fri 07/10/2022

England

Jaminaround, Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne review - contemporary sounds in an archaic setting

The most unlikely venue: an extraordinary, authentic-as-can-be replica of a large Iron Age roundhouse. There’s a turf and grass roof, and the structure, made of immense roughly carved oak trunks, defies belief.You walk in, there is a kind of half-...

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This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

From underneath the messy ash-white thatch of hair, a strange mooing suddenly issues: Sir Kenneth Branagh is wrestling with Boris Johnson’s odd way of saying the “oo” sound. It’s a brave attempt but ultimately a bit wayward, rather like the drama...

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Handbagged, Kiln Theatre review - triumphant revival of Moira Buffini's comedy

It’s only nine years since Moira Buffini’s Handbagged had its premiere at Kilburn’s Tricycle theatre (renamed the Kiln in 2018), but it triumphantly returns to the same venue as a copper-bottomed classic. Its timing is uncanny: Margaret Thatcher was...

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Album: Suede - Autofiction

Suede were both prototypes and outliers of the Britpop pack, and their 2010 reunion managed a rare, creatively substantial second act; given their resurrection after guitarist Bernard Butler’s fractious 1994 exit, this may even be the band’s epic,...

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DVD: Wayfinder

Road movies in England work better by foot. Slowing down finds the scale to explore our small island, tramping Chaucer’s pilgrim paths, not Kerouac’s roaring highway.Visual artist Larry Achiampong’s debut feature accordingly sends its heroine from...

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Into The Woods, Theatre Royal Bath review - If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise

What will get audiences back into theatres? Revivals of old favourites. Works from popular genres like musicals. Pantomimes. This production of Into The Woods kinda ticks all those boxes, but it also ticks the box that matters most. It is a unique...

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Give Them Wings review - down but not out in Darlington

Give Them Wings is the biopic of Paul Hodgson, who seven months after he was born in 1965 was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis. If that wasn’t bad enough, he survived his precarious childhood to become a devout fan of Durham’s hapless...

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Quo vadis, Three Choirs Festival review - a hundred minutes of smug serenity and flowing piety

Once upon a time the Three Choirs Festival conjured up a single image, that of the English Oratorio – the grand choral solemnification of everything that was most profound in Anglican thought (though ironically its greatest exemplar, Elgar’s Dream...

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Album: Porcupine Tree - Closure/Continuation

Porcupine Tree’s members have said they don’t know if their 11th album and this autumn’s North American–European tour will conclude their 35-year career. If it does, it would be typical of the progressive rock trio – as averse to standing still as...

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Whitstable Biennale review - a breath of fresh air

If you need an excuse to spend a day in the charming seaside town of Whitstable, the Biennale is it. After a four-year hiatus, the festival is back with a somewhat edgy, apocalyptic feel.For instance, Webb/Ellis’ film This Place is a Message (St...

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La bohème, Glyndebourne review - a masterpiece in monochrome

According to the programme, La bohème is (probably) the most performed opera, by the most performed operatic composer. Ever. So, what is it about this piece that continues to enthral, inspire and intrigue artists and audiences alike?Perhaps it’s...

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Tamerlano, The Grange Festival review - Handel brilliant in parts, but you have to wait for the drama

Handel’s operas have long posed, and still pose, severe problems for the modern theatre, and especially the modern director – all those endless streams of wonderful but emotionally more or less generalised arias hitched to interchangeable...

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