tue 25/04/2017

Bristol

Sunday Book: Helen Dunmore - Birdcage Walk

Birdcage Walk in Bristol really exists. It runs under an arched canopy of branches though a long-disused graveyard in Clifton. At this eerie spot, all that remains of the blitzed church of St Andrew’s, rosebay willowherb grows waist-high but “no one...

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Othello, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Intimacy is a mixed blessing: Richard Twyman’s close-up exploration of sex and violence in his production of Othello for Bristol’s Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory takes the audience on a gripping emotional journey, but one that is at times almost...

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Sunday Book: Tessa Hadley - Bad Dreams

In one of Tessa Hadley’s piercingly smart and subtle tales, a woman whose upwardly-mobile path has taken her from Leeds to Philadelphia works for a firm that manufactures instruments to test the “tensile strength” of materials. You can treat the...

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All's Well That Ends Well, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Andrew Hilton’s new production of All’s Well That Ends Well makes the most of the complexities of a "problem play", neither comedy nor tragedy, and navigates this startling mix of emotional depth and light farce with great deftness. This is...

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Long Day's Journey Into Night, Bristol Old Vic

Lesley Manville’s performance as Mary, the tortured morphine addict, wife and mother in Eugene O’Neill’s dark masterpiece Long Day’s Journey Into Night, directed by Richard Eyre, is breathtaking, from the moment she first steps on stage until her...

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Hamlet, Tobacco Factory, Bristol

Alan Mahon’s Hamlet in Andrew Hilton’s production for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory bristles with teen spirit and this is no bad thing. The Prince of Denmark, even before his father dies, is beset with the angst that goes with the territory of...

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The Odyssey, Mark Bruce Company, Circomedia, Bristol

Mark Bruce did very well with his last dance theatre production Dracula, but this time around he has reached a little too far. The Odyssey is a great text, but with the twists and turns of Ulysses’ return to Ithaca, burdened with the karmic debt of...

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CD: Tricky – Tricky Presents Skilled Mechanics

Tricky navigates a kind of penumbra, a fertile and ever-renewing source of inspiration in which his mixed-race, gender-fluid self can re-invent itself periodically, while staying true to his roots and his unique self-taught take on the world of...

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Sleeping Beauty, Bristol Old Vic

Christmas pantomime is all about letting go, and being carried away on a wave of communal jollity. The genre also delights in carnivalesque gender-bending, the anarchic undermining of authority and the playful representation of evil. There is always...

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The Crucible, Bristol Old Vic

Tom Morris has a strong feel for drama that explores the personal implications of fanaticism: his production of John Adams’s powerful opera The Death of Klinghoffer for New York's Met and the ENO, used a language of great simplicity that allowed the...

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Living Quarters, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

Brian Friel’s Living Quarters ranks with his best plays but isn’t well known. This powerful story of family dysfunction was first performed in the UK in 1991, directed by Andrew Hilton for Bristol’s legendary pub theatre company Show of Strength and...

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We Made It: Cameron Balloons

An air of busy calm greets me as I walk onto the top floor of Bristol’s Cameron Balloon factory. Considering this company is the largest manufacturer of hot air balloons in the world, my novice expectations of behemoth machinery raging back and...

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