sat 05/12/2020

tragedy

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: The Mountains Sing review - a lyrical account of Việt Nam’s brutal past

“The challenges of the Vietnamese people throughout history are as tall as the tallest mountains. If you stand too close, you won’t be able to see their peaks. Once you step away from the currents of life, you will have the full view…” This is the...

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Elektra, Salzburg Festival, Arte review - distancing, but not in the physical sense

So much for the assertion that nowhere in the world would be staging the big Strauss and Wagner operas for the indefinite future. With a combination of lavish funding and good pandemic management on Austria's part, it’s been possible in Salzburg....

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Theatre Unlocked 2: A starry premiere and musical revival alongside Greek tragedy where it began

Theatres will begin gently unlocking their doors as we head into August. In the meantime, a beleaguered community continues to find fresh and startling ways to sustain interest and excitement, whether that be the premiere of a new play starring...

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Blueprint Medea, Finborough Theatre online review – well-meaning but clunky update

Medea is the original crazy ex-girlfriend: the wronged woman who takes perfectly understandable revenge on the man who made her life hell. In Blueprint Medea, a new adaptation premiered at the Finborough Theatre in May 2019 and available on YouTube...

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Marieke Lucas Rijneveld: The Discomfort of Evening review - lovelessness, loneliness, bodies and their limits

“I was ten and stopped taking off my coat.” This bare beginning marks the opening of Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s startling and lyrical novel, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison: an introduction to ten-year-old Jas and the dislocated world...

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Women Beware Women, Shakespeare's Globe, review – wittily toxic upgrade of a Jacobean tragedy

This raunchy, gleefully cynical production takes one of Thomas Middleton’s most famous tragedies and turns it into a Netflix-worthy dark comedy. Where the themes of incest, betrayal, cougar-action and multiple murder would be spun out over several...

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The Accident, Series Finale, Channel 4 review - ambitious mini-series leaves many unanswered questions

Channel 4’s The Accident closed with a bang and a whimper. Jack Thorne provided a definitive answer to his series’ central question, but his characters and subplots petered out in the meantime.Over four episodes, this series examined the fallout of...

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Medea, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Barbican review - lacerating contemporary tragedy

Hallucinatory theatre has struck quite a few times in the Barbican's international seasons. On an epic scale we’ve had the Shakespeare compendiums Kings of War and Roman Tragedies from Toneelgroep Amsterdam, newly merged with the city's...

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The Son, Kiln Theatre review - darkly tragic

Well, you have to give it to French playwright Florian Zeller — he's certainly cracked the problem of coming up with a name for each of his plays. Basically, choose a common noun and put the definite article in front of it. His latest, The Son, is...

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Gianni Schicchi/Suor Angelica, RNCM, Manchester review – music does the magic

The Royal Northern College of Music’s December opera production was the useful double bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi from Puccini’s Trittico. I say useful, because the former employs a women’s chorus (and, briefly, a full one) plus 16...

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Simon Boccanegra, Royal Opera review - a timely revival of Verdi's political music-drama

Political machinations and backroom power-brokering, leadership battles and unscrupulous rivals – if ever there was an opera for this week it’s Simon Boccanegra. Premiered in 1857 but only coming into its own after substantial revisions in 1881,...

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Romeo and Juliet, Barbican review - plenty of action but not enough words

It’s clear from the start – from a Prologue that quickly dissolves familiar rhythms and words into a Babel of clamour and sound. This RSC Romeo and Juliet, newly transferred to the Barbican, isn’t much interested in what is said. Actions not words...

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