mon 25/09/2017

World War One

The March on Russia, Orange Tree Theatre review – vividly funny amid the bleakness

The late David Storey spoke movingly, elsewhere on The Arts Desk, of his sense of overwhelming powerlessness at the challenge of accepting his father’s death. “I was quite racked by his death, and what death had become as an abstraction - in other...

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Kiss Me, Trafalgar Studios review - Richard Bean two-hander is affecting if slight

Hampstead Theatre Downstairs' habit of sending shows southward to Trafalgar Studios continues with Richard Bean's Kiss Me. A character study set in post-World War One London, it's a two-hander concerning the attempts of a war widow to conceive a...

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Wonder Woman review - Gal Gadot shines in uneven superhero yarn

After dipping a toe in the new-look DC Comics universe to brighten the otherwise leaden Batman v Superman, now Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman gets a chance to shine in her own Hollywood movie. Gadot makes a pretty fine job of it too, bringing a bit of...

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Frantz review - François Ozon in sombre mood: it works

François Ozon’s Frantz is an exquisitely sad film, its crisp black and white cinematography shot through with mourning. The French director, in a work where the main language is German, engages with the aftermath of World War One, and the moment...

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Three Comrades, Sovremennik review - well-oiled Russian take on 1920s Berlin

Time runs on different lines in Russian theatre to our own. The 83-year-old Galina Volchek co-founded Moscow's Sovremennik Theatre in 1956, and has been its artistic director for the past 45 years; Three Comrades has held its place in the...

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The Wipers Times, Arts Theatre review - 'dark comedy from the trenches'

You may be having a moment of déjà vu, as Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s new play (which lands in the West End after a UK tour) was previously a BBC film (shown in 2013), and a very fine one too, covering as it does a true story from the First World...

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Timeshift: Flights of Fancy - Pigeons and the British, BBC Four

Pigeons were described in this riveting programme as man’s best feathered friends, as well as an urban pest: the 35,000 of them that used to flock round Trafalgar Square deposited some 390 tons of unharvested guano – bird poo, in simpler words –...

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War in the Sunshine, Estorick Collection

North London’s much loved Estorick Collection is reopening its doors after a five-month spruce up. The Georgian listed building that houses a 120-piece collection of modern Italian art now boasts a new glass conservatory, opened out entrance hall...

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Paul Nash, Tate Britain

In Monster Field, 1938, fallen trees appear like the fossilised remains of giant creatures from prehistory. With great horse-like heads, and branches like a tangle of tentacles and legs, Paul Nash’s series of paintings and photographs serve as...

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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson'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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DVD: A Month in the Country

Irish director Pat O’Connor’s 1987 adaptation of J L Carr’s A Month in the Country has been unavailable for many years; this BFI reissue was only possible after a few surviving prints were located. It’s a disquieting watch – a superficially English...

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