sun 14/04/2024

BBC

The Reckoning, BBC One review - Savile saga that doesn't tell the whole story

The problem with star casting is that the viewer can’t escape what it is: a very well known face pretending to be another very well known face. So Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning is both a fine impersonation of the...

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When Winston Went to War with the Wireless, Donmar Warehouse review - lively, but messy

Can things change, or must they always stay the same? The latest history play by Jack Thorne, a man of the moment whose Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is still in the West End and whose National Theatre hit The Motive and the Cue will transfer in...

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Axing the BBC Singers: four associated musicians on why it's so wrong

Sent by a surely reluctant BBC PR, an ardent choral singer and supporter of new music, last Tuesday’s email had a title to make one groan: “New Strategy for Classical Music Prioritises Quality, Agility and Impact”. Very W1A. But this was no laughing...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Nineteen Eighty-Four

"Disgusting", "depressing", "sheer horror from start to finish", a "filthy, rotten, immoral play". Such were the comments from viewers published across a spectrum of British newspapers following the BBC transmission, on 12 December 1954, of Nigel...

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Blu-ray: Shoot the Messenger

“Everything bad that has happened to me has happened because I’m black,” laments teacher Joseph Pascale (David Oyelowo) in Shoot the Messenger, directed by Ngozi Onwurah in 2006 from a script by the late Sharon Foster. Handsomely produced and...

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Ruby Tandoh: Cook As You Are review - truly a trailblazer

Ever since her appearance on The Great British Bake Off in 2013, Ruby Tandoh has been a breath of fresh air to the food industry. Unafraid to use her voice and stand up not only for herself but for the marginalised communities she is a part of, she...

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Kolesnikov, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, BBC Proms review - dazzling musicianship and insight

It’s nobody’s fault, but – try as they might – the BBC Proms can often feel rather middle-aged. Whether it’s the lumbering albatross of a building, the ushers in their dated, casino waistcoats or the tone of zealous jollity (Have fun! But silently...

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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021 Final, BBC Four review – an embarrassment of vocal riches

A massive musical hope for the future is what we all need right now, after 14 stop/semi-start months and a threatened decimation of the concert and opera scene, the danger of which isn't over yet. This year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World...

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BBC Young Musician 2020 Finale, BBC Four review - poise versus extraterrestrial ecstasy

“You have to be careful you’re not judging the piece,” cautioned a pearl-necklaced Nicholas Daniel, great oboist and winner of the 1980 BBC Young Musician (of the Year, as it then was). Yet while the work, Japanese composer and marimba virtuoso...

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Best of 2020: TV

Okay, so some people taught themselves the violin or wrote a novel, but under this year’s circumstances, it was inevitable that television (terrestrial, cable, online or otherwise) was going to clean up. With large chunks of the population forced to...

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theartsdesk Q&A: screenwriter Jed Mercurio

So you want to be a TV screenwriter? You might do a lot worse than to sign up for Jed Mercurio's new online course at BBC Maestro, where over 28 lessons he explores the pitfalls and hurdles of a screenwriter's life, from the nuts and bolts of...

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Glastonbury Festival 2020: Beyoncé, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., marijuana and time travel

Coronavirus blah blah blah. Glastonbury cancelled. What to do? Didn’t go to the 2010 festival for reasons too tedious to go into. Suffered the worst FOMO of my life. This is different. There is no Glastonbury. But sitting around at home… we’ve all...

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