thu 30/03/2017

17th century

The Miser, Garrick Theatre

Trimmings, trimmings. They prove the final straw for Molière’s Harpagon in this new adaptation of the classic French comedy-farce. The menu for his wedding banquet – which he doesn’t want to spend a centime more on than he has to – is being...

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Bruegel, Holburne Museum, Bath

Painted in c.1640, David Teniers the Younger’s Boy Blowing Bubbles depicts a theme that would have been entirely familiar to his wife’s great-grandfather, the founder of one of art’s most illustrious dynasties, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569...

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The White Devil, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

It's no accident that when the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in 2014 it was with The Duchess of Malfi. This wooden womb, with its thick darkness and close-pressed audience is made for the stifling, claustrophobic horror of revenge tragedy....

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Silence

Audiences cannot fail to register the enormity of Martin Scorsese’s achievement in Silence. At 160 minutes, it hangs heavy over the film: adapted from the 1966 novel by Japanese writer Shusaku Endo, Silence has been close on three decades in...

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Best of 2016: Art

Before we consign this miserable year to history, there are a few good bits to be salvaged; in fact, for the visual arts 2016 has been marked by renewal and regeneration, with a clutch of newish museum directors getting into their stride, and...

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Shakespeare Trilogy, Donmar at King's Cross

If you are new to the Donmar Warehouse all-female stagings of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Henry IV – 2012 and 2014 respectively – the biggest surprise is not so much that these highly masculine dramas are performed entirely by women. It is their...

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Cymbeline, RSC, Barbican

“Britain is a world by itself.” It could be the slogan of the year – and rather longer, probably – but the phrase comes from Shakespeare’s late romance Cymbeline. Its Act III scene, in which Britain announces that it is breaking its...

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10 Questions for Director Lucy Bailey

Theatre was not Lucy Bailey’s first target. At school she was a flautist, headed probably for music. Then, in her gap year, she took a job as a telephonist at Glyndebourne, and noticed a vigorous man with a beard – name of Peter Hall – moving people...

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Adriaen van de Velde, Dulwich Picture Gallery

Oh, those dogs: just a flick of the brush, and there they are, bursting with life. Pets, hunting dogs, companions, strays: romping on beaches, or in Dutch forests, living on farms and in imagined arcadias. Adriaen van de Velde was a 17th century...

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10 Questions for Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner

The Lobgesang "lies very near my heart," wrote Mendelssohn. And the composer was so self-critical that the published order of his symphonies bears no resemblance to their composition: this "Hymn of Praise", known as the Second, was the penultimate...

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Beyond Caravaggio, National Gallery

Cheekily bottom-like, their downy skin blushing enticingly, these must be the sexiest apricots ever painted. If you held out your hand, you might just be able to touch them, there in the foreground of what is thought to be Caravaggio’s earliest...

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The Fairy Queen, AAM, Barbican

Purcell’s The Fairy Queen is a riddle to which directors must find an answer. The problems posed by a work whose theatrical characters have no foothold in the musical interludes, whose text is an awkward composite of almost-Shakespeare and not-at-...

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