Ikaria. Review by Barbara Lewis. Ikaria is a Greek island famed for the longevity of its inhabitants, helped by a Mediterranean diet and plenty of sex. For the purposes of writer-director Philippa Lawford’s eloquent, debut play, it’s also a university hall of residence.
The Avant-Garde in Georgia. Review by Barbara Lewis. Every two years, Belgium and neighbouring countries host Europalia, a four-month international arts festival to celebrate one country’s cultural heritage. Until early next year, the latest biennale focuses on Georgia, a resonant choice given the conflict nearby instigated by Russia.
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.
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.