tue 19/10/2021

1930s

The Midnight Bell, New Adventures, Sadler's Wells review - dance theatre at its most compelling

The British author Patrick Hamilton is best known for two highly successful plays, Rope (1929) and Gaslight (1939), which in turn became highly successful films. But it’s Hamilton’s novels, set among the fog-bound pubs and clubs of 1930s Soho, that...

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Camp Siegfried, Old Vic review - the banality of evil, brilliantly served up

A stealthily powerful play gets the production of its dreams in Camp Siegfried, which marks a high-profile UK presence for the American writer Bess Wohl. A world premiere at the Old Vic, Wohl's two-hander shines a scary and pertinent light on a Nazi...

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Eileen Agar, Whitechapel Gallery review - a free spirit to the end

Eileen Agar was the only woman included in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936, which introduced London to artists like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. The Surrealists were exploring the creative potential of chance, chaos and the...

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Hough, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester online review - brassy, bouncy optimism

Sir Mark Elder is back with the Hallé for the latest (and penultimate) filmed concert in their “Winter Season” of 2020 and 2021, including the world premiere of Huw Watkins' Second Symphony. He introduces it from the Bridgewater Hall foyer, and...

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Six Minutes to Midnight review - Judi Dench retains her dignity

It can't be easy maintaining dignity when everyone in your vicinity is losing theirs. But that's the position in which the inimitable Judi Dench finds herself in Six Minutes to Midnight, a bewildering movie in which star and co-author, Eddie Izzard...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mädchen in Uniform

The late Weimar-era film Mädchen in Uniform (1931) was visionary – a delicate Queer love story set in a repressive girls’ boarding school that denounced the Prussian militarist creed as dehumanising. Like The Blue Angel (1930), another German early...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Jackie Kay: Bessie Smith review – vivid writing about the Empress of the Blues

Blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) had much more than an astonishingly powerful voice. It may already be almost a hundred years since she made her most significant recordings – she is from an era before amplification –  and yet her unfailing...

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The Dig, Netflix review - a haunting exploration of time and timelessness

The Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk has proved to be one of the most valuable archaeological finds ever made in Britain, shedding priceless light on the Anglo-Saxon period of the 6th and 7th Centuries. Simon Stone’s drama (adapted from John...

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Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots. And now as if to pick up the baton,...

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Gillam, Hallé, Bloxham, Hallé online review - music of poetry

Jonathan Bloxham makes his debut as conductor with the Hallé Orchestra in the third of the Hallé’s Winter Season concerts on film. It’s a poetry-connected programme in several respects and features poet laureate Simon Armitage reading both his the...

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The Seven Deadly Sins, Opera North online review - viscerally thrilling

Theatres are currently banned from moving scenery and props about on stage and you might expect this to present a major obstacle to a production of The Seven Deadly Sins. How else is the opera’s protagonist to be seen to visit seven American cities...

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