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
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Dylan Moran on quitting smoking, being about as sexy as the Pope and why comedy panel programmes are 'c*ck shows'
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear return: Suspended host set for live event in Norway next week
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans