sat 14/12/2019

Egypt

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, Saatchi Gallery review - worth its weight?

In 1922 Hussein Abdel-Rassoul, a water boy with Howard Carter’s archaeological dig in the Valley of the Kings, accidentally uncovered a step in the sand. It proved to be the breakthrough for which Carter, on the hunt for the final resting place of...

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CD: Land of Kush - Sand Enigma

Land of Kush are an ambitious 20-piece plus ensemble which features all manner of instruments from strings, horns, piano, guitar, santur, darbouka, oud and synths, as well as multiple vocalists and percussionists. Led by Sam Shalabi of the trippy...

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Berenice, Royal Opera/London Handel Festival review - luminous shenanigans in the Linbury

It might be the nature of Handel's operatic beasts, but performances tend to fall into two camps: brilliant in the fusion of drama and virtuosity, singing and playing, or boring to various degrees. If this handsome opening gambit in the 2019 London...

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Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre review - Ralph Fiennes in marvellous throttle

You always wonder about those final scenes of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Are they really needed dramatically; do they work? We understand, of course, that a closing exhalation may add impact to high passions just witnessed. But is it just a romantic...

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DVD: The Nile Hilton Incident

The world was captivated by the Arab Spring – thousands of citizens rising up in unity against longstanding dictatorships, filling squares and refusing to bow. But for many of us, it was a world away; the crowds were a single organism, thinking and...

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Giulio Cesare, Glyndebourne review - no weak link

What a great show, on every level. David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, originally staged in 2005, and in its third revival this year, has a cast without a weak link, and never fails to draw in the audience to the work’...

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Antony and Cleopatra, RSC, Barbican review - rising grandeur

Is there a key to “infinite variety”? The challenge of Cleopatra is to convey the sheer fullness of the role, the sense that it defines, and is defined by only itself: there’s no saying that the glorious tragedy of the closing plays itself out, of...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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Omar Robert Hamilton: The City Always Wins review - Egypt's revolution, up close and personal

A few days ago we learned that British taxpayers have unwittingly donated around £1m. in aid to the police and court systems of Egypt’s military dictatorship, via an opaque “Conflict, Stability and Security Fund”. That news only sharpens the topical...

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Clash review - 'a nation in crisis'

An Egyptian/French co-production directed by Egyptian film-maker Mohamed Diab, Clash is a fevered, chaotic attempt to portray some of the tangled undercurrents that fuelled Egypt’s “Arab Spring” and its subsequent unravelling. Knowing something...

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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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Sunken Cities: Egypt's lost worlds rediscovered

In a gallery darkened to evoke the seabed that was its resting place for over a thousand years, the colossal figure of Hapy, the Egyptian god of the Nile flood, greets visitors just as it met sailors entering the busy trading port of Thonis-...

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