mon 09/12/2019

history

Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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Henry VI, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse review - a lively vortex

No Joan of Arc means no Henry VI Part One. France, where we left the victorious Henry V - the superb Sarah Amankwah, a shining light of this company - in the Globe's summer history plays, only figures briefly in the last act of a candelelit,...

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Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

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Thomas J Campanella: Brooklyn - The Once and Future City review - out of Manhattan's shadow

For visitors to New York, it’s all about Manhattan, its 23 square miles of skyscraper-encrusted granite instantly familiar, its many landmarks – enshrined in movies and music – must-sees on the itinerary of first-time tourists. The other...

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Catherine the Great, Sky Atlantic review - a glorious role for Helen Mirren only gets better

“I want something Russian…” It’s with such a cry that Helen Mirren, bored by the bizarrely transgressive masked ball that comes at the close of the first episode of Catherine the Great, gets the dancing going: nothing from the imported fashions of...

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Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History, BBC Four review - Ulster's bitter sectarian war revisited

“The Troubles” is a polite euphemism for the ferocious storm of sectarian violence and political chaos which convulsed Northern Ireland for 30 years, before being brought to a close by 1998’s Good Friday Agreement. Irish journalist Darragh MacIntyre...

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William Dalrymple: The Anarchy review – masterly history of the first rogue corporation

Serious historians don’t much care for counter-factual speculations. Readers, however, often enjoy them. So here’s mine. In 1780, the seemingly invincible forces of the East India Company had suffered a crushing defeat at Pollilur, west of Madras....

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Karl Marlantes: Deep River review - growing pains of a nation of immigrants

Karl Marlantes’s Deep River is an all-American novel. And why should it not be? Marlantes is an all-American author. He grew up in small-town Oregon, attended Yale (and Oxford), fought and was heavily awarded as a Marine in Vietnam, then settled...

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Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed, Channel 4 review - dramatic documentary filled with intelligent detail

It may sound perverse to say it, but Albert was the perfect twenty-first century prince. Thrust into the heart of the British monarchy he was simultaneously an oppressed outsider who – despite his reputation as the most handsome prince in Europe (...

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DVD: Are You Proud?

Ashley Joiner’s expansive documentary Are You Proud? opens with the testament of a redoubtable nonagenarian remembering his experiences as a gay man in World War II. Though followed by the admission that he had to live his later life as a lie, it’s...

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Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World ed. Zahra Hankir review – journalism from the front lines

Many of the women in this pioneering collection of essays have faced unimaginable hardship in their pursuit of truth – persecution by extremist groups as well as the loss of family members and friends. The tone of this collection is, however, best...

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Evita, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre review - a diva dictator for 2019

Following a triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ Superstar, now playing at the Barbican, the Park works its magic on another of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Seventies rock operas. Jamie Lloyd’s stripped-down, super-sleek, contemporary take...

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