wed 17/04/2024

1940s

The New Boy review - a mystical take on Australia's treatment of its First Peoples

This is writer-director Warwick Thornton’s third feature film, his first since 2017's excellent Sweet Country, and it took him 18 years to bring it to the screen. He describes it as “a really special one” with “a lot to say”, though viewers may find...

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The Human Body, Donmar Warehouse review - Keeley Hawes and Jack Davenport excel in an intriguing staging

Keeley Hawes onstage is something to look forward to, so rare are her appearances there. In Lucy Kirkwood’s new play, The Human Body, we are given a double treat: Hawes, plus her black and white screen image, projected all over the Donmar’s back...

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The Zone of Interest review - garden gates of death

The jokey serious point in Mel Brooks’s The Producers is that you shouldn’t be able to make a musical set among Nazis. But if you shouldn’t make a musical, can you make any fiction?The renowned chronicler of the death camps, Elie Wiesel, said that a...

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The Most Precious of Goods, Marylebone Theatre review - old-fashioned storytelling of an all-too relevant tale

As last week’s news evidenced, genocide never really goes out of fashion. So it’s only right and proper that art continues to address the hideous concept and, while nothing, not even Primo Levi’s shattering If This Is a Man, can capture the scale of...

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Masters of the Air, Apple TV+ review - painful and poignant account of the Eighth Air Force's bombing campaign

“Are they all like that?” asks a shaken Major Bucky Egan (Callum Turner), after he’s completed his first bombing mission over Germany as a guest of the US Eighth Air Force’s 389th Bomb Group. They’ve been battered by flak and lacerated by German...

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Albert Herring, Opera North review - immersive and intimate fun

Reviving Giles Havergal’s 2013 production from its “Festival of Britten” of that year, Opera North have an Albert Herring that’s both immersive and intimate, to quote their own publicity.Immersive because it was designed specifically for the...

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The Boy and the Heron review - elegiac swan song by the Japanese anime master

Admirers of Hayao Miyazaki will find much to love in The Boy and the Heron, which he has said will be his final feature before retiring from film-making at the age of 82. It’s a beautifully crafted piece of work with all the tropes...

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A Forgotten Man review - Switzerland's WW2 record haunts monochrome drama

Switzerland isn’t exactly famous for parading its history during WWII. Remaining neutral from the conflict like its neighbour Liechtenstein, the Swiss benefitted from financial and armament deals with Nazi Germany, turned away Jewish refugees...

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Peter Grimes, English National Opera review - not quite the pity or the truth

Britten’s biggest cornucopia of invention seems unsinkable, and no-one seeing his breakthrough 1945 opera for the first time in this revival will fail to register its forceful genius. David Alden’s expressionist nightmare of a production, though,...

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The White Factory, Marylebone Theatre review - what price dignity in hell?

This powerful play’s immediate backstory, with Moscow sentencing its author to eight years’ jail and its director going into forced exile, is not its immediate theme – and all the better for it, for how can anyone yet make any authentic dramatic...

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A Haunting in Venice review - a case of Poirot by numbers

You can imagine the thought processes that brought Kenneth Branagh’s latest adventure as Poirot, his third, to the big screen.“Memo to self: Find an Agatha Christie/Poirot story that hasn’t been done to death already, in fact isn’t well known at all...

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World on Fire, Series 2, BBC One - return of Peter Bowker's panoramic view of World War Two

Writer Peter Bowker apparently had plans to make six series of World on Fire, but the arrival of Covid after 2019’s first series threw a spanner in the works. Anyway, here’s the second one at last, and it’s a little strange to find that this...

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