sun 23/11/2014

David Benedict

David Benedict

David Benedict's picture

Articles by David Benedict

Some Like It Hot

In what is undoubtedly one of the earlier recorded examples of the single entendre, the original ad campaign for Some Like It Hot yelled “Marilyn Monroe and her Bosom Companions”. Well, the posters...

Read more...

'Gimme a vodka and a floorplan': Elaine Stritch remembered

My (very) small haul of autographs collected as a schoolboy ran the gamut from Peter Pears to Linda McCartney but even back then I knew the classiest signature I bagged was that of Elaine Stritch....

Read more...

Peter Grimes, English National Opera

“Mind that door.” With the hurricane howling outside it’s no wonder the locals gathered in Auntie’s pub are yelling... but there is no door. Instead, a stage-wide sheet of corrugated iron rears up to...

Read more...

The Musketeers, BBC One

It’s costume drama meets adventure story, it’s got smouldering manhood and heaving-bosomed women with sex, swordfights, politicking and even beautifully lit Prague doubling for 17th-century Paris,...

Read more...

Putting It Together, St James Theatre

“God,” wrote Stephen Sondheim, “is in the details.” Of course, he didn’t actually coin the phrase but throughout his published collections of lyrics he cites it as one of his three guiding principles...

Read more...

Sonia Prina, Wigmore Hall

The great Marilyn Horne used to joke that she was going to release an album entitled “Chestnuts for Chest Nuts”. She never did, but that leaves the door wide open for Sonia Prina whose dark,...

Read more...

Agatha Christie's Marple: Endless Night, ITV

“Her most devastating surprise ever.” Thus spake The Guardian, a quote happily slapped across the cover of the first paperback edition of Agatha Christie’s 1967 thriller Endless Night. While I wouldn...

Read more...

BBC Singers, St James's Baroque, Hill, Temple Church

There’s a reason why many people think Handel and, particularly his Messiah, is dull. Relatively easy to play, his music is incredibly difficult to perform well. Take this Temple Winter Festival...

Read more...

Candide, Menier Chocolate Factory

How do you solve a problem like...no, not Maria, Candide? Musicals are loved for their scores – and Leonard Bernstein’s one for this really is a cracker – but they’re held together by their books, i....

Read more...

Ghosts, Almeida Theatre

In a moment of scalding intensity at the climax of Ghosts, terrified Oswald sees the sun. Throughout the rest of Ibsen’s celebrated drama about the sins of the past, light is fairly absent. Merely...

Read more...

Sound of Cinema: The Music that Made the Movies, BBC Four

BBC Four’s new series Sound of Cinema: The Music that Made the Movies is shocking. The overwhelming majority of arts-based TV consists of programmes consigning specialist knowledge/presenters to the...

Read more...

Rhapsody! How to programme a Hollywood Prom

Fingers on buzzers: which piece of music at this year’s Proms boasts a percussion section including glockenspiel, xylophone, five pitches of cowbells, car horn, taxi horn, anvils, revolving door...

Read more...

Barbra Streisand, O2 Arena

It opened with a standing ovation. And in a place the size of the 02 – the venue put on this earth to make Luton airport feel better – that’s impressive. It was that kind of evening: not so much...

Read more...

La donna del lago, Royal Opera

I mean, really, what is the point of Rossini? That’s actually not as stupid as it sounds. No-one has ever mistaken any of his operas for taut music-drama, and even the best of them are peculiarly...

Read more...

Children of the Sun, National Theatre

They’re back, and this time it’s Gorky. Dream team director Howard Davies, translator Andrew Upton, designer Bunny Christie and lighting designer Neil Austin have repeatedly attached tragicomic jump-...

Read more...

Once, Phoenix Theatre

People sneer at musicals for endless reasons: they hate Broadway brashness, non-naturalistic lurches in and out of song, the sentimentality. One of the least acknowledged reasons, however, is because...

Read more...

latest in today

Celebrating 75 years of Blue Note, Royal Festival Hall

All-star Blue Note sextet brings the audience to its feet

CD: Susan Boyle - Hope

Boyle's in fine vocal form, but sticks too closely to the path well tr...

The Institute of Sexology, Wellcome Collection

On the men and women who spent their lives researching sex

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Hassell / Brian Eno

How Eno’s co-opting of Jon Hassell’s avant-garde style changed the course o...

The Gospel According to the Other Mary, English National Ope...

Grace and pain stunningly interwoven in Adams' rich score and Sellars...

My Old Lady

Three fine actors adrift in a highly pictorial Paris

Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, Queen Elizabeth Hall

A subtle, interactive performance from two jazz masters

CD: David Guetta - Listen

French producer Guetta boasts another star-studded line-up, but can he do m...

Classical CDs Weekly: Arnold, Messiaen, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns

Colourful British orchestral music, organ showstoppers and an avian-inspire...

Tomasz Stanko, Barbican

The Polish jazz train goes off the rails at the EFG London Jazz Festival