wed 23/09/2020

family relationships

James Rebanks: English Pastoral, An Inheritance review - a manifesto for a radical agricultural rethink

Coming from a family of farmers, with periods of time spent working on a farm in the past ten years, I found James Rebanks’ English Pastoral: An Inheritance to be a highly urgent, important book. It is a perfect encapsulation and...

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Enola Holmes review – a new Sherlock-related franchise is afoot

It’s no secret that Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation lays claim to more appearances on screen than any other fictional character. Over the past several decades, we’ve seen Sherlock as a pugilist action-hero, a modern-day sleuth, and in a...

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The Devil All The Time review – a test of faith in a Southern Gothic tradition

There’s no denying the Faulknerian ambition to the construction of Anthony Campos’ latest feature Devil All the Time. It’s a brooding, blood-soaked Semi-Southern Gothic drama spanning two generations through a plot that wrestles with the nature of...

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Max Richter's Sleep review - refreshing as a good night's rest

If there was ever a balm for these confusing times, then it’s Max Richter’s Sleep, a lullaby of a documentary that explores the composer’s eight-hour-plus experimental 2015 composition based on sleep cycles. Richter is a remarkable...

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Savage review - an immersive look at gang culture in Wellington, New Zealand

Not to be confused with Savages, the Oliver Stone film of 2012 about marijuana smuggling, Savage is a story of New Zealand street gangs: how to join and how to escape, which, when you’ve got the words Savages and Poneke (the Maori name for...

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C-o-n-t-a-c-t, Musidrama review - a beautifully bonkers promenade

A woman sits on a bench. She’s got a song stuck in her head – she can’t remember how one of the lines ends, so it keeps going round and round. It mingles with birdsong, idle musings on whether birds look down on us (figuratively as well as literally...

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Three Kings, Old Vic: In Camera review - Andrew Scott vividly evokes generational pain

The world premiere of Stephen Beresford’s new hourlong play, livestreamed to home audiences in four performances as part of the Old Vic’s In Camera series, was postponed a couple of times due to Andrew Scott undergoing minor surgery. Thankfully, the...

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Wayne Holloway-Smith: Love Minus Love review – powerfully excavating the tormented poet's psyche

Roughly two years since “the posh mums are boxing in the square” scooped first place in the 2018 National Poetry Competition, Wayne Holloway-Smith returns with Love Minus Love, his second full-length collection. The follow-up to Alarum (2017)...

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Sleepless, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre review - love from afar in this amiable musical

Originally due to premiere back in March, Sleepless – a musical version of the winning 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle – now acts as a test case for the return of fully staged but socially distanced indoor theatre, AKA Stage 4 of the Government’s “...

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A. Naji Bakti: Between Beirut and the Moon review - a seriously comical coming of age

What stands between Beirut and the moon? Between Lebanon’s capital and the limitless possibility beyond? It is a question as complex and immense as the nation itself. In the wake of the devastating explosion on 4 August, as well as longstanding...

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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai: The Mountains Sing review - a lyrical account of Việt Nam’s brutal past

“The challenges of the Vietnamese people throughout history are as tall as the tallest mountains. If you stand too close, you won’t be able to see their peaks. Once you step away from the currents of life, you will have the full view…” This is the...

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Hope Gap review - memories of a marriage

William Nicholson’s Shadowlands screenplay was his most devastating expression of English repression. His second film as director goes to the source, in this fictionalised account of his parents’ divorce, which he waited till they were dead to make...

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