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London Reviews

Ivanov – Barbican Theatre, London

Writer: Anton Chekhov Director: Timofey Kulyabin Reviewer: Richard Maguire The opulently named Theatre of Nations is in town and earlier this week brought the stories of Shukshin to the stage. Now it turns its hand to a more familiar name, Chekhov, and his early and rarely performed play, Ivanov, moving the action to contemporary times. The play completely stands up ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – Rare Beasts

Writer and Director: Billie Piper Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Billie Piper’s directorial and screenwriting debut is one of the strangest films at the London Film Festival dealing with the chaotic perspective of a single mother looking for love. But in our post-Fleabag world, the protagonist is messy, flawed and not entirely likeable. Rare Beasts is weaker on plot and struggles to ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – London Calling

Martha – Director: Christopher Haydon Dad Joke – Director: David Abramsky Stand Still – Director: Isabella Wing-Davey Losing Pace – Director: Naomi Soneye-Thomas Our Sister – Director: Rosie Westhoff Something in the Closet – Director: Nosa Eke Reviewer: Richard Maguire For some people, The BFI London Film Festival is a chance to see films before they go on general release, ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – Earthquake Bird

Writer and Director: Wash Westmoreland Reviewer: Richard Maguire Receiving its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, this Ridley Scott produced mystery is set in Tokyo in 1989. This steamy tale of obsession is an homage, too, –deliberate or not – to the films of this era such as 9½ Weeks (1986) and Single White Female (1992) where jealousy ...

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Ghost Stories – Ambassadors Theatre, London

Writers: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman Directors: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman and Sean Holmes Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s portmanteau horror play Ghost Stories has been phenomenally successful since launching at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2010. Several West End runs, touring and international versions, and even a feature film have followed. And still, the central mystery at ...

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Union Theatre, London

Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Leo Robin Book: Anita Loos and Joseph Fields Director: Sasha Regan Reviewer: Stephen Bates The 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes took us back to the 1920s, an era when predatory young ladies might have crossed the Atlantic by environmentally friendly means in pursuit of wealthy gentlemen. This stage version, originally seen on Broadway in 1949, seems ...

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London Film Festival 2019 – Official Secrets

Writers: Gregory Bernstein, Sarah Bernstein and Gavin Hood Director: Gavin Hood Reviewer: Maryam Philpott Imagine the frustration for reporter Martin Bright of The Observer back in 2003 when his story from a leaked memo demonstrating that American and Britain were planning to coerce members of the UN Security Council to agree to war in Iraq, and a subeditor’s correction of ...

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A Taste of Honey – Richmond Theatre, London

Writer: Shelagh Delaney Director: Bijan Sheibani Reviewer: Scott Matthewman Shelagh Delaney wrote her first play, A Taste of Honey, when she was just nineteen, and it shows. Not because it is naïve or imperfect, in the way so many other playwrights’ work is at the first stages of their career. No, Delaney’s work stands out because it is fearless, unencumbered ...

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