tue 26/09/2017

poetry

Sand in the Sandwiches, Theatre Royal, Haymarket review - delightful but sanitised

Bard of Metroland and scourge of Slough, John Betjeman is, alongside Philip Larkin on parenthood, still one of the 20th century’s most-quoted poets. Hugh Whitemore’s play, part highlights reading and part biographical drama, offers a hugely charming...

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A Quiet Passion, review - 'Cynthia Nixon is an indrawn Emily Dickinson'

Is there something about the recessive life of Emily Dickinson that defies dramatisation? I'm beginning to think so after A Quiet Passion. The Terence Davies film may attempt a more authentic take on the unrelievedly bleak, and also great, 19th-...

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Neruda, review - 'poetry and politics'

Chilean director Pablo Larrain has described Neruda as a “false biopic”, and it’s a film that surprises on many levels in its presentation of Pablo Neruda, the great poet who is his country’s best-known cultural figure. It captivates for the scope...

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10 Questions for Poet Tommy Sissons

Tommy Sissons is a 21-year-old poet, originally from Brighton, now based in London. He has won a number of poetry slam championships, and has performed across the UK at venues ranging from the Boomtown Festival to the Royal Albert Hall. His debut...

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Sunday Book: Michel Houellebecq - Unreconciled: Poems 1991-2013

The American poet-critic Randall Jarrell once entitled a collection of essays A Sad Heart at the Supermarket. He might have enjoyed Michel Houellebecq’s poem “Hypermarket - November”. Its forlorn narrator has “stumbled into freezer”, then “collapsed...

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CD: Hollie + Metropole Orkest - Poetry versus Orchestra

Performance poet Hollie McNish and composer Jules Buckley specialise in taking their respective art forms to new audiences. They’ve gone for a double whammy with this enterprising collaboration, the brainchild of producer Kwame Kwaten, bringing...

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Leonard Cohen: Turning the Darkness Into Beauty

Leonard Cohen, who has died at 82, was one of those artists born with a wisdom and maturity that cut deep into the baby-boomer youth culture of his times. He provided the perfect antidote to the innocent optimism of the 1960s, a vision shot through...

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10 Questions for Director Lucy Bailey

Theatre was not Lucy Bailey’s first target. At school she was a flautist, headed probably for music. Then, in her gap year, she took a job as a telephonist at Glyndebourne, and noticed a vigorous man with a beard – name of Peter Hall – moving people...

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Shakespeare triple bill, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

Shakespeare has always been a fertile source of inspiration for story ballets. Plays which exist in multiple dance versions include Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet, while Shakespeare...

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CD: Gruff Rhys - Set Fire to the Stars

Super Furry Animals front man Gruff Rhys is a quietly prolific talent. Every few years or so, there’ll be another album, complete with the kind of thought-through concept that gives lift to his literate and expressive story songs and colours them...

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CD: Jim Causley & Luke Thompson - The Clay Hymnal

Devonian singer and accordionist Jim Causley released Cyprus Well, settings of his relative Charles Causley's poems, in 2013. What may be his finest album to date, Forgotten Kingdom, came early this year, and now he has released a second album of...

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Pink Mist, Bush Theatre

The war in Afghanistan has not exactly been neglected by contemporary British theatre, and the plight of returned soldiers is a standard trope of new writing. These distant wars function in our culture like worse-case scenarios, an excoriating...

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