mon 20/11/2017

Northern Ireland

66 Days, BBC Four review - Bobby Sands strikes again

There was much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary 66 Days (BBC Four) than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provided its immediate context – an...

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The End of Hope, Soho Theatre review - initially bold but not quite enough

In David Ireland's new hour-long two-hander – a co-production between Soho Theatre and west London's Orange Tree – two strangers, Janet and Dermot, meet for a casual hook-up arranged over the internet. The glitch, or at least...

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DVD: Every Picture Tells a Story

James Scott’s filmography is wide-ranging, including the 1982 short film A Shocking Accident, based on the Graham Greene story, which won an Academy Award the following year, and other works on social questions. But these documentaries, several...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Crying Game

Does a review of a 25-year-old film need a spoiler alert? Much of the success of The Crying Game – its 1992 release earned both six Oscar nominations and huge box office returns (although not enough to save its producers from bankruptcy) – is...

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My Mother and Other Strangers, BBC One

This new wartime drama launched on Remembrance Sunday is a curio. The setting of My Mother and Other Strangers is rural Northern Ireland in 1943, where it’s green and wet and a long way from the conflict. Into the midst of the fictional Moybeg on...

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The Nest, Young Vic

Do we see enough in the UK of continental European drama in translation? No. Is what we actually get the best? Probably not in the case of popular German playwright Franz Xaver Kroetz's The Nest. Still, it's rendered into pithy, convincing...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Undertones

Although the reformed Undertones, with Paul McLoone replacing original singer Feargal Sharkey, have been a popular live draw since 1999, John Peel’s anointing of “Teenage Kicks” from their debut EP as his favourite recording suggests this is what...

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Bobby Sands: 66 Days

There’s much more to Brendan J Byrne’s engrossing, even-handed documentary Bobby Sands: 66 Days than its title might at first suggest. The timeline that led up to the death on 5 May 1981 of the IRA prisoner provides the immediate context – an...

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Strange and Familiar, Barbican

The Barbican has built a steady reputation for almost unclassifiable large-scale art exhibitions, particularly in architecture, design and photography: they have been underestimated pioneers, often working in areas themselves under-scrutinised. Thus...

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I Puritani, Welsh National Opera

Whatever one may feel about Bellini’s music, it’s hard to think of him as in any sense a political composer. So you could almost hear the hearts hit the floor when the curtain went up – or rather was as usual already up – on the opening of Bellini’s...

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‘71

“You’ll only be staying here until one of the paddies shoots you.” The blunt caution given to Private Gary Hook on his arrival in Belfast sets the tone for the army’s attitude towards where he’s been posted, and the tone of locals towards an army...

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The Beautiful Game, Union Theatre

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton's musical was first seen in the West End in 2000, where it received mixed reviews and ran for just under a year. In 2009-10, they reworked the show for productions in Canada and South Africa under the title The Boys...

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