thu 03/12/2020

19th century

The Good Lord Bird, Sky Atlantic review - picaresque account of the myth of John Brown

On the face of it, this new Sky Atlantic series sounded as though it might be a grave and sombre slice of American history, telling the story of the anti-slavery crusader John Brown and how his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia helped push America...

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Kanneh-Mason, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla online review - muted celebrations

“This year was supposed to be so very different” said Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra when he spoke to theartsdesk earlier this year. Talk about an understatement. The CBSO has hardly been alone in...

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Proust Night, Wigmore Hall review – the music of memory

In a bold first strike – straight to the gut, surely, for many in the audience – the Wigmore Hall’s “Proust Night” began with an old recording of the Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite. Clever. How apt that the signature tune from Listen...

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Gigantic Cinema: A Weather Anthology review - wild writing to stimulate the senses

Among the French composer Claude Debussy’s greatest and characteristically subtle innovations was to put the titles at the end of his pieces. He did this in his piano collection Preludes: the titles, trailed by ellipses and clothed in brackets...

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The Secret Garden review - blooming charming

With Netflix releasing Rebecca on Wednesday, who’d have thought that a kid’s film would be this week’s best adaptation about an estate haunted by the memory of the deceased lady of the manor? Written and directed by the team behind Channel 4’s...

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Enola Holmes review – a new Sherlock-related franchise is afoot

It’s no secret that Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation lays claim to more appearances on screen than any other fictional character. Over the past several decades, we’ve seen Sherlock as a pugilist action-hero, a modern-day sleuth, and in a...

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BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

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Camille Laurens: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen review - the story of a sculpture

Edgar Degas is famous for his depictions of ballet dancers. His drawings, paintings and sculptures of young girls clad in the uniform of the dance are signs of an artistic obsession that spanned a remarkable artistic career. One work in particular...

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Hamilton, Disney+ review - puts us all in the room where it happened

The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was meant to hit cinemas this summer, but, in response to Covid-19, has been put back to 2021. Instead, we get the early release on Disney+ of Miranda’s Hamilton – filmed, NT Live style,...

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The Luminaries, BBC One review - one of the most visually arresting dramas of the year

Alarm bells start ringing whenever you discover an author is adapting their own work for a screenplay. In the case of New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton, the alarm proves to be false. Over the course of seven years, and apparently 200 drafts...

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Blu-ray/DVD: Little Women

For the average female millennial, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the perfect film to watch in lockdown. Brought up on Winona Ryder’s Jo March, then Gerwig’s Frances Ha in our teen years, we never expected this blessing but are most ardently...

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Treasure Island, National Theatre at Home review - all aboard this thrilling adventure story

Swaggering pirates, X marks the spot, a chattering parrot, “Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum”? All present and correct. But Bryony Lavery’s winning 2014 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson for the National, directed by Polly Findlay, also features...

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