sat 20/07/2024

fairytales

Spirited Away, London Coliseum review - spectacular re-imagining of beloved film

Legions of Ghibli fanatics may love the heartwarming My Neighbour Totoro and the heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies, but they revere Spirited Away, their, our, The Godfather and The Wizard of Oz rolled into one. Totoro has been magnificently...

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Robin Hood. The Legend. Re-written, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - no bullseye for new take on familiar characters

After the pantos, the movies (epic, camp and animated) and the television series, is there anything new to be mined in the story of Robin Hood? Probably not, as this messy, misjudged show takes that hope and fires an arrow through its heart.We’re in...

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Hansel and Gretel, Opera Holland Park review - the Great Grimm Bake-Off

Like any decent cake (and we saw plenty on the Holland Park stage), a tasty production of Hansel and Gretel needs a careful balance of flavours. Sweet and sharp; light and dark; fantasy and realism; fright and delight. Directed by John Wilkie, Opera...

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Inland review - a cracked mosaic of memories, impressions and lurking anxiety

Fridtjof Ryder’s debut feature made a strong impression at last year’s London Film Festival, and its cinema release ought to give the Gloucester-born director’s career a hefty shove in the right direction. Although that doesn’t mean that Inland is...

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The Good Person of Szechwan, Lyric Hammersmith review - wild ride in hyperreality slides by

As the UK undergoes yet another political convulsion, this time concerning the threshold for ministers being shitty to fellow workers, it is apt that Bertolt Brecht’s parable about the challenges of being good in a dysfunctional society hits London...

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La bella dormente nel bosco/L'enfant et les sortilèges, Royal College of Music review - pure theatrical magic

Childhood fantasies and adult fears – sometimes it’s a fine line between the two. And it’s one that director Liam Steel walks with unerring precision in his ravishing new double-bill for the Royal College of Music: an overflowing toybox of invention...

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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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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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The Golden Cockerel, English Touring Opera review - no crowing over this henhouse

A plea to anyone who was seeing Rimsky-Korsakov’s last opera for the first time at the Hackney Empire: please don’t give up on ever seeing or listening to it again, as some I spoke to afterwards said they just had. I promise you, the fault lies in...

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Lucie Elven: The Weak Spot review - a cryptic modern fable

For most of us, fluttering our eyelids to convince a loved one to cook dinner is harmless meddling. Complimenting our boss on their new coat before asking for a promotion is necessary cunning. For the characters in Lucie Elven’s debut novel The Weak...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Duke of York's Theatre review - pure theatrical magic

This show has been a long time coming. Neil Gaiman had the first inklings of The Ocean at the End of the Lane when he was seven years old and living near a farm recorded in the Domesday Book. Several decades later, he wrote a short story for his...

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The Magician's Elephant, Royal Shakespeare Theatre review - family musical doesn't fully deliver

Trigger warnings have become commonplace in theatres these days, but few chill the blood like the description "a new musical" on a playbill. There are so many things to go wrong, so few ways to get things right and, never far away, the dissenters...

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