sun 19/08/2018

festivals

Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: Orpheus / Bottom / Backup

 Orpheus ★★★★  This unashamedly sentimental storytelling show got its premiere a couple of years back in the back garden of a cheese shop in Cromarty, before touring the Scottish Highlands, we’re told. With its lo-fi, minimalist...

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theartsdesk at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music - stratospheric performances by a tropical sea

North of Brisbane, south of Cairns and a short boat trip from the turquoise waters around the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is the site of a north-east Australian military base. Despite its dry-tropical beachside glories, it’s not necessarily the...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 review: Zimerman, LSO, Rattle - fizzing chemistry

It was Simon Rattle’s first visit to the Edinburgh International Festival for – well, really quite a few years. And the first of his two concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra drew, perhaps predictably, a capacity crowd in the Usher Hall, for...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: Underground Railroad Game / On the Exhale

 Underground Railroad Game ★★★★★ The game of the show’s title is a fun educational exercise on the US Civil War devised by Teacher Caroline and Teacher Stuart at Hanover Middle School, with the aim of bringing alive the flight of...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: Coriolanus Vanishes / Check Up: Our NHS at 70 / A Sockful of Custard

 Coriolanus Vanishes ★★★★ Writer and director David Leddy was himself the original solo performer in his Coriolanus Vanishes when it premiered in Glasgow in 2017. But in this powerful, visually stunning outing as part of the Traverse’...

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Cambridge Folk Festival review - women rule the roost

Twinned with the legendary Newport Folk Festival, founded on Rhode Island in 1959 as a counterpart to the celebrated jazz festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival this year celebrated its 54th birthday under blue skies. The sun shone relentlessly...

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h 100 Awards: Music - an impressive range of quality

One of the banes of music culture is over-categorisation. It always has been. The statement that there are only two types of music, good and bad, has been apocryphally attributed to a wide range of figureheads – most especially Louis Armstrong – but...

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Edinburgh Festival 2018 reviews: Ulster American / Cold Blood

Ulster American ★★★★★ David Ireland’s brand new, brutally incendiary black comedy gleefully tosses a grenade into any lazy liberal sensibilities at the festival (and, let’s face it, there are plenty of those). Race, gender, rape, prejudice...

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WOMAD 2, Charlton Park review - rainbows and rumba

In the days around WOMAD there have been plenty of media about how the “hostile environment” towards migrants has created all sorts of problems for artists attempting to get here from around the world. Certainly, we are being denied some of the...

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theartsdesk at Camp Bestival 2018 - from Astley to apocalypse

Gusting. It’s not a word I’ve ever given much thought. You hear it on weather forecasts but I’m not a farmer of a fisherman so when they say it’ll be windy “with possible gusting speeds of up to 45 miles per hour” my brain doesn’t really register...

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theartsdesk in Riga - 43,290 Latvians sing and dance for their country

"They incessantly break down, destroy and fragment the mistrust that exists among people," wrote a Latvian journalist of a folklore group during the start of the Baltic countries' "singing revolution" against Soviet rule in 1988. This is the recent...

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theartsdesk at Cornbury: Pixie Lott, Amy MacDonald and Alanis Morissette

Cornbury Festival holds a very special place in my heart. When the babies were young, we realised that if we were going to be up all night without sleep we might as well be sat in a field listening to music rather than staring out of the window at a...

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