thu 07/07/2022

Sri Lanka

Romesh Ranganathan, Brighton Dome review - transgressive, edgy and very likeable

One question springs immediately to mind on hearing that Romesh Ranganathan’s new stand-up show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, is touring: how does he find the time? Ranganathan has overtaken Jack Whitehall as Britain’s most media ubiquitous comic, with a...

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Blue Planet II, BBC One review - just how fragile?

The eel is dying. Its body flits through a series of complicated knots which become increasingly grotesque torques. Immersed in a pool of brine — concentrated salt water five times denser than seawater — it is succumbing to toxic shock. As biomatter...

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What are the arts doing here?

The raising of a temporary structure theatre in the middle of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais (pictured below) has brought the issue of arts in situations of crisis into sharp focus. This big brave act by two young Brits, opening a creative...

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Dheepan

Migration is the lead story of modern geopolitics. So it’s surprising – even baffling – that so few films tell the migrant’s tale. British and French films across the broadest spectrum have dramatised the quest of colonial incomers to assimilate –...

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theartsdesk in Aix-en-Provence: Let's make a Euro-opera

It’s a brilliantly sunny January afternoon amidst a general drama of rain at an industrial park outside Aix-en-Provence, and members of a production team are gathering for the first time in the back yard of the festival’s rehearsal studios. Some...

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The Pearl Fishers, English National Opera

Before curtain-up on the opening night of this revival of Penny Woolcock’s production of The Pearl Fishers, ENO's head of casting arrived on stage with a microphone. No doubt delightful company in person, he was an unwelcome sight here. Sophie Bevan...

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CD: M.I.A - Matangi

M.I.A’s recent single “Bad Girls” - a post-modern mix of Bhangra beats, and frustrated vocals -  undeniably shows her at her most effective. It's an example of her unique take on culture and society that's long garnered critical praise. And yet...

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Afghan Cricket Club: Out of the Ashes, BBC Four

At first sight, “Afghanistan cricket team” might be labled along with “The kosher guide to cooking pork” or “How to keep your promises, by N Clegg”. But in 2008, Taj Malik, an Afghan player passionate about the game, decided to try to take his...

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theartsdesk in Colombo: Where Music Matters as East Meets West

Eshanta Peiris: the multifaceted Sri Lankan musician

For hundreds of years now the island currently known as Sri Lanka has had a thriving musical culture (or cultures, not to politicise the issue). There’s been folk music for as long as there’ve been folks. The various strata of society have refined...

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South Asian Literature 1: Romesh Gunesekera Q&A

Romesh Gunesekera, the Sri Lankan-born British novelist: 'Usually we don’t have to identify ourselves in 15 words'

The inaugural South Asian Literature Festival takes place in London over 10 days. It has drawn authors such as Amit Chaudhuri, Fatima Bhutto, Kenan Malik and Mohamed Hanif, as well as publishers, translators and artists (performance and graphic)...

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theartsdesk from Colombo: A Pianist of the World

Tanya Ekanayaka: One of Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent concert pianists

Since winning the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka Concerto Competition at the tender (and record-setting) age of 16, Tanya Ekanayaka has become one of Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent concert pianists. Last month she was the first from her country ever to...

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The Pearl Fishers, English National Opera

To both paraphrase and contradict one of the many French critics who savaged young Bizet, his first stage work of genius mentions no fishers in its gawky libretto but offers strings of pearls in the music. That's to say, much more than the famous...

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