wed 01/02/2023

London

Sound of the Underground, Royal Court review - loud and triumphantly proud

Ever been to a queer club? You know, drag cabaret night at Madame Jojo’s, or the Black Cap or Her Upstairs. No? Well, not to worry – the Royal Court’s latest provides a fabulously extravagant simulation of the experience with its staging of Sound of...

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Noises Off, Phoenix Theatre review - much revived classic farce gains in poignancy

There’s a chance – a slim one – that you haven’t seen Noises Off, Michael Frayn’s farce about a farce that, as legend has it with The Rocky Horror Show, must surely be going up somewhere in the world every day.If you’re in that minority,...

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Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre review - George Takei's childhood story makes a heartfelt musical

Like families, nations have secrets: dirty linen that they prefer not to expose to the light of day. Patriotic myths need to be protected, heroic narratives shaped, good guy reputations upheld. In 1942, the USA rounded up Japanese-Americans and...

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A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre review - Patsy Ferran rises above fussy staging

It’s a long way from the dank chill of an English winter to the stultifying heat of a New Orleans summer, but we’ve been here before at this venue. Five years on from their award-winning Summer And Smoke, Rebecca Frecknall is back in the director’s...

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A Child in Striped Pyjamas, The Cockpit review - a brave tackling of a Holocaust story

The obstacles that have faced Noah Max in the five years since he resolved to make an opera of John Boyne’s Holocaust novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas would have stymied someone less determined. Not just the usual fundraising and logistical...

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First Person: Royal Academy of Music Principal Jonathan Freeman-Attwood on why a conservatoire should make recordings

Why is it important for a music conservatoire to make recordings? What is the educational context? These are questions we have continued to reflect upon at the Royal Academy of Music – celebrating its bicentenary this year – since we took our first...

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Blu-ray: Croupier

The recently-departed director Mike Hodges was one of our most underrated filmmakers. Along with Get Carter (1971), a dark story of revenge starring Michael Caine, Croupier (1998) – newly released on 4K Ultra HD – is one of the most fascinating and...

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Blu-ray: Nil by Mouth

Greg Urbanski, Gary Oldman’s long-term producing partner, tells us on the commentary track that no film company wanted to touch the script of Nil by Mouth. Oldman was riding high as an actor in 1996, renowned for his shape-shifting...

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Chasing the Night, Echo Vocal Ensemble and Friends, Latto, Kings Place review - midwinter songs from around the world

At this of year there is always a good range of seasonal choral concerts on offer in London – and an audience for them all, weather and strikes permitting. But while I enjoy a canter through Carols for Choirs as much as anyone, I am perhaps more...

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Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Queen Elizabeth Hall review - Scrooge goes to Tennessee

We’ve had 75 years to get used to Scrooge McDuck, so we can hardly complain if the Americans indulge in a little cultural appropriation and send Charles Dickens’ misanthrope to Depression-era Tennessee for another whirl on the catharsis-redemption...

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Emma Smith, Pizza Express Jazz Club review - Christmas spirited

There’s much fun to be had with snow, and fun things go with it, too, such as album launches in Soho on a freezing Saturday night in December, when the rest of the country is watching England depart the World Cup in the quarter finals.Downstairs at...

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Kerry Jackson, National Theatre review - new writing nadir

Is British new writing in deep trouble? With the Arts Council defunding venues such as the Hampstead Theatre, the Donmar and the Gate, and past masters such as Terry Johnson underperforming, the signs are not good. But what about the National...

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