wed 30/09/2020

school

Selah and the Spades, Amazon Prime review - boarding-school cliques go gangster

“They always try to break you down when you’re 17,” says queen bee Selah (Lovie Simone) in Tayarisha Poe’s impressive directorial debut. As leader of the Spades, one of the five Mafia-style ruling factions in the exclusive Haldwell boarding-school...

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Jane Eyre, National Theatre at Home review - a fiery feminist adaptation

The National Theatre’s online broadcasts got off to a storming start with One Man, Two Guvnors – watched by over 2.5 million people, either on the night or in the week since its live streaming, and raising around £66,000 in donations. Let’s hope...

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System Crasher review – a compelling portrait of childhood violence and pain

Benni, the central character in German writer-director Nora Fingscheidt's haunting new film, has a life of tragedy and violence. She’s the product of a dysfunctional family and an abusive childhood that has left her rage-ridden and incapable of...

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Be More Chill, The Other Palace review - more exhausting than enlightening

This latest musical theatre exercise in “geek chic” has been an American phenomenon: a show propelled by social media that developed a rabid fan base taking it all the way to Broadway last year. And here Be More Chill now is in London at The Other...

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Sex Education, Series 2, Netflix review - the teen sex show we deserved

Netflix’s Sex Education has returned to our screens and streams. The show made waves last year for its refreshing take on the teen comedy-drama. It took on abortion, consent and female pleasure — subjects strikingly absent from our actual high...

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Rosamund Lupton: Three Hours review - gripping thriller with a Macbeth twist

This is not a drill. Lock down, evacuation. An active school shooter is on the loose, actually more than one: two or three men in balaclavas with automatic shotguns. But this isn’t a high school or college in the USA – it’s in Somerset, England. A...

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Teenage Dick, Donmar Warehouse review - a fearlessly acted, well-intentioned mess

If good intentions were everything, Teenage Dick would be the play of the year. As it is, this British premiere at the Donmar of an Off Broadway entry from summer 2018 grants centre-stage, and not before time, to two disabled actors, one of whom...

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Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre review - this social outcast will steal your heart

Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen is an institution in the States, running on Broadway since 2016 and currently on its second year of a national tour. It also made a star...

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Groan Ups, Vaudeville Theatre review - adding ambition and emotion to the mix

If ambition were all, Groan Ups would get an A*. Marking the first of a very welcome three-show residency at the Vaudeville Theatre, this latest from the cheerfully unstoppable Mischief Theatre tethers the japery we have come to expect from the team...

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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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