tue 12/12/2017

London

Rachel Hewitt: A Revolution of Feeling review - from passions to emotions

Utopias have a way of going up in flames. Rachel Hewitt’s new book, A Revolution of Feeling: The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind, charts the revolutionary fervour and disappointment provoked over the course of the 1790s by looking at the decade...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The L-Shaped Room

Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe is a true prince of darkness here, picking out Leslie Caron’s beautiful eyes and gleaming mouth despite the gloom of a seedy Notting Hill boarding house. Taking a break from her usual roles as a happy hoofer, Caron...

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The Passing of the Third Floor Back, Finborough Theatre review - the better nature of Jerome K Jerome

Even by the standards of theatrical archaeology that the Finborough has made its own, The Passing of the Third Floor Back is a curiosity. Jerome K Jerome’s 1908 play was a long-running hit in the West End – with Johnston Forbes-Robertson, one of the...

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Tom Russell, 100 Club review - tales from a time-honoured troubadour

Nothing beats a great singer-songwriter live and unadorned. So it was with Tom Russell at London’s 100 Club on the penultimate night of his UK tour. Accompanied by his faithful friend the brilliant Milanese Max Bernadino on guitar, the man whom...

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic review - Rhys Ifans takes on Scrooge, triumphantly

Fresh from the success of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack Thorne now gives us his exuberant adaptation of another much-loved text. Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol is the well-worn morality fable seared into our collective memory...

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The Rake's Progress, Wilton's Music Hall review - mercurial Stravinsky made cumbersome

If you're not going to mention the imaginative genius of Stravinsky, Auden and Kallman within the covers of your programme, and the only article, by the director, is titled "Acting Naturally", then the production had better deliver. That remarkable...

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Brakes review - dysfunctional relationships laid bare

Breaking up is hard to do, sang Neil Sedaka, and Mercedes Grower plays out that sentiment in a quirky, original and often funny film, which neatly subverts Hollywood romcom tropes.It's an episodic piece (with a stellar cast) that cuts between nine...

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Marnie, English National Opera review – hyped new opera doesn’t hit the heights

The great and good of the London music scene were gathered at English National Opera last night for the unveiling of American Wunderkind Nico Muhly’s new opera, Marnie. Although it was commissioned by the Met in New York, somehow ENO managed to...

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Paddington 2 review - Hugh Grant’s superior baddie boosts sequel

Paddington 2 is that rare thing, a sequel that is more engaging than the original by dint of having a far better baddie. In the first film Nicole Kidman’s villainess was a bleached rehash of Cruella De Ville or Morticia – and it was far from her...

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Susie Boyt: Love & Fame review - as highly strung as a violin factory

At first glance, Susie Boyt’s sixth novel seems in danger of echoing her half-sister Esther Freud’s Lucky Break, another story about actors. But how unfair – of course Love and Fame has its own distinctive, witty brilliance. Eve Swift comes...

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CD: Squeeze – The Knowledge

When the songwriting partnership of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford returned two years ago, it was with a renewed sense of vim and vitality following nearly two decades away. The Knowledge continues that revival with a collection of songs that...

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Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Dulwich Picture Gallery review – more than Moominvalley

Born into an artistic Swedish-speaking household in Helsinki, Tove Jansson’s first, and most enduring, ambition was to be a painter. Although best known as the illustrator behind the creatures of Moominvalley, those plump white hippopotamus-like...

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