sat 25/01/2020

France

Les Misérables, Sondheim Theatre review - join in our crusade

Do you hear the people sing? In recent months, you're more likely to have heard news stories about the longest running West End musical than the actual music. Stephen Sondheim – who celebrates his 90th birthday in March – missed the gala opening of...

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Nathalie Léger: Exposition review – mysteries, rumours and facts

Nathalie Léger’s superbly original Exposition is a biographical novel meditating on the nature of biography itself. Its plot – if indeed its 150 pages of intense reflection bordering continuously on stream of consciousness can be called a plot – is...

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Les Arts Florissants, Christie, Agnew, Barbican review – splendid Baroque knees-up

“How many times have you heard the conductor sing?” asked William Christie after the final number, but before the two encores, of Sunday night’s 40th birthday celebration for his ensemble Les Arts Florissants. Well, lovers of old recordings know...

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The Boy Friend, Menier Chocolate Factory review - fun but featherweight

There’s slight (White Christmas, to name but one) and then there’s The Boy Friend, a period musical so unabashedly vaporous that if you sneeze, it might blow away. All credit then to the Menier Chocolate Factory for anchoring Sandy Wilson’s...

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Dora Maar, Tate Modern review - how women disappear

In one of Dora Maar’s best known images, a fashion photograph from 1935 (pictured below), a woman wearing a backless, sparkly evening gown appears to be making her way backstage through a proscenium’s drapes. The star of the show exits the limelight...

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Julian Barnes: The Man in the Red Coat review – all that glitters…

“Chauvinism is the worst form of ignorance” is the maxim of Dr Pozzi, the hero of Julian Barnes’s latest book, The Man in the Red Coat. This historical biography follows the life of a renowned gynaecologist during the Parisian Belle Époque, the “...

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Chantal Ackerman: My Mother Laughs review - too umbilically linked?

My Mother Laughs was first published in Chantal Ackerman’s native French in 2013. This year it has been translated into English for the first time, twice. Silver Press’ elegant version is framed by a foreword by the poet, Eileen Myles (who also has...

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By the Grace of God review - a dark, meticulous drama from François Ozon

This is a departure in every sense for François Ozon. The prolific French director has established himself as a master of ludic style in past dramas played out by predominantly female casts, the exceptions, among them his sad black-and-white period...

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theartsdesk Radio Show 25 - with bohemian chanteuse Anne Pigalle

This edition of Peter Culshaw’s periodic global music radio show features guest special guest Anne Pigalle. A flâneuse and doyenne of the urban demi-monde, she came to our attention recording for ZTT Records in the 1980s and ran Soho...

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LFF 2019: Le Mans '66 review - Matt Damon, Christian Bale and the Ford Motor Company go to war

While recent motor racing movies have been built around superstar names like Ayrton Senna and James Hunt, the protagonists of Le Mans ’66 (shown at London Film Festival) will be barely recognisable to a wider audience. They are Carroll Shelby, the...

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Two Ladies, Bridge Theatre review - Cvitešić and Wanamaker really rock

Are first ladies second-class citizens? Do they always have to stand behind their husbands? What are they really like as people? Questions such as these have inspired Irish playwright Nancy Harris to explore the relationship between two fictional...

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The $50m Art Swindle, BBC Two review - ramblin' gamblin' man comes home to roost

“It’s nice to make money – lots of money,” said Michel Cohen, former high-flying New York art dealer turned debtor, jailbird and fugitive. He made oodles of the stuff and then lost it all, leaving a string of wealthy art collectors and galleries to...

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