mon 04/03/2024

World War Two

They had a good war: Powell and Pressburger's no-nonsense heroines

In the current reappraisal of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, what to make of the depiction of women in their key films, that striking tribe of Isoldes with chestnut hair and passionate natures?Powell (1905-90), a man of Kent whose love for...

Read more...

Songs of Wars I Have Seen, RSNO, Dunedin Consort, Slorach, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - moving portrayal of wartime diaries

Songs of Wars I Have Seen is an hour-long through=composed work by contemporary German composer Heiner Goebbels which combines the music of 17th century composer Matthew Locke, the text from the wartime diaries of American Jewish writer Gertude...

Read more...

Operation Epsilon, Southwark Playhouse review - alternative Oppenheimer

Must science always be dominated by politics? This question is most urgent when the stakes are high – climate change or nuclear weapons. And it is grimly true that the fact that audiences are still interested in the race for the atom bomb between...

Read more...

The White Factory, Marylebone Theatre review - what price dignity in hell?

This powerful play’s immediate backstory, with Moscow sentencing its author to eight years’ jail and its director going into forced exile, is not its immediate theme – and all the better for it, for how can anyone yet make any authentic dramatic...

Read more...

World on Fire, Series 2, BBC One - return of Peter Bowker's panoramic view of World War Two

Writer Peter Bowker apparently had plans to make six series of World on Fire, but the arrival of Covid after 2019’s first series threw a spanner in the works. Anyway, here’s the second one at last, and it’s a little strange to find that this...

Read more...

DVD/Blu-ray: Western Approaches

Writer-director Pat Jackson’s Western Approaches (1944), a Technicolor tour de force partly shot in turbulent seas by Jack Cardiff, is a stirring World War II story documentary that demonstrates the bravery, resilience, selflessness, and collective...

Read more...

Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre review - high-octane musical comedy hits the big time

It’s back yet again, Operation Mincemeat, a gift of a story that goes on giving. It surfaced as the 1956 film The Man Who Never Was, based on a 1953 book by Ewen Montagu, one of the MI5 types who came up with the 1943 plan of that name. Its latest...

Read more...

A different angle on the Anne Frank story in 'A Small Light'

The Diary of Anne Frank became a Broadway play and has formed the basis of a lengthy catalogue of films and TV series, but the name of Miep Gies is rather less well-known. Yet without Gies the Anne Frank story might never have reached the wider...

Read more...

Betty Blue Eyes, Union Theatre review - musical revival pigs out on nostalgia

People can’t find the food they want in the shops. Nobody has enough money. Public services are under pressure. And there’s a big Royal occasion to take our minds off things.England 2023? Nah, England 1947, as rationing applies to meat and fruit...

Read more...

Trouble in Butetown, Donmar Warehouse review - entertaining and warmhearted

With the fast-approaching anniversary of the latest war in Europe, our culture’s continued fascination with World War Two gets a contemporary boost from Trouble in Butetown at the Donmar Warehouse.Written by Diana Nneka Atuona, this follow-up to...

Read more...

Blu-ray: The War Trilogy - Three Films by Andrzej Wajda

Watching these harrowing films in rapid succession allows us to watch a great director’s confidence develop at close hand; though 1955’s A Generation (Pokolenie) is an impressive debut for a 27-year old director, both Kanał (1957) and 1958’s Ashes...

Read more...

Allegiance, Charing Cross Theatre review - George Takei's childhood story makes a heartfelt musical

Like families, nations have secrets: dirty linen that they prefer not to expose to the light of day. Patriotic myths need to be protected, heroic narratives shaped, good guy reputations upheld. In 1942, the USA rounded up Japanese-Americans and...

Read more...
Subscribe to World War Two