thu 18/01/2018

royalty

Versailles, Series Finale, BBC Two

So much has happened since the first of June when Versailles flounced on to our screens with its flowing locks and flashing cocks. The British people have voted to widen the Channel, the Conservatives have a new leader, Labour doesn’t have one and...

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Versailles, BBC Two

In the middle of the last century the worst thing that could be said about a working-class housewife was that she had “run off with a black man”. Well, the Queen of France, no better than she ought to be, has had it off with a black man (in fact her...

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The Windsors, Channel 4

There’s little chance, I would guess, that the Windsors were gathered on the sofa to watch The Windsors last night. The show, thankfully, is not another attempt to oil up the collective fundament of the British royal family (and goodness knows...

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Kings of War, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

Banished from the Barbican are the hollow kings of the mediocre RSC Henrys IV and V. In their place comes a whole new procession of living, breathing monarchs in a vision that's light years away from bad heritage Shakespeare. Doyen of Dutch-Belgian...

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Richard II, Shakespeare's Globe

The earthy contact with groundlings that Shakespeare’s Globe offers in its stagings makes a comical but telling context for Richard II, a play largely about political point-scoring between kings. The people whose interests lie so remote, in reality...

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King Lear, Northern Broadsides, Touring

Jonathan Miller’s new King Lear is rustic to its core, spoken in broad Northern accents, and the whole production could be packed onto a travelling theatre’s wagon and taken around Britain pulled by a couple of shire horses.Yet rather than cost the...

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A Royal Night Out

The ongoing penchant for all things royal reaches a momentary impasse with A Royal Night Out, an eye-rollingly silly imagining of what the young Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth might have got up to on VE Day. Its release timed to coincide with the...

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The Audience, Apollo Theatre

As The Queen gains an audience with the latest royal addition, her theatrical alter ego returns to the West End, with Kristin Scott Thomas inheriting Tony-nominated Helen Mirren’s role in Peter Morgan’s updated revival. Callaghan is out; au courant...

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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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Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden, The Queen's Gallery

The young, rather homely yet grand gentleman is lounging under a tree, behind him a formal knot garden. His costume is extravagant and rich, and his hat is charming. This exquisite 1590s miniature by Isaac Oliver, watercolour on vellum, titled...

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Reinventing the Royals, BBC Two

It's the story they tried to ban! Reinventing the Royals was supposed to have been broadcast in January, but was yanked from the schedules when Prince Charles's staff at Clarence House withheld archive footage, apparently because of a behind-the-...

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Henry IV, Parts One and Two, RSC, Barbican

Heritage Shakespeare for the home counties and the tourists is just about alive but not very well at the Royal Shakespeare Company. If that sounds condescending, both audiences deserve better, and get it at Shakespeare’s Globe, where the verse-...

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