thu 24/08/2017

tragedy

King Lear, Shakespeare's Globe - Nancy Meckler's Globe debut is unusually subdued

Every play is a Brexit play. This much we have learnt in the year since the referendum. But in Nancy Meckler’s hands the Globe’s new King Lear becomes the Brexit play – an unpicking of intergenerational responsibility and difference, of philosophies...

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Hamlet, Harold Pinter Theatre review - dislocatingly fresh makeover

Midway through Hamlet a troupe of actors arrives at Elsinore. Coaching them for his own ends, the prince turns director, delivering an impassioned critique: “O! it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious, periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to...

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Hamlet, Glyndebourne review - integrity if not genius in Brett Dean's score

Nature’s germens tumble all together rather readily in more recent operatic Shakespeare. Following the overblown storm before the storm of Reimann’s Lear and the premature angst of Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale, what's rotten in the state of...

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Medea, Bristol Old Vic - formulaic feminism lets Greek classic down

Greek tragedy provides an unending source of material for the stage: in no other theatrical form have the labyrinths of human nature been so deeply explored: the rich tapestry of archetypal family conflicts, driven by instincts that force helpless...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Ludwig

No-one has ever matched costume drama to psychological depth quite like Luchino Visconti. Much of it has to do with what Henry James termed a "divided consciousness": as a nobleman who became a communist in World War Two and was relatively open...

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Madama Butterfly, Royal Opera

"È un'immensa pietà" - "it's heartbreaking," rather than "it's a huge pity" - sings consul Sharpless of "Butterfly" Cio-Cio San's fatal belief that her American husband will return to her. Heartbreak is what we expected from Ermonela Jaho after her...

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Roman Tragedies, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, Barbican

It felt good to be encountering Shakespeare at his most political with a world event to smile about, for once (hailing, of course, from this brilliant Dutch company's homeland). It felt even better to emerge six hours later spellbound and deeply...

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The White Devil, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

It's no accident that when the Globe's Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in 2014 it was with The Duchess of Malfi. This wooden womb, with its thick darkness and close-pressed audience is made for the stifling, claustrophobic horror of revenge tragedy....

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King Lear, RSC, Barbican

At the conclusion of a year in which Britishness has come so resoundingly to the fore of the national debate – and with a play that at the time of its writing, 1605-6, was engaging with that concept no less urgently – the first impression made by...

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Conspiracy Files: The Trump Dossier, BBC Two

So we’re less than a week away from America’s choice. Many in the States have presented it as a kind of Sophie’s Choice – an unbearable outcome no matter who they choose. On the one hand they have a racist, sexist, braggart bully who has been named...

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Madama Butterfly, Glyndebourne Tour

What would Glyndebourne, staging Madama Butterfly for the first time, bring to Puccini's most heartbreaking tragedy? Subtle realism, perhaps? Certainly the composer, along with his superb librettists Giacosa and Illica, offers plenty of...

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Die Walküre, Opera North, Southbank Centre

Enter the human - and superhuman demands for at least four of the singers - in the second, towering instalment of Wagner's Ring cycle. It says so much for Opera North's achievement so far that no one fell in any way short of the sometimes insane...

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