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an Immorality Play at the Riverside Studios, London
Stefanovski turns tradition upside down by confronting a doubting Death
with six self-assured, self-absorbed and hedonistic mortals. Death is
having an identity crisis due to a lost love and professional difficulties
caused by current secular obsessions with youth, eternal life and plastic
and Blue at BAC, London
It is its examination of human nature that is perhaps the most shocking
thing about the production - the audience is made to question our own
nature as well as those of the characters.
of Interest at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, London
'Who can you trust?' Each play cloaks this question in a different outfit;
with political backstabbing, existential questioning and, of course, infidelity
rearing its head a number of times.
a Luxury at the Orange Tree, London
I don't know if it is fair to say that the usual stereotypes are here;
the put-upon husband, the jealous wife, the pretty parlour maid et al.
Perhaps this was the height of originality in 1942.
at the Bush Theatre, London
'There's more meaning in my mum smoking than there is in a thousand banners,'
John says rather obtusely, but we know what he means.
at the Old Vic, London
Hamlet deals with so many themes (death, madness, loss of parental bonds,
fear of maturity) that have dominated alternative teen culture over the
past decade that it screams out for reinterpretation.
Man Who at the Pleasance Theatre, London
The production is most engaging when it invites the audience to challenge
the 'health' of their own perspective; an ambition suggested by the wastepaper
basket that hangs from the wall of an otherwise minimalist set.
Counsel at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon
Nick Bamford's intense drama of sexual identity, religious dogmatism,
death and redemption sidefoots lazy criticism with passion, depth and
a good deal of humour.
Ghanoush and Bagels at the Oval House Theatre, London
Political theatre is often obvious, dull and preaches to the choir. It
is amazing to see a physical comedy production which only succeeds when
it is political and falters when it abandons its political context.
Final Days of Simon Bacon at the Palace Theatre, Southend
Watching the play is an authentic Essex experience, more so even than
donning a baseball cap and doing endless laps in a Vauxhall Nova around
the seedy amusement arcades on Southend seafront.
Flats at the Chelsea Theatre, London
Karen is from a more privileged background and offers Nat a serious vision
of his future, in a college her 'Daddy' can help him get into. And then
there is her sheer sexual allure.
at the Soho Theatre, London
'You're here because you're not normal,' Maggie tells the kids, and she
is right. It isn't normal to 'borrow' babies, to flash one's genitals
or to beat people up on a whim.
Sweetest Swing in Baseball at the Royal Court, London
Rebecca Gilman and Gillian Anderson, living up to her star billing, manage
to make a sympathetic figure of the egotistical Dana, but they win our
sympathy for her as a human being rather than as an artist.
Wooden Frock at BAC, London
Combining fairytale frothiness and physical humour with dark, uneasy undertones,
The Wooden Frock turns the Cinderella theme inside out.
at the Etcetera Theatre, London
It is pleasing to be reminded that enjoyable theatre and socially-conscious
polemic are not mutually exclusive.
Divide at the Barbican, London
is likely that David Edgar's play will be more studied than performed.
It is worth sitting through it, though, not in order to either empathise
or sympathise with the characters, but rather to see this effective group
portrait of the compromised, alienated, stagnant, frustrated lives of
the 'baby boomer' dreamers and to recognise how they fail to understand
the world today and lie to themselves in order to cover up this sense
at the Riverside Studios, London
Language is the clearest barrier to understanding and that is explored
here in detail. Many of the jokes are in Arabic, meaning only certain
parts of the audience laugh.
Rosita, the Spinster at the Orange Tree, Richmond
The play is of its time; even if we are undecided as to whether being
single is something to celebrate or something to be angst-ridden about,
there no social stigma about being single and the term 'spinster' has
become an anachronism.
at the Duke of York's Theatre, London
In a world dominated by the attempt to patch up estrangement through therapy,
we need more Calicos, more works that show us the social and intellectual
mechanisms that force some to act in a manner that has to be described
New World Solent People's Theatre, Portsmouth
Though Brendon Burns' feverish pace leaves little room for character development,
he nonetheless crams the book into an entertaining hour and ten minutes.
I Got That Story at Finborough Theatre, London
Why didn't it make me laugh? It's like watching anything from the past
that you may have found funny at the time. That moment has passed and
it no longer grips you.
at the King's Head Theatre, London
There is a tendency to despise the cult of Sylvia Plath. To show curiosity
about her suicide is deemed pornographic and unscholarly. It is an interest
only suitable for angsty teenagers clutching copies of The Bell Jar.
for Godot at the Cockpit Theatre, London
The example of Beckett, perhaps more than anyone, rubbishes the notion
that to be creative we need to 'free ourselves' from the constraints of
the normal, that to be creative we need to be the kind of person who will
cut off an ear or be driven to suicide or madness by our passion.
All the Children Cried at BAC, London
When it was written, And All the Children Cried was an intervention into
a national debate about Hindley and whether or not she should be released
from prison. The balance of the play can not help but be affected by Hindley's
Adding Machine at the Courtyard Theatre, London
Rice's assumption is that once we gain an awareness of our alienated situation
we will act to change it. The sad truth is that many today who are aware,
having abandoned the project to change things, would envy Zero's memory
loss and strive towards his innocence as an ideal.
Streetcar Named Desire at the Gatehouse Theatre, London
The lack of dramatic commitment by the cast can perhaps be put down to
the lack of any definite vision from the director Julie Dark. It just
does not seem as though there was any particular reason or dramatic vision
behind the staging.
Oddest Couple at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
Given the actors' talent and writer's experience The Oddest Couple punches
below the weight of those behind it, mainly because the format limited
the play to something more akin to an end of year review.
Doll's House at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, London
To its credit, the Dale Theater Kompani does not try to show A Doll's
House in a contemporary setting, and interestingly we are left with a
nineteenth century take on a very modern issue.
at Riverside Studios, London
Marcus Markou certainly makes a strong case for having brought something
new and innovative to the theatre with this production. The strangeness
and yet all too human phenomenon of the internet chat room is brought
to the stage with some interesting results.
Orchestra at the Orange Tree Theatre, London
Ackland is interested in ideas but he does not use his characters as mouthpieces,
this preserves the dramatic integrity of the characters but the level
of the debate tends to reflect their naivety and youthful idealism.
Pucelle at the Oval House Theatre, London
At the end of La Pucelle I was slaughtered along with the rest of the
audience by the cast, and in this review I am tempted to return the favour.
But that would be to fail to learn from what happened.
Matters at the Bridewell Theatre, London
To talk of the accessiblity or elitism of Family Matters would be to do
an injustice to the spirit behind the production. It simply transcends
any preconceived definitions of contemporary opera.
Revenge at the Finborough Theatre, London
If one chooses to see Allport's Revenge as a philosophical play, it fails
badly. It succeeds, however, if one looks at it instead as an examination
of how a family responds to an extreme situation that requires unpleasant
of Madness at the Etcetera Theatre, London
The double whammy here is that the nurse's investigation takes place in
a drama therapy session taken by a patient who was once an acclaimed actress.
These theatrical types! Crazy, eh?
at BAC, London
In this case, the 'concept' that the company gave itself served to do
little more than force the text into a straightjacket from which it could
not break free.
Lear at the Greenwich Playhouse, London
For the most part, the cast handles the language well, although at times
things seem a bit forced, like when people suddenly seem angry - a sign
that the language is in control and not the actor.
Cinch / Three More Sleepless Nights at the Lion and Unicorn, London
After two hours, and two very different takes on the way men and women
behave towards each other, it becomes clear that the two plays share one
thing, and it isn't that they both examine the same theme, but that both
plays portray the most basic of human relationships as deeply problematic.
in the Rain at the Richmond Theatre, London
Although Bryan Cardus acquits himself fairly well with the singin', his
dancin' inevitably appears arthritic compared to the athleticism of Gene
Todd at the Royal Opera House, London
This whole process, the publicity and hype preceding the opening, smacked
of a smug, self-satisfied suggestion that, in
some abstract way, the
musical work (and perhaps Sondheim himself) ought to be grateful for this
Specialist at Soho Theatre, London
With one 'Big Stache' newly in custody and another 'Bearded Lady' still
at large, Pugilist Specialist is as timely now as it was last summer,
and the war on terror shows no signs of letting up this side of Armageddon.
at the Oval House Theatre, London
Underneath all the comic misunderstandings and the gratuitous nudity of
the evening's entertainment, there is a hard-hitting comment about the
blasé use of the internet.
Club at the Riverside Studios, London
Film Club combines words, video, music and dance. It is visually stimulating
and enjoyable as a piece of escapism, but I think it is aiming higher
Alchemist at the Courtyard, London
This Alchemist attacks the job in hand with gusto, bringing an almost
pantomime quality to the proceedings. Subtle it is not.
Gold Rings at the Almeida, London
Yes, Laurens' use of language is interesting. But does that mean all other
aspects of the theatrical are somehow jettisoned?
and the Argonauts at BAC, London
The name of the game is imagination, and the use of minimal set, props
and costume is brilliantly intuitive.
Man Who Would Be Sting at BAC, London
If Ben Elton is the stadium rocker of the new musical theatre scene, Niall
Ashdown is the soulful indie band.
Emma at the Finborough Theatre, London
The play manages to create a workable blend of innocence and humour within
an otherwise unsettling environment, reflecting the life of WH Davies
himself and so many of our iconic figures.
at the Arcola Theatre, London
This is no ground-breaking piece of musical theatre, but what is done
is done well.
Fall Away at the Latchmere Theatre, London
'Tis the season to be jolly...unless you're a single mother about to be
thrown out on your ear by an evil landlord.
Just Broke Up! at the White Bear Theatre, London
Billed as a modern farce, there is very little original humour in this
production to offer anything other than a cheap thrill.
Slab Boys at the Traverse, Edinburgh
The audience of a certain age seems to be content to be amused for a couple
of hours, and this I am afraid to say, is all that The Slab Boys has to
Evening with the Critics: Play in a Day at the Soho Theatre, London
Do theatre critics know what they're talking about? Are they just failed
playwrights? It is childish to insist that 'you shouldn't criticise unless
you could do better', but you don't have to think like that to be intrigued
by a project like this.
Around / Separate Tables at the Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh
How often can you say that on two consecutive visits to a theatre you
enjoyed two excellent shows at very reasonable prices in a wonderfully
Master and Margarita at the Menier Theatre, London
What in the name of Jehovah did Cherub think they were doing turning the
lynch-pin character of the book - Satan or Woland - into some terrible
pastiche of a Moulin Rouge rapper?
at the Traverse, Edinburgh
It is a play full of the darker side of humanity, but a play that forces
you to look at yourself and be aware of your humanity and the need to
monitor constantly your own actions, as far too often we act without thought
in the desperate need to satisfy ourselves.
at the Old Red Lion, London
For the bemused leftie trying to get a grip on post 9/11 imperialism,
terrorism and spin-cycle democracy, Van Badham's latest play is Nu-Politics
at Chelsea Theatre, London
I was hoping for an exciting, original, innovative play, but this felt
more like something a sixth former would have thought up, given the theme
'addiction and its true nature'.
People Next Door at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
Who are the people in your neighbourhood? In a post 9/11 world with terrorists
supposedly hidden in our midst, a new type of 'stranger danger' has captured
the Western imagination. The People Next Door explores our current paranoia
about those we do not know and, with great humour, shows us why we should
not assume the worst of the strangers around us.
Ali the intellectual would, one hopes, never
be so crass as to explain the end of Old Labour and the rise of New Labour
as no more that the loss of youthful idealism...
The writer's (Kay Adshead) key strength
is characterisation and human interaction. While the political and thematic
side of things is good, it is not quite good enough.
Parts of Desire
Written and performed by Raffo, a self proclaimed
Halfsy (the daughter of an American mother and Iraqi father) Nine Parts
of Desire is truthful in its portrayal of individual women, both Iraqi
and America. You can see this and hear this.
Musical Theatre Alive and Well and Living in London?
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris at the Landor
and Passion at the Bridewell Theatre
Lack of innovation in musical theatre leads to the
real danger of lack of variety in the performance and production of this
genre as a whole, and that includes opera as well.
Wizard of Pop
at the Jack Kane Centre, Craigmillar, Edinburgh
Lucy then finds herself on a Musical Road that leads
to Craigmillar Castle. There lurks Simon Cowell, the Wizard of Pop himself.
To return home Lucy has to reach the castle and become Britney Spears
for the day.
N Antoine de Caunes
the comic potential of this tale of hubris and noble descent, de Caunes
plays it alarmingly straight, weaving a detective mystery around the central
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Michel Gondry
sounds confusing, and it is at first, but the chronology is quite clear
once you grasp the film's logic. The screenplay is another triumph from
Charlie Kaufman, displaying all the craft and ingenuity of his previous
work, but with a new level of emotional depth.
Oblivion Paul Morrison
script feels at times like a checklist of racial stereotypes, but the
film is so liberal, so obviously without malice, that these quibbles are
James Cox employs a range of tricks to turn in an undeniably stylish feature,
but the fractured narrative and grainy desaturation feel like genre staples,
and as a result the film is directionless.
the Friedmans Andrew Jarecki
film succeeds in making us doubt the veracity of the specific allegations,
but presents the Friedmans nonetheless as a damaged, dysfunctional family.
this account, poverty, unhappy childhood, dysfunctional family, and dubious
sexual status all add up to a disturbed, easily swayed individual who,
when shown a bit of affection, is prepared to murder in order for that
affection to last.
Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson
some, it seems, Gibson's audio-visual approach has succeeded where the
mere Word of God fails.
will at least help us to re-evaluate the suspenseful What Lies Beneath
- as it's not good for much else.
Girl Next Door Luke Greenfield
a fair point; porn is a deeply unpleasant industry, but it seems hypocritical
and self-defeating to preach this way in a film that's pretty close to
soft porn itself.
Italiano Émile Gaudreault
film is shot in bright primary colours and pastels, to give a wonderfully
bright, tacky feel, and the story moves with fluidity and pace.
(DVD) Werner Herzog
gives an electrifying performance, and the cinematography and soundtrack
are beautifully simple, with the timeless quality of fairy tale.
Souffle (DVD) Damien Odoul
Souffle is a film that some will praise, but few will see twice.
of the Dead Zack Snyder
debutant Snyder's crew inherit a mall that seems to have been constructed
more for zombie resistance than retail, as if written into the building
Transit Hany Abu-Assad
preoccupation, near-to obsession, with the Palestinian cause and the Israeli
occupation is rarely mentioned or explained, but is a complex and important
issue that calls for debate.
of Lust Penny Woolcock
the devil supposed to be seductive? The diabolical creature at the heart
of this film has to be one of the least likeable characters I've ever
encountered in any story.
and Hutch Todd Phillips
and Wilson make a classic double act, in this their sixth film together,
and while we may have seen their schtick before, it's still very funny
- people will be saying 'Do it' for months.
Lenin and Mao seem to be mostly interested in stealing and having sex,
they are neither a kleptomaniacs nor nymphomaniacs. According to themselves,
they are not even lesbians.
Missing Ron Howard
Americans are central to the plot, but the film has no interest in politics
or history, instead using the setting to dramatise a contemporary story
about the duties of parenthood.
Mona Lisa Smile Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
Roberts is a fine and versatile actress, but she wouldn't be my first
choice to play a woman left on the shelf.
21 Grams Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu
say, 'life goes on', even after a tragedy. But how? And where does it
go on to? Spurning a chronological narrative, Alejandro Gonzáles
Iñárritu's new film presents the human condition through
a tale of zigzags and cruel miracles.
Infernal Affairs Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
is a psychological thriller, with little violence, and no martial arts.
Instead we study the complex characters, and the difficult choices they
Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola
film stands out for its humane depiction of the experience of alienation.
These themes are often addressed in a harsh and relentless manner, so
that you wind up feeling both depressed and bored. Instead, Coppola uses
humour, compassion and a lightness of touch to show the characters' individual
lives, and brief union.
Kitchen Stories (Salmer fra Kjøkkenet)
no-frills, dry-humoured film turns out to be a complex story about scientific
research, friendship and understanding (or the lack of it) and about Norwegian-Swedish
Nathalie Rothschild and Patrick Hayes
School of Rock
that school bus on time because todays lesson cant be missed!
This fantastic film will please rockers of all ages thanks to Jack Blacks
Gold might as well have been called Bridget Jones' Big Fat Jewish Wedding
And A Funeral, as it cuts and pastes from a range of romantic comedies
without matching the charm of any of them.
Elephant Gus Van Sant
question of whether or not the characters and their behaviours are stereotypical
or easily recognisable is repeatedly turned on its head. On the one hand,
we think they are predictable, on the other hand their actions are incredible.
Something's Gotta Give Nancy Meyers
refreshing to a December to December romance onscreen, even if the leads
are unfeasibly attractive.
From dystopia to myopia: Metropolis to Blade Runner
the late nineties on, there has been a marked retreat into the inner world,
into childhood and away from dirty, complicated reality.
The Haunted Mansion Rob Minkoff
Haunted Mansion is based on a Disney ride, but this is a creaky merry-go-round
compared with the thrilling rollercoaster that was Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Tooth Edouard Nammour
the worst children's TV programme you've ever seen. Now remove any residual
plot sense, replace the professional crew with children, and halve the
The Station Agent Thomas McCarthy
loves trains, and sees himself as a simple, boring man. Unfortunately
everyone else sees him as an object of fascination.
Valentin Alejandro Agresti
is a celebration of innocence; a film which argues that no parent has
a more important role in life than the care of their children.
Black and White Craig Lahiff
film has many merits, but it is perhaps most notable for featuring the
young Rupert Murdoch in an uncharacteristically heroic role.
Cold Mountain Anthony Minghella
asks three questions: Is there a point to war? Can a hero be a killer
too? Is there any idea worth dying for? Its answer to all three questions
is a resounding 'No'.
American Splendor Shari Springer Berman
and Robert Pulcini
existence contains drama and complexity and it can be made interesting
depending on in whose hands its dramatisation lies, and also on where
we ourselves choose to lead it.
Touching the Void Kevin Macdonald
is an exciting story, but does not go into the complexities of why people
put themselves in situations that require enormous strength, critical
decision-making and moral choices in extreme conditions, and of what makes
Master and Commander Peter Weir
Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are men of their time and Patrick O'Brian's
great achievement has been to portray that world without looking through
the prism of the present.
Cinema Extreme Four new short films at Curzon
the proud declarations of artistic freedom, these shorts were a strangely
Dans Ma Peau by Marina de Van (Raindance
fetishisation gets autophagous in a new French film about self-harm.
Phone by Byeong-Ki Ahn (Raindance Film Festival)
the tropes for a horror movie are here: the bright young reporter in an
empty house, the dark corridors lined with mirrors and portraits that
follow you with their eyes.
Aileen: the Life and Death of a Serial Killer
by Nick Broomfield
wants the documentary to be about the media circus and about the cops
who, she claims, let murderers kill so that they can be turned into subjects
of high-profile films and books.
Spun by Jonas Akerlund
release of Spun marks a new low in the ‘drugs are a mixed blessing’ cycle
of recent movies.
Miranda by Marc Munden (Raindance Film Festival)
is a rather odd romantic comedy, as it seems unwilling to give itself
over completely to the genre.
TCM Classic Shorts Awards 2003 at the London
International Film Festival
first sight, it seemed that the judges had short-listed films with only
brevity in common, and declared the shortest film the winner.
by Simon Pummell
The music that accompanies Bodysong is written by Jonny Greenwood, part
of the Grammy award-winning band Radiohead. This alone is likely to attract
much attention to the film itself, but there is certainly enough in the
soundtrack to justify this interest.
Uzak (Distant) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
is a detached, slow moving and sporadically compelling examination of
rural and urban identities in contemporary Turkey.
Barbarian Invasions by Denys Arcand
has created a wonderfully human film, which stands on its own two feet.
The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute
is yet another firecracker script from LaBute, which questions the modern
obsession with surface beauty.
Touching the Void by Kevin Macdonald
to explain his enthusiasm for mountaineering in Touching the Void, one
climber says: 'There's not enough risk in the real world', and he has
Lost in Translation by Sophia Coppola
Sophia Coppola's critically acclaimed romantic comedy two tired Americans
have a limp liaison.
Dallas 362 by Scott Caan
buddy movie with a clichéd ending. Is this really what the world needs?
Small Town (Mestecko) by Jan Kraus
in the Czech Republic pre and post Velvet Revolution, Small Town is as
nasty a film as you are likely to see.
by Allen Mindel
It is also organised around an increasingly common cinematic archetype.
No, not the hit-man having a mid-life crisis, but the idiot savant, a
man-boy whose euphemistically described disabilities conceal hidden depths.
by Emilie Deleuze
The focus is on the battle between the horse and its bewildered new owner
(whose tap-dancing can't distract from his growing obsession), and the
elemental conflict between man and nature occupies centre stage.
by Gary Ross
The PBS-style voiceover and the heavy-handed soundtrack - 'blub now please'
- all give this gorgeous-looking movie a hectoring undertone.
Fog of War
by Errol Morris
What is most striking is that although former US Secretary of State for
Defence Robert McNamara has regrets and acknowledges mistakes, he takes
the collective responsibility of office seriously. McNamara's performance
is not an apology, nor does he abdicate blame.
by Jane Campion
Ultimately there is an almost unwitting affirmation of the need for articulation
(to live out of your subconscious through words as well as actions), when
In the Cut seems otherwise intent on disrupting the negotiation of fantasy,
desire and reality.
by Jeffrey Blitz
It is all too easy to laugh at Americans with their naive aspirations
- a cynical position which itself has become a stereotype. Spellbound
is a documentary that reveals a refreshing and upflifting side to the
American dream and what it still means to a vast number of people.
by Paul Sarossy
To date the film has come unstuck thanks to the mouldering dungheap of
gangster Brit-flicks to which it would inevitably be compared. Yet compared
to The Matrix Reloaded this is intellectually serious stuff.
by Simon Cellan Jones
It's a fascinating idea. Eroica sets out to recreate the excitement
and bewilderment at the first ever rehearsal of Beethoven's third symphony.
Sleep When I'm Dead
by Mike Hodges
22 years after Get Carter, director Mike Hodges has made another film
with a very similar plot. Clive Owen plays the Michael Caine part, this
time returning to London from the wilderness to discover that his younger
brother has killed himself after being raped.
by David Mackenzie
Young Adam is a portrait of the artist as a parasite. Joe, a failed
writer, drifts through other people's lives, having sex with other men's
wives, and ultimately letting another man suffer for his own mistake.
by Pablo Trapero
Given Argentina's dire economic straits at the moment, it is understandable
that its latest film to make an impact on these shores is a low-budget
affair. The style of El Bonaerense is described by critics as 'gritty
realism' - these days a well-worn passport to critical acclaim.
by Vincenzo Natali
A rather dull and nervous man gets a job at a mega-corporation to spy
on their competitors. All he has to do is pretend to be someone else
and surreptitiously record a few conference speeches. Easy enough.
Books/Interviews/Events and ideas/Exhibitions etc.
Essay review: The Imperfect Gardener
Imperfect Garden: the legacy of humanism, by Tsvetan Todorov
At its heart, Todorov's humanism refuses to trust humanity. Give man greater
power, and his brutish inner nature will come to the fore.
Off With Their
Wigs: Judicial Revolution in Modern Britain
by Charles Banner and Alexander Deane
Unfortunately, Messrs Banner and Deane have recited
the modern day orthodox view that the judiciary must be independent of
politics as if it were self evidently true.
How the Space Age Shaped Our Vision of a World Beyond
by Marina Benjamin
While Benjamin makes a good case that much of
the desire to reach into space was a reflection of a narrowly technical
conception of the solution to earthly problems, she makes rather too much
of the difficulties inherent in space travel.
Mongrels and Demons
by Angus Calder
Angus Calder and his notable father are oddballs
in their own right, products of the twentieth century, its wars and its
Conversations in art and science
edited by Bergit Arends and Davina Thackara
The high production values are those of an art
book, while at times it adopts the style and conventions of a scientific
paper. Unfortunately the format is difficult for both art and science.
the Impossible Project
by Caryn Faure Walker et al
Many of the essays that accompany Cotterrell’s
art in The Impossible Project sympathise with this standpoint of plumping
up subjective trivia as the world’s cure-all – except for one.
how 21st century technology is changing the way we think and feel
by Susan Greenfield
In Tomorrow's People, Greenfield, renowned neuroscientist
and director of the Royal Institution, indulges her literary ambitions
to create a speculative dystopia owing much to Huxley.
Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability in an Uncertain Age
Furedi illustrates the way that therapeutic values
have come to inform political debate, taking the example of Bill Clinton's
claim 'I feel your pain' as emblematic of the substitution of counselling
for political representation.
Culture and the Therapistas
Therapy Culture is neither an attack
on the counselling profession nor on what they dismiss as 'self-help'
Cheers for Democracy
The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad by
Fareed Zakaria, The Case Against the Democratic State: an Essay in
Cultural Criticism by Gordon Graham, and Democracy: the God that
Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
By daring to tackle the sacred cow that democracy
has become, these three books are extremely timely.
and Palestine: Why They Fight and Can They Stop?
by Bernard Wasserstein
The simplest way
for Israeli Jews to live wherever they want would be to abandon the Jewishness
of the state.
by Adam Sutcliffe
Intellectual freedom certainly includes the right
to oppose intellectual freedom. This is only a paradox if toleration is
taken further to imply validation. It needn't.
Fascism and the New World Order
by Ivo Mosley
Mosley's most basic point, that democracy is
not necessarily a good thing, deserves more coherent discussion than it
Is Hard, But So Is Life
It is a sign of the greatness of Shakespeare
that every time a critic sits down to write a definitive review of his
work it is always the critic who appears to be ignorant and vulnerable
by Robert L Bradley Jr
The name given to the debate, 'Climate Change',
is deeply misleading because it suggests that the right policies can stop
change and promote stasis. However, there has never been a time when the
climate has not changed.
Man Booker Prize 2003:
Turn Again Home by Carol Birch
The Light of Day by Graham Swift
The Nick of Time by Francis King
The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy
The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut
Something Might Happen by Julie Myerson
Orxy and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Taxi Driver's Daughter by Julia Darling
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips
by Michael Morpurgo
It is told from the point of view of Tommy
Peaceful, and is very cleverly written, as he is looking back from the
trenches at his life before that point.
by David Almond
Bobby Burns moves to a new school and finds
that it is full of cruel teachers. But when Bobby meets a fire-eater called
McNulty, his life turns upside-down.
Whatever I align myself with at the time, I always totally believe in.
But Im not going to stay stuck for ever. I think Ive had my
moment with being with the Stuckists. Its carried me into a relationship.
Its almost served its purpose, but I dont think thats
where my future lies.
Ramesh Meyyappan brought a unique one-man show to the Edinburgh Fringe
this year (2003)- A Visual Adaptation of Dario Fo's 'Mistero Buffo'. This
mimed piece is a funny, warm and intelligent example of the potential
of visual storytelling.
at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
The long-haired and softly-spoken philosopher's
aim in 'What is Good?' is to provide a general introduction to philosophy,
and the wider issues of what we as a society and as individuals should
at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
The long-haired and softly-spoken philosopher's
aim in 'What is Good?' is to provide a general introduction to philosophy,
and the wider issues of what we as a society and as individuals should
at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Dorfman's Amnesty Interational Lecture was certainly
poignant and moving, and the parallel between the victims of state terror
and stateless terror is evidently interesting. However, I didn't think
that it was the most brilliant use of our time, or the most informative.
Robert Hutchinson and Andrew Sinclair
at the Edinburgh International Book Festival
Robert Hutchinson believes that everything that
instils fear is terror (The Blair Witch Project?), and Andrew Sinclair
is bit of toff who has done a little research into weapons of mass destruction.
Forgetting to Forgive 'The F Word: Images
the song goes, seems to be the hardest word. But today it appears that
words of forgiveness more than those of apology are the ones farthest
from our lips.
Hayward Gallery, London
This is an exhibition that does not have highlights, but rather
is all highlights.
Hirst - romance in the age of uncertainty
at the White Cube, London
It's a cynical comment on a secular age, where a dumbed-down
plasticated version of charity is all that remains of the traditional
Christian ethic of forgiveness and altruism.
Channel 4, 29 October 2003
For Malik, the remnants of pre-multicultural Britain
have taken on the appearance of a 'white end-of-the-pier freak show'.
The Simpsons' Greatest Hits
The thing about the Simpsons is they don't change.
Not only does nobody age visibly, but nobody ever changes or learns in