sun 19/11/2017

Oxford

Philip Pullman: La Belle Sauvage review - not quite equal

La Belle Sauvage, the first instalment of Philip Pullman’s eagerly-awaited new trilogy The Book of Dust, opens in the Trout, a rambling Thames-side pub on the outskirts of Port Meadow, north of Oxford. Here all kinds drink: scholars, labourers,...

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Alan Hollinghurst: The Sparsholt Affair - pictures at an exhibition, with telling gaps

Television has paid its dues to the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act - rather feebly, with some rotten acting, in Man in an Orange Shirt; brilliantly, with mostly superb performances, in the monologue sequence Queers, surely due a second...

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Endeavour, Series 4 Finale, ITV

There were signs of a collision as early as the second series. The event loomed larger in the third last year and last night, after an actual car crash, it finally happened: Endeavour became interchangeable with Midsomer Murders. How are the...

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The Schumann Project, Oxford Lieder Festival

It felt oddly disrespectful showing up in time for Schumann's wake on the fifteenth and final day of this year's Oxford Lieder Festival. Having started with the early piano music and many of the chamber works before moving on to Schumann's annus...

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Endeavour, Series 3 Finale

We have been here before – literally. Morse and his colleagues discreetly observe a gangster’s funeral in Kensal Green cemetery – just as they did in Promised Land, one of the best episodes of Inspector Morse, first broadcast in March 1991. A...

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CD: Foals - What Went Down

Coming to Foals without the baggage – without knowing, for example, that they’re a British guitar band of mid-Noughties vintage – is a disconcerting experience, not least where fourth album What Went Down is concerned. Opening with a huge...

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The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, BBC Two

Alice is always with us; the most quoted work of literature, after the Bible and Shakespeare. In fact, Desert Island Discs should probably add Alice to the mandatory Bible and Shakespeare as an automatic inclusion for the survival kit. Now 150 years...

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First Episode, Jermyn Street Theatre

Rediscovered work offers aficionados a tantalising piece of the puzzle. Terence Rattigan’s callow debut, reborn after 80 years in obscurity, bears the hallmarks of his later plays, notably closeted ardour and the torment of unequal passion, but is...

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theartsdesk at Wilderness Festival

Entering Wilderness is like stepping into the brain of Baz Luhrmann. It is a kaleidoscope of colours, swirling with noise and feathers, surreal in its array of vintage-bohemian-steampunk spectacle, and magical in its collaboration of the arts and...

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Endeavour, Series 2, ITV

The last time the whippersnapper Morse was on our screens he was getting (a) orphaned and (b) shot. This double dose of pain seemed a bit punitive, but then when sorrows come they come not single spies. The second series of Endeavour seems...

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Master Drawings, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Michelangelo evidently regarded drawing as the foundation of not only painting and sculpture but  of “architecture and of every other kind of painting and the root of all science”. His all-encompassing claim is subtly demonstrated in this...

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Endeavour, Series 1, ITV

Where will it end? Inspector Morse keeled over all the way back in the year 2000. Then the faintly unimaginable happened. Morse’s plodding sidekick Lewis got a promotion and started solving Oxford’s apparently inexhaustible supply of murders himself...

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