sun 08/12/2019

politics

Motherless Brooklyn review – tic tec

Edward Norton has wanted to adapt Motherless Brooklyn since Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed novel was first published 20 years ago. His film (as producer, writer, director and star) is an obvious labour of love, an evocative, entertaining, old-fashioned...

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Ravens: Spassky vs. Fischer, Hampstead Theatre review - it's game over for this chess play

We’ve had Chess the musical; now, here’s Chess the play. Tom Morton-Smith, who has experience wrestling recent history into dramatic form with the acclaimed Oppenheimer, turns his attention to the 1972 World Chess Championship in Reykjavík, in which...

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Billy Bragg, Islington Assembly Hall review - a pep talk from the progressive patriot

It’s always good to be among friends and it’s safe to say that everyone gathered at Islington Assembly Hall on Saturday for the third and final North London gig of Billy Bragg’s One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Tour was left of centre. The tour...

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Ivo Graham: The Game of Life, Soho Theatre review - privilege and parenting

Ivo Graham's latest show The Game of Life follows on from his previous hour, in which he talked about passing a milestone in life and the prospect of starting a family. Now he is a dad, and uses domestic detail as the starting point for some fine...

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The Report review - searing political drama

It should come as no surprise that the writer of Side Effects and Contagion, Scott Z. Burns, is capable of directing a whip-smart drama like The Report. Known for his collaborations with Steven Soderbergh, most recently on...

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Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

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Sorry We Missed You review – Ken Loach's unapologetic assault on the gig economy

If the recent period of British history that has involved recession, austerity, the hostile environment and Brexit is to have chroniclers, who better than Ken Loach and his trusty screenwriter Paul Laverty. Their blend of carefully researched social...

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Ben Elton, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall review - magnificent return to stand-up

It has been 15 years since Ben Elton, known as Motormouth in his 1980s heyday – last toured. A decade-and-a-half ago, one of the instigators of alternative comedy tells us at the top of the show, he could have still passed muster as young or cool....

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Black and Blue review - police thriller aims high and misses

Police corruption has fuelled many a Hollywood thriller, but sadly Black and Blue is no Training Day or The Departed. Naomie Harris plays US Army veteran turned rookie cop Alicia West, just three weeks into a career with the New Orleans police...

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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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