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6 items from 2011


Othello; Grief; St Matthew Passion – review

24 September 2011 4:14 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Crucible, Sheffield; Cottesloe; Olivier, both London

For fans of the television series The Wire, it is impossible not to be on patrol, trying to spot detective Jimmy McNulty in Dominic West's Iago and Lester Freamon in Clarke Peters's Othello. But it is to the credit of both actors and to Daniel Evans's triumphant production at the Sheffield Crucible that such distractions do not persist as the tragedy gathers pace. Besides, Dominic West is in complete Shakespearean disguise as Iago. He has grown a beard, cut his hair savagely short, wears curious brown leather knickerbockers with slits in them and has acquired a Yorkshire accent to play the greatest villain of all time. The choice of accent is inspired because it sounds so trustworthy – it turns Iago into Mr Common Sense. Noisy comedy is this Iago's cover. You can imagine him propping up the bar at a 16th-century tavern, »

- Kate Kellaway

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Grief at Cottesloe, London – review | Michael Billington

21 September 2011 5:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Cottesloe, London

An air of mystery surrounds any new Mike Leigh project. Like a dedicated scientist, he works behind closed doors researching with his chosen team: his latest experiment didn't even have a name until a few days ago.

And, while it doesn't disappoint in its exploration of the hermetic strangeness of English family life, it lacks the richness of texture of Leigh's finest work for stage and film.

Criticism inevitably spoils the surprise of a play in which information seeps out gradually. But it's fair to reveal that we are in London's south-west suburbs in the late 1950s and that the focus is on a family of three.

Dorothy, a war widow, is a painfully uptight figure who busies herself with household affairs and who even regards wearing a pinny in front of visitors as a breach of decorum. Her brother, Edwin, has worked for the same city insurance »

- Michael Billington

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Autumn 2011 arts calendar

27 August 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Observer's critics pick the season's highlights, from Degas to Depp, and Britney to the Bard

September

1 Theatre: Decade In a former trading hall on London's St Katharine Docks, Rupert Goold's production evokes the legacy of 9/11, with the help of Simon Schama and Abi Morgan. Until 15 October.

4 Pop: Adele After her summer to die for (No1 album, ubiquitous single), Adele starts her UK tour in Plymouth. She's in London on the 19th and 20th and ends in Glasgow (25).

6 Dance: Tezuka New evening-length piece by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, inspired by the work of renowned Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka. Starring Daniel Proietto, the piece features a specially commissioned score by Nitin Sawhney. At Sadler's Wells until 10 September.

8 Pop: Bestival The Isle of Wight weekender always has a hefty line-up: this yearboasts new kids James Blake and Odd Future alongside the Cure, Brian Wilson and Björk.

9 Theatre: We are Three Sisters »

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Lark Rise to Candleford: the end is nigh

11 February 2011 4:19 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

We will miss the costume drama soap-opera and its endless telegram deliveries and matching millinery – but perhaps this was the right time for Lark Rise to depart our screens

So who else is tearing out their ringlets over the demise of Lark Rise to Candleford, which comes to an end this weekend? On Sunday evening we'll give the last tip of our moth-eaten top hats to Twister, the decrepit but well-meaning layabout whose cider-fuelled charisma made toothlessness seem almost desirable, and raise a final restorative glass of port to Dorcas Lane, the postmistress with the most expressive eyebrows in all of 19th century Oxfordshire.

After four series, Lark Rise's demise is hardly sudden. But following viewer complaints, BBC1 controller Danny Cohen has had to defend his decision to axe the show, saying he wants it to go out on a high. (Viewing figures have hovered around 7 million.) In its place? »

- Viv Groskop

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Like mother, like daughter for Mike Leigh's new production

29 January 2011 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

TV favourite Ruby Bentall takes stage role with director who cast her mother 30 years ago in the classic comedy Abigail's Party

The distinctive plays and films of Mike Leigh have introduced many strong female characters to audiences down the years. In fact, the director has often returned to work with a small group of actresses whom he can trust to create memorable roles – Alison Steadman, Sheila Kelley, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton.

But this year, as he works on a new play for the National Theatre, Leigh has found a new star – the daughter of one of his funniest muses.

Ruby Bentall, whose mother is actress Janine Duvitski, will have a lead role at the National in the new play, which so far has no name or an announced subject, but will be written and directed by Leigh. Bentall is already known to viewers for playing Minnie in BBC1's »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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Like mother, like daughter for Mike Leigh's new production

29 January 2011 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

TV favourite Ruby Bentall takes stage role with director who cast her mother 30 years ago in the classic comedy Abigail's Party

The distinctive plays and films of Mike Leigh have introduced many strong female characters to audiences down the years. In fact, the director has often returned to work with a small group of actresses whom he can trust to create memorable roles – Alison Steadman, Sheila Kelley, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton.

But this year, as he works on a new play for the National Theatre, Leigh has found a new star – the daughter of one of his funniest muses.

Ruby Bentall, whose mother is actress Janine Duvitski, will have a lead role at the National in the new play, which so far has no name or an announced subject, but will be written and directed by Leigh. Bentall is already known to viewers for playing Minnie in BBC1's »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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6 items from 2011


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