wed 27/05/2015

Reviews

The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Alexandra Coghlan

Between Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Everyman it was beginning to look like we were never going to get a proper, uncomplicated laugh in Rufus Norris’s National Theatre. Thank goodness for Restoration comedy, stepping into the breach as reliably as it did with The Man of Mode in 2007 (who could forget Rory Kinnear’s Sir Fopling Flutter?) and with 2010’s all-star London Assurance. Throwing everything and the ancestral silver at the play, director Simon Godwin delivers an evening...

Common People Festival, Southampton

Caspar Gomez

Perhaps it was after Bestival 2008 that its organizer, Rob da Bank, made his pact with the ancient gods. That year the Robin Hill Country Park site was reduced to a cold, sleet-raked, tornado-blown mire. The event truly lived up to every overuse of the word “mud” the British media hurls about eagerly each festival season. It was then, presumably, that da Bank, together with his acolytes in necromancy, turned to the pagan arts to facilitate positive weather conditions for future events. It was a...

Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

David Nice

Violinists either fathom the elusive heart and soul of Elgar’s music or miss the mark completely. Canadian James Ehnes, one of the most cultured...

Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk, Turner...

Fisun Güner

Imagine if broadcasters thought the only living pop star worth giving air time to was Lady Gaga. Imagine – the horror. It would be wall-to-wall Gaga...

Gotham, Series 1 Finale, Channel 5 / Daredevil,...

Adam Sweeting

Finally reaching its concluding 22nd episode, delayed further by the "mid-season break" fashionable with American shows, Gotham [****] stands tall as...

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Canadian literary great and author husband talk birds, and each other

1945: The Savage Peace, BBC Two

Tom Birchenough

The story of the cruel aftermath of war told in bruising documentary

Perspectives: War Art with Eddie Redmayne, ITV

Marina Vaizey

Oscar-winning actor proves that he did learn something as a Cambridge art history student

King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Ismene Brown

Jonathan Miller's vivid new production puts Lear in a Yorkshire accent

Tetzlaff, LSO, Harding, Barbican

Alexandra Coghlan

Ecstatic Beethoven dragged back to earth by some workaday Brahms

Carmen, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Gavin Dixon

Fresh revival with strong cast and dynamic conducting from Jakub Hrůša

Kozhukhin, BBCSO, Oramo, Barbican

David Nice

Kaleidoscope of fascinating scores circa 1925 crowns superlative Nielsen anniversary series

Carleen Anderson: A Tribute to Sarah Vaughan, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Nick Hasted

Honouring a jazz icon in sometimes challenging, sometimes thrilling style

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Damned

Kieron Tyler

Admirably succinct entry point into first five years of Brit-punk pioneers

Mark Knopfler, O2 Arena

Russ Coffey

Prolific musical craftsman gives a tantalising reminder of his former self

Classical CDs Weekly: Bach, Shostakovich, Henrik Schwarz

Graham Rickson

Baroque delights, controversial cantatas and contemporary dance music

The New Girlfriend

Nick Hasted

A touching transvestite romcom from François Ozon

Poliuto, Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Alexandra Coghlan

Donizetti gets Glyndebourne's season off to a sober and psychological start

Benjamin Clementine, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Thomas H Green

One man, one woman, on piano and cello, wow Brighton into silence

Cat's Eyes live score for The Duke of Burgundy, Brighton Dome

Bella Todd

Horrors frontman's side project soundtrack Peter Strickland's S&M masterpiece

Peter Pan, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Marianka Swain

Eloquent wartime reimagining of Barrie's play is a magical experience

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Simon Munk

A beautifully detailed fantasy world to lose yourself in

Corin Sworn: Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery

Sarah Kent

Impostors and stolen identities explored in an installation inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

McQueen, St James Theatre

Matt Wolf

An excellent Stephen Wight can't salvage torpid bioplay

Carmen, English National Opera

David Nice

Broad brushstrokes and big voices in Calixto Bieito's pacey but half-cooked Bizet

The Joey Arias Experience, Theatre Royal, Brighton

Matthew Wright

Iconic New York cabaret singer is witty, tender, and very rude

As You Like It, Shakespeare's Globe

Marianka Swain

Warmly traditional Shakespeare needs more theatrical magic

L'Oublié(e)/The Forgotten, Brighton Dome

Thomas H Green

Conceptual French production that revels in the hallucinatory

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Kieron Tyler

Style over substance in the supposed 'first Iranian vampire Western'

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The Beaux' Stratagem, National Theatre

Energetic and irreverent comic delight from start to finish

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Ehnes, Armstrong, Wigmore Hall

Flawless violin-and-piano duo in rich programme of works from around 1915

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Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, Corn Exchange, Brighton

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The story of the cruel aftermath of war told in bruising documentary