mon 18/10/2021

politics

Manic Street Preachers, Brighton Dome review - solid gig occasionally explodes to another level

There is a three song segment midway through Manic Street Preachers’ set which suddenly ramps everything up. For this brief while, the performance and response in the sold-out, nigh-on-2000-capacity venue, elevates the concert from another decent...

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The Normal Heart, National Theatre review - Ben Daniels triumphant

Hypocrisy. Is this the right word? I don’t mean the play, but the audience. Of course, in the middle of the current COVID 19 crisis, there’s bound to be a certain amount of discomfort when watching Larry Kramer’s 1985 modern activist classic about...

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Album: The Specials - Protest Songs 1924 - 2012

When The Specials returned with their chart-topping 2019 album Encore, it was a wonderful surprise. As well as being their first in nearly four decades (excluding material by alternately named intermediary incarnations), it proved they were more...

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Album: Alabama 3 - Step 13

It’s almost 25 years since Alabama 3 unleashed their “sweet, pretty country acid house gospel music” on an unsuspecting world with Exile on Coldharbour Lane – one of the finest records of the late 20th Century. 12 albums later and with their first...

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Limbo review - quiet but voluble

Displacement looms large over every quietly impressive frame of Limbo, writer-director Ben Sharrock's magnetic film about a young Syrian man called Omar (Amir El-Masry) who finds himself biding his time in the remotest reaches of Scotland on the way...

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Samantha Walton: Everybody Needs Beauty review - the well of the world

In the opening poem of Samantha Walton's 2018 collection, Self Heal, the speaker is on the tube, that evergreen metaphor of capital's specific barrelling momentum. The tube "will help you see yourself properly for once, all the way through",...

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The Invisible Hand, Kiln Theatre review - balanced on a knife edge

A lot’s changed since Kiln Theatre boss Indhu Rubasingham directed The Invisible Hand’s first UK outing in 2016, not least the theatre’s name (it was known as the Tricycle back then). But in Rubasingham’s capable hands, American Ayad Akhtar’s taut...

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Mark Thomas, Soho Theatre review - new state-of-the-nation show

Mark Thomas comes on stage unannounced. It's not a show of humility – rather, he told us, amused at his own mistake, that his hearing isn't what it used to be and he had misheard his music cue. It was a modest start to his new show 50 Things About...

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Josie Long, Brighton Festival 2021 review - giddy post-lockdown spin on pregnancy-based show

Introduced by Brighton Festival 2021 Guest Director, poet Lemn Sissay, Josie Long, clad in blue denim dungarees and a black tee-shirt, initially hits the stage for a celebratory introduction. She’s here to perform her Tender show about pregnancy and...

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1971, Apple TV+ review - rock'n'roll's golden year?

Back in the mid-Eighties, BBC television started broadcasting The Rock'n' Roll Years, one of the first rock music retrospectives. Each half-hour episode focused on a year, with news reports and music intermixed to give a revealing look at the...

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Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott: Failures of State review - a devastating exposé, slightly mistimed

Almost a year ago, in the midst of the first national lockdown, The Sunday Times broke the news that Boris Johnson had failed to attend five consecutive Cobra meetings in the lead up to the coronavirus crisis. The article went viral, reaching...

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Living Newspaper, Edition 3, Royal Court online review – bleak news, sharp words

“The crocus of hope is, er, poking through the frost.” When he uttered that dodgy metaphor back in February, Boris Johnson probably didn’t predict that it would become the opening number of the third edition of Living Newspaper, the Royal Court’s...

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