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      Rachel Parris: Poise review – satirical songs elevate standup’s acerbic wit

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 6 June - 10:24 · 1 minute

    Leicester Square theatre, London
    The Mash Report comedian’s material on middle age is sharp but it’s her political musical numbers that really hit home

    If life begins at 40, where does that leave the decades already under your belt? Rachel Parris fashions a loose theme for her musical-comedy show Poise out of that landmark birthday – not in preparation for a life about to begin, but in reflection of one already well-lived. Particularly in the last few years, when – by Parris’s account – she finally usurped Nish Kumar as host of The Mash Report , and inherited a suite of domestic roles (wife, mother, stepmother, wise old sage) in which she’d never hitherto imagined herself.

    Comedy that mines the surprise at finding oneself middle-aged is not in itself surprising: it’s a familiar standup pose. This might play into the first impression of Parris’s act: it’s elegant and accomplished but a bit middle of the road. Even her satirical jokes (“I know most of you are here to hear me slag off the Tories …”) often restate conclusions we’ve already reached, be that Keir Starmer’s thinness on policy or Liz Truss’s rank incompetence.

    Touring until 20 October

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      Inside ∄ – the queer-friendly Kyiv techno club collecting donations for the military

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 6 June - 09:00

    Once predicted to rival Berghain, wartime has seen the ‘club that doesn’t exist’ find new purposes as a bomb shelter and frontline fundraiser. But can it survive Ukraine’s new mobilisation drive?

    As Anastasiia Syradoieva awoke to the sound of air raid sirens and missile strikes in Kyiv on 24 February 2022, the first place she thought to seek shelter was ∄, the techno club housed in a former brewery she has run since its opening in 2019. “This building has survived two world wars,” the 28-year-old says over two years later almost proudly, pointing to the half-metre thick walls of the 19th century factory.

    Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Kyiv was well on its way to becoming a major clubbing destination to rival Berlin or Tbilisi, with venues such as ∄ putting it on the map. The club’s name is an unpronounceable mathematical symbol that stands for a value that doesn’t exist, Syradoieva explains. Locals just call it Kyrylivska 41, after the street in Kyiv’s alternative Podil neighbourhood in which it resides, or K41 for short.

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      Under a Rock by Chris Stein review – sex, squalor and superstardom

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 6 June - 06:30 · 1 minute

    The Blondie guitarist charts his drug-fuelled journey from young punk to pop pioneer with charming nonchalance

    Even before he co-founded Blondie – who swiftly transcended their roots in the New York punk scene to become one of the biggest bands in the world, selling around 40m records in the process – Chris Stein had lived quite a life.

    His father died of a stroke in Stein’s first year of high school: thereafter, as his bandmate and former partner Debbie Harry notes in Under a Rock’s introduction, his adolescence was spent “on a very long leash” in late 60s New York. By 14, he had gravitated to the bohemia of the West Village and MacDougal Street, intent on “falling into the final frontier of existential freedom, whatever that means”. He became a hippy, acquired a set of friends with names like Mortician George and Action, formed a band who supported the Velvet Underground in the Warhol era, holidayed with friends in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and took so much LSD that he ended up in a psychiatric hospital before his 18th birthday: after being discharged, he went to Woodstock, where he proceeded to take more LSD. Thereafter, he briefly flirted with Scientology and the Unification Church, colloquially known as the Moonies, and fell into the milieu of radical drag queens and sundry oddballs around Greenwich Village’s Mercer Arts Centre, where the New York Dolls had a residency: his big pal was Eric Emerson, a heroin-addicted minor Warhol “superstar” and singer, obsessed with tattooing himself, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1975. Stein is one of very few people who could reasonably suggest that his life got a little less nuts after forming a hugely successful rock band.

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      Taylor Swift: cultural icon or turbo-capitalist? - podcast

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Thursday, 6 June - 04:00

    As Swift’s economy-shifting Eras tour comes to the UK, Chanté speaks to journalist and fan (but not ‘Swiftie’) Elle Hunt about the singer’s journey from country star to billionaire and asks whether her world domination is good for the music industry

    Archive: Vogue, Today, MTV, Firstpost, BBC, Billboard, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, ITV

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      The Barber of Seville review – Rossini’s opera gets a British Victoriana makeover

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 5 June - 11:58 · 1 minute

    Opera Holland Park, London
    Cecilia Stinton injects a whiff of EM Forster’s A Room With a View to the comic masterpiece’s well-worn plot

    Dr Bartolo, the old man who has to be outwitted before the young couple get it together in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, is a lot of bad things: irascible, selfish, reactionary. In her new staging at Holland Park, Cecilia Stinton adds something even worse: he’s British. A portrait of Queen Victoria, a bowler-hatted servant and a bit of messing around with the translated surtitles as the characters sing their expository chat brings us the backstory that he’s an archaeologist travelling with his ward Rosina, who has caught Count Almaviva’s eye on the way down to Seville. In the Andalusian heat, evoked by Neil Irish’s postcard-Spain meets Victoriana designs and Robert Price’s warm lighting, Bartolo gets sunburn, but Rosina, bribing her chaperone to take her out in the city streets, is ripe for a bit of Lucy Honeychurch-ish awakening .

    Rossini meets EM Forster? It’s probably not quite what the composer had in mind – he wrote clashes of nationality into other operas, not this one – but the idea sits happily enough on top of the well-worn plot. As in her previous OHP productions – Rigoletto last year, Carmen the year before – Stinton throws a lot at the stage, perhaps too much. But once again the details are often revealing in themselves, even if there’s little hope of catching them all when they are happening far apart. The wide back of the Holland Park stage, the catwalk around the front of the orchestra and the aisles of the audience are all part of the bustle, and the orchestra isn’t out of bounds either: Rosina’s fake “music lesson”, nicely done here, sees Elgan Llŷr Thomas’s Almaviva eventually evicting Charlotte Corderoy from the conductor’s podium.

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      Thirty Seconds to Mars review – Jared Leto gives half-empty arena his full attention

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 5 June - 11:09 · 1 minute

    O2 Arena, London
    The Hollywood actor may not be the world’s greatest rock star, but his committed, fan-friendly performance has charm

    The first sense that this might not be the busiest show in the O2 Arena’s history comes in the concourses: no one is having to queue at the bar before the show. Inside, the top tier is closed, and the arena floor is bizarre: a packed back third, of general admission, and a vast golden circle that is barely a third full. It looks awful, and visitors to the toilet during the show are accosted by arena staff trying to persuade them to take wristbands to go to the front. Thirty Seconds to Mars singer Jared Leto even appeals before the encore for people to go in search of wristbands to come and join the little throng at the front of the stage.

    Still, Leto pulls out everything to entertain the people who are there, rather than fretting about the ones who aren’t. He pulls fans on stage and takes requests from the crowd – the planned acoustic segment goes charmingly awry when rather than sticking to the set list, he plays half-remembered snippets of obscurities for a fan at the front. He works tirelessly. Thirty Seconds to Mars may have started as Leto’s side project from his Hollywood career, but they’ve been a successful band for more than 20 years, and he is no amateur.

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      Closer to Heaven review – Pet Shop Boys musical is still hellish

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 5 June - 10:40

    Turbine theatre, London
    Adequate songs are not enough to fill out Jonathan Harvey’s flimsy clubbers’ romance, though Francis Ruffelle provides some welcome razzle dazzle

    In four decades of droll synth pop, Pet Shop Boys have been met with brickbats only twice: first for their 1988 seaside fantasy film It Couldn’t Happen Here, then in 2001 for their stage musical Closer to Heaven , which critics agreed was closer to hell. The movie has now been partially re-evaluated. The only hope for Closer to Heaven – at least until playwright Jonathan Harvey decides to flesh out his book’s feeble central relationship between wide-eyed Irish bar-keep Straight Dave and wide-boy dealer Mile End Lee – is to be the subject of occasional revivals that distract from the show’s flaws without correcting them.

    For the latest production, director Simon Hardwick has wisely opted for a club format, with half the audience seated at tables and chairs on either side of the catwalk-style stage. Slashes of cold neon scar the back wall. Raised CCTV screens on either side of the room allow the odd peek at backstage naughtiness.

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      Maya Hawke is honest about her privilege. Why are other nepo babies so defensive? | Arwa Mahdawi

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 5 June - 10:00

    The actor has been frank about her luck and comfort. But many celebrity children refuse to acknowledge the influence of their rich and well-connected parents

    Congratulations to the actor Maya Hawke, who has just done something few of her peers seem capable of: acknowledge that one of the secrets of her success has been a little sprinkling of nepotism. The daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman has always seemed to “wear her privilege with a shrug”, as a recent Guardian profile put it , but in a new interview with the Times, the Stranger Things star was even more frank about “ not deserving ” the life she has.

    “Deserves is a complicated word,” she said . “There are so many people who deserve to have this kind of life who don’t, but I think I’m comfortable with not deserving it and doing it anyway.” She added: “It’s OK to be made fun of when you’re in rarefied air. It’s a lucky place to be.”

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      Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood calls backlash over Israel show amid Gaza war ‘unprogressive’

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 5 June - 02:15

    Radiohead musician issues statement on his ongoing work with Israeli musician Dudu Tassa after being accused of ‘artwashing genocide’ by pro-Palestine movement

    Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has defended his ongoing collaboration with the Israeli artist Dudu Tassa amid criticism from pro-Palestine activists, calling the backlash “unprogressive” and “silencing”.

    Greenwood, a composer and musician who also plays in the Radiohead spin-off group The Smile, has been playing with Tassa since 2008. Last year, Greenwood and Tassa released a collaborative album titled Jarak Qaribak , a compilation of Arabic love songs featuring artists from across the Middle East.

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