mon 23/01/2017

fairytales

A Monster Calls

It's not often you hear the sound of film critics sobbing quietly to themselves, but this really happened at the screening I attended of A Monster Calls. Having seen the trailer, with its scenes of a giant tree stomping around a spooky-looking...

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DVD: Three Wishes for Cinderella

Not quite three wishes; this film’s Czech title is Tři oříšky pro Popelku, which translates as three nuts. We’ll get to that later. Three Wishes for Cinderella, a Czechoslovak-East German co-production from 1973, is a treat, and still an annual...

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The Little Matchgirl, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

For anyone disposed to treat the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as hallowed ground – and such issues have gained much currency at the Globe recently following the announced early departure of artistic director Emma Rice – The Little Matchgirl may seem like...

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First Person: 'Schizophrenia is still a taboo subject'

On 10 October 2016, World Mental Health Day, the team of Belarus Free Theatre came back together to start the final stages of production for Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion, a new theatre show based on Arnhild Lauveng’s autobiographical book. Arnhild...

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The Sleeping Beauty, Australian Ballet, cinema broadcast

Australian Ballet's cinema broadcast on Tuesday night appears to have been a little under-publicised – at least in my local multiplex, which was deafeningly empty with just five spectators. I suspect a combination of circumstances to be at work: the...

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Preacher, Amazon Prime Video

If you’re going to go toe-to-toe with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the first two series in Netflix’s supremely realised and blood-spattered depiction of Marvel Comic’s Hell’s Kitchen, it’s as well to do it with conviction. By hosting Preacher, based...

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Cinderella, Ratmansky/Australian Ballet, London Coliseum

Does Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi director and current world-leading classical choreographer, really love Prokofiev's Cinderella, or did he choose to create a new one for Australian Ballet in 2013 principally because he wasn't happy with his...

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Tale of Tales

The earliest known versions of Rapunzel and Cinderella appeared in an Italian compendium of fairytales known as the Pentamerone. They were collated by Neapolitan courtier Giambattista Basile and published in the 1630s after his death. The 50-strong...

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Into the Woods, Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse

Opera North’s ongoing Ring isn’t taking up much of the chorus’s time, which presumably is one of the reasons that many of its members have decamped half a mile east to collaborate with the West Yorkshire Playhouse in an eye-popping new staging of...

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Die Zauberflöte, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer, RFH

Sunlit golden mean or slightly hazy middle-of-the-road? Conductor-director Iván Fischer's fully costumed and imagined concert of The Magic Flute - or perhaps it would better have been titled Die ZauberFlute given its intelligent mix of sung German...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Middle Temple Hall

You rarely see a full production of Shakespeare's dream play so magical it brings tears to the eyes. But then you don't often get 42 players and 14 voices joining the cast to adorn the text with Mendelssohn's bewitching incidental music, plus the...

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Cinderella, Scottish Ballet, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

When producing Cinderella, the main question is: sweet or sour?  That Prokofiev score is splendid, but it's no walk in a candy shop; in Act I the stepsisters have passages so scraping, spiky and dissonant that sugar-coating would seem to be out...

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