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Introducing Spectator Play: Audio and video for what we’ve reviewed this week

2 April 2013

Did you catch Dr Who over the weekend? Clarissa Tan, who wrote our latest TV column, was surprised that the Dr had to contend with ‘something in the wi-fi’. How’s wi-fi for a thoroughly modern enemy? Here’s the prequel to this week’s episode, The Bells of Saint John:

Clarissa also watched Rachel Johnson learning to be a Lady. It might sound like a bit of a drag, but ‘what could have turned out to be a rather prissy affair turns out to be a fun watch’. Johnson tries to master riding side-saddle, and ponders why etiquette lessons are becoming more and more popular. Here’s Johnson describing what makes a 21st century Lady:

Now to the singing aristocracy of the Deep South: Nashville singer Caitlin Rose. Peter Hoskin said that her new record was ‘a fantastic album from a fantastic gal’. You can listen to it on Spotify here:

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The secular BBC comes over all religious during Holy Week. What a pity it doesn’t do so more often. Kate Chisholm’s delightful Radio column praised a live performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion on Radio 3, in which ‘the musical intensity increases as the Easter story unfolds.’ Here’s another, equally beautiful version, this time performed by The Monteverdi Choir.

Easter is a time of love. Deborah Ross loves Danny Boyle – she’d like ‘at least two of his babies’ – but she doesn’t love Trance, his latest film. The trailer promises a ‘psychological take on the art-heist film’, with hypnotherapy weaving its way into the worlds of fine art and London’s crime scene; but here’s what Deborah made of it.

When it comes to musical theatre, Brits often come up trumps; but in recent years more and more shows have been making their way from Broadway to the West End. The latest production to cross the Pond is the much-hyped Book of Mormon. Its promotional spiel claims that it’s variously ‘The funniest musical of all time’, on a ‘march into legend’, and, well, why not take a look at the hype for yourself:

So, did Mormon live up to expectations? Over to Lloyd Evans, who reviews the production in this week’s Spectator:

‘The Book of Mormon could never live up to the accolades lavished on it by America’s critics’.

His summary:

‘The Book of Mormon isn’t a comedy. It’s a mystery. How did anyone find it entertaining?  Toothless, jokeless, plotless and pointless.’

So that’s a no, then.

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  • Will Honeycomb

    Could you put up a photo of Lloyd Evans rather than Rachel Johnson? That would be a better inducement for me. Little that Lloyd E writes fails to delight me; Rachel J is insufferable and sustained by her brother’s prominence. Fraser: Know Thy Readership!

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