tue 28/04/2015

politics

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre

The trouble with the general election is that while everybody talks about money, nobody talks about ideas. We know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. This might seem to be a triumphant demonstration of the essential pragmatism of the...

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10 Questions for Human Rights Campaigner Shami Chakrabarti

Shami Chakrabarti (b. 1969) is the director of the civil liberties organisation Liberty, a position she famously and, some would say, fortuitously took up the day before 9/11. Raised in suburban north-west London, she became a barrister for the Home...

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Dead Sheep, Park Theatre

While seven-way debate rages, broadcaster and debuting playwright Jonathan Maitland takes us back 25 years to a radically different political landscape: a time of regents, and of regicide. It’s 1990 – Thatcher the leader claiming divine right to...

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Coalition, Channel 4

Switched from last Thursday to accommodate the live standup gigs by Cast Iron Dave and "Tough Enough" Clint Miliband, this 90-minute drama took us back five years to the birth of the Conservative-Lib Dem pact. It purported to be based on "extensive...

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The Three Lions, St James Theatre

The devil gets the best lines, as usual. That may depend, of course, on whether we’re prepared to qualify David Cameron in that role, but in William Gaminara's rapid-firing farce The Three Lions, the PM (played with real brio by Dugald Bruce-...

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Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women, BBC Two

If the mark of a good documentary is that it teaches you something new, then the awkwardly titled Hillary Clinton: The Power of Women was a very good documentary indeed. For instance, before watching it I had no idea that the famous “women’s rights...

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Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions, National Portrait Gallery

One masterpiece and two superb portraits both dominate and sum up in vivid fashion the complex personality, long life and astonishing trajectory of the first Duke of WellingtonThere were something like 200 portraits done in his lifetime. The...

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Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Royal Opera

"No heckling. No smoking. No making love," read the nifty video projections announcing the rise of the new Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House. Why so coy? Could they not give us a bang for our buck, or even a slow comfortable screw?But that would be...

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UKIP: The First 100 Days, Channel 4

As worst-case scenarios go, the prospect of a UKIP government in a little under three months’ time is a frightening but unlikely one – isn’t it? That they have only two MPs, and leader Nigel Farage is yet to find a seat, has done nothing to stop...

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Maidan

I went into watching Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary Maidan with the highest hopes, and came out, more than two hours later, cold. For a film about a successful national liberation movement, that’s something of a paradox.It’s titled, of course, after...

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History is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain, Hayward Gallery

A Bloodhound Mark 2 surface-to-air missile points to the sky from the terrace outside the Hayward Gallery. From 1963–1990, the missiles were stationed along the east coast, from Humberside to the Thames, to intercept Soviet planes coming to drop...

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Inside the Commons, BBC Two

The Mother of Parliaments is mostly for males. The statues sprout whiskers and the cloakroom coat-hangers have ribbons for hanging swords. The place is run at a stately plod by bewigged, be-whiskered, be-white-tied gents. Members are, for the most...

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