fri 26/02/2021

England

To Olivia review - Keeley Hawes rises above brainless biopic

Sure, Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but is that any excuse for a film quite so saccharine? He of all challenging and complex men, with a temperament to match, seems an odd subject for the sort of weightless, paint-by-numbers...

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Album: Django Django - Glowing in the Dark

It’s odd that there’s still no name for the wave of genre-agnostic British bands of the '00s. Not manic enough to be nu rave, way too interesting for the retro-guitar nu rock revolution / landfill indie tsunami, the likes of Hot Chip, Metronomy,...

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The Dig, Netflix review - a haunting exploration of time and timelessness

The Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk has proved to be one of the most valuable archaeological finds ever made in Britain, shedding priceless light on the Anglo-Saxon period of the 6th and 7th Centuries. Simon Stone’s drama (adapted from John...

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Album: Sleaford Mods - Spare Ribs

What’s all this? Female voices, guitars, a song lasting over four minutes… harmonies? Have Britain’s savviest social commentators gone soft? Fear not, their sixth album is wall-to-wall uncomfortable sleaziness, biting observation and bruising...

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Blithe Spirit review - cloth-eared Coward

Noel Coward's 1941 comedy was one of the theatrical casualties of the first lockdown last March in a Richard Eyre-directed West End revival that aimed to mine the pain beneath this play's abundance of bons mots. And now as if to pick up the baton,...

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Roald and Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse, Sky One review – twinkly tale for troubled times

They say "never meet your heroes". That may be true, but it forms the premise of a new TV drama concerning two of the world’s most famous children’s authors – Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl – who encounter each other at opposite ends of their life....

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A Christmas Carol, Old Vic online review - the bells have it once again

As proof that you can't have too much of a good thing, consider the return of Matthew Warchus's buoyant production of A Christmas Carol, now marking its fourth year at the Old Vic (with a lauded Broadway run last Christmas included, for good measure...

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A Christmas Carol, Dominion Theatre review - brash and bustling and snowy, too

The twelve days of Christmas have nothing on the flotilla of Christmas Carols jostling for view this season, each of which is substantially different enough from the next so as to give Dickens's 1843 story its prismatic due. Hailing from Broadway,...

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The Dumb Waiter, Hampstead Theatre review - menace without a hint of mirth

Add the Hampstead Theatre to the swelling ranks of playhouses opening its doors this month, in this case with a revival well into rehearsal last spring when the first lockdown struck. Re-cast in the interim, Alice Hamilton's 60th-anniversary...

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The Crown, Season 4, Netflix review - royalty rocked by personal and political turbulence

Pre-release excitement about the fourth coming of The Crown (Netflix) has centred on Emma Corrin’s portrayal of Princess Diana, still big box-office 23 years after her death. There’s no denying that Corrin has risen heroically to the challenge of...

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His Dark Materials, Series 2, BBC One review – upping the ante whilst retaining the magic

The first series of the BBC and HBO’s fantasy adventure His Dark Materials felt even more timely than when author Phillip Pullman first published Northern Lights twenty-five-years ago. The second season builds on the heady mix of philosophy and...

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Death of England: Delroy, National Theatre review - a furious if fleetingly seen sequel

Broadway tends to be the Darwinian environment where a show's opening night can also mark its closing. But such has been the Covid-prompted fate of the National Theatre's fiery return to the fray that Death of England: Delroy managed 11...

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