tue 25/06/2024

psychoanalysis

Freud's Last Session review - Freud and CS Lewis search for meaning in 1939

How can it be part of God’s plan to allow so much pain and suffering in the world, asks Sigmund Freud (Anthony Hopkins) of a young Oxford don, CS Lewis (Matthew Goode). His daughter Sophie died of the Spanish flu, his grandson, aged only five, of TB...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - 21st century interpretation delivers food for thought

Detective Chief Inspector Othello leads a quasi-paramilitary team of Metropolitan Police officers investigating gang activity in Docklands. With a chequered past now behind him, he has reformed and has the respect of both the team he leads and his...

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Marie Darrieussecq: Sleepless review - in search of lost sleep

“I lost sleep.” So begins Marie Darrieussecq’s elegantly fitful book, Sleepless, now perceptively translated into English by Penny Hueston. The sentence, suspended against the page’s whiteness, a clause unto itself, is simple, short, and...

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Duet for One, Orange Tree Theatre review - poignant two-hander gets an updated reprise

This 1981 two-hander was opened out for a film in 1986, starring Julie Andrews no less, with all its offstage characters given screen life. Thankfully it has been shrunk back to its original dimensions, with added modern ornamentation for this...

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'I let it emerge': an interview with Fiona Benson on the cusp of the TS Eliot Prize announcement

Fiona Benson’s new collection of poems, Ephemeron (Jonathan Cape, 2022), tries to capture those things that are always moving out of grasp. It does this through four sections: the first, “Insect Love Songs”, thrums with a lyric transience, zeroing-...

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The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - wild trip gets a welcome revival

Lisa has lost an hour in a (somewhat contrived) temporal glitch. As a consequence, her world is always sliding off-kilter, not quite making sense, things floating in and out of memory. A watchmaker (himself somewhat loosely tethered to reality)...

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First Person: Christina McMaster - seeking musical cures for modern malaise

In 2020, during a gentle easing of lockdown restrictions, I was asked to play for the Culture Clinic sessions at Kings Place, a creative initiative where small groups of up to six people could book a ticket for a private, personally tailored...

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Shining City, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - occasional sluggishness alongside a true star turn

When Brendan Coyle, playing a modestly magnetic widower and sales rep called John in this revival of Conor McPherson's 2004 play Shining City, first appears on stage, he looks thoroughly bewildered. His eyes dart back and forth as he initially...

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Sebastian Faulks: Snow Country review - insects under a stone

Historical fiction – perhaps all fiction – presents its authors with the problem of how to convey contextual information that is external to the plot but necessary to the reader’s understanding of it.Some authors supply an omniscient third-person...

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The Reason I Jump review - compelling and controversial

Back in 2017, a non-speaking autistic teen, Naoki Higashida wrote and published The Reason I Jump. He hoped it would offer some insight into the minds of people with autism. The book was subsequently translated by Keiko Yoshida and her husband,...

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Shirley review - hothouse art film about American horror writer

Shirley is one of those films that the mood you’re in when you watch it will dictate whether you think it’s a great psychological horror movie or overheated and pretentious. Go to the cinema wanting to be plunged into a fever dream of gothic...

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Freud, Netflix review - hysteria and horror

Anyone expecting, as I was, a reverend and slightly earnest miniseries about Sigmund Freud's early professional years will be in for a surprise, and mostly in a good way. This, in short, is horror-schlock directed by Austrian specialist in the genre...

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