wed 22/01/2020

America

The Outsider, Sky Atlantic review - double trouble in small-town Georgia

Stephen King’s novels have generated an impressive lineage of successful adaptations. This HBO treatment (on Sky Atlantic) of his 2018 novel The Outsider, developed by Richard Price and featuring screenwriting input from Dennis Lehane, is shaping up...

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Blu-ray: Night Tide

Dennis Hopper’s first starring role, in Night Tide from 1961, as a naïve but curious young sailor bewitched by a siren, offers a strange mirror to his role as the evil Frank Booth in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986). If anything, he offers a preview...

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Rags: The Musical, Park Theatre review - a timely, if predictable, immigrant tale

“Take our country back!” is the rallying cry of the self-identified “real” Americans gathered to protest the arrival of immigrants. It could be a contemporary Trump rally – or, indeed, the nastier side of current British political discourse – but in...

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Just Mercy review - soul-stirring true story about race and justice in America

Just Mercy, the latest film from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), is based on a New York Times bestseller. It has a star-studded cast. It’s emotionally moving as well as intellectually accessible. But it’s no easy film to watch. “They can call...

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Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle, BBC Four review - meticulous account of a haunting American tragedy

It happened 42 years ago, but the mass suicide of 900 people at the Jonestown settlement in Guyana is still an event that freezes the blood. They were members of the Peoples Temple, the semi-totalitarian cult founded by Jim Jones, who began as a...

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In the Line of Duty review - brazen absurdity

The dinosaur credentials of disgraced cop Frank Penny (Aaron Eckhart) litter his flat, from his battered old TV to his binning of his daily newspaper, bar the sports section. As he begins his beat, vlogger Ava Brooks (Courtney Eaton, pictured below...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Seratones - Power

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I had every intention of making Songs Of Our Native Daughters featuring Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah my Album of the year. It’s a solid work of great beauty, elegance and...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Buddies

The acclaim of being the first to represent the mid-1980s AIDS pandemic in cultural form was a plaudit that none of those concerned would ever have wished for. With New York as its epicentre, and almost nothing known about the disease that was...

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Girl From The North Country, Gielgud Theatre review – poignant collaboration between Conor McPherson and Bob Dylan

Despair hangs like mildew over the small iron-ore mining town of Duluth, Minnesota, where dreams go to die, and the living haunt the clapped-out buildings like lost souls. This poignant collaboration between playwright Conor McPherson and Bob Dylan...

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Curtains, Wyndham's Theatre review - unexpectedly giddy fun

Who knew? This West End premiere of the 2007 Broadway entry from the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) secured a prime holiday-season slot at the last minute when this playhouse's previous entry, The Man...

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Teenage Dick, Donmar Warehouse review - a fearlessly acted, well-intentioned mess

If good intentions were everything, Teenage Dick would be the play of the year. As it is, this British premiere at the Donmar of an Off Broadway entry from summer 2018 grants centre-stage, and not before time, to two disabled actors, one of whom...

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Fairview, Young Vic review - questioning the assumptions of race

Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Fairview comes to the Young Vic with the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama under its belt, and a reputation for putting audiences on their mettle through a build-up of theatrical surprises that culminate in a denouement about...

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