tue 27/02/2024

England

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.A band of geeky introverts, beloved of the type of hairclip-and-satchel indie ultras a friend of mine used to call “the Scooby Gang” for their tendency to resemble Shaggy and Velma, over the...

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Wicked Little Letters review - sweary, starry film is mostly strange

A splendid cast struggle to make something coherent out of Wicked Little Letters, the latest film from Thea Sharrock who not that long ago was one of the hottest theatre directors in town.Sharrock's proven skill onstage with thesps ranging from...

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An Enemy of the People, Duke of York's Theatre - performative and predictable

Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new West End version of An Enemy of the People, which updates Ibsen's 1882 play to our vexatious modern day.Matt Smith is in...

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The Hills of California, Harold Pinter Theatre - ladies' night for Jez Butterworth

Art makes for unexpected bedfellows, and so it proves in Jez Butterworth's moving if meandering The Hills of California. Butterworth's first play in seven years owes a lot more to as unexpected a source as the musical Gypsy than it does to such...

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Dear Octopus, National Theatre - period rarity is a real pleasure

Sisters are doing it for themselves, just as families as a whole are, too, on the London stage these days. Dear Octopus follows Till the Stars Come Down and The Hills of California as the third domestic drama I've seen in the last 10 days and...

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This Blessed Plot review - a right old English carry on

The hefty Essex builder Keith Martin, who plays a version of himself, as do most of the non-professional actors in Mark Isaacs' comic docufiction This Blessed Plot, is no Olivier or Branagh. But he puts brio and a touch of bombast into the dying...

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Northanger Abbey, Orange Tree Theatre review - larky retelling of Austen’s satire with a poignant core

What Zoe Cooper has concocted in her loving rewiring of Jane Austen’s first completed novel looks at first sight like a knockabout satire of a satire. But her aim is more sober than that: a queer rereading of this text as she first experienced it as...

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Album: The Smile - Wall of Eyes

Since The Smile drummer Tom Skinner’s bandmates Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood are two-fifths of Radiohead, the trio is often designated a “side project”, or satellite, as if its music pales beside the mothership’s. On the strength of its second...

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Masters of the Air, Apple TV+ review - painful and poignant account of the Eighth Air Force's bombing campaign

“Are they all like that?” asks a shaken Major Bucky Egan (Callum Turner), after he’s completed his first bombing mission over Germany as a guest of the US Eighth Air Force’s 389th Bomb Group. They’ve been battered by flak and lacerated by German...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Steven Wilson on Porcupine Tree, 'The Harmony Codex' and electro-dominance

This September Steven Wilson issued The Harmony Codex, his seventh solo record in 16 years. Though rooted in mortal concerns and alert to real-world dangers, this radiant suite of electronically textured songs is so dreamily redolent of...

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Powell and Pressburger: In Prospero's Room

There’s a thread of bright magic running through British cinema, from Powell and Pressburger through Nic Roeg, Derek Jarman and Lynne Ramsay, and it’s wrapped around Jarman’s last home like fisherman’s rope.His friend and collaborator Tilda Swinton...

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Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Lyric Theatre review - adult panto delivered as jolly chaos

Mischief Theatre set themselves a big challenge when they evolved their brand of knowing slapstick. And not just about how to destroy the scenery without maiming themselves.More crucially, they have to pull off the Janus-faced trick of playing the...

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