mon 22/07/2019

royalty

Charles I: Downfall of a King, BBC Four review - beheaded monarch upstaged by exotic presenter

“I want to discover how our government could fall apart and the country become bitterly divided in just a few weeks,” historian Lisa Hilton announced at the start of her BBC Four account of the traumatic demise of Charles I. In a mere 50 days in...

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Her Majesty's Cavalry, ITV review - my kingdom for a horse

If you should happen to be loitering in London’s Knightsbridge at 4am, don’t panic if you find yourself surrounded by the massed horsemen of the Household Cavalry. When they need to rehearse for great occasions like the Queen’s birthday, they can...

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Victoria, Series 3, ITV review - can Her Maj cope with the Age of Revolution?

 ITV has an enviable knack for creating populist historical costume dramas which never seem to wear out, despite a million rotations on ITV3. Once everybody had got over the shock of a young and glamorous Queen Victoria, who had previously...

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Un ballo in maschera, Welsh National Opera review - opera as brilliant self-parody

Why is Un Ballo in maschera not as popular as the trio of Verdi masterpieces – Rigoletto, Traviata, Trovatore – that, with a couple of digressions, preceded it in the early 1850s? Its music is scarcely less brilliant than theirs, and if its plot is...

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Mary Queen of Scots review - Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie excel

Very much a woman of today, the Catholic Stuart heroine (Saoirse Ronan) of Mary Queen of Scots frequently hacks her way out of a thicket of power-hungry males, enjoys it when her English suitor Lord Darnley (Jack Lowden) goes down on her, and is...

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Queen of the World, ITV review - born to run and run

Awesome numbers: over a million miles, the equivalent of 42 times around the globe, have been traversed by Her Majesty the Queen, enabling visits over the past seven decades or so to 117 different countries. No one has reigned longer nor travelled...

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The King and I, London Palladium review - classic musical reborn with modern sensibilities

Shall we dodge? (One, two, three) No, the brilliance of Bartlett Sher’s Tony-winning Lincoln Center revival – first on Broadway in 2015, now gracing the West End, with its original leads – is that it faces the problematic elements of Rodgers...

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Lessons in Love and Violence, Royal Opera review - savage elegance never quite glows red-hot

A rope is mercy; a razor-blade to the throat, a kiss; a red-hot poker… But, of course, we never get anything so literal as the poker in George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s elegant, insinuating retelling of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II. The title...

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The Queen's Green Planet, ITV review - right royal arboreals

QCC isn’t the name of a new football club, nor some higher qualification for those toiling at the Bar, but stands for "Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy". Had you heard of it? On the eve of the Commonwealth conference, along came Jane Treays's gently...

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Charles I: King and Collector, Royal Academy review - a well executed display of taste

Titian! Mantegna!  Rubens! Dürer! Veronese! Van Dyck! Raphael! Velazquez! About 140 works which were once part of Charles I’s 2,000-strong collection are reunited in a sumptuous collaboration between the Royal Academy and the Royal Collection....

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DVD: The King's Choice

It’s fascinating to compare this Norwegian film, which despite being Oscar-nominated (it made the Best Foreign Film shortlist of nine, but not the final five) has slipped out without a cinema release in the UK, with Darkest Hour. Set over a crucial...

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Art, Passion and Power: The Story of the Royal Collection, BBC Four review - monarchs knew the power of the portrait

Henry VIII had a troubled marital history and Charles I lost his head, but both have also gone down in history as original, innovative and obsessive collectors of art, founders in different ways of what is now one of the world’s greatest...

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