tue 16/10/2018

World War One

Square Rounds, Finborough Theatre review - the science behind warfare, told in verse

The title of Tony Harrison's teacherly entertainment – it can't be called a play – refers to the square bullets invented by James Puckle to kill Muslims in the 18th century. This shocking morsel of information is provided by the brothers Hiram and...

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Prom 72, War Requiem, RSNO, Oundjian review - the pity, and the spectacle, of war

A day after John Eliot Gardiner and wandering violist Antoine Tamestit had converted the Royal Albert Hall into a sonic map of Hector Berlioz’s Italy, conductor Peter Oundjian and his full-strength divisions transported us to the Western Front....

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The Guardians review - beautifully crafted drama

A slow tracking shot over the gassed corpses of soldiers, their masks having failed the ecstasy of fumbling, opens The Guardians. This French art house film would perhaps have been better served by the English title The Caretakers; it's...

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Proms at...Roundhouse / Proms 9 & 11 review - rituals from Messiaen to Mahler

Once the Proms season is under way, you soon regret dissing the prospectus. Connections become apparent, long-term programming a merit, especially this weekend just gone, which took us from elegies and meditations on two world wars heavenwards at...

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CD: Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator

System of a Down guitarist and vocalist Daron Malakian isn’t going to let a little thing like his band going on an extended hiatus get in the way of releasing new music. With SOAD having gone all quiet on the recording front since 2005’s double...

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Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One, Tate Britain review - all in the mind

Not far into Aftermath, Tate Britain’s new exhibition looking at how the experience of World War One shaped artists working in its wake, hangs a group of photographs by Pierre Anthony-Thouret depicting the damage inflicted on Reims. Heavy censorship...

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Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - ensemble playing at its best

This exuberant production both clarifies and further complicates the conundrum of Peter Pan. In any production true to Barrie there is an underpinning of sadness, an acknowledgement of the losses we must all suffer: children leave home and adult...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Brighton Festival review - a dynamic dedication to an artist's muse

They say that behind every successful man is a strong woman. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is as much – if not more so – the championing of the unsung hero in this story of the famous early modernist artist, Marc Chagall. His wife, Bella – early muse...

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Journey's End review - requiem for the poor bloody infantry

With Dunkirk and Darkest Hour threatening to storm the Oscars, it seems there’s suddenly plenty of mileage in portraits of the British at war. There have been several film and TV versions of RC Sherriff’s World War One play, Journey’s End, since it...

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Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time, BBC One review – a defiantly small and personal goodbye

And so, with one last speech on the importance of kindness, Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat bid farewell to the TARDIS. In their final Doctor Who episode, Twice Upon a Time subverted expectations with a small, sweet adventure which valued character...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brahms, Granados, Steven Isserlis

 Brahms: Symphony No. 2, Tragic Overture, Academic Festival Overture Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi (RCA)Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie’s scintillating Beethoven cycle hasn't received the acclaim it deserves in...

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Goodbye Christopher Robin review - no escape for a boy and his bear

“Isn’t it funny/How a bear likes honey?/Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!/I wonder why he does.” Those immortal words, said by the bear of very little brain in chapter one of Winnie-the-Pooh, don’t sound quite the same after watching a shell-shocked AA Milne (...

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