sat 18/11/2017

Switzerland

DVD/Blu-ray: My Life as a Courgette

Describe the plot of My Life as a Courgette to someone who’s not been lucky enough to see it and they'll find it hard to understand how a film with such a bleak premise can be so funny and emotionally involving. Swiss director Claude Barras’s...

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Mosquitoes, National Theatre review - Olivias Colman and Williams dazzle amid dramatic excess

There's enough plot for a dozen plays buzzing its way through Mosquitoes, Lucy Kirkwood's play that uses the backdrop of the Large Hadron Collidor (LHC) to chronicle the multiple collisions within a family. Veering off now and then into discussion...

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Travesties, Apollo Theatre

Tom Stoppard’s humungously funny play Travesties was born out of a piece of James Joyce doggerel about how a British diplomat sued him for the cost of two pairs of trousers. It’s like this. Joyce was organising an expat amateur production of Wilde’s...

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Travesties, Menier Chocolate Factory

Is this the most dazzling play of a dazzling playwright? First staged in 1974, Travesties is the one which manages to squeeze avant-garde novelist James Joyce, Dada godfather Tristan Tzara and communist revolutionary Lenin into a story which...

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CD: Yello - Toy

You couldn’t make Yello up. They’re a couple of wry Swiss synth-pop ironists fronted by a suave, moustachioed, septuagenarian multi-millionaire poker-player, golfer and industrialist. Everyone and their uncle makes electronic music now, but when...

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theartsdesk at the Verbier Festival 2016

Idyllic setting, star-rated musicians, the sense of an occasion. Verbier so wholly fulfils the clichés of an international music festival that to the cynical it can seem complacent or arrogant in doing so. To the uninitiated – and this was my first...

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Digital demands: time for artists to speak up?

Galloping technological change, collapsing incomes and a climate of violence facilitated by anonymity are just a few of the challenges facing creative artists in today's digitally driven world. What can be done to put all this right? The man to ask...

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DVD: Story of My Death

Since his debut Honour of the Knights back in 2006 Catalan director Albert Serra has carved out a niche for himself, creating cinema that is frequently oblique and visually engrossing. Story of My Death (Història de la meva mort), which won the...

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Guillaume Tell, Royal Opera

There are two operatic types who should leave Rossini’s epic swansong for the stage well alone. One would usually be a conductor who ignores many of the notes written by a master at the height of his powers, since even the least dramatic numbers...

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CD: Sophie Hunger – Supermoon

Any album with a guest appearance from Eric Cantona is going to attract attention. The eighth track of Sophie Hunger’s Supermoon, “La Chanson d’Hélène”, is a sumptuous, string-infused reflection on identity with Serge Gainsbourg-style spoken...

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King Size, Theater Basel, Linbury Studio Theatre

A journey into dreams through songs from Dowland to The Kinks; a Swiss director who, Covent Garden’s Director of Opera Kasper Holten assures us, is “one of the most important European theatre artists”; a Norwegian chanteuse who, I assure you, is a...

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CD: VEIN feat. Dave Liebman - Jazz Talks

The Vein Trio craves the horn. Though a complete and expressive unit in itself, with Swiss brothers Florian and Michael Arbenz on drums and piano respectively, and Thomas Lähns on bass, they’ve been working with a new saxophonist each season. Last...

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