sun 18/08/2019

school

Education, Education, Education, Trafalgar Studios review - politics and pupils, mayhem and music

It's the 2nd May 1997, the morning after the night that swept New Labour into power. We’re in the staffroom of a school somewhere in Britain and the teachers are jubilant. They've been glued to their TV sets for the results and have shagged and...

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Old Boys review - short but not especially sweet

How does the ever cherub-cheeked Alex Lawther keep getting served in pubs? That question crossed my mind during the more leisurely portions of Old Boys, an overextended English schoolboy revamp of Cyrano de Bergerac that flags just when it most...

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Parents' Evening, Jermyn Street Theatre - chemistry so negligible it's antiseptic

The playwright Bathsheba Doran has blazed a stellar trail ever since graduating from Cambridge at the same time as David Mitchell and Robert Webb. After writing for them on the sketch show Bruiser, she earned her spurs as a comedy writer on Smack...

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Heathers The Musical, Theatre Royal Haymarket review - a sardonic take on teen angst

This London premiere of Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe’s 2010 musical (based on Daniel Waters’ oh-so-Eighties cult classic movie, starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder) had a development period at The Other Palace – no critics allowed...

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Pin Cushion review - a twisted fable of daydreams and bullies

On the surface, Pin Cushion is a whimsical British indie, packed with imagination and charm. But debuting director Deborah Haywood builds this on a foundation of bullying and prejudice, creating a surprisingly bleak yet effective film.Teenager Iona...

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Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

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Blu-ray: Carrie

As we reach December, the year of Stephen King comes to a close with this 4K Blu-ray restoration of his very first film adaptation: Carrie. It was the first major success for Brian De Palma, Sissy Spacek and John Travolta, but how does the original...

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Educating Greater Manchester, Channel 4 review - a study of hope, humanity and heart

Cast your minds back, if you will, to 2011. Remember Jamie Oliver’s Celebrity Fight School? I think that was the title… in any case, it was an astonishing vanity project which seemed to suggest that the reason so many kids were being failed by...

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No More Boys and Girls, BBC Two – baby steps lead to great leaps for children

Whether it’s the £400,000 that separates Mishal Husain from John Humphrys, or the 74 million miles between the metaphorical markers of Venus and Mars, there is a gulf between the genders. Despite legislation to enforce equality, the reality is...

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Ackley Bridge, Channel 4 review – can the town's new academy bring racial and social harmony?

Welcome to Ackley Bridge Academy, home of a new Channel 4 drama and a new amalgam of two segregated schools in a Yorkshire mill town setting out to prove itself “a new school with a new attitude”. This, at least, is the vision of new headteacher...

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Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour review - West End transfer hits all the right notes

Sacred and profane, trivial and profound blissfully combine in this irresistible, Olivier Award-winning tale of choirgirls gone wild. Lee Hall, of Billy Elliot fame, adapts Alan Warner’s 1998 novel with a similarly shrewd grasp of youthful hope...

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Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios

There's something to be said for encountering a playwright fresh out of the starting gate. Since his debut play Speech & Debate premiered Off Broadway almost a decade ago, Stephen Karam has gone on to write two altogether wonderful plays, the...

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