thu 30/03/2017

London

Harlots review - 'fun quasi-feminist costume romp'

We like to think of Georgian England as a wellspring of elegance: the Chippendale chair and the Wedgwood teapot, the landscaped vista and the neoclassical townhouse. But, as subversively embodied in the mock heroic couplet, the seemly Age of Reason...

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Don Juan in Soho, Wyndhams Theatre review - 'David Tennant is Marber-Molière playboy'

Updating the classics is not without its pitfalls. How can a modern audience, which has a completely different set of religious beliefs, relate to a 17th century morality tale in which the lead character behaves really badly, but gets his...

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Meet the Lords, BBC Two

To Westminster and Meet the Lords, a series which Radio Times assures me follows “the larger-than-life characters” in one of our “most idiosyncratic and important institutions”. Obviously it was shot well before the current Brexit deliberations in...

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10 Questions for TV Producers Stan Lee and Gill Champion

It’s a fairly big deal to be interviewing Stan Lee. Generations have been enthralled by his work, from the 1960s comics The Amazing Spider-Man and The Uncanny X-Men – which came to the UK first as US imports and later as black and white reprints via...

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The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…One of the many ironies of Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon’s massive novel partly set in 1940s London, is that what follows these opening lines (...

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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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Barbara Dickson, Union Chapel

Mention the name “Barbara Dickson” and everyone remembers “I Know Him so Well”, the duet with Elaine Paige which hit the top spot in 1985, the era of big hair, shoulders pads and dry ice. That song didn’t feature in Dickson’s concert at Union Chapel...

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Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde, BBC Four

Despite having been a rock star since the late Seventies, Chrissie Hynde seems to be an introverted, elusive sort of person. If this Arena profile was anything to go by, she lives as a virtual recluse, positively revelling in solitariness. Like the...

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Kaufmann, Mattila, LSO, Pappano, Barbican

Jonas Kaufmann’s legion of admirers could rest content. A well-received Lieder evening last week demonstrated that the world’s hottest tenor property had returned, both to London for a three-concert residency at the Barbican, and indeed to singing...

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Timeshift: Flights of Fancy - Pigeons and the British, BBC Four

Pigeons were described in this riveting programme as man’s best feathered friends, as well as an urban pest: the 35,000 of them that used to flock round Trafalgar Square deposited some 390 tons of unharvested guano – bird poo, in simpler words –...

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The Pitchfork Disney, Shoreditch Town Hall

Playwright Philip Ridley has one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary theatre. His imagination is laced with sci-fi images and an East End gothic sensibility, and his mastery of storytelling continues to surprise and delight. In 1991, he...

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Francis Bacon: A Brush with Violence, BBC Two

Francis Bacon died in April 1992, aged 82, but heaven knows how he managed to live that long. The tortuous story of his life is now fairly well known, but Richard Curson Smith's documentary marshalled a formidable array of critics, biographers and...

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