wed 21/11/2018

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention. Apostasy ★★★★ Unquestioning faith fractures in a quietly...

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The Hoes, Hampstead Theatre review - sex and drink and grime

Because of the #MeToo movement, and the revival of feminist protest, the theme of sisterhood now has a much stronger cultural presence than at the start of the decade. It seems to be a great time to be a female playwright, and Ifeyinwa Frederick's...

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Juliana, Nova Music Opera, St John's Smith Square review - new version of a classic drama

Joseph Phibbs is not the first composer to make an opera out of Strindberg’s Miss Julie, and it is not difficult to see the operatic appeal of this taut, passionate three-handed drama. But there are also hazards: my recollections of the play,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Comfort of Strangers

“There’s a lot of weirdness I didn’t want explained,” Paul Schrader reveals at one point in a new director’s commentary to his 1990 film. He certainly succeeded on that score: with its script by Harold Pinter (adapting Ian McEwan’s elliptical 1981...

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The Bisexual, Channel 4 review - joyless comedy drama

Write about what you know, every nascent novelist is told. So you can't fault writer/director/actor Desiree Akhavan, Iranian-American creator of Appropriate Behaviour (2015) and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018), which explore divergent...

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Tehran Taboo review - transgressive animation

For all the bleakness of its subject matter, there’s considerable exhilaration to Ali Soozandeh’s animation feature Tehran Taboo. That’s due, in part, to the film’s breaking of many of the official “rules” of Iranian society, the myths of the...

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CD: Prince - Piano and a Microphone 1983

Knowing a deceased artist's archives are available for re-release is a double-edged sword. Will there be a shoddy flood of any and every old bit of tat a la Jimi Hendrix? Will there be half-arsed, half-finished and even fake songs bodged together by...

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Wanderlust, BBC One review - an unflinching look at stale sex

What signals the end of a relationship? The loss of attraction? Infidelity? Or is it, as Wanderlust explores, something more innocuous? The opening episode of BBC One's latest show packed in enough domestic drama to sustain most series, but found...

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Edinburgh Fringe 2018: Rose Matafeo review

As we enter the venue, Rose Matafeo is playing a game of mini table tennis with a member of the audience. Nothing that follows seems to relate to this “just a bit of fun to start the show” – but, trust me, it's one of the cleverest bits of...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: La maladie de la mort / The End of Eddy

 La maladie de la mort ★★★  Toxic masculinity in all its appalling variety is a hot topic across Edinburgh’s festivals this year – just check out Daughter at CanadaHub and even Ulster American at the Traverse for two particularly...

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The Receptionist – London’s underground sex industry laid bare

When director Jenny Lu graduated from university, the promise of a big city career quickly turned into a series of rejections. Around this time, a close friend of hers committed suicide by jumping off a bridge – unbeknownst to their circle of...

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The Town Hall Affair, The Wooster Group, Barbican review - electric anarchy

Iconoclasm, orgasms, and rampant rhetoric are all on irrepressible display in The Wooster Group’s recreation of the 1971 Manhattan debate that pitted Norman Mailer against some of the leading feminists of the day. The evening proved almost as...

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