Monday, 5 May 2014

Seen and heard: April 2014

Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, played by Angela Hewitt - on four CDs. I'd been meaning to get a recording of this, and I'm so glad that I chose this one, because it's tremendous and great for driving to (much better than rock anthems). More seriously, Hewitt is looking like becoming this generation's definitive interpreter of Bach on the piano; I'm sorry I missed her recent talks and performances at Cambridge, which from John Naughton's blog were something pretty special.

Rev - new season of the TV comedy, though the term "comedy" seems hardly appropriate when the storylines are so sad and heart-rending, as Tom Hollander's basically decent urban vicar struggles to do the right thing in a crazy and broken world.

John Craxton exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge - basically Picasso's cubism, but in mediterranean colours and with mediterranean subject: goats, mountains, seafood, beautiful worn faces.

Detective Grimoire (a review is here) - lovely cartoon-style game with great voice acting, in which you play a detective investigating a murder at a bizarre tourist attraction (Boggy's Bog). The investigation is beautifully implemented: each suspect can be questioned on a small number of standard topics, or you can present them with a clue or ask them about another person. When you find something suspicious, you have to drag-and-drop words to form a sentence identifying precisely what is suspicious and why - a neat way of incorporating the intellectual element of the detection.

The Library of Birmingham - see separate post.

The Love Punch - light comedy caper with Emma Thompson (who carries the show) and Piers Brosnan (who makes a very acceptable foil), with admirable assistance from Timothy Spall and Ceilia Imre; phrases like "guilty pleasure" and "great holiday entertainment" spring to mind. But good also to be reminded of Thompson's versatility; she doesn't just do nannies these days.

Ghost Hawk - by Susan Cooper, best know for The Dark is Rising sequence. This novel follows the inter-twined stories of a Native American boy from the Pokanoket tribes and an English boy during the mid-seventeenth century, when the conflict between the peoples did not yet seem inevitable. I put the book on my wish list, on the strength of a strong review in The Guardian, and wasn't disappointed: superb writing, clear and economical yet powerful, reminding me very much of Ursula Le Guin.

Monument Valley (a review is here) - fabulous new puzzle game on the iPad / iPhone, in which you guide a little princess around a series of buildings which incorporate M.C. Escher type tricks. The graphic and auditory aesthetic is Zen-like; this is simply a beautiful place to be. My only complaint: that there are just 10 levels.

Black Coffee - the Agatha Christie Theatre Company performing an Hercule Poirot play at Milton Keynes Theatre, with Robert Powell successfully wresting the Poirot role from the legacy of David Suchet. Proper theatre, properly done.

Choral training with Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music at King's College Cambridge - a valuable day for Polymnia, the choir in which I sing, in preparation for our trip to Granada. It never occurred to me before how much singing is like writing, especially in its presentation to an audience. Two of his tips: if your part if interesting, tell them about it; and if your part is ordinary, find a way to make it interesting.

Leap - a screening of my sister's short film (this is the trailer). A great little story, economically and engagingly told, with some neat visual themes and a powerful build-up to the slam-bang ending in which the significant of the title is revealed. Go Ros!

No comments:

Post a Comment