sat 27/08/2016

fairytales

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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Nutcracker, English National Ballet, London Coliseum

Christmas legends are not born; they are made. In the case of the Nutcracker, its Christmas indispensability in Britain and America stems not from the original 1892 St Petersburg production, but from 1950s reinterpretations by emigré Russians (...

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The Little Match Girl, Lilian Baylis Studio Theatre

I habitually skipped over Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Girl in my childhood fairy tale compendium because I couldn't bear the sadness (see also: The Happy Prince *sob*). Parents of sensitive children will therefore be relieved to know that...

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RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

Why play a very substantial act of ballet music in concert? In the case of Aurora’s wedding entertainment from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, there are at least three good reasons. It embraces the most inventive and unorthodox of divertissements...

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Jessica Jones, Netflix

After the roaring success of Daredevil this year, Marvel brings us the next instalment in the TV rendering of their universe – or part of it at least. Jessica Jones, created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos in 2001, is a...

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Raven Girl/Connectome, Royal Ballet

Wayne McGregor wasn't anyone's idea of a ballet man when he was appointed choreographer in residence at the Royal Ballet in 2007. Before then, and since, his work has been abstract, spiky, verging on dysmorphic. His interest lay not in human stories...

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