tue 27/09/2022

World War One

Benediction review - the world's worst wounds

Terence Davies’s Benediction is a haunting but uneven biopic of the World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon and a drama about the burden of incalculable loss. If sorrow and futility enshroud it, Davies leavens the bitterness with his tartest dialogue yet...

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Life After Life, BBC Two review - déjà vu all over again

If we could keep living our life over and over again, would we get better at it? This is the premise underpinning Life After Life, the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel.The story centres around Ursula Todd, as she grows up with...

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Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Demonstrating how much the world really can change in a very short time when things spin out of control, Swedish power-metal five-piece Sabaton’s album now seems especially tasteless. It’s also a scalpel-sharp example of how important context is to...

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Fisher, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - war-tinged Vaughan Williams

There was no overt reference to the world outside in this concert, and yet the poignancy of its content could hardly have been clearer if it had been planned: two symphonies and a song cycle each touched by the tragedy of war.It was the launch event...

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Mothering Sunday review - Odessa Young shines in adaptation of Graham Swift's novella

30 March 1924. It’s Mothering Sunday – the precursor to the modern Mother’s Day - when domestic servants are given a day off to go home and visit their mothers, leaving their country-house employers with no one to make the veal and ham pie, do the...

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Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy lived a life of in-betweens. Modern yet traditional, the son of a builder who went on to become a famous novelist, he belonged both to Dorset and London. When he died, his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, but his...

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Sebastian Faulks: Snow Country review - insects under a stone

Historical fiction – perhaps all fiction – presents its authors with the problem of how to convey contextual information that is external to the plot but necessary to the reader’s understanding of it.Some authors supply an omniscient third-person...

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Anna Neima: The Utopians review – after horror, six quests for the good life

Not long after the Nazis came to power, Eberhard Arnold sent a manifesto to Adolf Hitler. The Protestant preacher urged the dictator to “embrace universal love”. With his wife Emmy, Eberhard had founded a radical, egalitarian Christian community in...

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The Great Gatsby, Immersive London review – a warm and electric tribute to the book

The Prohibition-era setting of The Great Gatsby brings an appropriately illicit feel to this bold decision to stage an immersive theatre event in the age of Covid. Where, in 1922, champagne was the essential liquid to get any evening going...

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Birdsong, The Original Theatre Company online review – a gutsy experiment

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks’ best-selling First World War novel, has been adapted quite a few times in its twenty-seven years. First came the TV series in 2012, starring Eddie Redmayne and Clémence Poésy; then there was Sir Trevor Nunn’s 2010...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 4: Little-known Lloyd Webber, prize-winning Shakespeare, and starry David Mamet

Has anyone else noticed how fulltime this streaming thing has become?  Those who were of a mind to (and who never slept) could find enough cultural output to satisfy 24/7, especially if one adds to the free offerings that crop up by the week...

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Alex George: The Paris Hours review - captivating yet frustrating

A century on, the années folles of Paris between the wars do not cease to excite readers and writers of all varieties. Alex George’s latest novel, The Paris Hours, draws on the myriad charms the interwar period has to offer, condensing them into a...

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