sat 21/05/2022

adaptation

Zorro the Musical, Charing Cross Theatre review - struggling to find the right tone

Zorro (what a name!) is back, swashing and buckling his way into the West End, 13 years after he left and now not the only one wearing a mask. He’s also an entertainer turned political leader, inspiring his people to resist an evil martinet. Well,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Nineteen Eighty-Four

"Disgusting", "depressing", "sheer horror from start to finish", a "filthy, rotten, immoral play". Such were the comments from viewers published across a spectrum of British newspapers following the BBC transmission, on 12 December 1954, of Nigel...

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The Merchant of Venice, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - enormous empathy

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, you say? Shakespeare, as ever, refuses to be confined to convenient boxes, his best plays’ extraordinary pliability and longevity a testament to the piercing eye he cast towards the slings and arrows that assail...

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But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical, Turbine Theatre review - two cheers for feelgood show

We open on “Seventeen is Swell”, the antithesis of Janis Ian’s 70s angsty anthem, “At Seventeen”. Megan is living it large as the cheerleader’s leader with her football captain boyfriend, two loving if strict parents and a golden future of all-...

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Saturday Night Fever, Peacock Theatre review - crowd-pleaser stays true to its roots

Wind the clock back 45 years and the Big Apple was bankrupt, the lights had gone out and many native New Yorkers were packing their bags. Gangs controlled whole neighbourhoods, drugs were the currency of choice and, for a kid with no college,...

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Broken Wings, Charing Cross Theatre review - new musical fails to fly

Somewhere in the world right now, one can hear Mister Mister's AOR hit, "Broken Wings" on an MOR radio station, capturing mid-Eighties synth pop perfectly. Few listeners will know that its inspiration is a 1912 autobiographical novel by Lebanese-...

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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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Force Majeure, Donmar Warehouse review - fissures in a marriage

It sounds like the title of a play by Rattigan. No such luck: “Force Majeure” – a legal term with which all too few will be familiar, in which circumstances beyond anyone’s control cancel a contract – is how Ruben Östlund’s 2014 film Turist is known...

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The Humans review - staring headlong into the abyss

A small film that packs a significant wallop, The Humans snuck into view at the very end of 2021 to cast a despairing shadow that extends well beyond the Thanksgiving day during which it takes place. Adapted from the much-traveled Tony-winning play...

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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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The Book of Dust, Bridge Theatre review – as much intelligence and provocation as fleet-footed fun

It’s been seventeen years since Nicholas Hytner first directed Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials at the National Theatre, ambitiously whirling audiences into Pullman’s universe of daemons, damnable clerics and parallel worlds. Now he has...

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You Don't Know Me, BBC One review - true love meets inner-city crime wave

I sympathised with the prosecuting barrister when she put it to the court that the accused, a man called Hero (Samuel Adewunmi), was “using his closing speech to construct a work of fiction”.This was a crafty meta-joke. You Don’t Know Me itself is a...

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