tue 28/03/2017

South Africa

Call the Midwife: 2016 Christmas Special, BBC One

While Miranda Hart's Chummy is no more and Jessica Raine (who played Jenny Lee) has long since departed to perish in Line of Duty and pout crossly in Wolf Hall, Call the Midwife has evolved into a sort of Heartbeat with nuns, featuring antique pop...

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Albums of the Year: Shabaka and the Ancestors - Wisdom of Elders

The future direction of jazz has been the subject of anxious discussion for at least 50 years, and the last few have seen particular fervent speculation, usually provoked by another tedious “death of jazz” article. Fortunately, such pieces almost...

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theartsdesk in Cape Town: Summer of nostalgia

Just 22 years old, South Africa’s national “Day of Reconciliation” on 16 December has shuffled into its perplexed young adulthood. Although commemorative events abound, few people seem to know how to strike the right note for this (just) pre-...

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A Man of Good Hope, Young Vic

The first thing you hear are the marimbas – music that’s pounded, punched out of the air by hundreds of fists. Later the instruments give us dances and songs, but this musical violence is never truly absent from an orchestra made up entirely of...

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First Person: A Man of Good Hope

To begin writing a book is to start something over which you are going to lose control. As it comes to life, a book acquires its own quiddity, its own interior authority, and if the writer does not obey this authority she ruins the book. A Man of...

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Wallander, Series 4, BBC One

Having enjoyed so many Scandinavian dramas created in their own homelands, it feels like taking a step backwards to return (for its final series) to Kenneth Branagh's Anglo-Wallander. Far worse was that this first of a three-part series, The White...

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We Made It: Guitar Maker Brian Cohen

Tucked away in a warren of residential streets in the older part of Guildford, The Old Glassworks looks like a lock-up garage, and seems to have been designed to repel unwanted attention with a private force-field of anonymity. Once you've been...

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I See You, Royal Court Theatre

An innocently-intended Friday night out turns into something fearsome indeed in I See You, a Royal Court co-production with the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, that puts the tensions of post-apartheid South Africa under a sorrowful microscope.At the...

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DVD: Death of a Gentleman

Death of a Gentleman begins as a hymn to Test cricket, and becomes an elegy, as its makers cross the globe in a deceptively haphazard-looking pursuit of the men who run the game. Jarrod Kimber and Sam Collins are two journalists in search of a story...

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An Open Book: David Lan

This year’s Olivier Awards saw the Young Vic trounce its South Bank neighbours, with Ivo van Hove’s revolutionary A View from the Bridge leading 11 nominations and four wins; the production opens on Broadway next week. It reflects an extraordinary...

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Why everyone should see The Mysteries from Cape Town

One night in Cape Town, I was caught in a power cut. Like an untenanted theatre, the city went utterly dark, darker than perhaps it had been since settlers first arrived three centuries earlier. Street lamps, restaurants, car showrooms, offices were...

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Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden, Tate Modern

"My fatherland is South Africa, my mother tongue is Afrikaans, my surname is French, I don’t speak French. My mother always wanted me to go to Paris. She thought art was French because of Picasso. I thought art was American because of Artforum... I...

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