fri 21/09/2018

ancient Greece

Ariadne auf Naxos, Longborough Festival review - appetising energy and wit

Much as I love Strauss’s Ariadne in its final form, I have a sneaking nostalgia for the original version (attached to Hofmannsthal’s adaptation of Molière’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme), which had Zerbinetta and her companions popping up after the...

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The New Royal Academy and Tacita Dean, Landscape review - a brave beginning to a new era

This weekend the Royal Academy (R.A) celebrates its 250th anniversary with the opening of 6 Burlington Gardens (main picture), duly refurbished for the occasion. When it was dirty the Palladian facade felt coldly overbearing, but cleaning it has...

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Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece, British Museum review - magnificence of form across the millennia

In bronze, marble, stone and plaster, as far as the eye can see, powerful figures and fragments – divine and human, mythological and real; athletes, soldiers and horses alongside otherworldly creatures like Centaurs – stride out. They pose, re-pose...

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Troy: Fall of a City, BBC One review - soapification of the Trojan War

The plan to bring drama back to Saturday nights on BBC One enjoyed mixed success with Hard Sun, but now threatens to slide over a cliff with this trip back to the Homeric era. In the era of Game of Thrones and now Britannia, you can see why somebody...

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From Life, Royal Academy review - perplexingly aimless

Dedicated to a foundation stone of western artistic training, this exhibition attempts a celebratory note as the Royal Academy approaches its 250th anniversary. But if the printed guide handed to visitors offers a detailed overview of working from...

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Oedipe, LPO, Jurowski, RFH review - Enescu's masterpiece glorious and complete

It’s official: Romanian master George Enescu’s four-act Greek epic lives and breathes as a work of transcendent genius. It took last year’s Royal Opera production to lead us further along the path established by the magnificent EMI studio recording...

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The Mentor, Vaudeville Theatre review - having fun with artistic integrity

German writer Daniel Kehlmann’s light-touch 90-minute comedy is a chic satire on the slippery business of making art – and especially on the difficulty of assessing it. Whose judgement matters, after all? This production now in the West End was...

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John Man: Amazons review - the real warrior women of the ancient world

As Wonder Woman hits screens worldwide, the publication of a book that explores the myth and reality of the Amazon seems timely. The latest of John Man’s works of popular history is opportunistic enough to end with a fascinating account of the...

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Colm Tóibín: House of Names review - bleakly beautiful twilight of the gods

The news that Colm Tóibín has written a novel about Orestes, Clytemnestra, Electra and the whole accursed House of Atreus might prompt two instant responses. One could run: where does your man find the brass neck to compete with the titans of the...

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Medea, Bristol Old Vic - formulaic feminism lets Greek classic down

Greek tragedy provides an unending source of material for the stage: in no other theatrical form have the labyrinths of human nature been so deeply explored: the rich tapestry of archetypal family conflicts, driven by instincts that force helpless...

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Refugees and referendums: Ramin Gray on staging Aeschylus's The Suppliant Women

I’m sitting in a rehearsal room in Manchester preparing an Actors Touring Company’s new version of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women, listening to a group of young women raise their voices in praise of “untameable Artemis”. She’s the goddess of...

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The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Finborough Theatre

When a leading fringe theatre starts the year with a production whose gender ratio is 8:1 in favour of men, it had better have a good reason. When seven of those eight are wearing prosthetic penises, it had better have a very good reason. And a plan...

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