tue 23/04/2024

Oxford

First Person: author-turned-actor Lydia Higman on a play that foregrounds a slice of forgotten history

I first read Anne Gunter’s story about five years ago, when I was in my first year of university at Oxford, little knowing it would over time lead to our play Gunter [seen first in Edinburgh and transferring 3-25 April to the Royal Court]. The...

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Album: Ride - Interplay

What a time to be alive it is for fans of late Eighties, early Nineties indie – the proverbial 6 Music Dads – with so many of the best acts from the era on the form of their lives. Even in just the last year we’re spoilt for choice of quality...

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A Ghost Story for Christmas: Lot No 249, BBC Two review - mummy's boy unleashes hell in the halls of academe

Having previously brought us adaptations of M R James’s ghost stories, reviving the BBC tradition inaugurated by Lawrence Gordon Clark in the 1970s, Mark Gatiss has now turned to a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle for his annual Christmas chiller....

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Rice, Ridout, Drake / A Human Document, Oxford International Song Festival review - a cornucopia of song, speech and vision

The word “great” is going to be stated, or implied, rather a lot here. Christine Rice is, after all, one of the world’s great mezzos, and her partnership with Julius Drake has long been something to seek out at every opportunity. Add to the mix a...

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Surprised by Oxford review - wishy-washy romance ticks the sightseeing boxes

The misty streets and lofty spires of Oxford star in this adaptation of Carolyn Weber’s 2011 memoir, Surprised by Oxford, in which she finds God while studying for an MPhil in English literature.Perhaps wisely, director and co-writer Ryan Whitaker...

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The Laureate review - a romp with Robert Graves

Nowadays Robert Graves is best known for his later and least interesting works on Greek myths and Roman emperors, but at his best, in the first decade of his writing life, as a war poet (Fairies and Fusiliers) and war memoirist (Good-Bye to All That...

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Endeavour: The Final Episode, ITV1 review - the final bow for Oxford's finest

Endeavour first landed way back in 2012, and suddenly here we are, bidding it a final farewell after the end of its ninth series. Not everybody learned to love Shaun Evans as the pre-John Thaw Inspector Morse, but some of us may even have come to...

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The superstar, the Svengali and a rising young talent

I'm at the New Theatre in Oxford. Elvis Costello is playing through the final stages of his 2022 UK tour. The venue is full of memories: I saw The Kinks and Tom Jones here in the 1960s and then The Who in the early 70s. On my left, there’s Paul...

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KITE Festival, Kirtlington Park review - engaging speakers and tunes aplenty in the Oxfordshire countryside

The label of "Guardian man" or "Guardian woman" is one that is bandied about as something of an insult these days. But if you can get past the name-calling and think about what might appeal to this imaginary couple (and possibly their kids) while...

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Album: Foals - Life is Yours

For the Oxford alt-rock mainstays Foals, the past two years brought an anti-climactic pause to a triumphant 2019: their meteoric trajectory had kept pace with their duo of albums, Everything Not Saved Will be Lost Part 1 and 2. The sister albums had...

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Bach St John Passions from Oxford and Stockholm online review – theatrical drive from Gardiner, interiority under Harding

Last Easter, viewing options were limited: no-one who saw it will forget a version of Bach’s St John Passion from the church where it was first performed in 1724, Leipzig’s Thomaskirche, with an idiosyncratic tenor taking all the parts other than...

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His Dark Materials, BBC One review - generic TV fantasy with ready-made twists

The good news is that television's serial slow burn will allow for a lot more original Pullman to make its way to screen than was possible in the one and only instalment of the intended film trilogy, The Golden Compass. Its virtues were many,...

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