wed 14/11/2018

1950s

Reissue CDs Weekly: Jazz on a Summer's Day

When Jazz on a Summer's Day was first seen in American cinemas in March 1960, it showed that seeing popular music live could be a leisure activity akin to watching high-end sports. Indeed, director Bert Stern intercut the musical performances he...

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Imagine... Becoming Cary Grant, BBC One review - contemplative portrait of a star

Mark Kidel has made a beautiful, ethereal film projecting his version of Cary Grant and as such it’s destined to be picked over by the actor’s legions of fans, each of whom will have a different version. But what would the man himself have thought...

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The Rake's Progress, British Youth Opera review - perfect poise in slippery Stravinsky

So it's been sellouts for half-baked if well-cast productions of The Rake's Progress and now Britten's Paul Bunyan at Wilton's Music Hall, while British Youth Opera's classy Stravinsky in the admittedly larger Peacock Theatre, several hundred yards...

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Cold War review - a gorgeous and mesmerising romance

Can we ever really know the passion that brought our parents together? By the time we are old enough to hear the story of how they first met, that lovers’ narrative has frayed in the telling and faded in the daily light of domestic familiarity. But...

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The King review - the myth behind the man

The most famous face in musical history, and perhaps the instigator of modern culture as we know it; he truly was the King. But for a documentary focused on such an icon, The King touches very little on Elvis Presley the man. This is not another...

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Vanessa, Glyndebourne review - blowsy histrionics and a great finale

"Sounds like an opera by Handel," said a friend when I told him that I was going to see Vanessa at Glyndebourne. Possible – the name first appeared in print as "invented" by Jonathan Swift in 1723 – had Handel not stuck to mythological and Biblical...

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Annie Ernaux: The Years, review - time’s flow

“When you were our age, how did you imagine your life? What did you hope for?” It is a video of a classroom south-east of the Périphérique separating Paris from the working-class suburbs. The students are mostly girls between fifteen and sixteen and...

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Home, I'm Darling, National Theatre review - Katherine Parkinson in career-best form

Add Katherine Parkinson to the top rank of theatre performers in a town where talent abounds. As Judy, the retro-minded housewife at the bruisingly comic heart of Laura Wade's National Theatre/Theatre Clwyd collaboration Home, I'm Darling, ...

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Box office poison? Joan Crawford at BFI Southbank

What’s that? Joan Crawford had no sense of humour? Well, take a look at It's A Great Feeling. It’s a pretty bizarre (and pretty bad) 1949 musical with Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan playing themselves running round the Warner Brothers lot...

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The Turn of the Screw, ENO, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - one dimension, not four

Opera and music theatre have set the birds shrilling in Regent's Park before in the shape of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess – a very forgettable production – and Sondheim's Into the Woods – much better, and a score which can give any 20th century opera a...

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DVD: Mansfield 66/67

There’s long been a fascination with the death of busty, blonde, Marilyn-alike Hollywood star Jayne Mansfield. The fact that it supposedly resulted from a curse by the occult showman and head of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, builds in an element...

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An Audience with Dame Cleo Laine, RFH review - a phenomenon at 90

Yes, she sang, with her trademark artistry from the very first notes – four numbers, including a duet with daughter Jacqui Dankworth, and all in close partnership with her consummate players, including son Alec on double bass. Any worries that this...

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