sat 25/10/2014

Reviews

The Wild Duck, Belvoir Sydney, Barbican Theatre

David Nice

Ibsen cast a cruel eye on the characters of his most relentlessly symbolic play – wild ducks wounded or domesticated by fate or character. They speak or behave unsympathetically, for the most part, yet the actors must make us care for them. Simon Stone and Chris Ryan sidestep the problem by not only updating the action but writing their own script on the subject, reinventing some of the motivations while keeping the essence. True to some of Ibsen’s main points it may not be, but this is...

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christopher Lambton

Is there an ideal way to programme Metamorphosen? Richard Strauss’s elegiac masterpiece requires 23 solo strings. That’s more than most chamber orchestras can muster, but with a full size symphony orchestra the piece leaves most of the players with nothing to do. In this Usher Hall concert the Royal Scottish National Orchestra chose to let Metamorphosen stand in glorious isolation before the interval. Those  players that could opted to stand – not an option for the lower strings – in a...

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Prokofiev,...

Graham Rickson

 Bach: Partitas 1-6 Igor Levit (piano) (Sony)Martin Geck's sleeve essay accompanying this pair of discs is a good read, hinting at the...

Lady Gaga, O2 Arena, London

Thomas H Green

Gaga’s relationship with her fanbase, her “Little Monsters”, is quite a thing. I’ve not seen the O2 so permanently on its feet. Large swathes of her...

John Cooper Clarke, Town Hall, Birmingham

Guy Oddy

John Cooper Clarke has assumed many roles since he came motoring out of Salford in the mid Seventies, spitting out poetry from a distinctly...

Wozzeck, BBCSSO, Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow

Christopher Lambton

Thomas J Mayer heads stellar cast in showy performance of Berg's masterpiece

Gerhard Richter, Marian Goodman Gallery

Marina Vaizey

The heavyweight German artist inaugurates prestigious blue-chip gallery in London

Wet House, Soho Theatre

Marianka Swain

The desperate fate of addicts and outcasts is given bracingly humorous treatment

Card Dungeon

Stuart Houghton

A clever twist on dungeon adventuring that mostly works

Memphis, Shaftesbury Theatre

Edward Seckerson

Tony-winning Broadway export is well-sung but unoriginal

Jimi: All Is By My Side

Karen Krizanovich

Andre Benjamin is early Jimi Hendrix in John Ridley's alluring biopic

The Babadook

Nick Hasted

A story-book monster stalks a mother and son, in emotionally rich Aussie horror

Russian Avant-Garde Theatre, Victoria & Albert Museum

Sarah Kent

The moment when theatre was transformed by visionary Russian directors

Lee Mack, Eventim Apollo

Veronica Lee

Amiable comic races through a disappointing set

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?, Channel 4

Jasper Rees

Engaging series about portraiture in action captures subjects at a crossroads

Pierre Huyghe/ Paul McCarthy, Hauser & Wirth

Fisun Güner

Eerie enviromental dystopias and hair-raising misanthropic rages

Fury

Emma Simmonds

David Ayer and Brad Pitt take the war film by the scruff of the neck

Culture Club, Heaven

Matthew Wright

Intriguing taster gig suggests successful reunion is on the way

quartet-lab, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Four brilliant players need a stage director, but still electrify in Beethoven and Crumb

Nick Mulvey, Komedia, Brighton

Thomas H Green

One of Britain's most potent, original singer-songerwiters sparks bright

Neville's Island, Duke of York's Theatre

Marianka Swain

Like its marooned middle-managers, Tim Firth's comedy loses its way

Serena

Jasper Rees

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite. What can possibly go wrong?

The Scottsboro Boys, Garrick Theatre

Edward Seckerson

Kander & Ebb's startling, stirring musical gets a West End upgrade

The Way He Looks

Tom Birchenough

Gentle Brazilian gay adolescent drama rings stronger than its story suggests

Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World, Globe Theatre

Sarah Kent

The delightfully shambolic talent show that's become a national treasure

Witches and Wicked Bodies, British Museum

Florence Hallett

From classical antiquity to the Victorian era, witches have held artists under their spell

The House That Will Not Stand, Tricycle Theatre

Marianka Swain

A key moment in American race relations inspires a richly ambitious new drama

Storyville: Russia's Toughest Prison - The Condemned, BBC Four

Tom Birchenough

Nick Read's long-stretch documentary on remote Russian prison life

LFF 2014: Germany, Pale Mother

Nick Hasted

A revelatory female perspective on Nazi Germany

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The Wild Duck, Belvoir Sydney, Barbican Theatre

Heartbreaking Ibsen adaptation mixes naturalism and forensic examination

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Søndergård, Usher Hall, E...

Fugitive beauty in late Strauss masterpiece, but not much of a helping hand

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Baroque keyboard suites and Soviet violin music

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This old Cat learns some new tricks

Lady Gaga, O2 Arena, London

Adoring Gaga fans rewarded with show of multifaceted brilliance

John Cooper Clarke, Town Hall, Birmingham

The alternative Poet Laureate and National Treasure hits the road

Wozzeck, BBCSSO, Runnicles, City Halls, Glasgow

Thomas J Mayer heads stellar cast in showy performance of Berg's maste...

Gerhard Richter, Marian Goodman Gallery

The heavyweight German artist inaugurates prestigious blue-chip gallery in...

Wet House, Soho Theatre

The desperate fate of addicts and outcasts is given bracingly humorous trea...

Card Dungeon

A clever twist on dungeon adventuring that mostly works