mon 19/08/2019

Holocaust

Transit review - existential nightmares for a German refugee

If you’re looking for escapism from anxieties about Brexit, the worldwide refugee crisis and rising authoritarianism, Christian Petzold’s Transit is not going to provide comfort. Adapted from Anna Segher’s 1944 novel about a Jewish writer fleeing...

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CBSO, Volkov, Symphony Hall, Birmingham review - Mahler goes Bauhaus

Just over a decade ago it was predicted by those supposedly in the know that Ilan Volkov would succeed Sakari Oramo as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In the event, the gig went to Andris Nelsons, and it was probably for...

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A German Life, Bridge Theatre review - Maggie Smith triumphs again

Maggie Smith is not only a national treasure, but every casting director's go-to old bat. Now 84 years young, she is our favourite grande dame, or fantasy grandma. With an acting career of nearly 70 years, an instantly recognisable face and voice,...

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George Szirtes: The Photographer at Sixteen review – how grief becomes art

How long does it take for grief to crystallise into art? No timetable can ever set that date. The poet George Szirtes’s mother took her own life, after previous attempts, during the hot summer of 1975 in the outer London suburbs where she lived. The...

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Blu-ray: Diamonds of the Night

The opening shot of Jan Němec’s 1964 debut feature, Diamonds of the Night, recalls the start of Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil. Němec’s camera also ducks and dives, here following a pair of teenagers fleeing from a moving train and escaping into a...

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The Last Survivors, BBC Two review - living on

When they were children the interviewees in this film – the last survivors – were taken away in incomprehensible circumstances, on their way to be murdered for who they were, in Germany and places further east. A handful of the few thousands who...

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Rosenbaum's Rescue, Park Theatre review - curiously solid Jewish drama

Theatrical alchemy is eternally slippery. On paper Rosenbaum’s Rescue at the Park Theatre looks like an excellent proposition – a play that switches between 1943, when seven and a half thousand Jews were rescued from the German occupation of Denmark...

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Magda Szabó: Katalin Street review - love after life

This is a love story and a ghost story. The year is 1934 and the Held family have moved from the countryside to an elegant house on Katalin Street in Budapest. Their new neighbours are the Major (with whom Mr Held fought in the Great War) and his...

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1945 review - Hungarian holocaust drama

Ferenc Török is firmly aiming at the festival and art house circuit with his slow-paced recreation of one summer day in rural Hungary. A steam train stops at a rural siding, two Orthodox Jewish men descend and with minimal speech, oversee the...

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The Path to Heaven, RNCM, Manchester review - tragedy, truth, passion

Adam Gorb’s The Path to Heaven, with libretto by Ben Kaye, is his longest work to date (almost two hours’ running time without interval) and on a story that could hardly be more tragic – the Holocaust. Its premiere at the Royal Northern College of...

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Mamzer Bastard, Royal Opera, Hackney Empire review - inert Hasidic music-drama

Striking it lucky with a successful new opera is a rare occurrence, though every company has a duty to keep on trying. The Royal Opera hit the jackpot with 4.48 Psychosis, a highly original approach to Sarah Kane's profound and authentic play by...

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John Gray: Seven Types of Atheism review - to believe, or not to believe

To suggest an absence is to imply a presence. Philosophers, novelists, dictators, politicians – as well as almost every “ism” you can think of – take the stage in this absorbing, precisely and elegantly written study of various kinds of atheism. All...

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