tue 07/04/2020

1930s

Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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Max Raabe, Palast-Orchester, Cadogan Hall review - escapism with irony

Escapism sometimes feels not just useful but necessary. To be carried back, for an evening, to the world of the 1920s/1930s dance band, with foxtrots, pasodobles, crisp starched collars and secco endings, of slick hair and even slicker arrangements...

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Cosi fan tutte, English Touring Opera review - a blissful, uncomplicated delight

Cosi fan tutte is, as the opera’s subtitle clearly tells us, “A School for Lovers”. But too often these days it can feel like a school for the audience. Joyless productions lecture us sternly on the battle of the sexes – on chauvinism, feminism,...

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Mr Jones review - a timely testament to journalism

While the horrors of Hitler’s rule are well documented, Joseph Stalin’s crimes are less renowned, so much so that in a recent poll in Russia he was voted their greatest ever leader. This chilling fact made acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland feel...

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Filmmaker Agnieszka Holland: 'Without journalism, democracy will not survive'

Agnieszka Holland is one of Europe's leading filmmakers. Growing up in Poland under Soviet rule, her films have often tackled the continent's complex history, including the Academy Award-nominated Europa, Europa, In Darkness and Angry Harvest. In...

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Mephisto [A Rhapsody], Gate Theatre review - the callowness of history

You wonder about the title of French dramatist Sam Gallet’s Mephisto [A Rhapsody], an adaptation for our days of Klaus Mann’s 1936 novel about an actor unable to resist the blandishments of fame, even if they come at the cost of losing himself....

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Youth Without God, Coronet Theatre review - the chill control of nascent Nazism

The only novel by the Hungarian dramatist Ödön von Horváth, Youth Without God was written in exile after he fled Anschluss Vienna and published in 1938, shortly before his death. In the English-speaking world, we know von Horváth for his plays,...

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For Services Rendered, Jermyn Street Theatre review – uneven revival of 1930s drama

“I don’t think I have the right to influence her,” says an older character of her daughter in For Services Rendered, W Somerset Maugham’s 1932 anti-war drama. If only all elder statesmen and women felt the same about the youth. Tom Littler’s revival...

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Evita, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a diva dictator for 2019

Following a triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ Superstar, now playing at the Barbican, the Park works its magic on another of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Seventies rock operas. Jamie Lloyd’s stripped-down, super-sleek, contemporary take...

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Prom 15: Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review - perfect Beethoven, nuanced Shostakovich

While we wish the great Mariss Jansons a speedy recovery, no-one of sound heart and soul could be disappointed by his substitute for the two Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Proms, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, whose supreme art is to show the score's...

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Blues in the Night, Kiln Theatre review - hard times, hot tunes

It’s too darn hot, BoJo is in Downing Street, and we’re all going to Brexit hell – so we might as well sing the blues. Or at least take a night off from the apocalypse to enjoy a virtuoso company singing them for us in this rousing revival of...

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The Damned, Comédie-Française, Barbican review - slow-burn horrors in devastating images

Is the terrifying past of Germany in 1933 also our future? Having had nightmares about the brilliant dystopian TV soap opera Years and Years, which built like all the best of its kind on present fears, I wasn't expecting to be confronted so soon by...

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