sun 21/07/2024

class system

Miss Julie, Park Theatre review - Strindberg's kitchen drama still packs a punch

You have to tiptoe around the edge of the set just to take your seat in the Park’s studio space for Lidless Theatre’s Miss Julie. There’s a plain wooden table, a few utensils on it, wooden chairs and a small cabinet – not much, but, we’re smack...

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Hugo Rifkind: Rabbits review - 31 wild parties and a funeral

In some ways I’m an appropriate person to review Hugo Rifkind’s new novel Rabbits, a coming-of-age comedy set in the early Nineties. I’m about the same age as Rifkind, and was going through the agonies of school and university, drinking and girls at...

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Boys from the Blackstuff, National Theatre review - a lyrical, funny, affecting variation on a television classic

Prolific playwright James Graham was born in 1982, the year Alan Bleasdale's unforgettable series was televised. From Nottingham rather than Liverpool, Graham recognised in his own surroundings the predicaments of the main characters, the bonds...

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Testmatch, Orange Tree Theatre review - Raj rage, old and new, flares in cricket dramedy

Cricket has always been a lens through which to examine the legacy of the British Empire. In the 1930s, the infamous Bodyline series saw the new nation, Australia, stand up to its big brother’s bullying tactics. In the 1970s, the all-conquering West...

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Cassie and the Lights, Southwark Playhouse review - powerful, affecting, beautifully acted tale of three sisters in care

"In care". It’s a phrase that, if it penetrates our minds at all, usually leads to distressing tabloid stories of children losing their lives at the hands of abusive parents (“Why oh why wasn’t this child in care?”) or of loving parents separated...

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Foam, Finborough Theatre review - fascism and f*cking in a Gentlemen's Lavatory that proves short of gentlemen

In a too brightly tiled Gentlemen’s public convenience (Nitin Parmar’s beautifully realised set is as much a character as any of the men we meet), a lad is shaving his head. He’s halfway to the skinhead look of the early Seventies, but he hasn’t...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Padre Pio

Faith and damnation frequently collide in Abel Ferrara’s films, drawing fiery performances from often starry casts. The New York master who made The Driller Killer and Bad Lieutenant now lives in Rome and, like his Pasolini, Padre Pio is a political...

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Sargent and Fashion, Tate Britain review - portraiture as a performance

At the turn of the 20th century, London’s smart set queued up to get their portraits painted by American-born artist John Singer Sargent. Sitting for him was a performance, a way to show the world just how rich, glamorous, clever or important you...

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Othello, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - 21st century interpretation delivers food for thought

Detective Chief Inspector Othello leads a quasi-paramilitary team of Metropolitan Police officers investigating gang activity in Docklands. With a chequered past now behind him, he has reformed and has the respect of both the team he leads and his...

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Till the Stars Come Down, National Theatre review - exuberant comedy with a dark edge

The National Theatre is meant to represent the whole nation – and not just the metropolitan middle classes. So it’s really good to see that Beth Steel – who comes from an East Midlands working-class background and was once writer in...

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Pandemonium, Soho Theatre review - satire needs a shot of Pfizer's finest to revive tired storylines

In 2020, throughout the country, many people’s lives were affected adversely by an ever-present threat to our already fragile society. Though most got over it, many people still bear the cost every day, sapping them of energy, making them cough and...

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£1 Thursdays, Finborough Theatre review - dazzling new play is as funny and smart as its two heroines

It’s 2012 and the London Olympics might as well be happening on the Moon for Jen and Stacey. In fact, you could say the same for everyone else scrabbling a living in Bradford – or anywhere north of Watford – and we know what those left-behind places...

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