tue 17/07/2018

21st century

The Lehman Trilogy, National Theatre review - an acting tour de force

There's surprising and then there's The Lehman Trilogy, the National Theatre premiere in which a long-established director surprises his audience and, in the process, surpasses himself. The talent in question is Sam Mendes, who a quarter-century or...

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CD: Laurel Halo - Raw Silk Uncut Wood

So the ambient revival continues apace, getting deeper and wider with each passing year. From the interstices between the classical concert hall, abstract art installations, the backroom of more insalubrious little raves and festivals, the small...

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DVD: The Nile Hilton Incident

The world was captivated by the Arab Spring – thousands of citizens rising up in unity against longstanding dictatorships, filling squares and refusing to bow. But for many of us, it was a world away; the crowds were a single organism, thinking and...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Olivia De Prato, Kärt Ruubel, Third Coast Percussion

 Streya: New works for solo violin and violin with electronics Olivia De Prato (violin) (New Focus Recordings)Combining acoustic instruments with electronics is a dark art, and tantalisingly few details about the process are revealed in the...

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The Path to Heaven, RNCM, Manchester review - tragedy, truth, passion

Adam Gorb’s The Path to Heaven, with libretto by Ben Kaye, is his longest work to date (almost two hours’ running time without interval) and on a story that could hardly be more tragic – the Holocaust. Its premiere at the Royal Northern College of...

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CD: AMMAR 808 - Maghreb United

Hot in the burning footsteps of Bargou 08, last year’s subtle but daring mix of traditional Tunisian sounds and electronic beats and textures, Sofyann Ben Youssef launches a new project under the name of AMMAR 808, Maghreb United. There is a great...

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Sancho: An Act of Remembrance, Wilton's Music Hall review - pure entertainment

One space, one person, one story, one voice – the monologue is theatre distilled, the purest form of entertainment. On a stage of packing boxes and boards, over the course of just over an hour, Paterson Joseph relays and plays the life of...

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Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh - transforming spaces

In just five years, what the team behind Hidden Door Festival has achieved is quite remarkable. Having sprung up in 2014, taking over a group of disused vaults behind Waverley train station, the festival’s mission to transform redundant spaces in...

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Lessons in Love and Violence, Royal Opera review - savage elegance never quite glows red-hot

A rope is mercy; a razor-blade to the throat, a kiss; a red-hot poker… But, of course, we never get anything so literal as the poker in George Benjamin and Martin Crimp’s elegant, insinuating retelling of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II. The title...

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Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel, Barbican review - brilliant if overwhelming showcase

Insistence was the name of the LA Phil's first game in its short but ambitious three-day Barbican residency - insistence honed to a perfect sheen and focus, but wearing, for this listener at least, some way in to the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony...

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Dickson, SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - world premiere of a bold new work

It’s as intricate as it is concise. The depth to the architecture of James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto – which was given its world premiere this week by saxophonist Amy Dickson and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is quite astounding, and all the...

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Boy George and Culture Club: From Karma to Calamity, BBC Four

The title signalled what was coming so clearly, it may as well have been called When Bands End Badly: the two camps, the arguments and sniping and the eventual collapse of Culture Club’s US and UK tour to promote an album of new material. It’s...

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