The Excursions of Mr Broucek. Review by Barbara Lewis. The Excursions of Mr Broucek is an opera like no other – or as Wasfi Kani, the founder and power behind the bold, brave and never daunted Grange Park Opera, puts it: “Cosi fan Tutti it isn’t.”
London Now and The Art of Literature. Review by Barbara Lewis. Leonardo da Vinci, creator of Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting sold yet, said: “painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen”. Seller of the Salvator Mundi in 2017, Christie’s, which is cultivating its image as so much more than a place where very rich people spend millions, has taken his words as part of the inspiration for an exhibition open free to the public that showcases teasingly the latest lots next to rarely seen, privately-held works that are not for sale.
Lillias White Sings Broadway. Review by Barbara Lewis. The pan-damn-demic, as Broadway singer Lillias White puts it, has abated sufficiently for her to bring her considerable presence to cosy, atmospheric venues, including London’s Crazy Coqs.
Anyone Can Whistle. Southwark Playhouse. Review by Barbara Lewis. Anyone Can Whistle opened on Broadway in April 1964 to mixed reviews and closed shortly afterwards. Nearly 60 years on, this Southwark revival deserves to run and run as Georgie Rankcom’s inspired direction does justice to Sondheim’s genius, even when in its early phase, to make musicals from the most unlikely material.
Surrealism Beyond Borders. Review by Barbara Lewis. Surrealism has never respected borders of any kind. As a movement, it crystallised in 1924 in Paris, and, even then, some artists questioned whether they could belong to something that by definition defied easy categorisation.
Truth to Power Café. Review by Barbara Lewis. Speaking Truth to Power has come to mean “saying something to those in a position of trust or authority who don’t want to hear it,” Jeremy Goldstein, the MC of the Truth to Power Café, tells us. It’s a non-violent means of conflict resolution whose origins lie in the anti-war movement.
An Earl’s Court Miscellany. FinboroughFrontier online content. Review by Barbara Lewis. The ever-inventive Finborough Theatre has combined its return to real-life drama with an enlightened decision to carry on delivering original online work for free that surely can only enhance one of the strongest off-West End brands.
Gianni Schicchi. Review by Barbara Lewis. Gianni Schicchi, the protagonist of Puccini’s only wholly comic opera, was a 13th-century Italian knight immortalised by Dante in the Circle of Impersonators for pretending to be the rich gentleman Buoso Donati and dictating a testament highly favourable to himself.
The Great Melt By Alister Doyle Published by Flint Books My only churlish quibble with Alister Doyle’s highly readable distillation of years of meticulous research into climate change and sea level rise is that it might make the reader desperate for the kind of far-flung adventures we can no longer undertake lightly.
Hot Air: The Inside Story of the Battle Against Climate Change Denial. By Peter Stott. Review by Barbara Lewis.
A year before the Kyoto Protocol committed the developed world to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, Britain’s Education Act of 1996 incorporated the Thatcher government’s 1986 Education Act that was designed to deal with a perceived issue of left-wing teachers indoctrinating school pupils. Two decades on, mathematician Peter Stott found himself defending climate science against its deniers, who used Thatcher’s legal legacy to take to the High Court their objections to Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth being streamed in schools.
Dürer’s Journeys, Travels of a Renaissance Artist. Review by Barbara Lewis.
Billed as the first major UK exhibition of Albrecht Dürer in nearly 20 years, ‘Dürer’s Journeys’ explores how travel filled him with wonder, stocked his mind with images and shaped not just his art, but that of his contemporaries.