mon 06/07/2020

London

A Midsummer Night's Dream, National Theatre At Home review – a mad delight

Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed for NT Live at the Bridge Theatre last summer, is – as it gleefully acknowledges – completely bonkers. But it doesn’t start out that way. A troop of actors trudge through...

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Small Island, National Theatre At Home review – big-hearted story hits every beat

A British-Jamaican man is confused. It's the Second World War, and he signed up for the RAF on the understanding that he would serve as a pilot overseas. But instead he's ended up as ground crew in a grey Lincolnshire village. "You are overseas,...

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Roderick Williams, Joseph Middleton, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - gender roles in song examined

I'm not sure if it was the beauty of Roderick Williams’s velvety vocals, the poignant delight of seeing a live performance in a concert hall after all this time, or my generally unusual frame of mind during lockdown that caused me to immediately...

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Paul Lewis/Hyeyoon Park, Benjamin Grosvenor, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - tranquil Schubert, fiery Franck

The Wigmore Hall’s triumphant series of lockdown lunchtime concerts by the finest of local recitalists is not without an audience; it’s just that the performers can’t see them. Conversely, online viewers can watch the artists closely enough to see...

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Laura Marling, Union Chapel, YouTube review - communication breakdown

Music, as the sociologist Simon Frith long ago pointed out, is “an experience of placing: in responding to a song we are drawn, haphazardly, into affective emotional alliances with the performer and with the performer’s other fans”. Music makes you...

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Stephen Hough/Lucy Crowe, Anna Tilbrook, Wigmore Hall online/BBC Radio 3 review - the end of the beginning

After a devastating drought, even a light shower can feel like something of a miracle. Under normal circumstances, a 60 minute lunchtime piano recital from the Wigmore Hall would represent wholly unremarkable business as usual for BBC Radio 3. As it...

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Album: Westerman - Your Hero is not Dead

Will Westerman is not afraid of sounding retro. It's clear his influences are diverse, from jazz fusion to the bedroom proto-house experiments of Arthur Russell. But in their final form, his high gloss production, highly literate songs and fretless...

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Album: Footsie - No Favours

Footsie might not have the profile of a Skepta or Wiley, or even his Newham Generals partner and recent IKEA advert soundtracker D Double E. But anyone halfway schooled in grime will know that both as MC and producer he's a key player from grime's...

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Antony and Cleopatra, National Theatre at Home review – Fiennes and Okonedo triumph in dragging tragedy

Like an asp eating its own tail, the National Theatre's 2018 production of Antony and Cleopatra, streaming on YouTube until 14 May, begins as it will end. Director Simon Godwin's first tableau is the play's finale: Cleopatra (Sophie Okonedo) lies in...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 4: Little-known Lloyd Webber, prize-winning Shakespeare, and starry David Mamet

Has anyone else noticed how fulltime this streaming thing has become?  Those who were of a mind to (and who never slept) could find enough cultural output to satisfy 24/7, especially if one adds to the free offerings that crop up by the week...

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Album: Dinosaur - To the Earth

Dinosaur’s Mercury-nominated debut was a jolt of 1970s Miles and James Brown electricity. This third album steps back into the familiar comforts of acoustic jazz, with a cool inquisitiveness combining trumpeter-leader Laura Jurd’s rural...

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Code 404, Sky One review - surreal cop comedy presses the right buttons

DI John Major (Daniel Mays) has been dead a year, shot in the line of duty, though we’re far from that series in terms of tone. Now he’s back at the London Met, artificially augmented, but not very intelligently. If anything he’s a bit more shit...

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