sat 28/05/2016

England

CD: Harleighblu - Futurespective

It’s a foolish game to wonder who might fill the musical void left by Amy Winehouse’s passing. She was a one-off, after all. However, it’s natural to occasionally look about and ponder where there might be talent of a similar ilk. Not all the doomed...

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The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses - Henry VI Part 1, BBC Two

Allegedly one of the worst plays Shakespeare wrote (which he may have done in cahoots with Thomas Nashe), the first part of Henry VI emerged victorious from this TV adaptation. Whereas one might think twice about chopping and rejigging Hamlet or...

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An Enemy of the People, Chichester Festival Theatre

If Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes were (a lot) more like Ibsen, our national viewing habits would be in good hands. But then, as the hero of An Enemy of the People discovers, presuming to know what’s good for the public is a dangerous game....

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DVD: The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s latest bloodfest is a claustrophobic piece of cinema in which a very wild bunch, holed up in a Wyoming shack in the middle of a blizzard, confront their various pasts, recent and less so, and gradually eliminate each other in a...

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Travels with My Aunt, Chichester Festival Theatre

Smoking weed on the Orient Express. Drinking at a brothel in Paris. Tricking the military police in Istanbul. Smuggling a Da Vinci into Paraguay. As travel itineraries go, it’s certainly no Saga break. But then Graham Greene’s Augusta is no ordinary...

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Europe: Them or Us, BBC Two

The BBC opened its examination of the history of European togetherness with presenter Nick Robinson beaming at us from the top of those White Cliffs, looking out at the glistening sea which made us an island (until, of course, Mrs Thatcher supported...

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We Made It: Guitar Maker Brian Cohen

Tucked away in a warren of residential streets in the older part of Guildford, The Old Glassworks looks like a lock-up garage, and seems to have been designed to repel unwanted attention with a private force-field of anonymity. Once you've been...

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Strange and Familiar, Barbican

The Barbican has built a steady reputation for almost unclassifiable large-scale art exhibitions, particularly in architecture, design and photography: they have been underestimated pioneers, often working in areas themselves under-scrutinised. Thus...

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Peter Bowker on making 'The A Word'

Films, TV and books about autism often send me down memory lane; my older brother Timothy was one of the first children in the UK to be diagnosed with autism in the early 1960s, and I’ve kept a wary eye on how autism is portrayed ever since I can...

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Doctor Thorne, ITV

As the camera lingered lovingly over landscaped gardens and ravishing English countryside with a stately home parked squarely in the back of the frame, one could hardly avoid slipping into a Downtonesque reverie. Even more so when the assembled posh...

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Land of Hope and Glory, BBC Two

The weekly magazine Country Life was founded in 1897, and is now perhaps improbably owned by Time Inc UK. Its popular image among people who do not necessarily ever look at it is defined by the famous (or infamous) girls in pearls: those portraits...

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Churchill's Secret, ITV

When it comes to losing power, and powers failing, Michael Gambon has once again proved himself the ruler of choice. The actor who gave us his Lear when he was only just hitting his forties has had three decades of gurning and grouching to ready...

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