sat 19/10/2019

Liverpool

Little Boy Blue review – 'the sum of all fears'

Turning the real-life murder of an 11-year-old boy into a four-part TV drama carries obvious risks (might it be exploitative, sick or in bad taste, for instance?), but judging by this opening episode of Little Boy Blue (ITV), screenwriter Jeff...

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Beethoven Ninth, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

The new season at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is focusing on revolutionaries. Bach, Beethoven and Berlioz all feature strongly over the next few months, as will Stravinsky and – where else but Liverpool? – The Beatles.The RLPO has another...

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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

It could be a book, film, TV or radio piece, essay or exhibition. If it’s about or based on The Beatles, the question is always the same: how on earth can anything new be said? In the case of Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years,...

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Vassa Zheleznova, Southwark Playhouse

In the town of Nizhny Novgorod where Maxim Gorky was born, it was said that “the houses are made of stone, the people of iron”. Vassa Zheleznova, the titular matriarch of this rarely performed play, is one such person. She is a businesswoman of...

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The Violators

British filmmaking does gritty suburban dramas better than anywhere. Stories stripped of superficial action, from Ken Loach’s early work through to more recent stand-out films like Tyrannosaur. The Violators offers a new voice producing a superb...

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The...

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Going Going Gone, BBC Four

In Going Going Gone Nick Broomfield was fighting to get access all over again – but it wasn’t exactly the same kind of challenge he’d faced with Sarah Palin or some of his previous targets. Doors were closed, but the keepers of the keys here were...

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10 Questions for Comedian Alexei Sayle

Alexei Sayle (b 1952) first came to fame at the birth of alternative comedy, as MC at the Comedy Store in London at the dawn of the 1980s. He cemented his reputation via his recurring role in the anarchic student sitcom classic The Young Ones, as...

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theartsdesk in Oslo: Vasily Petrenko, the Leningrad Dynamo, comes to town

I've never thought of myself as a Shostakovich fan, tending to regard what I know of his output as bleak and forbidding. Photographs of the stone-faced composer with the mortuary attendant's demeanour haven't helped.All this changed after a night...

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Tuba concerto unveiled in Liverpool

How many tuba concertos are there? How many pieces are there where the guys from the heavy battalion can really shine as soloists? Well, possibly, here is one: this was the world première of Robin Holloway’s Europa and the Bull, billed as a...

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Johnston, RLPO, Petrenko, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool

If you’re going to employ tens of extra musicians for Strauss’s gigantic Alpine Symphony, it’s probably just as well that a few other "biggies" are programmed in the same concert. So it was at the Philharmonic Hall, where the Strauss shared the...

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Hot August Night: The Beatles at Shea Stadium

Half a century ago today, on a warm August Sunday night in New York, The Beatles played a 30-minute concert in a baseball field. Home to the New York Mets the venue was called the William A Shea Municipal Stadium and had opened in spring 1964.In...

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