sat 02/07/2022

America

Album: Jack White - Fear Of The Dawn

Jack White is still unsatisfied, and rock’n’roll still unfinished business for its most extremist exponent. His last pre-pandemic album, Boarding House Reach (2018), seemed a major blow to his career, its experiment in warped dynamics and Beat...

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The Fever Syndrome, Hampstead Theatre review - ambitious family drama falls short

The Fever Syndrome has an ambition that places itself firmly in the tradition of the great American family drama (comparisons with Arthur Miller feel the most appropriate), a piece in which the reassessment of ties of blood is played out against a...

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Thatcher & Reagan: A Very Special Relationship, BBC Two review - when the Iron Lady met the Cowboy President

This two-part documentary about how the Eighties were partly shaped by the British Prime Minister and the US President was obviously planned long before the Russians invaded Ukraine, but it’s a powerful illustration of how history doesn’t stop, but...

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Morbius review – not so super

Following the much-maligned Venom (2018) and Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), the third film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe stars Jared Leto as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr Michael Morbius. Suffering from a rare blood condition that threatens...

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Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Unlimited Love

Anthony Kiedis’s autobiography Scar Tissue, an extreme example of wisdom through sometimes squalid excess, explains a great deal about the Chili Peppers’ mix of priapic lust and wistful romance. The return of guitarist John Frusciante and producer...

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Hodges, LPO, Gardner, RFH review - four UK premieres, from random to abundant

Kudos, first, to Edward Gardner for mastering a rainbow programme of 21st century works in his first season as the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Principal Conductor. Three Americans and a Berlin-based Brit, two women composers and two men, one of...

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First Person: composer Mason Bates on the powers and perils of musical storytelling

What do Beethoven and Pink Floyd have in common?Narrative – ingeniously animated by music.From the Ninth Symphony to The Wall, narrative music has brought a new dimension to the forms and genres it has touched.Musical storytelling is on my mind this...

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Clybourne Park, Park Theatre review - excellent revival of Bruce Norris's award-winner

Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park arrived at London’s Royal Court like a blazing comet in 2010, a bold kind of satire about race relations that was both sassy and savvy.Now it’s back for a run at the Park Theatre, N1. Twelve years on, we have learnt to...

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X review - sex and the bloody American dream

Ti West’s slyly self-referential horror film about a Texan porn shoot subverts expectations. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre/Debbie Does Dallas genre mash-up promised by the premise, pumping out head-spinning sex and gore, is in fact a muted exercise...

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Deep Water review - not even laughably bad

Patricia Highsmith must be spinning in her grave. This ridiculously incompetent adaptation of her 1957 crime novel lacks all suspense or credibility. It’s hard to believe that Adrian Lyne, responsible for huge box-office hits like the provocative...

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The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone review - can it pull you back in?

The relative runt of the Godfather litter was hacked out in a Las Vegas casino, as Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo worked up scenarios for an assignment taken on for the money. Coppola the inveterate cinematic gambler, crippled by the dashing of...

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Cabell, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - transatlantic traffic

Had he never written a note of his own, George Walker would still have left a record of trailblazing achievements. Born in Washington DC in 1922, he studied piano at Oberlin College and the Curtis Institute (the conservatoire that notoriously...

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