wed 18/10/2017

politics

A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre review - it was the longest of times

Much loved, yes. But Dickens’s novel is probably little read by modern audiences and so a chance to see a new adaptation of this tale of discontent, riot and general mayhem set in the French revolution and spread across London and Paris in the late...

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Committee review - we're all on trial in new Kids Company musical

A memorable 2015 parliamentary select committee hearing asked Kids Company CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh and chair of trustees Alan Yentob whether the organisation was ever fit for purpose. Tom Deering, Hadley Fraser and Josie Rourke’s new verbatim...

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Jonathan Miles: St Petersburg review - culture and calamity

Talk about survival: St Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, now again St Petersburg, all the same city, has it nailed down. It was founded through the mad enthusiasm, intelligence, determination and just off-the-scale energy of Peter the Great in 1703...

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Chris Patten: First Confession - A Sort of Memoir review - remembrances of government and power

It’s 25 years since Chris Patten lost his seat as Conservative MP for Bath. The 1992 election was called by an embattled prime minister, bruised by the Maastricht Treaty (remember “the bastards”?). Neil Kinnock had been expected to win, Labour ahead...

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theartsdesk at Glastonbury Festival 2017

It’s a Tweet-age Glastonbury aftermath. It’s monsooning grey outside. The real world’s back, consensus reality fast encroaching. Everything’s moved on, spun to the next thing as we A.D.D. onto Wimbledon, Hard Brexit or whatever. Even my 14-year-old...

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Risk review - Assange unravels

Julian Assange’s white hair marks his public persona. To some he’s an unmistakably branded outsider, or a lone white wolf hunting global injustice. Hollywood would cast him as the coolly enigmatic superhero who’s revealed as the supervillain in the...

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Ink, Almeida Theatre review - The Sun rises while show sinks

The recent general election result proves that the power of the rightwing press has diminished considerably in the digital age, but there was a time when media magnate Rupert Murdoch could make grown-up politicians quake in their socks. James Graham...

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John Man: Amazons review - the real warrior women of the ancient world

As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and reality of the Amazon seems timely. The latest of John Man’s works of popular history is opportunistic enough to end with a fascinating account of the...

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Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row, review – how history repeats itself

Immigration…immigration… immigration… that’s what we need! Not the words of record-breaking, tap-dancing trumpeter Roy Castle, rather it’s the gist of a Times leader from 1853 (admittedly, fairly heavily paraphrased). It was just one of the eye-...

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Election Night 2017, BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News

The latest test of the nation’s perseverance and patience – a snap election called just before the negotiations for Brexit are due to start – seemed like an extraordinary act of hubris at the start. The initial billing of “Strong and...

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Broken, BBC One review - things look bleak in McGovernville

This is Jimmy McGovern, so it’s no surprise to find ourselves up north and feeling grim. The prolific screenwriter’s latest drama series is located in what is described only as “a northern city” (though apparently it’s 60 miles from Sheffield, which...

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Muhsin Al-Ramli: 'During Saddam’s regime at least we knew who the enemy was' - interview

Saddam Hussein’s name is never mentioned in The President’s Gardens, even though he haunts every page. The one time that the reader encounters him directly, he is referred to simply by his title. In a novel of vivid pictures, the almost...

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