sat 28/02/2015

fairytales

Hansel and Gretel, Welsh National Opera

After 16 years one might expect a revival of a repertory opera like Hansel and Gretel to come up with a dusty look and frayed edges. But Benjamin Davis has done a brilliant job pumping the life back into Richard Jones’s memorable but intricate 1998...

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Swan Lake, Royal Ballet

Is there an art-form more tied to bad as well as good tradition than classical ballet? Yolanda Sonnabend’s unatmospherically if expensively kitsch designs for this Swan Lake wouldn’t have lasted more than a season or two in the worlds of theatre and...

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The Nutcracker, Scottish Ballet, Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Every Nutcracker has its day, and every day has its Nutcracker. But sometimes history repeats itself, and so it was that I found myself last night in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, scene of my own childhood encounters with ballet, preparing to watch...

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Edward Scissorhands, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells

For those who’ve seen one too many Nutcrackers, nothing says Christmas better than a Matthew Bourne production at Sadler’s Wells. A man whose mantelpiece is overflowing with Tony and Olivier awards is a safe bet for entertainrment – even when...

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Cinderella, New Wimbledon Theatre

Strange world, isn’t it? Yesterday morning, buoyed up by the Royal Opera’s impressive Tristan und Isolde, I was listening on CD to Linda Esther Gray, a Wagnerian soprano for the ages, singing the best Liebstod I know. In the evening, I was watching...

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DVD: Maleficent

Angelina Jolie carries this re-visited Disney classic. She is the flying buttress that supports the old story told anew, as commanding as the nuclear green energy she emits into the stratosphere and as striking as any original drawing may have been....

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Sampling the Myth, Royal Ballet

The Royal Opera House is on fire this month. Not literally (unless someone knocks over the flaming braziers outside) but with the varied illuminations of the Deloitte Ignite Festival, co-curated by the Royal Ballet and Minna Moore Ede of the...

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Diaghilev Festival Gala, London Coliseum

Bakst’s harem drapes and Roerich’s smoking, steaming Polovtsian camp may not have had the most lavish of recreations. But the rest of this homage to Diaghilev shone with an exuberance and even a precision one would not have thought possible from...

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The Golden Cockerel, Diaghilev Festival, London Coliseum

Rimsky-Korsakov’s bizarre final fantasy, puffing up Pushkin's short verse-tale to unorthodox proportions, has done better in Britain than any of his other operatic fairy-tales. That probably has something to do with its appearance in Paris, six...

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Maleficent

For the latest in a seemingly endless line of misunderstood cultural icons, meet Maleficent, the preternaturally smooth-cheeked anti-hero (or maybe not ) of the new celluloid blockbuster of the same name. As played by Angelina Jolie like some sort...

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Child Of Light

There are many admirable things about Child Of Light. It's the game that the core team behind Far Cry 3 – the mega-action, gnarly dude first-person shooter ‑ went on to work on next. Yet, it's difficult to imagine two games further from each other....

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Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera

The big message of The Woman Without a Shadow, brushing aside the narrower, moral majority preaching that you’re incomplete without children, seems clear: fulfillment can’t be bought at the cost of another’s suffering. Yet the path towards that...

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