tue 07/07/2020

Reviews

Being Beethoven, BBC Four review – from grubby kid to grumpy genius

Peter Quantrill

Documentaries like this one make me sentimental for a time, until about 25 years ago, when classical music was a more or less weekly presence on terrestrial TV. Now fast disappearing from view altogether, on mainstream media and in school curriculums, the genre faced the most uncertain of futures even before Covid-19 wiped it off the face of public life, for those of us still accustomed to darkening the doors of churches, concert halls and opera houses.

Bette Howland: Blue in Chicago review – the city on trial, with the writer as witness

Daniel Lewis

You feel at times, while reading the collection Blue in Chicago, that Bette Howland might have missed her vocation. In another life, Howland – until recently almost completely lost to literary history – could have made a name for herself as a distinctly unnerving judge; one feared by criminals and lawyers alike. She has a terrifying talent for the damning sum-up.

The Kemps: All True, BBC Two review - more self-...

Adam Sweeting

The spoof “rockumentary” always sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard to pull off. Largely this is because rock stars are so divorced from reality...

Terri White: Coming Undone review - a British...

Markie Robson-Scott

The journalistic addiction-memoir is a crowded genre these days: Details editor Dan Perez chronicles his massive intake of Vicodin and other opioids...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Philip Rambow - The Rebel Kind

Kieron Tyler

“Strange Destinies” is the first track. “Take your eyes off me Svengali” is its memorable opening phrase. Conjuring up Van Morrison, Tom Petty, Mike...

Dom Joly / Daniel Sloss, Brent Cross reviews - UK's first drive-in comedy shows

Veronica Lee

The Drive-In Club makes a little bit of history

Homemade review - laughs, loss and madness in lockdown

Demetrios Matheou

Netflix showcases a collection of 17 short films that capture the isolated, but shared experiences of life during the pandemic

Dancing at Dusk: A Moment with Pina Bausch’s 'The Rite of Spring' review - an explosive African rite

Jenny Gilbert

Continents collide in a film documenting an inspired re-staging of a 20th-century masterpiece

Les Blancs, National Theatre at Home review – triumphant revival of forgotten classic

Aleks Sierz

NT archive recording of Lorraine Hansberry’s last play is absolutely compelling

Back Roads review - nice cheekbones, not much else

Matt Wolf

Alex Pettyfer's directing debut is more or less DOA

Family Romance, LLC review - the chameleon blues

Nick Hasted

A faux-documentary about fakes mimics Herzog's virtues

Toast, Lawrence Batley Theatre online review - pungent adaptation of Nigel Slater's autobiography

Rachel Halliburton

Food crimes of the Sixties and Seventies are revealed here as Michelin-starred memories

The Opera Story: Episodes review - whimsical takes on lockdown life

Bernard Hughes

Young London company offers snapshots of contemporary living

Lynn + Lucy review - a bruising tale of female friendship

Joseph Walsh

Fyzal Boulifa directorial debut is a stark, unforgiving portrait of modern Britain

Birdsong, The Original Theatre Company online review – a gutsy experiment

Laura De Lisle

Socially distanced version of Sebastian Faulks novel clips along at a fair pace

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Sky Atlantic review - the good, the bad and the unspeakable

Adam Sweeting

Shape-shifting Natalie Dormer wreaks havoc in a combustible 1930s Los Angeles

Storyville: Welcome to Chechnya, BBC Four review - trauma, tension and resistance

Tom Birchenough

David France's 'guerrilla' documentary charts brave Russian response to extreme anti-LGBTQ campaign

Visual Arts Lockdown Special 4: half-way houses

Katherine Waters

Some galleries prepare to reopen, others remain closed; online still offers riches

Glastonbury Festival 2020: Beyoncé, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., marijuana and time travel

Caspar Gomez

With Glastonbury halted, our intrepid reporter attempts to recreate it, while dreaming of the 1990 Festival

Das Boot, Series 2 Finale, Sky Atlantic review - deeper and darker

Adam Sweeting

The casualties mount as the waters keep getting rougher

Hamilton, Disney+ review - puts us all in the room where it happened

Marianka Swain

Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical gets another shot on screen

Celia Paul: My Studio, Victoria Miro review - sublime isolation

Florence Hallett

One of the great painters of our time responds to life in lockdown

The Hidden Wilds of the Motorway, BBC Four review - mysteries and marvels of the M25

Adam Sweeting

Naturalist Helen Macdonald takes an imaginative journey around London's orbital motorway

My Brilliant Friend, Season 2: The Story of a New Name, Sky Atlantic review – a troubling friendship deepens

David Nice

Painstakingly vivid serialisation of Elena Ferrante’s masterpiece glows again

Romeo and Michele Stodart Present… The Thank-You Green Note Fundraiser, YouTube review - saving Camden's go-to music venue

Liz Thomson

Musicians celebrate and support an award-winning club

Tahar Ben Jelloun: The Punishment review - triumph over torture

Katherine Waters

Deep insight into the mechanisms of power

Mark Padmore, Mitsuko Uchida/ Benjamin Baker, Timothy Ridout, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review – hail and farewell

Boyd Tonkin

A landmark series closes with majesty, and mischief

Reissue CDs Weekly: Razorcuts - Storyteller, The World Keeps Turning

Kieron Tyler

Definitive overview of the UK indie-popsters reveals their rapid development

A White, White Day review - white heat

Nick Hasted

Gripping Icelandic portrait of grief, love and vengeance

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latest in today

Being Beethoven, BBC Four review – from grubby kid to grumpy...

Documentaries like this one make me sentimental for a time, until about 25 years ago, when classical music was a more or less weekly presence on...

Bette Howland: Blue in Chicago review – the city on trial, w...

You feel at times, while reading the collection Blue in Chicago, that Bette Howland might have missed her vocation. In another life,...

Album: Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules

After Unfollow the Rules: The Paramour Session and the...

Terri White: Coming Undone review - a British journalist unr...

The journalistic addiction-memoir is a crowded genre these days: Details editor Dan Perez chronicles his massive intake of Vicodin and...

Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the st...

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Philip Rambow - The Rebel Kind

“Strange Destinies” is the first track. “Take your eyes off me Svengali” is its memorable opening phrase. Conjuring up Van Morrison, Tom Petty,...

Dom Joly / Daniel Sloss, Brent Cross reviews - UK's fir...

It was a weary and frustrated Dom Joly (★★) who left the stage after performing the first drive-in...

Homemade review - laughs, loss and madness in lockdown

If COVID-19 isn’t the only topic being tackled by creative folk at the moment, it certainly feels like it. That’s perfectly understandable, when...