wed 29/06/2022

family relationships

The Quiet Girl review - finding a home away from home

The Quiet Girl is adapted faithfully from Claire Keegan’s wonderful short story, Foster, first published in the New Yorker magazine in 2010 and then expanded into a novella.Much of the dialogue in Colm Bairéad’s beautiful, mainly Irish-language film...

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Downton Abbey: A New Era review - will we ever see its like again?

A dozen years have passed since Downton Abbey first landed on our TV screens, since when it has passed into folklore. Whether you thought it was escapist historical froth, a ludicrous anachronism full of class-system clichés or a documentary probing...

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For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy, Royal Court review - Black joy, pain, and beauty

The title is so long that the Royal Court’s neon red lettering only renders the first three words, followed by a telling ellipsis. But lyrical new play For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy lives up to its weighty...

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Scholastique Mukasonga: The Barefoot Woman review - remembering Rwanda before 1994

To read Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman, beautifully translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is to see simultaneously through the eyes of a woman and a child.The mother, the industrious and ingenious Stefania, watches her...

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Tom Fool, Orange Tree Theatre review - testing family values

It’s not hard to see, watching Tom Fool at the Orange Tree Theatre, why Franz Xaver Kroetz is one of Germany’s most staged playwrights.Born in Munich in 1946, he’s known for unflinching portrayals of poverty and what it does to people. Directed...

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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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The Merchant of Venice, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - enormous empathy

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy, you say? Shakespeare, as ever, refuses to be confined to convenient boxes, his best plays’ extraordinary pliability and longevity a testament to the piercing eye he cast towards the slings and arrows that assail...

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But I'm A Cheerleader: The Musical, Turbine Theatre review - two cheers for feelgood show

We open on “Seventeen is Swell”, the antithesis of Janis Ian’s 70s angsty anthem, “At Seventeen”. Megan is living it large as the cheerleader’s leader with her football captain boyfriend, two loving if strict parents and a golden future of all-...

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Two Billion Beats, Orange Tree Theatre review - bursting with heart

“You could read at home,” says Bettina (Anoushka Chadha), Year 10, her school uniform perfectly pressed, hair neatly styled. “You could be an annoying little shit at home,” retorts her sister Asha (Safiyya Ingar), Year 13, all fire and fury in Doc...

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Never Not Once, Park Theatre review - disappointing UK debut for a feminist award-winner

Carey Crim’s 2017 play arrives from the US at north London's Park Theatre trailing a feminist playwriting award for its dissection of what happens when a smart college senior raised by two women starts to question her parentage. Eleanor wants to...

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Saturday Night Fever, Peacock Theatre review - crowd-pleaser stays true to its roots

Wind the clock back 45 years and the Big Apple was bankrupt, the lights had gone out and many native New Yorkers were packing their bags. Gangs controlled whole neighbourhoods, drugs were the currency of choice and, for a kid with no college,...

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Broken Wings, Charing Cross Theatre review - new musical fails to fly

Somewhere in the world right now, one can hear Mister Mister's AOR hit, "Broken Wings" on an MOR radio station, capturing mid-Eighties synth pop perfectly. Few listeners will know that its inspiration is a 1912 autobiographical novel by Lebanese-...

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