John Shand | Music & Other Spheres Posts

January 19, 2022 / Uncategorized

Theatre Royal, January 8 7.5/10 Bob Dylan’s songs come lurching out of Conor McPherson’s play obliquely, like the clues to a cryptic crossword. In most musicals you feel the text swelling towards an inevitable gush of song, but not here. The characters sing at McPherson’s whim, the lyrics to the…

January 17, 2022 / Features

Musicals used to about as violent as grazing cows. West Side Story changed that, before first Sweeney Todd and then American Psycho really opened the blood-gates. Now Lizzie comes to town. Where Todd neatly slit his victims’ throats with a razor, the real Lizzie Borden used an axe to polish…

January 13, 2022 / Features

FILM VENUS & ADONIS 8/10 Awaiting classification, 144 minutes In cinemas January 20 Damien Ryan’s commanding film-directing debut opens with a quote from writer Peter Handke: “If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” We now know what that’s like, at least in relation to our on-stage storytellers.…