sun 20/10/2019

politics

Official Secrets review – powerful political thriller

Early in the political drama Official Secrets, Keira Knightley’s real-life whistleblower Katharine Gun watches Tony Blair on television, giving his now infamous justification for the impending Iraq War, namely the existence of weapons of mass...

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'A laboratory for everything': Jasper Parrott on the future of his classical music agency

Fiftieth anniversary? It seems incredible but also so exhilarating not least because these times we live in now seem to me to be a golden age for music of all kinds and in particular for what we label so inadequately classical music. This flowering...

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Rigoletto, Welsh National Opera review - same old update, fine performance

Considering the doubtfulness of its underlying idea, James Macdonald’s production of Rigoletto has shown remarkable staying power since its Cardiff début 17 years ago. It’s true that this particular opera - which, unlike one or two others of Verdi’s...

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Russell Howard, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena review - a return with bite

It’s been two years since Russell Howard last performed stand-up. That’s a long gap for such an established fixture of British comedy. As he points out, the world has changed, something reflected in his new show Respite. There are still the...

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CD: Rachid Taha - Je suis africain

Rachid Taha, sadly felled by a heart attack just over a year ago, has come back from the dead! He could not sound more lively than on this vibrant posthumous offering, definitely not something cooked up from tasty leftovers, but a well thought-...

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The Cameron Years, BBC One review - quite interesting but a bit boring

David Cameron has been a recluse since the fateful days of June 2016 when the referendum on EU membership didn’t go quite the way he’d hoped. He’s probably been living through a private purgatory. “I think I will think about this forever,” he...

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Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim compassion

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with 2014’s Beyond Caring, followed by LOVE two years after that. These are bleak dramas that show human...

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Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History, BBC Four review - Ulster's bitter sectarian war revisited

“The Troubles” is a polite euphemism for the ferocious storm of sectarian violence and political chaos which convulsed Northern Ireland for 30 years, before being brought to a close by 1998’s Good Friday Agreement. Irish journalist Darragh MacIntyre...

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Margaret Atwood: The Testaments review - pertinent but lacklustre

You will doubtless have seen the protestors who dress as Gilean handmaids to protest anti-abortion legislation from Texas to Missouri. They model their costumes on those of the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale: tight white bonnets...

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Hansard, National Theatre review - starry argument ends poorly

In the current feverish atmosphere at Westminster, with arguments about Brexit becoming increasingly shrill, the time is right once more for political theatre: serious plays about serious issues. Oddly enough, however, while television has...

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CD: Kano - Hoodies All Summer

Of all grime's original generation, Kano has a strong claim to being the greatest rhyme-constructor in the old school hip hop sense of dense rhymes packed with multiple meanings. Add movie star looks and a penchant for fur coats in photoshoots and...

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Hail Satan? review - the detail of the devil

As Penny Lane’s documentary shows, America and Satanism have a long history. From the Salem Witch trials to the moral panic triggered by the Manson murders and films like William Friedkin’s The Exorcist in the 1970s, mass panic in America of the...

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