mon 27/06/2022

history

Philip Ball: The Book of Minds review - thinking about the box

Years ago, one of the leading mathematicians in the country tried to explain to me what his real work was like. When he was on the case, he said, he could be doing a range of other things – having his morning shave, making coffee, walking to a...

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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 Misfortune of the English, Orange Tree Theatre review - don't fret, boys, it's only death

“We all make history, one way or another.” But some of us make more history than others, and a group of 27 English schoolboys who got lost in Southern Germany in 1936 haven’t made much, unfortunately. Scottish playwright Pamela Carter has brushed...

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The Tinderbox review – a call for peace

The beginning of the Israeli-Palestine conflict is officially dated to 7 June 1967, the occasion of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the Six-Day War, but its origins stretch back further.The Palestine War,...

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The Last Kingdom, Season 5, Netflix review - Danes-and-Saxons saga hurtles towards an epic climax

Two years ago, the fourth season of The Last Kingdom (Netflix) found the Saxon saga not quite hitting peak form, possibly reeling from the fallout of the haunting death of King Alfred (David Dawson). Happily, any doubts are blown away with the...

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Ghosts of the Titanic, Park Theatre review – well written, but poorly staged

You can’t keep a great playwright down. Ron Hutchinson, whose award winning stage plays, such as Rat in the Skull (1984) and Moonlight and Magnolias (2005), are contemporary classics, has been absent from view for a while. But although he has fallen...

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Henry V, Donmar Warehouse review - playing at war

Sharp suits swapped for combat fatigues, a people’s commander: you’d think that Max Webster’s production of Shakespeare's  surprisingly nuanced propaganda history-play would have special resonance in a week which has seen horrors and heroism...

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Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Demonstrating how much the world really can change in a very short time when things spin out of control, Swedish power-metal five-piece Sabaton’s album now seems especially tasteless. It’s also a scalpel-sharp example of how important context is to...

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Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - bursting with heart

“You could read at home,” says Bettina (Anoushka Chadha), Year 10, her school uniform perfectly pressed, hair neatly styled. “You could be an annoying little shit at home,” retorts her sister Asha (Safiyya Ingar), Year 13, all fire and fury in Doc...

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Thomas Halliday: Otherlands review - diving into the deep past

Life on Earth: David Attenborough has it covered, right? Well, globally, maybe, but not historically. He has presented world-spanning series on pretty much every kind of life except bacteria, but it’s life in the present. There’s the odd look back...

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Belfast review - coming of age amid the terror of the Troubles

For all his achievements as actor and director, Kenneth Branagh isn’t immediately thought of as a screenwriter, despite his multiple Shakespeare adaptations. That may all change with Belfast, because Branagh’s deeply personal account (he’s both...

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