sun 21/07/2024

1940s

theartsdesk Q&A: violinist and music director Pekka Kuusisto on staged Shostakovich, Sibelius, sound architecture and folk fiddling

Lilac time in Oslo, a mini heatwave in June 2023, a dazzling Sunday morning the day after the darkness transfigured of Concert Theatre DSCH, the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra’s from-memory Shostakovich music-drama. Pekka Kuusisto and I decide not to...

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Album: Madeleine Peyroux - Let's Walk

Madeleine Peyroux made her name with her second album, 2004’s Careless Love. It consists almost completely of cover versions, delivered in a quiet, jazz-bluesey shuffle redolent of singers from the 1930s. She’s never flown as high again but has...

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Kiss Me, Kate, Barbican review - an entertaining, high-octane Cole Porter revival

Lincoln Center’s Bartlett Sher is back in town to direct the Barbican’s latest summer blockbuster, Cole Porter’s classic Kiss Me, Kate. It’s an energetic, largely intelligent production of what is at base a screwball comedy with great songs. ...

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Blu-ray: The Small Back Room

Powell and Pressburger’s least remembered Forties film is shrouded in Blitz darkness, deepening in the warped flat where alcoholic weapons expert Sammy (David Farrar) stares at a whisky bottle as if it’s a bomb. Following the vivid English fantasias...

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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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