sun 23/01/2022

England

CD: Jackie Oates - The Joy of Living

Birth and death are nowhere more entwined than in folk music, and the seventh album by Radio 2 Young Folk Award-winner Jackie Oates poignantly honours both her father and her daughter, his unexpected death just five days before the birth of Rosie....

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DVD: Arcadia

Arcadia is the latest and the best of a series of films which draw on the archives of the BFI and the BBC, collages of often forgotten footage, designed to make the riches held by those venerable institutions come alive.Folllowing in the footsteps...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 4, Connolly, Middleton review - perfect partnering in the unfamiliar

“It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.” Oscar Wilde was being ironic when he had Gwendolen contemplate the sound of her beloved’s drab name in The Importance of Being Earnest, but he had a point when it comes to composers and poetry....

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theartsdesk at the Three Choirs Festival - religion, passion and Nordic fakery

Not to be outdone by the Proms, the 2018 Three Choirs Festival in Hereford burst into action on Saturday with a major choral work, the Mass in D, by music’s most famous suffragette, the majestic figure of Dame Ethel Smyth. Dame Ethel embodies...

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WOMAD, Charlton Park review – drawing the world a little closer

Even seasoned veterans can suffer from programme amnesia over the four days and nights of rock, pop, dance and traditional music from around the world to be found at WOMAD, such is the array of choices across its 10 stages, ranging from the main...

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Pity, Royal Court review - whacked-out and wearing

The apocalypse arrives as a series of collegiate sketches in the aptly-named Pity, the Rory Mullarkey play that may well prompt sympathy for audiences who unwittingly find themselves in attendance. Less provocative by far than this same writer's...

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Unforgotten, Series 3, ITV review - death on the M1

So it’s back to London’s Bishop Street police station for a third series of screenwriter Chris Lang’s cold case saga. The understated rapport of lead duo DI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DS Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) has become one of TV’s...

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DVD: New Town Utopia

You come to Christopher Ian Smith’s New Town Utopia expecting a damning indictment of post-war British planning. But while there are melancholy moments, this is mostly an upbeat documentary. Smith manages, without the use of CGI, to make the much-...

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Postcards from the 48% review - wistful memorial to forgotten values

Writer and director David Nicholas Wilkinson felt moved to make his reflective, rather melancholy documentary on the 48% who voted to remain in the EU, he says, because nobody else was making one. When it came to funding the project, not a single...

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Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars, BBC Two review - blues, booze and dues

There’s undoubtedly a memorable film to be crafted from the life of guitar legend and grand old survivor Eric Clapton – for instance, Melvyn Bragg made a very good South Bank Show about him in 1987 – but the longer this one goes on, the less it has...

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The Bookshop review - lost in translation

"All this fuss over a bookstore?!" That's likely to be a common reaction to Spanish director Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop, which adapts a slender if much-admired 1978 novel by the quintessentially English Penelope Fitzgerald in order to cock a...

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A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wilton's Music Hall review - a stereotype-smashing evening of pagan delights

The Faction’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a production in which women are more likely to kick ass than sleep with one – a muscular, mischievous take on the Bard’s most light-hearted play about forbidden love. As might be expected, this boldly...

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