Malevo. Review by Barbara Lewis. Any thoughts the scheduled ninety minutes might be too long for a macho display of virility were banished by a superbly coordinated frenzy of frantic footwork and brilliant bravado.
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Frans Hals Exhibition. Review by Barbara Lewis. Frans Hals (1582-1666) painted portraits, “nothing, nothing, nothing but that,” wrote van Gogh to fellow painter Emile Bernard, but that they were “worth Dante’s Paradise and the Michelangelos and Raphaels and even the Greeks”.
Sarah Webb: A Contemporary Realist Abroad. Review by Barbara Lewis. Nashville, birthplace of bluegrass and a Mecca for country music-lovers, is also a city with 18 colleges and universities, some of which are known for their strong views on art. These have included, we’re told, an opposition to the figurative that frustrated Nashville-born contemporary realist Sarah Webb.
You Heard Me. Review by Barbara Lewis. This is a production that comes with warnings – first from the programme and then from the writer and performer, who tells us we are free to leave at any moment if her account of sexual violence becomes too much.
Death Note, The Musical in Concert. Review by Barbara Lewis. The Japanese manga Death Note has sold more than 30 million copies, making it one of the best-selling mangas yet. Whether the musical version can be as successful in our straitened times remains to be seen. Judging by the London run, it’s conceivable.
Gwen John: Art and Life in London and Paris. Review by Barbara Lewis. As curators and art historians work to redistribute glory that men historically monopolised, Pallant House Gallery’s latest major exhibition devotes itself to extracting Welsh-born artist Gwen John from beneath the shadow of her more worldly brother Augustus John.
Trouble in Tahiti. Review by Barbara Lewis. Opera typically is the medium for extraordinary emotion on a grand scale. The great straddler of genres Bernstein makes it the vehicle to explore the depressing ordinariness of the countless millions who can’t find their way back to the extraordinary emotion they once felt.
Pension Europa. Review by Barbara Lewis. Austrian-Italian director Martin Gruber and his aktionstheater ensemble have for decades helped audiences to explore what it is to be a human wrestling with the anxieties of the day.
Annie Get Your Gun. Review by Barbara Lewis. Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” is the perfect opening for a show and especially for the inaugural show at the Lavender Theatre on Epsom Downs.
The Wind and The Rain. Finborough Theatre. Review by Barbara Lewis. A wistful story of Edinburgh medical students tussling with exams and affairs of the heart was one of the biggest international hits of the 1930s and a staple of British repertory theatre for decades after.
Candide, WNO. Review by Barbara Lewis. Too messy, too long, too anti-Semitic, too misogynistic: there are many reasons to avoid Bernstein’s Candide. And yet, director James Bonas and the Welsh National Opera bravely make a powerful case for staging this attack on the depravity of those in power and the futility of war.