mon 20/01/2020

Wales

This Is Our Family, Sky Atlantic review - can Emma and Tony live happily ever after?

Sky Atlantic is usually where you go for big-hitting dramas, so this quartet of observational documentaries is an unexpected development. Each film follows a single family over three years, and each family faces particular challenges.In this opener...

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Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special, BBC One - a big cwtch from Barry

What joy to be back with the Shipman and West families, created by writing team James Corden and Ruth Jones. It has been 10 years since sitcom Gavin & Stacey left our screens, and in this Christmas special there was some catching up to do as the...

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Pink Wall review - scattered scenes from a tortuous relationship

What Jenna (Tatiana Maslany, star of Orphan Black), likes doing is wrangling and coordinating, not creating – she hates that - which makes for a refreshing change in a heroine. Her new boyfriend Leon (Jay Duplass, pictured below, of the Duplass...

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The Wind of Heaven, Finborough Theatre review - a welcome, if strange, Emlyn Williams rediscovery

This is the third Emlyn Williams piece to be presented here in a decade: The Druid's Rest in 2009 was followed by the enormous success of Accolade, directed by Blanche McIntyre, two years later.If it's a truism that neglected plays may well have...

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Mrs Peachum's Guide to Love and Marriage, Mid Wales Opera review - scaled down seediness, with a swing

The Beggar’s Opera: does any piece of music theatre promise more fun and deliver more tedium? Yes, it was the satirical smash of 1728; yes, it inspired Brecht and Weill; yes, with its combination of popular melodies and a topical script it was...

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A Prayer for Wings, King's Head Theatre review - claustrophobic mother-daughter drama soars

When Sean Mathias wrote A Prayer for Wings 35 years ago, the subject of young carers devoting their lives to parents with disabilities had just come as a revelation. That it's still very much a shame under another Tory government keeps this play...

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On Bear Ridge, Royal Court review - Rhys Ifans's tragicomic masterclass

Memory involves places, people, things and words, especially words. This abstract proposition is given knotty life in Welsh playwright Ed Thomas's extraordinary new play, On Bear Ridge, which comes to the Royal Court after opening at the Sherman...

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Podger, Brecon Baroque, Hollingworth, Brecon Cathedral review - Bohemian footnotes yield the extraordinary

One of the more harmless pastimes of us retired academics is rummaging around among the so-called minor contemporaries of great and famous composers. It often turns out that quite a few of them aren’t minor at all, or at least not minor enough to...

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The Accident, Channel 4 review - Sarah Lancashire leads another bleak but gripping drama

I wouldn’t want to live in Jack Thorne’s head. Nor Sarah Lancashire’s, for that matter. The Accident is Thorne’s latest four-part drama, and the final instalment in his grim and gripping trilogy of shows for Channel 4. The Accident’s predecessors...

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Niall Griffiths: Broken Ghost review - Welsh visions of hope and loss

The trend-hopping taste-makers who run British literary publishing have lately decided that “working-class” writing merits a small dole of their precious time and cash. To assess how long this latest patronising fad may last, check out the...

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Keeping Faith, Episode 4 Series 2, BBC One review - murders aplenty

Life on the Welsh coast isn’t getting any easier: defendant Madlen was found guilty of murder, husband Evan was coming home from prison, and Faith had just given Steve Baldini a rather uncomfortable snog on the beach. She’s probably pining for that...

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Keeping Faith, Series 2, BBC One review - family misfortunes

It was a year ago that BBC One scored a smash hit with the first series of Keeping Faith, but as series two opens 18 months have passed since Faith Howells’s husband Evan (Bradley Freegard) disappeared and triggered a traumatic chain reaction of...

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