fri 07/10/2022

1940s

Much Ado About Nothing, National Theatre review - Shakespeare’s comedy goes Hollywood musical

After gender-flipping the National’s Malvolio, the director Simon Godwin might have been expected to be equally bold with Much Ado About Nothing at the same address. A same-sex Beatrice and Benedick romance? Dogberry in bondage gear, zonked out on...

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Frida Kahlo Through Indian Classical Music, Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall review - a strangely effective meeting of cultures

This one sounded implausible. Frida Kahlo, the great (and fashionable – collected by the likes of Madonna) Mexican painter interpreted by Indian classical music at the Elgar Room in the Royal Albert Hall. It was, however, entrancing, made a...

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Blu-ray: The Last Metro

The Last Metro (Le dernier métro), from 1980, is without doubt one of François Truffaut’s best films: a story beautifully told, strong on character, sometimes funny and always profoundly moving. Most of the credit has gone to Truffaut and co-stars...

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Das Boot, Series 3, Sky Atlantic review - submarine warfare finds new horizons

The challenge for the makers of Das Boot is to keep finding new ways to move the show forwards and outwards without losing touch with its foundations in World War Two submarine warfare.This wasn’t a problem faced by Wolfgang Petersen when he made...

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Peter Grimes, Royal Opera review - impressive, not quite devastating

"Why does he have to sentimentalise this piece?", Britten is reported by former Royal Opera director John Tooley to have said of Jon Vickers as Peter Grimes the tormented fisherman, so very different from the composer's life partner and creator of...

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Great Freedom review - love behind bars in Germany

A story of forbidden love, Great Freedom takes place almost entirely in a prison. The film's background is encapsulated in the word “175er/ hundertfünfundsiebziger”, still to be found in German dictionaries and collective memories as a...

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Koranyi, Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - beauty and joy

It’s catching on … for the second consecutive night I heard an orchestra begin by playing, to a standing audience, the Ukrainian national anthem. The previous night it was Opera North’s musicians: this time the Norwegian conductor Tabita Berglund...

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Fisher, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - war-tinged Vaughan Williams

There was no overt reference to the world outside in this concert, and yet the poignancy of its content could hardly have been clearer if it had been planned: two symphonies and a song cycle each touched by the tragedy of war.It was the launch event...

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Hanslip, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - lyricism and challenge

Manchester’s oldest chamber orchestra has been gathering a new audience at the Stoller Hall in Chetham’s School of Music since that auditorium opened, and Sunday afternoon’s programme provided an excellent example of where the Northern Chamber...

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The Rake's Progress, Glyndebourne Tour - a classic revitalized

Tom Rakewell Esquire, the Glyndebourne edition generally known as “the Hockney Rake” though it is very much director John Cox’s too, is 46 years old. The great Bernard Haitink, who conducted the first airing in 1975 at a time when Stravinsky's...

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Van der Heijden, Hallé, New, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - rising to challenges

The youthful New Zealand-born conductor Gemma New and British cellist Laura van der Heijden between them set the Hallé quite a challenge at this concert.The music was all written in the past 75 years or so – by classical measures that’s pretty...

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'The din is loud these days': playwright Cordelia Lynn on her imminent premiere at the Donmar Warehouse

As I write this, we've just had our final day in the rehearsal room and are going into tech onstage next week with my new play, which is also reopening the Donmar not only to live performance but follows major renovations at their home address.It’s...

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