sat 24/08/2019

Victorian

Brighton Festival: Stella, Theatre Royal

A Victorian transgender celebrity is a fitting and timely subject for this Brighton Festival premiere. Writer-director Neil Bartlett turns Stella’s scandalous life into a stark horror story, marked by the regular, jarring crash of glass which sounds...

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Frankenstein, Royal Ballet

Another year, another new full-length story ballet from one of the Royal Ballet's in-house choreographers. Time was – a long time, in fact, up to 2011 – when that would have sounded like science fiction, but no longer: Liam Scarlett, whose...

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The Little Match Girl, Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre

I habitually skipped over Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Girl in my childhood fairy tale compendium because I couldn't bear the sadness (see also: The Happy Prince *sob*). Parents of sensitive children will therefore be relieved to know that...

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Tipping the Velvet, Lyric Hammersmith

Theatre is in the very bones of this bold adaptation, with the Lyric gifted a cameo role: past productions are fleetingly pastiched in a flashback to the era of the venue’s foundation. Laura Wade and Lyndsey Turner translate the vividly...

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Lady Anna: All At Sea, Park Theatre

If you were expecting a fusty, formal adaptation of Anthony Trollope – and one of his least known novels, to boot – Lady Anna: All At Sea will come as a breath of fresh air. Colin Blumenau’s production of Craig Baxter’s play, based loosely around...

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Linneaus Tripe, Victoria & Albert Museum

Linnaeus Tripe? Shades of a minor character in Dickens or Trollope, but in fact the resoundingly named Tripe (1822-1902) was an army officer and photographer, the sixth son and ninth child of a professional middle-class family from Devonport, his...

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Richard Dadd: The Art of Bedlam, Watts Gallery

The Watts Gallery in rural Surrey is a very genteel setting for a show by a figure who for most of his life was denied polite society. Richard Dadd spent 42 years in mental hospitals, first at Bethlem, then Broadmoor.  As one can infer, he was...

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Bloodborne

Should games be challenging? One of the perennial design challenges of videogames. Make a game too tough and you'll put people off; make it too easy and you'll offer no interest. And then there's the tricky issue of individuals having vastly...

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Sculpture Victorious, Tate Britain

Recent attitudes to Victorian Britain have changed radically. The popular view used to be of a period filled with a kind of smug imperial confidence, underwritten by the increasing wealth of the industrial age. This ingrained assumption was perhaps...

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Sunless Sea

The gloom of Victorian London might be shared with The Order: 1886, also reviewed this week, but the games couldn't be further apart. In Sunless Sea, you play a nautical captain, navigating the "Unterzee" of the waters surrounding a fallen,...

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The Order: 1886

In terms of atmosphere, The Order: 1886 wins out in spades. It's just everywhere else that it falls down, unfortunately.Sneaking through the Ripper-stalked streets of an alternative Victorian Whitechapel, you can almost smell the stink of the slums...

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Whitworth Art Gallery Reopens with a Meteoric Bang

The Whitworth Art Gallery was showered with meteors in a spectacle devised by the artist Cornelia Parker on its reopening weekend – appropriately Valentine’s Day. The £15m project (architects MUMA) has doubled the exhibition spaces, reclaimed the...

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