thu 29/07/2021

Wales

Under Milk Wood, National Theatre review - Michael Sheen at his most magnetic

There's commanding, and then there's Michael Sheen, who sweeps on to the Olivier stage 15 minutes or so into the new National Theatre revival of Under Milk Wood and scoops up the entire production with it. Inheriting a role made to order for this...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Sunshine Theatre

Sunshine Theatre were based around Aberdare in South Wales. In 1971, they recorded their only single. Fifty copies of “Mountain” / “I Want” were pressed. The quartet also used the name Albert and gigged with fellow Welsh outfits Budgie and Man. In...

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Album: Tom Jones - Surrounded by Time

“I'm growing old,” laments Tom Jones as his 40th studio album draws to a close. Sir Tom is “growing dimmer in the eyes” and “drowsy in my chair”. These blunt observations are not sugared with the mordant humour that, say, Randy Newman or the late...

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Keeping Faith, Series 3, BBC One review - is the drama turning to melodrama?

After arriving with a bang in 2018, Keeping Faith (BBC One) disappointed many (though not all) of its fans with 2019’s second series. It’s had a bit of a breather before this third – and final – series, first seen in its Welsh version Un Bore...

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Roald and Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, Sky One review – twinkly tale for troubled times

They say "never meet your heroes". That may be true, but it forms the premise of a new TV drama concerning two of the world’s most famous children’s authors – Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl – who encounter each other at opposite ends of their life....

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Brecon Baroque, Podger, Brecon Cathedral online review - Bach recoloured

Bach’s Goldberg Variations, written for harpsichord in about 1741 supposedly (or perhaps not) for a certain Johann Goldberg to play to the insomniac Count Keyserlingk, have enjoyed – or suffered – countless arrangements for other instruments,...

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First Person: harpsichordist Chad Kelly on reimagining Bach's Goldberg Variations

As musicians took tentative steps into the unfamiliar world of PPE, socially-distanced rehearsals and audiences watching from home on a computer screen, a common water-cooler question was, “What did you do during lockdown?”.  I am grateful to...

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A Special School, BBC Wales review - heartwarming film about special needs education

This warm-hearted and informative documentary series about life in a Welsh special education school probably isn’t going to be a ratings buster for the BBC, but it’s one of the most touching and well-made shows I’ve seen in a long time.A Special...

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Album: James Dean Bradfield - Even In Exile

One of the most evocative tracks on James Dean Bradfield’s second solo album is hardly his at all. The Manic Street Preacher takes “La Partida”, a haunting, finger-picked melody by the Chilean musician Victor Jara, and blows it up to the size of an...

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The Village, ITV review - the weird and wonderful micro-climate of Portmeirion

Portmeirion, the Italianate village created by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis on the River Dwyryd estuary, might have been designed to provide the perfect surreal setting for the 1967 TV series The Prisoner. But though it resembles an opium...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Ives, Shchedrin, Veprik

 Ives: Symphonies 3&4 San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas (SFS Media)Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 3, subtitled ‘The Camp Meeting’, was completed in 1911 but waited until 1946 for its premiere, long after Ives had given up...

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Stereophonics, Brighton Centre review - can't buy a thrill

Stereophonics climbed out of Cwmaman in the South Wales valleys minus charisma, musical originality or excitement. They make rock music that is conservative and unriotous, offering comfort not commotion. And yet their solid, straightforward...

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