thu 07/07/2022

post-modernism

That Is Not Who I Am, Royal Court review – gimmicky post-truth spoof

What is the shelf life of a theatre gimmick? In April, the Royal Court announced that they were going to stage a debut play by an unknown writer, Dave Davidson, who has worked for decades in the security industry. His drama was hyped up, helped by...

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Stuart Jeffries: Everything, All the Time, Everywhere - How We Became Post-Modern review - entertaining origin-story for the world of today

In his 1985 essay “Not-Knowing”, the American writer Donald Barthelme describes a fictional situation in which an unknown “someone” is writing a story.“From the world of conventional signs,” Barthelme writes, laying out for the reader this story...

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Madam Butterfly, Welsh National Opera review - decent performance, disagreeable context

It’s easy enough to see the difficulty Madam Butterfly places your thinking director in. I share her pain. What the whirring brain will quickly see as a penetrating, or at least surface scratching, study of a whole repertoire of modern obsessions –...

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Psappha, Phillips, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester online review - Turnage world premiere

Manchester’s Psappha have been proudly flying the flag of new and radical music right through the year of lockdown, and last night’s livestream, with two-and-a-half world premieres, one of them by Mark-Anthony Turnage, showed they haven’t given up...

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I'm Thinking of Ending Things review - only disconnect

I’m Thinking of Ending Things ends in a giddying gusher of weirdness, the steady drip of earlier oddness finally bursting its narrative banks, till a horror scene becomes a Gene Kelly ballet, and an Oklahoma! tune is sung in bitter valediction by a...

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Gina Apostol: Insurrecto review – a treacherous archipelago of stories

As in other countries born out of 19th-century uprisings against imperial power, the literary roots of the Philippines run deep. Executed by the Spanish in 1896, the novelist, poet and physician José Rizal remains the adored hero of his archipelago’...

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CD: Billie Eilish - When We All Go To Sleep Where Do We Go?

Billie Eilish is a vaudevillian. Crack that and everything else falls into place. Her impossible precociousness (at 17, she's a superstar and has been in the public eye for four years) and voraciousness (her and her brother Finneas's writing swerves...

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Scott and Sid review - self-absorbed vanity project

There’s a Big Reveal that comes right at the end of this new indie movie from first-time writer/producer/directors Scott Elliott and Sid Sadowskyj (whose names, in retrospect, should have given the game away right from the start). For (complete...

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Goode, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review – making beautiful music

Just over a year since his Bridgewater Hall début, Ben Gernon appeared with the BBC Philharmonic there again – this time well into his role as their Principal Guest Conductor, yet his first concert with them there since officially taking up the...

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B, Royal Court review - intriguing, ironical, but flawed

In the 1960s, we had the theatre of commitment; today we have an attitude of non-committal. Once, political playwrights could be guaranteed to tell you what to think, to describe what was wrong with society – and what to do about it. Now, as Chilean...

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CD: Jessy Lanza - Oh No

Canadian singer/producer Jessy Lanza's records – and this one more than ever – can feel like they're mapping an alternative history, one where populist and leftfield electronic music were never separate. Two aspects dominate her sound: her crisp,...

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DVD: Slow West

The first feature written and directed by John Maclean, the former Beta Band keyboardist, is a Western comprised of late-genre tropes and references – but one that’s fresh and sincere. It’s knowing and affecting, unlike Django Unchained.A tremulous...

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