sun 03/07/2022

19th century

Bridgerton, Season 2, Netflix review - power politics and love triangles as Regency fantasy returns

The first series of Bridgerton (Netflix) became a ratings-blasting sensation because of the way it thrust a boldly multiracial cast into the midst of a Regency costume drama, and because of the camera-hogging presence of Regé-Jean Page as the...

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Koranyi, Hallé, Berglund, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - beauty and joy

It’s catching on … for the second consecutive night I heard an orchestra begin by playing, to a standing audience, the Ukrainian national anthem. The previous night it was Opera North’s musicians: this time the Norwegian conductor Tabita Berglund...

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Hough, BBC Philharmonic, Wellber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - Beethoven for today

There was something extraordinarily powerful and moving about Saturday’s Beethoven commemoration concert by the BBC Philharmonic and its chief conductor, Omer Meir Wellber.Originally planned for 2020 but of course postponed, its second part...

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Rigoletto, Royal Opera review - second time lucky

Two Royal Opera staples, Verdi's La traviata and Puccini’s Tosca, now come round with too much frequency for critical coverage. It looks like Director of Opera Oliver Mears’ Rigoletto will do the same. Yet the production’s September 2021 debut was...

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Wuthering Heights, National Theatre review - too much heat, not enough light

“If you want romance,” the cast of Emma Rice’s new version of Wuthering Heights say in unison just after the interval, “go to Cornwall.” They’re using the modern definition of romance, of course – Emily Brontë’s novel is full of the original meaning...

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The Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol: A Victorian Gutter, Southbank Centre review - cult band get inside Scrooge's head

Charles Dickens and Martyn Jacques is a marriage made in heaven (well, hell I suppose): the Victorian novelist touring the rookeries of Clerkenwell the better to fire his imagination and, 150 years or so later, the post-punk maestro mining London's...

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Kehinde Wiley, National Gallery review - more than meets the eye

American artist Kehinde Wiley may be best known for his photo-realist portrait of Barack Obama, but painting powerful black men is not the norm. More often he elevates people met on the street in Brooklyn, Dalston or Dakar to positions of pseudo...

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Hanslip, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Stoller Hall, Manchester review - lyricism and challenge

Manchester’s oldest chamber orchestra has been gathering a new audience at the Stoller Hall in Chetham’s School of Music since that auditorium opened, and Sunday afternoon’s programme provided an excellent example of where the Northern Chamber...

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Giltburg, Hallé, Elder, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - back to glorious normal?

Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé were making something of a statement in this concert. Gone was the extended platform, gone the distanced orchestral seating of the past 18 months or so (strings now back to shared music stands), and the programme (also a...

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A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic review - not quite a festive-season cracker

Four years and a Broadway run on from its Old Vic debut, director Matthew Warchus and writer,Jack Thorne are still throwing everything they can at one of the most familiar stories, and characters, in English literature. That may be to address the...

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Devin Jacobsen: Breath Like the Wind at Dawn review – the disturbances of the Civil War

How do you imagine the wind at dawn? Biting, brisk, peremptory – a kind of summons as another day begins? For Les Tamplin, wife-beater, sheriff, father to three sons, it is a detective, deathly wind, "the wind that cannot be stopped" which...

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Carmen, Opera North review - humanity and no bull

Is Bizet’s Carmen all about Carmen? Or Don José and his obsession with her? Or the society that made her what she is? Or all of the above? Inevitably it’s an opera that almost never escapes some Regietheater treatment these days. Director Edward...

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