wed 19/06/2024

modernism

Josefowicz, LPO, Järvi, RFH review - friendly monsters

At first glance, this looked like an odd coupling: Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto from 1931, all spiky neo-classicism and short-winded expressionist sparkle, as a tributary opening before the mighty rolling stream of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.Yet in...

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When Forms Come Alive, Hayward Gallery review - how to reduce good art to family fun

Under the guidance of director Ralph Rugoff, the Hayward Gallery seems hell bent on reducing art to the level of fun for all the family. And as though to prove the point, cretinous captions strip the work of all meaning beyond the banal, while press...

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Caitlin Merrett King: Always Open Always Closed review - looking for an approach while trying to do the approach

Always Open Always Closed is Caitlin Merrett King’s first published work of fiction, and it begins paratactically, with a list of displacements:MS REAL FEELS POSITIONLESS At her desk in the studio (not as often as she would like) or at the kitchen...

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Modest, Kiln Theatre review - tale of Victorian would-be trailblazer fails and succeeds

Whether you believe that Ellen Brammar’s play, Modest, newly arrived in London from Hull Truck Theatre, succeeds or not, rather depends on your criteria for evaluating theatre. On storytelling, character development and nuance, it is two and a half...

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Turangalîla-Symphonie, LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - a farewell night to remember

Simon Rattle’s farewell season as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra has inscribed a sort of artistic memoir as he moves from one of his beloved blockbusters to another. Last night, he closed his account at the Barbican (though he will...

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The Good Person of Szechwan, Lyric Hammersmith review - wild ride in hyperreality slides by

As the UK undergoes yet another political convulsion, this time concerning the threshold for ministers being shitty to fellow workers, it is apt that Bertolt Brecht’s parable about the challenges of being good in a dysfunctional society hits London...

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Standing at the Sky's Edge, National Theatre review - razor-sharp musical with second-act woes

Buildings can hold memories, the three dimensions of space supplemented by the fourth of time. Ten years ago, I started every working week with a meeting in a room that, for decades, had been used to conduct autopsies – I felt a little chill...

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The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Rose Theatre review - new production of classic proves a gruelling experience

Brecht – as I suppose he intended – is always a shock to the system. With not a word on what to expect from his commitment to the strictures of epic theatre in the programme, a star of West End musical theatre cast in the lead and a venue...

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The Human Voice, Harold Pinter Theatre review – acting masterclass

Is there really such a thing as an unmissable show? Depends on your taste of course, but for sheer hype this event takes some beating: two-time Olivier Award-winning star Ruth Wilson (last seen doing her sinister stuff in the BBC’s His Dark...

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Isamu Noguchi, Barbican review – the most elegant exhibition in town

Isamu Noguchi may not be a household name, yet one strand of his work is incredibly familiar. In 1951 he visited a lamp factory in Gifu, a Japanese city famous for its paper lanterns. This prompted him to design the lampshades that, for decades,...

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Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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Naomi Booth: Exit Management review - unwrapping life's unpleasantness

When you try to get rid of something, it comes back to bite you – so says Naomi Booth in her new novel Exit Management. It’s one of those books that you want to read very quickly, its writing slickly modern and its characters compellingly flawed....

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