thu 25/05/2017

England

Lettice and Lovage, Menier Chocolate Factory review - Peter Shaffer's star vehicle sags

You have to hand it to Felicity Kendal: this ever-game actress is fearless about treading in the footsteps of the British theatre's grandes dames. In 2006, she starred on the West End quite creditably in Amy's View, inheriting a part originated on...

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review - Guy Ritchie's deadly weapon

Guy Ritchie is back birthing turkeys. Who can remember/forget that triptych of stiffs Swept Away, Revolver and RocknRolla? Now, having redemptively bashed his CV back into shape with the assistance of Sherlock Holmes, the mockney rebel turns to...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Jez Butterworth

Jez Butterworth is back. Even before the critics have uttered a single word of praise The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes and set in rural Derry in 1981 at the height of the IRA hunger strikes, sold out its run at the Royal Court in hours. It...

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The Last Kingdom - 'one of the very best things on television'

The first series of The Last Kingdom in 2015 kicked off with a blockbuster episode which managed to encompass savage violence, dynastic rivalry and a speedy tour of the state of Britain in the ninth century, while allowing the central protagonist,...

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Sunday Book: Min Kym - Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung

“What’s it like to be a child prodigy?” is a question asked by violinist Min Kym several times in the course of this fascinating, agonising memoir. There’s no simple answer, but this description rings true: “There’s that peculiar sensation of...

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Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories review - 'in pictures you can let all your rage out'

“My mother has always been a bit of a mystery to me not only as an artist but also as a mum,” declares Nick Willing by way of introduction to his film for BBC Two on the painter Paula Rego, who turned 82 in January. What follows is as far removed...

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SS–GB, Series Finale, BBC One

In the end, SS-GB promised more than it could deliver, but it still left us with some memorable images (not least in the cleverly-crafted opening titles) and several excellent performances. The ending even dangled the faintest hint of a sequel,...

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Blu-ray: Cul-de-Sac

Has the British seaside ever looked more alien than in Roman Polanski’s absurdist drama Cul-de-Sac?  Filmed on Holy Island, the tide steals the causeway that led craggy American gangster, Richard (played by Lionel Stander) to an isolated, run-...

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The Girls, Phoenix Theatre

Why? That's the abiding question that hangs over The Girls, the sluggish and entirely pro forma Tim Firth-Gary Barlow musical that goes where Firth's film and stage play of Calendar Girls have already led. Telling of a charitable impulse that...

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SS–GB, BBC One

“What if the Germans had won the war?” has been a recurring theme in fiction, from Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time to Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’s Fatherland. There was even a predictive pre-war “future history”...

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Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra, BBC Four

Two years ago BBC Four had a film about a year in the life of Scafell Pike. Arriving at glacial pace is the sequel: Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra. The star this time round is more of a best supporting character actor than a headline...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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