mon 18/10/2021

21st century

Wole Soyinka: Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth review – sprawling satire of modern-day Nigeria

Eight-years passed between the publication of Wole Soyinka’s debut novel, The Interpreters (1965), and his second, Season of Anomy (1973). A lot happened in the interim. One of Nigeria’s most resilient critics of corruption and...

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Extract: The Breaks by Julietta Singh

How do we mother “at the end of the world”? Among the ruins of late capitalism, climate catastrophe, and entrenched white state violence?Julietta Singh “admit[s] that at a conceptual level there is a crucial part of me that wants to throw in the...

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What If If Only, Royal Court review - short if not sweet

Few sights speak so eloquently of loss, of an especially cruel and painful loss, as one glass of wine, half-full, alone on a table. A man speaks to a partner who isn’t there, wishes her back, but knows that she has gone. Then another woman...

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Ruby Tandoh: Cook As You Are review - truly a trailblazer

Ever since her appearance on The Great British Bake Off in 2013, Ruby Tandoh has been a breath of fresh air to the food industry. Unafraid to use her voice and stand up not only for herself but for the marginalised communities she is a part of, she...

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Gerhard Richter: Drawings, Hayward Gallery review - exquisite ruminations

In 2015, an abstract painting by Gerhard Richter broke the world record for contemporary art by selling at auction for £30.4m, and the octogenarian is often described as the most important living artist. But I’ve always found the prices fetched by...

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The Ballad of Billy McCrae review - beware the quarryman's beautiful daughter

An entertaining but undernourished industrial-domestic neo-noir set in South Wales,The Ballad of Billy McCrae depicts the power struggle between bent quarrying company boss Billy (David Hayman) and gullible failed businessman Chris Blythe (Ian Virgo...

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Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing review – core writing from England's regions

“On the Ordinance Survey map, it has no name”, writes Andrew Michael Hurley, of the wood that nevertheless gives its name to his essay. “Clavicle Wood” provides the first chapter in the Test Signal: Northern Anthology of New Writing. It is...

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Dido’s Ghost, Buxton International Festival review - the Queen of Carthage returns

“Remember me!”, sang Dido to a departed Aeneas in the heart-rending aria-chaconne announcing her demise that dominates the ending of Purcell’s baroque opera. But what if he did … if in fact he never could forget her? That’s the premise behind...

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Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare's Globe review - unsatisfactory mix of clumsy and edgy

"It is dangerous for women to go outside alone," blares the electronic sign above the stage of the new Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. This disquieting sentiment obviously takes some of its resonance from the Sarah Everard case, yet it also...

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Dark Days, Luminous Nights, Manchester Collective, The White Hotel, Salford review - a sense of Hades

Did you wonder what all those creative musicians and artists did when they couldn’t perform in public last winter? Some of them started making films. Putting film of yourself online was, after all, a way of communicating with an audience, and had...

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Ed Miliband: Go Big - How to Fix Our World review - reasons to hope

Almost alone among my friends, I liked and admired Ed Miliband, renewing my on-off relationship with the Labour Party having watched his first speech to conference live on TV. I had always considered him decent, thoughtful, intelligent – and, on the...

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Frankie review - dying for nuance

American filmmaker Ira Sachs excels at crafting throughtful relationship dramas in which middle-class characters confronted with crises or unanticipated realisations gain valuable emotional knowledge. His best works – Forty Shades of Blue (2005),...

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