sun 03/07/2022

England

First Person: playwright Chinonyerem Odimba on birthing her potent and timely new show

People often ask how long a play takes to make its way out of you. And it’s always a valid question because no matter how beautiful, soft, joyful, or short a play is, there is a wrestling match that takes place between the idea lodging itself...

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Peter Grimes, Royal Opera review - impressive, not quite devastating

"Why does he have to sentimentalise this piece?", Britten is reported by former Royal Opera director John Tooley to have said of Jon Vickers as Peter Grimes the tormented fisherman, so very different from the composer's life partner and creator of...

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The Phantom of the Open review - charmingly incompetent golfer channels Ealing

“No one can say you didn’t try,” shipyard worker Maurice Flitcroft (Mark Rylance) is told, shortly before bluffing his way aged 46 into the 1976 British Open, having never played golf before. The British love of the underdog is our popular cinema’s...

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Album: Peter Doherty & Frédéric Lo - The Fantasy Life Of Poetry & Crime

Pete Doherty became a hunted man as he was falling apart, lent tabloid notoriety by his dissolute romance with Kate Moss. The Libertines were based on more solid ground at first - rickety ideals of old England and intimate rock’n’roll community with...

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Our Generation, National Theatre review - Alecky Blythe captures the world of teenagers today

Do you happily binge four hours of mind-candy TV in one sitting? Alecky Blythe’s latest verbatim play, Our Generation – which runs for 3hr 45min at the Dorfman space of the National Theatre – might take almost as long but will probably be much more...

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A Banquet review – horror, done before

One feels, or perhaps hopes, that if she could have avoided it, first-time feature director Ruth Paxton might not have started A Banquet as she ultimately did: with Holly Hughes (Sienna Guillory) arduously scrubbing the frame of her...

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Small Island, National Theatre review - visually ravishing tale with an epic sweep

With its violent storms, bombed out cities and stories of families ripped apart by war, Small Island feels very much like a play for our times. From its stunning opening, in which the frantic silhouettes of humans are interwoven with black-and-white...

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Salley Vickers: The Gardener review - nature has other ideas

A garden is a space defined by its limits. Whatever its contents in terms of style and species, and however manicured or apparently wild its appearance, what distinguishes a garden from its equivalent quantity of uncultivated land is its enclosure...

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Album: Marillion – An Hour Before It's Dark

Though Marillion have experimented with modern rock textures, and have also cut an acoustic album (2009’s Less Is More), the group is defined by its ardent, layered neo-prog sound – given a Romantic bark and fervor by Fish when he was the singer (...

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First Person: Tim Walker on crossing over from critic to playwright

The divide between theatre critics and the theatrical profession has always been a chasm, but occasionally a wire has been thrown between the two and plucky or foolhardy individuals have attempted to traverse it. A three-times-unsuccessful applicant...

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The Souvenir Part II review – the problem with posh realism

The Souvenir Part II apparently concludes Joanna Hogg’s fly-on-the-wall drama about a woman film student's emotional evolution as the victim of both her older boyfriend's abuse and the disdain of her male instructors. It’s a psychologically...

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Album: Big Big Train - Welcome to the Planet

Six months after the release of Common Ground, neo-proggers Big Big Train return with another album of meticulously crafted songs urging human connection, closing communication gaps, and celebrating what it is to be alive; the opener and closer of...

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