sun 14/07/2024

England

The Secret Garden, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - adaptation more edifying than beguiling

It's a bold move by Regent's Park Open Air Theatre to tackle Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic, a story that's been notably adapted into films that pile on the visual beauty of its magical settings. This enterprising venue may be...

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Strike: An Uncivil War review - shame of the nation

Forty years later, they have haggard faces, grey hair if any, and sorrowful expressions tinged with incredulity at the outrages perpetrated against them. At one point, the burliest of them cries. One who struggled with drink and drugs says four of...

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The Moor review - Yorkshire chiller is ambitious but muddled

A number of films in recent years have added a distinctly local flavour to the folk-horror genre. Mark Jenkin was inspired by Cornish superstitions in the ghostly Enys Men and Kate Dolan’s underrated You Are Not My Mother was ripe with Irish pagan...

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Wilding review - a life enhancing experience

Imagine you’ve inherited a castle in West Sussex plus five square miles of farmland. You continue the family tradition of mixed arable and dairy farming, but the soil is so depleted that yields decrease, year on year. Even with the help of...

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Romeo and Juliet, Duke of York's Theatre review - doomy and deathly, and much-hyped

One of Shakespeare's longest plays gets gets served up fast and filleted courtesy the director of the moment Jamie Lloyd, who is second to none when it comes to revealing the hidden performance strengths of various (and very varied) stars.Last year...

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Richard III, Shakespeare's Globe review - Michelle Terry riffs with punk bravado

There’s a fierce, dark energy to the Globe’s new Richard III that I don’t recall at that venue for a fair while. The drilled cast dances seemed more frenzied, and there are more of them, and for once let’s start with a shout-out for James Maloney’s...

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Album: Beth Gibbons - Lives Outgrown

It’s been a long while since Beth Gibbons released an album. Portishead’s Third was out in 2008.  She has lived through so many changes since, and, even though her signature is still very much in glorious evidence, Lives Outgrown represents a...

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Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger review - the Archers up close

This long, fascinating documentary was apparently intended as the centrepiece of last autumn’s BFI celebration of the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. But Made in England was delayed while Martin Scorsese (executive producer,...

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An Actor Convalescing in Devon, Hampstead Theatre review - old school actor tells old school stories

One can often be made to feel old in the theatre. A hot take in a snappy 90 minutes (with video!) on the latest Gen Z obsession (is it even Gen Z, or were they last year, Daddio?) can leave one baffled or wondering whose gripe is it anyway....

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Richard, My Richard, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmund's review - too much history, not enough drama

History is very present in Philippa Gregory’s new play about Richard III. Literally - History is a character, played by Tom Kanji. He strides around in a pale trenchcoat, at first rather too glib and pleased with himself, but quickly sucked into the...

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Player Kings, Noel Coward Theatre review - inventive showcase for a peerless theatrical knight

Shakespeare’s plays have ever been meat for masher-uppers, from the bowdlerising Victorians to the modern filmed-theatre cycles of Ivo Van Hove. And Sir John Falstaff, as Orson Welles proved in Chimes at Midnight, can be the star of his very own...

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Back to Black review - rock biopic with a loving but soft touch

Sam Taylor-Johnson has fashioned her biopic of Amy Winehouse with great care and affection, but sometimes, as she shows her subject discovering, love isn’t quite enough. The superb jazz-inflected singer from north London, who in 2011 joined the...

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