fri 15/01/2021

Reviews

Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Matt Wolf

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots.

Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Robert Beale

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film.

Dear Comrades! review - Andrei Konchalovsky...

Tom Birchenough

Veteran Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky has gone back to his beginnings for his latest film. The real-life events on which Dear Comrades! is...

One Night in Miami review - black history come...

Joseph Walsh

In 1964, Cassius Clay, NFL superstar Jim Nathaniel Brown, soul legend Sam Cooke and political firebrand Malcolm X gathered for one night in a dingy...

The Soldier's Tale, Scottish Chamber...

David Nice

Born in exigency at the end of the First World War and soon kiboshed by the Spanish flu, The Soldier’s Tale as originally conceived is a tricky...

Peter Pan: The Audio Adventure review - the perfect bedtime story

Laura De Lisle

Sharon D Clarke and Olivia Colman sparkle in delightful radio play in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital

Mark Fisher: Postcapitalist Desire - The Final Lectures review - imagining the alternative

Daniel Baksi

An eye-opening exploration of the relationship between capitalism and desire

Julia Bell: Radical Attention review - a clear rendering of our withering attention spans

Lydia Bunt

Bell’s essay is timely and insightful, but how radical can small acts really be?

Dick Whittington, National Theatre at Home review - colourful and amiable entertainment

Veronica Lee

Free stream of the NT's Covid-affected pantomime

Spiral, Series 8, BBC Four review - dark days in the City of Light

Adam Sweeting

Final series of the show that's more than just a 'policier'

Reissue CDs Weekly: Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Kieron Tyler

Live recordings where the jazz great wouldn’t ‘tone down his performance to meet the audience’s tastes’

Pieces of a Woman review - a home birth ends in tragedy

Markie Robson-Scott

Vanessa Kirby excels in devastating exploration of grief and loss

Sing Me a Song review - beautiful but devastatingly sad

Sarah Kent

A lost soul personifies a society in crisis

Gabrieli Consort, McCreesh online review - joyous Bach Christmas Oratorio

Bernard Hughes

Pared-down reading makes for an immersive experience

Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie, Sky Documentaries review - the classic motor racing film that never was

Adam Sweeting

How fate conspired against the car-crazy star's Formula One movie

George Saunders: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain review – Russian lessons in literature and life

Boyd Tonkin

A visionary engineer gets under the bonnet of great fiction

Comedy podcasts round-up 2: from home and abroad

Veronica Lee

Lively chat, masterful spoofing and behind-the-scenes fun

Courttia Newland: A River Called Time review - an ethereality check

Charlie Stone

Picturing a world without the legacies of colonialism and slavery

The Great, Channel 4 review - Russian history gets a whirl in the fictional blender

Adam Sweeting

Screenwriter Tony McNamara refuses to let the facts stand in his way

Reissue CDs Weekly: Lost Innocence - Garpax 1960s Punk & Psych

Kieron Tyler

High-octane collection of engineer-producer Gary Paxton’s excursions into garage rock

Vienna New Year’s Day Concert, BBC Two/Radio 3 review - noble integrity and missionary zeal

David Nice

Riccardo Muti brings aristocratic melancholy to a surprisingly moving, audienceless ritual

The Serpent, BBC One review - tracking down the hippie-trail murderer

Markie Robson-Scott

Charming psychopath Charles Sobhraj's motives remain elusive in real life and on-screen

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks, BBC One review - a perfectly predictable romp

Laura De Lisle

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor sparks up a festive adventure with no real surprises

Albums of the Year 2020: Joensuu 1685 - ÖB

Kieron Tyler

The welcome return of Finland’s spiritual explorers

Bevan, LPO, Jurowski, RFH online review – never-ending stories

Boyd Tonkin

A year of disruption ends in gusto – and doubt

Best of 2020: Dance

Jenny Gilbert

In a perilous year, bright ideas and perseverance sometimes prevailed

Best of 2020: Books

Theartsdesk

The page-turners, feverish reads and haunting tales of a turbulent year

Best of 2020: Comedy

Veronica Lee

Outdoor venues and podcasts to the rescue

Best of 2020: TV

Theartsdesk

A terrible year for many, but a priceless opportunity for television

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