sun 25/10/2020

Holland

My Rembrandt review - hard cash and hubris

In the gloomy splendour of Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfriesshire, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch gazes up at Rembrandt’s Old Woman Reading, 1655. The painting has belonged to the Scott family for more than 250 years, and like generations before him, the...

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The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Dutch National Opera, OperaVision review - fairy-tale good and evil made real

How do you render pure goodness interesting? Unorthodox director Dmitri Tcherniakov and radiant young soprano Svetlana Ignatovich make us smile and break our hearts with their take on the maiden Fevroniya: living at one with nature, seeing God in...

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The Host review - implausible suspense thriller

A camel is a horse designed by committee, they say; perhaps that explains why The Host, with several writing credits – adapted by Zachary Weckstein from a story by Laurence Lamers, screenplay by Finola Geraghty, Brendan Bishop and Lamers – doesn't...

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Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age, National Gallery review – beautifully observed vignettes

A young woman sits sewing (pictured below right: Young Woman Sewing,1655). She is totally immersed in her task, and our attention is similarly focused on her and every detail of her environment. The cool light pouring though the window illuminates...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Best of 2019

Earlier this year, the Peter Laughner box set was more than an archive release. Its diligence and scale forced a wholesale reinterpretation of the evolution of America’s punk-era underground scene. What it collected – aurally and in its book –...

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My Baby, Concorde 2, Brighton review - Dutch three-piece deliver trance dance power

“Trance boogie,” states My Baby frontwoman Cato van Dijck before submersing herself in the rising tribal rhythm of “Sunflower Sutra". Trance boogie is, indeed, what My Baby do. The song is decked with floating flecks of glissando guitar from...

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CD: Iguana Death Cult - Nude Casino

The contemporary context of the Netherlands’s Iguana Death Cult is clear. Their blues-edged garage rock exists in a continuum encompassing Amyl and The Sniffers, The Chats, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Oh Sees. Nude Casino is more...

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'These were the quartets that made us fall in love with the genre': Dudok Quartet Amsterdam on Haydn

As a string quartet, it’s not easy to distinguish yourselves from others. There are so many string quartets playing the great repertoire, and the level of quartets has never been as high as it is now. Everybody is trying to be unique.We are all part...

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Van Gogh’s Inner Circle, Noordbrabants Museum review - the man behind the art

Vincent van Gogh (b. 1853) could be difficult, truculent and unconventional. He battled with mental illness and wrestled with questions of religion throughout his life. But on good form he was personable. He was said to be an excellent imitator with...

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Amsterdam, Orange Tree Theatre review - suffocatingly mannered

An excellent director makes a rare misstep with Amsterdam, in which a compelling if tricksy play is given an arch and mannered production that only distances the audience further. Not to be confused with either Rotterdam or Europe, two similarly...

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First Person: Matthew Xia on why his production of 'Amsterdam' feels especially pertinent and vital now

I’m currently opening Amsterdam, my first production for Actors Touring Company since being appointed Artistic Director last year, at the Orange Tree theatre in Richmond and then in Plymouth early in 2020. And what better time to premiere a...

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High Society: Cannabis Café, Channel 4 review - pointless investigation into drug-taking

This was the first of a two-part investigation into... well, I don't know what. The voiceover of High Society: Cannabis Café said it was an experiment “to test the alleged benefits of weed” and the people featured all had “a personal motivation...

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