tue 09/08/2022

family relationships

Girl on an Altar, Kiln Theatre review - machismo, murder and motherhood in mesmerising myth

Playwrights return to classical myths for two main reasons – to shine a light on how we live today and because they're bloody good yarns.Marina Carr's re-telling of Clytemnestra's story is boldly innovative in its conception and execution, but...

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Luzzu review - a Maltese fisherman struggles with modernity

In Maltese-American Alex Camilleri’s debut feature, it’s a case of follow the swordfish. This terrifically atmospheric, almost documentary-like film – Camilleri cites Italian neo-realism, including Visconti’s La Terra Trema, as an influence – ...

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Kim Hye-jin: Concerning My Daughter review - room for complication

In this best-selling Korean novella, recently translated into English by Jamie Chang, Kim Hye-jin offers us the perspective of a Korean mother. It’s narrated entirely from the perspective of a woman of around 60 who has a daughter in her thirties...

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Bliss, Finborough Theatre review - bleak but tender

When Bliss, a new play adapted from an Andrei Platonov short story by Fraser Grace, made its debut in Russia in early 2020, Cambridge-based company Menagerie were told that their production was “very Russian”.I’m no expert on Russian culture, but I...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Parallel Mothers

Parallel Mothers unfolds at a daringly slow pace, and there are moments in the first half of Pedro Almodóvar’s 2021 drama when you wish that things would speed up. And then you’re wrong-footed by the unexpected shifts in tone and direction, and...

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The House of Shades, Almeida Theatre review - Anne-Marie Duff blazes in Beth Steel's excoriating new drama

Anne-Marie Duff blazes across the stage like a meteorite in Beth Steel’s excoriating drama about the changes sweeping through a Northern mining town over the course of five decades. As Constance Webster, a frustrated miner’s wife, her angry energy...

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The Staircase, NOW review - addictive dramatisation of real-life murder investigation

The real-life case of Michael Peterson and the death of his wife Kathleen in 2001 has generated a steady stream of TV documentaries, though this new series from HBO Max (showing on NOW) is the first time anybody has actually dramatised the story....

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The Quiet Girl review - finding a home away from home

The Quiet Girl is adapted faithfully from Claire Keegan’s wonderful short story, Foster, first published in the New Yorker magazine in 2010 and then expanded into a novella.Much of the dialogue in Colm Bairéad’s beautiful, mainly Irish-language film...

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Downton Abbey: A New Era review - will we ever see its like again?

A dozen years have passed since Downton Abbey first landed on our TV screens, since when it has passed into folklore. Whether you thought it was escapist historical froth, a ludicrous anachronism full of class-system clichés or a documentary probing...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is to see simultaneously through the eyes of a woman and a child.The mother, the industrious and ingenious Stefania, watches her...

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Tom Fool, Orange Tree Theatre review - testing family values

It’s not hard to see, watching Tom Fool at the Orange Tree Theatre, why Franz Xaver Kroetz is one of Germany’s most staged playwrights.Born in Munich in 1946, he’s known for unflinching portrayals of poverty and what it does to people. Directed...

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