sat 20/01/2018

childhood

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet review - a feast of visual delights

I can imagine Monica Mason, the artistic director who commissioned Christopher Wheeldon's 2011 Alice, feeling pretty pleased with herself as she looked around the Covent Garden auditorium last night at an audience buzzing with excitement for the...

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Roddy Doyle: Smile review - return of the repressed

Although he made his name with the generally upbeat grooves and licks of his Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle has often played Irish family and social life as a blues full of sorrow and regret. In his Booker-winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, a bitter...

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Pagliacci/L’enfant et les sortilèges, Opera North review - off and on with the motley

The first two one-acters in Opera North’s season called The Little Greats were unveiled on Saturday. There are six in all, scheduled on a mix-and-match basis so Leeds opera-goers can choose their own tapas menu: grab one show, choose from various...

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DVD/Blu-ray: My Life as a Courgette

Describe the plot of My Life as a Courgette to someone who’s not been lucky enough to see it and they'll find it hard to understand how a film with such a bleak premise can be so funny and emotionally involving. Swiss director Claude Barras’s...

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Blu-ray: Lord of the Flies

This is a timely rerelease of the 1963 version of the William Golding novel, coinciding as it does with the debate about a planned remake with an all-female cast. Peter Brook’s adaptation sticks closely to the original text: according to a...

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Educating Greater Manchester, Channel 4 review - a study of hope, humanity and heart

Cast your minds back, if you will, to 2011. Remember Jamie Oliver’s Celebrity Fight School? I think that was the title… in any case, it was an astonishing vanity project which seemed to suggest that the reason so many kids were being failed by...

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No More Boys and Girls, BBC Two – baby steps lead to great leaps for children

Whether it’s the £400,000 that separates Mishal Husain from John Humphrys, or the 74 million miles between the metaphorical markers of Venus and Mars, there is a gulf between the genders. Despite legislation to enforce equality, the reality is...

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BambinO / Last And First Men, Manchester International Festival

The Manchester International Festival – a biennale of new creative work – this year has a new artistic director in John McGrath, and there’s no large-scale new opera or prominent "classical" work, it would seem, other than Raymond Yiu’s song cycle,...

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Committee review - we're all on trial in new Kids Company musical

A memorable 2015 parliamentary select committee hearing asked Kids Company CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh and chair of trustees Alan Yentob whether the organisation was ever fit for purpose. Tom Deering, Hadley Fraser and Josie Rourke’s new verbatim...

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Russell Brand, Touring review - grandiloquent performer in reflective mood

Were ordinary folk to plunder their lives for comedy, most of us would be sadly lacking in any topics worthy of analysis, let alone laughs. But Russell Brand, who every few years appears to reinvent himself – from drug addict to stand-up comic, from...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Claude Barras and Céline Sciamma on My Life as a Courgette

If one were to stop at the title, My Life as a Courgette – from the French Ma vie de Courgette and unsurprisingly renamed for those insular Americans as My Life As a Zucchini – could be too easily dismissed as a juvenile or childlike frivolity. And...

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After the Storm review - quietly nuanced and moving Japanese family drama impresses

Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda is a master of family drama, carrying on the traditions of his illustrious predecessors Yasujiro Ozu and Mikio Naruse. But these are not films of raised voices or open conflict, rather highly nuanced studies of...

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