mon 02/05/2016

Scotland

CD: Travis - Everything At Once

Listening to Everything At Once is like drinking a cup of PG Tips. It’s warming, comforting, gently familiar and distinctly British.The new album from the band that invented Coldplay, Keane, Snow Patrol et al, is like a gentle revision of a well-...

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DVD: Sunset Song

Terence Davies’s Sunset Song, adapted by him from the first part of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Hardyesque A Scots Quair Trilogy (1932-34), is a farming family tragedy that morphs into the story of the young heroine’s doomed marriage during World War I....

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DVD: Culloden / The War Game

The most radical of the directors who forged a “cinema of resistance” at the BBC in the 1960s, Peter Watkins completed two groundbreaking docudramas there – Culloden (1964) and The War Game (1965) – before the suppression of the second prompted his...

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We Made It: Basket-maker Lois Walpole

Basket-making is one of the world’s oldest and most universal crafts. It predates pottery by thousands of years and features in tall tales from the very beginnings of recorded history. According to a creation myth from ancient Mesopotamia, the...

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Dunblane: Our Story, BBC Two

For anyone living in the UK at the time, the Dunblane massacre on 13 March 1996 was an event so seared into their minds that they can remember exactly where they were when the shocking news came through.I was working on The Daily Telegraph's arts...

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The Story of Scottish Art, BBC Four

“Finding the Light”, the second episode of this four-part series, took us to the period when Scottish intellectuals led the world in innovative and revolutionary thinking, Edinburgh’s neo-classical architecture in the leafy streets of the New Town...

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Hector

It would take a brave soul to mention Peter Mullan and “national treasure” in the same breath. To start with, he’d be more than clear which nation has his allegiance, and then suggest, in the gentlest possible way, that maybe he was, well, a wee bit...

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Macbeth

The question of the Macbeths’ dead child is one of those Shakespearean quandaries, like Hamlet’s age, Iago’s cuckolding and Beatrice and Benedick’s earlier dalliance. How much do they really matter? In this new film version of the Scottish play, it’...

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When We Were Women, Orange Tree Theatre

Can you peg a whole play on a decent twist? When We Were Women’s narrative tease pays off interestingly, but takes a hell of a long time getting there. It leaves little space to explore the ramifications of an intriguing revelation, a frustration...

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Prom 24: BBCSSO, Runnicles

You never quite know whether a new work by James MacMillan is going to veer towards the masterly or the overblown. His magnificent chain of concertos has arguably yielded masterpieces, but the Third Symphony at the Proms in 2003 sounded like an...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins: The Pink Opaque, Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow BayThe current fad for all things vinyl is of course, in general, a good thing. It has also meant that a column with CD in its header has, inevitably, broadened its scope. There might...

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theartsdesk at the East Neuk Festival: Church strings, garden horns

A peninsular spirit of place and the greatest of instrumentalists drew me a second time to the eastern nook (hence the “Neuk”) of Fife. But could a second report for theartsdesk be justified – wasn’t the premise the same for the 11th East Neuk...

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