Theatre: The Week in Review
Saturday 17 July 1999
ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE
OVERVIEW: The Motion Picture Event of the decade has finally arrived. George Lucas's The Phantom Menace forms the first of the three Star Wars prequels.
CRITICAL VIEW: "No summary can convey the spirit of a movie whose defining characteristics are pomposity, vulgarity and dreariness," stated Anthony Quinn. "While Lucas's technology may be fresh, his notion of entertainment is dead and buried," griped The Express. "Nothing has the right to disappoint us this much," groaned The Guardian. "Deliriously inventive," gushed The Daily Telegraph.
OUR VIEW: If the endless political discussions don't put you to sleep, the cavalcade of digital walk-ons will. An unmitigated disaster.
ON VIEW: Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace is out on general release, certificate U. 133 minutes.
OVERVIEW: Anouilh's 1941 play - a reworking of the Orpheus myth into a 1930s love story - is revived by Simon Godwin and his Straydogs company.
CRITICAL VIEW: "There is no reason why Straydogs' beautifully acted production shouldn't stand its ground amid the tainted commercialism of the West End," declared Dominic Cavendish. "Hifalutin' stuff; yet it is given a weird plausibility by a fine cast," applauded The Times. "Godwin's small-scale direction is dwarfed in the echoing wastes of the Whitehall," carped the Evening Standard.
OUR VIEW: Straydogs have made a successful transition from the fringe to the West End with a compellingly understated production.
ON VIEW: Eurydice is at the Whitehall Theatre until 14 Aug. For bookings and enquiries, call 0171-369 1735
OVERVIEW: 100 million album-selling warbler Celine Dion brings her titanic stadium set-up to the UK, performing in the round on a heart-shaped stage.
CRITICAL VIEW: "If credibility was measured in terms of volume, [Dion] has no competition. But like her predilection for spilling her guts to strangers, her singing similarly lacks subtlety," revealed Fiona Sturges. "This isn't soul music: it's lung music," cried the Daily Mail. "Her show is big on regimented precision and strangely eerie," noted The Guardian. "There is an endearing innocence to her stage manner," The Times.
OUR VIEW: Dion's show was earth-shatteringly loud but short on imagination. But when she switched on the schmaltz, the crowd lapped it up.
ON VIEW: Celine Dion's album Let's Talk About Love is out now on Epic records
A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend
A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Laughs go global as Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran bring international comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling releases new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing Celestina Warbuck, the 'Singing Sorceress'
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women