wed 01/02/2023

adaptation

Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - magical stories by candlelight

Do you remember how the 1001 Nights ends? You know how it starts: Scheherazade has been married to a king who kills his brides the day after he marries them. She tells him a story so good that he simply has to know what happens next, and she...

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Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, Sadler's Wells review - a gothic romance with loads of goth and not much love

Matthew Bourne is not the first choreographer to tinker with the story of The Sleeping Beauty and he won't be the last, such is the lure of Tchaikovsky's score and the potency of the plot.Good and evil, beauty and decrepitude, the suspended...

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Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - Scrooge goes to Tennessee

We’ve had 75 years to get used to Scrooge McDuck, so we can hardly complain if the Americans indulge in a little cultural appropriation and send Charles Dickens’ misanthrope to Depression-era Tennessee for another whirl on the catharsis-redemption...

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Hex, National Theatre review - 12 months after being sent to sleep by Covid, Rufus Norris's show is back

Hovering way, way above us, three aptly named high fairies, in voluminous chiffon, open a show that may not be airy in the metaphorical sense, but invites us to cast our eyes upwards continually – no bad thing to do in the bleak midwinter of 2022....

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Ruination, Linbury Theatre review - Medea gets a makeover

At a time when every other theatre is offering an alternative Christmas show, what to make of the Royal Opera House’s first collaboration with Lost Dog, aka director-choreographer Ben Duke, who has come up with the most un-merry topic imaginable?...

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Orlando, Garrick Theatre review - Emma Corrin is incandescent in an underwhelming adaptation

Identity is thorny business. This was the parting thought of Anna X, the play that marked Emma Corrin’s West End debut in the summer of 2021. The same credo governs Corrin’s return to London theatre with Orlando, in Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of...

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Slow Horses, Series 2, Apple TV+ review - Mick Herron’s spies make a welcome return

Apple TV+ is using the arrival of season two of Slow Horses to offer a generous three-month free trial to its streamer service. Ample time to catch up with season one and watch it multiple times before all of season two is available at the end...

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Harry Baker, Noisenight 13, Jazz Cafe review - distinctive and easygoing chemistry

The elation in the queue was palpable as people stood laughing and chatting in the November cold waiting for the doors of the Jazz Café to open for the latest crowd-funded event organised by Through the Noise. This 13th Noisenight – which brings...

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Elf, Dominion Theatre review - hit musical revival slays it again

Just about the three toughest tricks to pull off in the theatre are making a musical, making a family show and making characters so charming that even the most cynical in the house are pulling for the little guy (or not so little in this case). So...

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A Christmas Carol, RSC, Stratford review - family show eases back the terror and winds up the politics

Life is full of coincidences and contradictions. As I was walking to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on his feet in the House of Commons delivering yet another rebalancing of individual and collective resources. On...

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From Here to Eternity, Charing Cross Theatre review - Pearl Harbour musical fails to fly

Whorehouses, gay prostitution and suicide – you can see why James Jones’ bestselling 1951 novel was bowdlerised by the publishers and sanitised into subtext by Hollywood for the Oscar-laden movie released a couple of years later. As the extensive...

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SAS Rogue Heroes, BBC One review - rock'n'roll desert warfare from the pen of Steven Knight

Irregular warfare has proved to be a speciality with the British armed forces. This new six-part series, based on Ben Macintyre’s 2016 book, tells the story of the chaotic birth of the Special Air Service during the war in North Africa in 1941, and...

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