tue 27/02/2024

history

The Big Life, Stratford East review - big-hearted 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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Just For One Day, The Old Vic review - clunky scenes and self-conscious exposition between great songs

So, a jukebox musical celebrating the apotheosis of the White Saviour, the ultimate carnival of rock stars’ self-aggrandisement and the Boomers’ biggest bonanza of feelgood posturing? One is tempted to stand opposite The Old Vic, point at the...

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The Settlers review - a western populated only by anti-heroes

From its opening shot – of a flock of sheep backlit by the sun’s rays – The Settlers is visually stunning. But the beauty ends there; as the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that everything else about this episode in Chile’s history is cruel and...

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The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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Richard Schoch: Shakespeare's House review - nothing ill in such a temple

Richard Schoch, in the subtitle of his new book on Shakespeare’s House, promises something big: “a window onto his life and legacy.” To the disgruntled reader – pushed to the brink by one too many new books on Shakespeare, each nervously...

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Kin, National Theatre review - heartfelt show makes its demands, but yields its rewards

Waiting in the National Theatre’s foyer on press night, a space teeming with people speaking different languages, boasting different heritages – London in other words – news came through that leading members of the government had resigned because...

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1979, Finborough Theatre review - niche subject matter finds a strong resonance

If a week is a long time in politics, what price 44 years? And 3500 miles? Turns out, not much, as Michael Healey’s sparkling play, 1979, proves that events all that time ago and all that way across the Atlantic maintain a remarkable relevance today...

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Angela Leighton: Something, I Forget review - the art of letting go

Half way through Something, I Forget, in a poem entitled “Returns”, and subtitled “Invasion of Ukraine, February 2022”, Angela Leighton writes, “Today’s my birthday. Many happy returns. / Elsewhere there’s shot, mortar shells, grenades.”The...

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Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth

In Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin wrote,"So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too late for me) – Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP."That might be the only point...

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Napoleon review - Sir Ridley Scott's historical epic is wide but not deep

Sir Ridley Scott has taken umbrage at the French critics who weren’t too impressed with his new movie. Not only do they not like his film, but the French “don’t even like themselves”, according to the dyspeptic auteur.But I feel our French cousins...

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The Flea, The Yard Theatre review - biting satire fails to sting

A flea bites a rat which spooks a horse which kicks a man and… an empire falls?James Fritz has won writing awards already in his developing career, but he has set himself quite the challenge to weave a thread that can bear that narrative weight. Two...

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