thu 31/07/2014

politics

Glasgow Girls, BBC Three

A few months ago, Glasgow Girls - Cora Bissett and David Greig’s 2013 musical based on the true story of seven teenage girls from Drumchapel, Glasgow and their campaign to end the forced removal of school-age asylum seekers - returned to the city’s...

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Britain's Most Dangerous Songs: Listen to the Banned, BBC Four

The most notorious case of the BBC banning a pop record was the episode of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" in 1977, which was of course the year of Her Maj's Silver Jubilee. "That was genuinely dangerous," Paul Morley intoned gravely (the...

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Nightmare in Aix: Sarah Connolly on a shocking first night

I felt so shocked by the events that took place during the premiere of Handel’s Ariodante on 3 July in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence last week, and so disappointed that our painstaking work with director Richard Jones over the last six weeks had...

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Khovanshchina, Birmingham Opera Company

Has anyone ever sat through Musorgsky’s last, not quite finished, opera about the struggle for power in Moscow at the time of Peter the Great’s accession in the 1690s, and come away with the slightest idea of what it’s all about? If Khovanshchina...

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Oh My Sweet Land, Young Vic Theatre

Written and directed by the ever-varied Amir Nizar Zuabi, Oh My Sweet Land tells the story of a German-Syrian woman living in Paris and struggling with her connection to the raging civil war abroad. Zuabi, the Palestinian theatre-maker who gave us...

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DVD: Le mani sulla città

Hands Over the City is to Naples at a crucial point in its 20th-century history what Rossellini’s Roma, città aperta is to the Italian capital and Visconti’s La terra trema to the Sicilian coast. Francesco Rosi’s decision to capture the only boom...

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Other Desert Cities, Old Vic

Jon Robin Baitz learnt his craft writing on big American television shows including The West Wing and he created Brothers & Sisters, and Other Desert Cities - his first Broadway play - is another family drama with a political edge. The...

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The Unknown Known

If Errol Morris lived in Middle Earth he’d make a documentary about Sauron. If he taught at Hogwarts, he’d be turning his cameras on Voldemort. You get the idea. Morris is drawn to Dark Overlords, powerful men of steely ambition and ego, convinced...

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Arena: Whatever Happened to Spitting Image? BBC Four

“You can never embarrass politicians by giving them publicity.” Michael Heseltine’s verdict on Spitting Image – he claimed, of course, he never watched it – was surely one of the truer things said in last night's Arena memorial Whatever Happened to...

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The Miners' Strike and Me, ITV

Thirty years ago this month, the National Coal Board announced the closure of 20 pits that were deemed "uneconomic", a decision which would incur the loss of 20,000 jobs. Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers, responded by...

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10 Questions for Harry Shearer

It is the fate of political leaders to be played by actors. In the circumstances Richard Nixon hasn’t been dealt a bad hand. He has been portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone’s Nixon, by Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon on stage and screen and...

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Big Brother Watching Me: Citizen Ai Weiwei, BBC Four

For a film that opened with Ai Weiwei’s statement, “Without freedom of speech, there is no modern world, just a barbaric one,” there was an irony in the fact that Andreas Johnsen’s Big Brother Watching Me… started practically without words. When the...

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