wed 19/09/2018

Australia

theartsdesk at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music - stratospheric performances by a tropical sea

North of Brisbane, south of Cairns and a short boat trip from the turquoise waters around the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is the site of a north-east Australian military base. Despite its dry-tropical beachside glories, it’s not necessarily the...

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CD: Iggy Azalea - Survive the Summer

In basic creative terms of the ingredients that make it up, this is not a bad record. Hip hop production is in extraordinary period right now, and the six tracks on this EP have the best production that money can buy: woozy, narcotic, digitally...

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Picnic at Hanging Rock, BBC One review - camp girls' school gothic

How many people were watching Picnic at Hanging Rock as it took its bow on BBC One? This opening episode happened to be preceded by a rival attraction on ITV. The premise of the story, set in Australia in 1900, is that almost no one sees three girls...

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Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre review - largely naff

A much tinkered-with show needs to go back to the drawing board, if this latest iteration of Strictly Ballroom: The Musical is any gauge. Having travelled across Sydney, Leeds, and Toronto on its extensively revised way to the West End, director-...

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Sweet Country review - hell in the Outback

Recently the world has been entertained by the shameless amateur theatricals from some of Australia’s lavishly-paid cricketers, but Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country transports us back to a harsher, crueller Australia, where men might have...

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Ruthless Jabiru, King's College London / Arditti Quartet, Wigmore Hall review - delicate, dedicated modernism

Ruthless Jabiru is an all-Australian chamber orchestra based in London. It is the brainchild of conductor Kelly Lovelady, who in recent years has geared the ensemble towards political and environmental concerns. Previous projects have highlighted...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Hounds of Love

Hounds of Love is the latest in a long line of small-budget Australian horrors “based on true events” – it must be something about the heat. However, stellar performances and a refreshing depth in characterisation make this thriller stand apart from...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Berlin Syndrome

There’s an intriguing combination of style and atmosphere in Berlin Syndrome, one that proves that, although director Cate Shortland has embraced genre with conviction, she certainly hasn’t left the arthouse roots that she established with her first...

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Top of the Lake: China Girl, BBC Two, series finale review - torpor not trauma

So who killed Cinnamon? Six weeks ago we saw the strangled sex-worker – packed in a pink suitcase – pushed into Bondi Bay. The finale of Top of the Lake: China Girl withheld enlightenment. Puss, the chief suspect, denied responsibility. Why would...

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Top of the Lake: China Girl, BBC Two review - thrillingly murky

In the riveting first series of Top of the Lake, it was personal for Down Under detective Robin Griffin. She headed to a hilly corner of New Zealand to be around for the death of her mother while looking into the disappearance of a young girl. There...

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Hamlet, Glyndebourne review - integrity if not genius in Brett Dean's score

Nature’s germens tumble all together rather readily in more recent operatic Shakespeare. Following the overblown storm before the storm of Reimann’s Lear and the premature angst of Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale, what's rotten in the state of...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Brian Elias, Stravinsky, Palaeolithic Bone Flutes

Brian Elias: Electra Mourns Psappha/Nicholas Kok, Britten Sinfonia/Clark Rundell (NMC)Bombay-born British composer Brian Elias has been active since the 1960s. A slow and fastidious worker, his 1992 score for the Royal Ballet’s The Judas Tree is...

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