thu 02/04/2020

Scotland

The Croft, Original Theatre online review – give me the remote

With everyone in lockdown, observing physical if not social distancing, a story about isolation can have a particular resonance. And there are few places in the UK that are as isolated as some parts of the Scottish Highlands. Ali Milles’s tartan...

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The Whalebone Box review - documentary through unreliable surrealism

The UK-wide lockdown has thrown the cinematic release schedule into chaos. Some films are postponed indefinitely, while others have opted for direct digital releases. It’s not ideal for anyone, but in a strange way it may play to The Whalebone Box’s...

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Run review – wheels on fire in Scotland

Run is the story of disgruntled 36-ish Finnie (Mark Stanley), a big, dour worker in a fish processing plant in the Aberdeenshire port of Fraserburgh – writer-director Scott Graham’s hometown. Long married to his onetime high-school sweetheart Katie...

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Halsey, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - a pop star with plenty of personality

There is something enjoyably spikey about Halsey, even when she is adhering to pop convention. At one stage she told the crowd how good they looked, before dryly adding it was praise they wouldn’t have heard before. These are brave words when...

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Lewis Capaldi, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - triumphant homecoming from Brit-conquering hero

Critical and commercial success haven’t gone to the head of Lewis Capaldi. The 23-year-old opened his first of two sold-out nights at Glasgow’s 14,000-capacity enormodrome – booked when he was yet to release his debut album – with a video montage...

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SCO, Emelyanychev, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - Beethoven at too insistent a lick

Fast is fine in Beethoven, so long as you find breathing-spaces, expressive lines and crisp articulation within it. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's febrile new chief conductor, Maxim Emelyanychev, started the "Pastoral" Symphony last night with a...

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Nixon in China, Scottish Opera - musical chatter, poetic banality

Scotland was at the cutting edge of culture in 1988, when the Edinburgh International Festival hosted the UK premiere of Nixon in China in the Houston Grand Opera production at the cavernous Playhouse. John Adams’ first opera, documenting the...

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Jonas Brothers, SSE Hydro, Glasgow - reunited siblings look to the future with slick show

No matter how much the Jonas Brothers try, they can’t totally escape the mouse. Commercials for new Disney TV shows flashed up onscreen not long before the siblings took to the stage, and although the trio’s days of appearing in such fare are long...

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Celtic Connections 2020, Glasgow review - Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and Roaming Roots Revue celebrate joy of collaboration

While there’s usually something for everybody on the Celtic Connections festival programme, where Glasgow’s midwinter festival tends to shine is in its collaborations and special events. Over the past 18 days the city has hosted folk icon Peggy...

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Classical CDs Weekly: William Mathias, Vaughan Williams, Judith Weir

 William Mathias: Choral Music St John’s Voices, The Gentlemen of St John’s, Graham Walker (director) (Naxos)I've a soft spot for neglected instruments, so any CD which includes a credit for chime bars is all right with me. Here they're...

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Francine Toon: Pine review – trauma and terror in the Highlands

Supernatural and Gothic stories have always haunted the misty borderlands between high and popular culture. The finest manage to hover between page-turning genre tales and what counts as respectable or “literary” fiction. This place in a perpetual...

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Deadwater Fell, Channel 4 review - dark murder mystery in a Scottish village

An idyllic Scottish classroom full of happy children making sponge paintings of flowers with two enthusiastic young teachers – clearly, doom is in the air. Here comes that sense of dread again a little later at a ceilidh in a village hall, with...

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