sat 18/08/2018

Expressionism

Machinal, Almeida Theatre review - descending into darkness

The American playwright/journalist Sophie Treadwell's 1928 expressionist drama crops up every so often in order to allow a director to leave his or her signature upon it, so the first thing to be said about Natalie Abrahami's Almeida Theatre revival...

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LSO, Rattle, Barbican review - symphonies of death and new life

In the 27 years since he first conducted Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, Sir Simon Rattle has steadily integrated its moodswings and high contrasts into a reading of a piece which now feels more than ever like the work of a man engaged in a form of...

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Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life, National Gallery of Ireland review - boats, dancers, flowers

Colours had meanings for Emil Nolde. “Yellow can depict happiness and also pain. Red can mean fire, blood or roses; blue can mean silver, the sky or a storm.” As the son of a German-Frisian father and a Schleswig-Dane mother, Nolde was raised in a...

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The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Kneehigh on tour review - sweetest musical Chagalliana

Time flies so much more beguilingly in Daniel Jamieson and Emma Rice's 90-minute musical fantasia than it ever has, for me, in Bock and Harnick's Fiddler on the Roof – and the songs aren't bad, either. The inspiration here – and inspiration's the...

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Salome, Royal Opera review – lurid staging still packs a punch

David McVicar may seem too gentle a soul for the lurid drama of Strauss's Salome, but his production, here returning to Covent Garden for a third revival, packs a punch. He gives us plenty of sex and violence – or at least nudity and blood – but...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Vampir Cuadecuc

Pere Portabella’s remarkable Vampir Cuadecuc is almost impossible to classify. It may have been filmed on the set of Jesús Franco's 1970 Hammer horror film El Conde Dracula – with the obviously enthusiastic participation of a cast led by...

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Fahrelnissa Zeid, Tate Modern review - rediscovering a forgotten genius

I can’t pretend to like the work of Fahrelnissa Zeid, but she was clearly an exceptional woman and deserves to be honoured with a retrospective. She led a privileged life that spanned most of the 20th century; born in Istanbul in 1901 into a...

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Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gatti, Barbican

Time was when the principal conductor of a top orchestra could afford to refine mastery of a small and familiar repertoire, covering a century and a half of music at most. The rest he (always he) would leave to loyal or youthful lieutenants. The...

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Anastasia, Royal Ballet

The reception of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia has some similarities with that accorded the Berlin asylum patient who some believed to be the lost Romanov Grand Duchess. For supporters who wanted to believe in the fairytale, Anna Anderson's...

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Blu-ray: Early Murnau

“FW Murnau’s work is, at first glance, the most varied, even inconsistent, of the great German cineastes.” Those are the opening words of film critic David Cairns's What Will You Be Tomorrow? an extra conceived for Early Murnau: Five Films, 1921-...

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The Hairy Ape, Old Vic

Never use one word when you can get away with two: that seems to have been the maxim of Eugene O’Neill even in one of his shorter plays. After all, when is an ape not hairy, and why does stoker Robert “Yank” Smith, a natural hulk brought low by...

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Horse Money

Pedro Costa’s Horse Money begins with a silent montage of Jacob Riis’s grim photographs of late 19th-century Manhattan slum dwellers, some of them former slaves or their offspring. One photo shows a bowler-hatted young black man sitting athwart a...

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