thu 30/05/2024

London

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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Album: Pet Shop Boys - Nonetheless

This album came with an absolutely enormous promo campaign. As well as actual advertising there were “Audience With…” events, and specials on BBC radio and TV – the latter an Imagine special with Alan Yentob really going in with...

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London Tide, National Theatre review - haunting moody river blues

“He do the police in different voices.” If ever one phrase summed up a work of fiction, and the art of its writer, then surely it is this description, by Charles Dickens in his 1865 novel, Our Mutual Friend, of his character Sloppy’s ability to read...

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Baby Reindeer, Netflix review - a misery memoir disturbingly presented

Richard Gadd won an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2016 with material about being sexually abused by a man, in a set called Monkey See, Monkey Do that he performed on a treadmill with a gorilla at his back. He followed that with another piece of...

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Yinka Shonibare: Suspended States, Serpentine Gallery review - pure delight

Yinka Shonibare’s Serpentine Gallery exhibition opens with a piece of cloth twirling in the breeze; except that it’s a bronze sculpture probably weighing a ton or more – such is the power of art (pictured below right: detail of Wind...

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Spencer Jones: Making Friends, Soho Theatre review - award-winning comedian mines his post-lockdown escape to the country

Lockdown feels more like a dream now: empty streets; bright, scarless skies; pan-banging at 8pm. Did it all happen? One part of our brains insists that it did; another resists such an overthrowing of what it means to be human. Try recalling events...

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Cassie and the Lights, Southwark Playhouse review - powerful, affecting, beautifully acted tale of three sisters in care

"In care". It’s a phrase that, if it penetrates our minds at all, usually leads to distressing tabloid stories of children losing their lives at the hands of abusive parents (“Why oh why wasn’t this child in care?”) or of loving parents separated...

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Scoop, Netflix review - revisiting a Right Royal nightmare

What with the interminable Harry and Meghan saga, the death of the Queen and the recent health scares for Kate and King Chuck, this is just what the Royal Family needed – the exhumation of Prince Andrew’s catastrophic 2019 Newsnight interview with...

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The Trouble with Jessica review - the London housing market wreaks havoc on a group of friends

Before moving house, Sarah (Shirley Henderson) and Tom (Alan Tudyk) are throwing a final dinner for their best and oldest friends. Sarah wants it to be special. It turns out to be very special. Disastrous, in fact.Director Matt Winn’s black comedy...

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St Matthew Passion, Academy of Ancient Music, Cummings, Barbican review - moving and humble

It is Passion season, and Bach’s St John and St Matthew – as well as his less well-known Easter Oratorio – have been well covered on theartsdesk in the last few weeks. Whether with large choir, small choir, or one to a part with no separate chorus,...

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Foam, Finborough Theatre review - fascism and f*cking in a Gentlemen's Lavatory that proves short of gentlemen

In a too brightly tiled Gentlemen’s public convenience (Nitin Parmar’s beautifully realised set is as much a character as any of the men we meet), a lad is shaving his head. He’s halfway to the skinhead look of the early Seventies, but he hasn’t...

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3 Body Problem, Netflix review - life, the universe and everything (and a bit more)

From Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and DB Weiss, in cahoots with Alexander Woo, 3 Body Problem is Netflix’s daring attempt to dramatise Liu Cixin’s novel The Three-Body Problem. A mind-bending sci-fi epic spanning multiple decades, while...

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