wed 19/06/2024

history

Marie Curie, Charing Cross Theatre review - like polonium, best left undiscovered

There are many women whose outstanding science was attributed to men or simply devalued to the point of obscurity, but recent interest in the likes of DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin and NASA’s Katherine Johnson has given credit where credit is due....

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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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theartsdesk Q&A: Eddie Marsan and the American Revolution, posh boys and East End gangsters

He’s not the kind of actor who has paparazzi following him around Beverly Hills or staking out his yacht in St Barts, but Eddie Marsan, born into a working class family in Stepney in 1968, has amassed a list of acting credits that your average...

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Testmatch, Orange Tree Theatre review - Raj rage, old and new, flares in cricket dramedy

Cricket has always been a lens through which to examine the legacy of the British Empire. In the 1930s, the infamous Bodyline series saw the new nation, Australia, stand up to its big brother’s bullying tactics. In the 1970s, the all-conquering West...

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Jonn Elledge: A History of the World in 47 Borders review - a view from the boundaries

In A History of the World in 47 Borders, Jonn Elledge takes an ostensibly dry subject – how maps and boundaries have shaped our world – and makes from it a diverting and informative read. It is light and conversational in tone, covering topics that...

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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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Dorian Lynskey: Everything Must Go review - it's the end of the world as we know it

According to REM in 1987, “It’s the end of the world as we know it”. And while they sang about topical preoccupations – hurricanes, wildfires and plane crashes – they were really just varying a theme that has been around since at least St John of...

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Annie Jacobsen: Nuclear War: A Scenario review - on the inconceivable

"[A]n unimaginably beautiful day": this was how Kikue Shiota described the morning of the 6th of August, 1945, in Hiroshima. The day was soon to change, unimaginably, as the city was blitzed by the airburst of the first atomic bomb, nicknamed Little...

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Anna Reid: A Nasty Little War - The West's Fight to Reverse the Russian Revolution review - home truths

During the Cold War, US presidents often claimed that the West and the Soviet Union had never fought one another directly. This observation made sense geopolitically – the likelihood of mutually assured destruction made a nuclear conflict seem...

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Nachtland, Young Vic review - German black comedy brings uneasy humour and discomfiting relevance

If Mark Twain thought that a German joke was no laughing matter, what would he make of a German comedy? That quote came to mind more than once during Patrick Marber’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2022 play, Nachtland. I know it’s...

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The Big Life, Stratford East review - musical brings the joy and honours the past

Is there a healthier sound than that of laughter ringing round a theatre? There are plenty of opportunities to test that theory in Tinuke Craig’s riotous revival of The Big Life, two decades on from its first run at this very venue. Much has...

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Samuel Takes a Break... in Male Dungeon No. 5 after a long but generally successful day of tours, The Yard Theatre review - funny and thought-provoking

You do not need to be Einstein to feel it. If the only dimension missing is time, 75% of a place’s identity can invade your very being, hollow you out, replace your soul with a void. It happened to me at Auschwitz and it’s happening to Samuel at...

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