wed 26/04/2017

London 2012

London 2012 and Beyond: The Best of 2012

The Mayan calendar recently suggested it was all over. It is now, almost. 2012 was, by anyone’s lights, an annus mirabilis for culture on these shores. The world came to the United Kingdom, and the kingdom was indeed more or less united by a genuine...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Grand Tour/ Faster/ The Dream, Sadler's Wells

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s second triple bill at Sadler’s Wells this week is aptly titled "Autumn Celebration", acknowledging the season’s diverse weather through eclectic, light-hearted programming.Joe Layton’s The Grand Tour is a nostalgic 1971...

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Taking Part/After the Party, Criterion Theatre

Britain may be in grip of Olympic fever, but two playwrights are questioning our unqualified cheer: should we really break out into an excited sweat, they ask, at the mention of beach volleyball, Rebecca Adlington and Danny Boyle? Taking Part and...

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theartsdesk Olympics: En Garde! Fencing on Stage and Screen

Is that a sabre you see before you? It could be if you’re talking any of multiple stage and screen versions of Hamlet, the Shakespeare play that puts centre-stage arguably the most esoteric of all Olympics activities: fencing. (Well, OK, beach...

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theartsdesk Olympics: The Wrestler

What of the star sportsman whose glory days are behind him? It seems an absurd question to pose, with the sun barely set on the theatrics of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, but for Randy “The Ram” Robinson it’s everyday existentialism.Of course it's...

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The Opening Ceremony, BBC One

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the Palace. “Your Majesty, we’ve had a request from a Mr Boyle. It concerns the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games.” “I’m already opening the blessed thing, aren’t I? What else do they want?” “Ma’am, they just...

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Gallery: Collecting the Olympic Games, British Library

As London 2012 finally settles into the blocks for its two-week dash after seven years of preparation, the British Library has cast a nostalgic look back to the two previous Olympiads hosted by the city, in 1908 and 1948. The story the images tell...

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Twenty Twelve: The Finale, BBC Two

So that’s all over then. Which isn’t good. The gnawing anxiety for followers of Twenty Twelve, the programme whose theme song is “There may be trouble ahead...", has been whether real-life events would become so like it - or even worse, more like it...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Steve Prefontaine (times two)

Movies often come unwittingly in pairs, whether you're talking Capote and Infamous (both about Truman Capote) or Valmont and Dangerous Liaisons (both adapted from the epistolary novel by Laclos). And so it was that the late 1990s saw the...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Athletes at the opera

Triumph, despair, glory and struggle: the Olympic Games might technically be a sporting event, but in spirit and essence they are pure drama. Film-makers may have shouted loudest about this discovery, generating hit after Olympic-themed hit...

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The Boy Who Fell into a Book, Soho Theatre

Alan Ayckbourn refuses to write down to children, and it shows. The Boy Who Fell into a Book is as sophisticated in structure as it is family-friendly in content. The narrative follows nine-year-old Kevin, who is absorbed (literally) into the...

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theartsdesk Olympics: Walk, Don't Run

Though this 1966 comedy was a light and fluffy thing, it was gazed upon benignly by the critics, mostly because it was a late vehicle for the well-oiled Cary Grant charm machine. It proved to be his last film, in fact. Others viewed it equally...

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