mon 23/07/2018

satire

Who Is America?, Channel 4 review - sudden return of Sacha Baron Cohen

Cunningly kept under wraps until the last moment, Sacha Baron Coen’s new show is a timely reminder of his gift for trampling the boundaries of good taste and decorum. But despite a certain amount of hyped-up pre-uproar, it doesn’t represent any...

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CD: Big Narstie - BDL Bipolar

The Bass Defence League campaigns for mental health. As with everything Big Narstie does, there are serious points in this release wedged next to the broadest comedy, and it’s no coincidence, as we learn from the vivid parody of “BDL Protest” intro...

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Break of Noon, Finborough Theatre review - irredeemable?

I’ve forgotten my wallet. This is both embarrassing (where did the fun lush part between callow youth and irrefutable senility disappear?) and upsetting because by the interval of the Finborough Theatre’s revival of French symbolist writer Paul...

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An Ideal Husband, Vaudeville Theatre review - unsettled evening leaves blood on Wilde's drawing-room furniture

Across London last night politicians waited anxiously to hear their fates, and things were no different at the Vaudeville Theatre, where the ongoing Oscar Wilde season took a topical turn with An Ideal Husband.Colliding drawing-room comedy and...

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Mood Music, Old Vic review - riveting critique of the music biz

Playwright Joe Penhall and the music biz? Well, they have history. When he was writing the book for Sunny Afternoon, his 2014 hit musical about the Kinks, he had a few run-ins with Ray Davies, the band’s lead singer. A couple of years ago The Stage...

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Flo and Joan, Soho Theatre review - sisters in satirical harmony

Flo and Joan are sisters (Nicola and Rosie Dempsey: they have borrowed their stage names from their nan and her sister) and you may have recently seen them on television doing advertisements for Nationwide. Others may know them from social...

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Unsane review - Claire Foy in bonkers horror satire

Steven Soderbergh has always been capable of a big Hollywood moment – Magic Mike, Oceans etc. But much of his filmography consists of curious sideways glances. He’s particularly drawn to the shifting distribution of power between the genders. From...

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DVD: Glory

The Bulgarian co-directing duo of Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov proved their skill with the scalpel in slicing through the unforgiving world depicted in their first film, The Lesson, from 2014. Their follow-up in a loosely planned trilogy,...

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The Square review - stylish, brilliantly acted satire

One of the oldest pleasures of cinema is the opportunity it gives us to look at beautiful people in beautiful places, possibly having beautiful sex. Often audiences get exactly what they came for but sometimes it isn’t exactly straightforward. Take...

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Mick Herron: London Rules review - hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary

London Rules – explicitly cover your arse – is the fifth in the most remarkable and mesmerising series of novels, set mostly and explicitly in London, to have appeared in years. It is hypnotically fascinating, absolutely contemporary, cynical and...

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The Open House, The Print Room review - razor wit, theatrical brio

The American family has seldom looked more desperate. Will Eno’s The Open House depicts a gathering of such dismal awfulness that it surely sets precedents for this staple element of American drama. Yet for viewers who relish humour in its most...

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Downsizing review - little things please little

Alexander Payne’s best-loved film is Sideways but that title may as well work for everything and anything in his oeuvre. In Election, About Schmidt, The Descendants and Nebraska, he puts America and Americans under the microscope from a variety of...

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