wed 24/05/2017

Cornwall

Tristan & Yseult, Brighton Festival review - playful and inventive storytelling

Tristan & Yseult has become something of a calling card for Kneehigh, which was founded in 1980 and is now the unofficial National Theatre of Cornwall. Emma Rice, currently artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe in London, created this...

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CD: Lisa Knapp - Till April Is Dead: A Garland of May

I’ve long cherished south London folk singer Lisa Knapp’s Hunt the Hare - A Branch of May EP, released in a limited edition in 2012, so to have Till April Is Dead: A Garland of May come in the full bloom of May is a charm indeed. It is her third...

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Le Vin herbé, Welsh National Opera

Wagner’s Tristan left a huge mark on fin de siècle art, on the symbolist poets, even on their pseudonyms; Debussy himself toyed with a four-act opera on the subject. And his version, if he had ever composed it, would have been an intriguing...

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Poldark, Series 2 Finale / Planet Earth II, BBC One

So, a rough tally. We’ve had a trial, a near suicide, a punch-up, death by drowning, a near bankruptcy, a tin rush, another punch-up, a baby, a probable rape, a riot, another baby, and another one on the way, possibly a product of that probable rape...

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Oil, Almeida Theatre

Ambition trumps (if you'll forgive that verb) achievement in Ella Hickson's new play, a long-aborning exercise in time-travel whose audacity of vision can't override one's impression that the final result is an effortful slog. Tracing a mother-...

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Poldark, Series 2, BBC One

Those who frequent Cornwall know that most of its place names begin with one of three prefixes. Indeed, check your copy of Richard Carew’s Survey of Cornwall (1602) for the source of the rhyme: “By Tre, Pol and Pen / Shall ye know all Cornishmen”. (...

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CD: Jim Causley & Luke Thompson - The Clay Hymnal

Devonian singer and accordionist Jim Causley released Cyprus Well, settings of his relative Charles Causley's poems, in 2013. What may be his finest album to date, Forgotten Kingdom, came early this year, and now he has released a second album of...

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How the Other Half Loves, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves – first performed in 1969, in the round at the Library Theatre in Scarborough – was only his second play. Already, though, it has a few Ayckbourn tropes – warring couples and interconnecting sets – and...

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And Then There Were None, BBC One

None, or two? Only the tiniest whiff of spoiler is involved in pointing out that while the stage version, or at least the one I saw with an actor friend playing an early victim, settled for a semi-happy ending, this magnificently brooding adaptation...

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Tristan und Isolde, Longborough Festival

It’s well-known that Wagner shelved The Ring two thirds of the way through in favour of Tristan with the aim of producing something that could be put on quickly in a conventional theatre. Of course, it didn’t quite work out that way. Yet Tristan,...

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The Pirates of Penzance, English National Opera

When ENO announced its return to Gilbert and Sullivan, rapture at the news that Mike Leigh, genius Topsy-Turvy director, would be the master of wonderland ceremonies was modified by its choice, The Pirates of Penzance. Last staged at the Coliseum –...

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The Pirates of Penzance, Touring

When does a Gilbert and Sullivan chorus make you laugh, cry and cheer as much as any of the famous set pieces? In this case when Major-General Stanley’s daughters “climbing over rocky mountain” wear pretty white dresses but turn out to be gym-...

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