of the refugee innocent come uncomfortably close to a lone female sailor in this stark parable of European helplessness and indifference.When German doctor Rike (Susanne Wolff) casts off from Gibraltar, the ocean’s...

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Mark Thomas, BAC review - impassioned polemic about the NHS

Mark Thomas issues a health warning for Check-Up: Our NHS at 70  at Battersea Arts Centre  – “This show contains swearing, a video of an operation on a stomach and a description of being in A&E when a patient dies.” Indeed it...

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Loro review – hedonism must have an end

"Them" - the "loro" of the title (with a further play on “l’oro”, gold) - denotes the mostly sleazy opportunists willing to use and be used by "him" ("lui"), "Presidente" Silvio Berlusconi in his septuagenarian bid for an extended sexual and...

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10 Questions for Brighton Festival CEO Andrew Comben

The Brighton Festival begins in May. Since 2014 theartsdesk has had a media partnership with this lively, multi-faceted event which takes place over three weeks. This year the Guest Director is the Malian musician Rokia Traoré, who inhabits a...

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Road to Brexit, BBC Two review - a rotten historian for a rotten parliament

Let me be clear. The agonising process of the UK’s departure, or not, from the EU will be an infinite field of academic study over the decades to come. Road to Brexit (BBC Two) will not be a valuable source of research material, because it was a...

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CD: UB40 - For the Many

Birmingham’s reggae veterans UB40 are a band who have often worn their politics on their sleeves, and the title of their new album is taken from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party mantra. The parallels between the two have already been noted, of course....

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