wed 17/04/2024

politics

Cassie and the Lights, Southwark Playhouse review - powerful, affecting, beautifully acted tale of three sisters in care

"In care". It’s a phrase that, if it penetrates our minds at all, usually leads to distressing tabloid stories of children losing their lives at the hands of abusive parents (“Why oh why wasn’t this child in care?”) or of loving parents separated...

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Foam, Finborough Theatre review - fascism and f*cking in a Gentlemen's Lavatory that proves short of gentlemen

In a too brightly tiled Gentlemen’s public convenience (Nitin Parmar’s beautifully realised set is as much a character as any of the men we meet), a lad is shaving his head. He’s halfway to the skinhead look of the early Seventies, but he hasn’t...

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First person: playwright Paul Grellong on keeping pace with American politics

I’m writing this in the lobby of the Menier Chocolate Factory a couple of hours before the first preview. I was last here in February for the start of rehearsals. In the time since, I’ve made a handful of, one hopes, helpful adjustments to the...

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Nachtland, Young Vic review - German black comedy brings uneasy humour and discomfiting relevance

If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came to mind more than once during Patrick Marber’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2022 play, Nachtland. I know it’s...

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Andy Parsons, Touring review - reasons to be cheerful...

In the middle of another age of austerity, a climate crisis and seemingly intractable international conflicts, it's cheering that a comic should tour with a show called Bafflingly Optimistic. Even more so when that comedian is Andy Parsons, whose...

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The Big Life, Stratford East review - musical brings the joy and honours the past

Is there a healthier sound than that of laughter ringing round a theatre? There are plenty of opportunities to test that theory in Tinuke Craig’s riotous revival of The Big Life, two decades on from its first run at this very venue. Much has...

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Samuel Takes a Break... in Male Dungeon No. 5 after a long but generally successful day of tours, The Yard Theatre review - funny and thought-provoking

You do not need to be Einstein to feel it. If the only dimension missing is time, 75% of a place’s identity can invade your very being, hollow you out, replace your soul with a void. It happened to me at Auschwitz and it’s happening to Samuel at...

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Just For One Day, The Old Vic review - clunky scenes and self-conscious exposition between great songs

So, a jukebox musical celebrating the apotheosis of the White Saviour, the ultimate carnival of rock stars’ self-aggrandisement and the Boomers’ biggest bonanza of feelgood posturing? One is tempted to stand opposite The Old Vic, point at the...

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Barbara Kruger, Serpentine Gallery review - clever, funny and chilling installations

American artist Barbara Kruger started out as a graphic designer working in advertising, and it shows. Her sharp design skills and acute visual intelligence now produce funny, clever and thought provoking installations in which words and pictures...

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The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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Album: Gruff Rhys - Sadness Sets Me Free

Halfway through this album, “They Sold My Home to Build a Skyscraper” unlocks it. On first listen I’d been nodding along with the first few songs, enjoying how they find glimmers of more or less forlorn hope in amongst sadness and middle-aged...

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Kin, National Theatre review - heartfelt show makes its demands, but yields its rewards

Waiting in the National Theatre’s foyer on press night, a space teeming with people speaking different languages, boasting different heritages – London in other words – news came through that leading members of the government had resigned because...

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