sat 20/07/2024

Pakistan

Soulful Islamic passion: the Najmuddin Saifuddin group

Qawwali music is amongst the most soulful, passionate music in the world. Many people have discovered it through the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who was one the greatest singers of the last half century. Seeing him perform at an early WOMAD was...

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The Invisible Hand, Tricycle Theatre

In the long tradition of fictional characters who embody their monikers, the naming of Nick Bright hardly counts as the most colourful, but it has a sardonic edge. Clearly the young American banker at the centre of Ayad Akhtar’s tight political...

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How Gay Is Pakistan?, BBC Three

As a YouTube comic Mawaan Rizwan is clearly at ease on screen, and right at the beginning of How Gay Is Pakistan? he was telling us about coming out as gay to his family last year: it was “the worst news ever for Pakistani parents”. Director Masood...

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Treasures of the Indus, BBC Four

The BBC India Season is bringing us a cluster of programmes amounting to a fascinatingly varied series of visits to the subcontinent. Incidentally, and not coincidentally, there is also an India Festival with myriad exhibitions, conferences and...

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DVD: War and Peace

Indian documentarist Anand Patwardhan is far less known outside his native country than he deserves to be, and his 2002 film about nuclear proliferation on the subcontinent War and Peace (Jang aur Aman) is a good introduction to a filmmaker who has...

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10 Questions for Rumer 2015

Last autumn Rumer reappeared with her third album, Into Colour, surprising everyone with a lead single that was disco-flavoured. The rest of the album was closer in scope to the opulent LA easy listening and classic West Coast singer-songwriter fare...

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Dara, National Theatre

The history play has roots that go deep into our culture. We love to see stories that are kitted out in fancy dress, and long to savour a past that resonates with our present. In the case of Dara, which is adapted by Tanya Ronder from an original by...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Playwright Ayub Khan Din

It’s been quite a journey for Ayub Khan Din. Born in 1961, the acclaimed playwright grew up in a crowded Salford household, the youngest child of a Pakistani father and a white English mother. The cultural clashes he witnessed – as his Anglicised...

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Last Tango in Halifax, Series 3, BBC One / Homeland, Series 4 Finale, Channel 4

Back for its third series [***], Sally Wainwright's saga of Yorkshire folk continues to tread a precarious line between syrupy soapfulness and a family drama with sharp little teeth. Its excellent cast helps to carry it over the worst of the soggy...

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Homeland, Series 4, Channel 4 / The Code, BBC Four

It was tempting to assume that Homeland [****] had died along with Damian Lewis's Brody, last seen dangling gruesomely from a crane in Tehran at the end of series three, but this tense and uncomfortable season-opener suggested that all may not be...

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The Djinns of Eidgah, Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court is justly proud of being the home of British new writing, but it is also a venue which has a great tradition of staging work from abroad. From bringing Brecht and Beckett here in the 1950s to its more recent international summer...

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DVD: Zero Dark Thirty

Despite its five Oscar nominations, in the end Zero Dark Thirty only won for Best Sound Editing, with the Academy showing a distinct preference for the more "thrillerised" version of US foreign affairs displayed in Ben Affleck's hugely entertaining...

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