sun 24/10/2021

Cardiff

Sŵn Festival 2018 – a welcome return to form

It’s been a tough few years for Sŵn Festival. Once a genuine rival to fellow urban festivals Great Escape and Sound City, recent events have fluctuated between one-dayers and a string of ticketed gigs. 2018 marked the biggest change yet, but also a...

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English, Festival of Voice, Wales Millennium Centre review – lost in language

Despite the Welsh repute for singing, the Festival of Voice in Cardiff has always been more than just music. Indeed, on the Friday evening, Welsh/Cornish pop enigma Gwenno was appearing alongside the gloriously titled one woman show Lovecraft (Not...

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BBC NOW, Alexandre Bloch, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff review - tonal music in an avant-garde sense

This is the 50th Vale of Glamorgan Festival, and as its founder and director, John Metcalf, reminded us in a brief post-interval speech, he has been at all of them. Indeed the festival has increasingly mapped itself on to his personal view of what a...

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Tiger Bay, Wales Millennium Centre review - ambitious but flawed spectacle

During the 19th century, Tiger Bay in Cardiff was the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution and the most multicultural area in Britain. Visit today and the only signs remaining are the odd gothic buildings that sit between Doctor Who...

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The World's Wife, Wales Millennium Centre, Weston Studio review - the power and frustration behind the throne

How many dead female composers can you name? Tom Green, the composer of this stunning one-woman show, could initially only think of five (I managed thirteen while waiting for the show to start, but then I’ve been around somewhat longer than he has,...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Prevenge

“People think babies are sweet. But this one’s bitter.” So squeaks Alice Lowe’s malevolent unborn daughter in the horror comedy Prevenge, prompting her heavily pregnant host Ruth to embark on a killing spree. Think of it as an unholy blend of...

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Born to Kill finale, Channel 4 review – a full-blown psychotic nightmare

Was it just a coincidence that budding serial killer Sam attended Ripley Heath High? Probably not. Born to Kill, written by Tracey Malone and Kate Ashfield, was keenly aware that it followed in the bloody footsteps of both real sociopaths such as...

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Going Going Gone, BBC Four

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of challenge he’d faced with Sarah Palin or some of his previous targets. Doors were closed, but the keepers of the keys here were...

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Rysanov, Neary, BBC NOW, Outwater, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff

Apart from festivals like the BBC Proms that do everything, the best festivals have always been the ones that cut a distinctive profile. They might not offer the best music. Those old French festivals of modern music – Royan, La Rochelle, Metz –...

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Mariinsky Ballet: Concerto DSCH, Sacre, Wales Millennium Centre

On Thursday the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra swooped into Cardiff for the ballet company’s only UK dates this year. Appearing at the Wales Millennium Centre for just four ballet performances, plus a family concert of Peter and the Wolf, the...

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The Marriage of Figaro, Welsh National Opera

From the more or less inconsequential wit and bravura of The Barber of Seville to the profound comic psychology, social nuances and unparalleled musical genius of The Marriage of Figaro, and from the silly antics of Sam Brown’s Rossini to the style...

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Dutilleux Centenary, BBC NOW, Rophé, Cardiff

The French composer Henri Dutilleux would have been 100 last Friday if he had lived that long, which in fact he very nearly did; he was 97 when he died in 2013. Five years before that he had been awarded an honorary doctorate at Cardiff University,...

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