Labour Live, review: ‘There was a bigger crowd for gourmet burgers than Glen Matlock’

You could see the thinking behind Labour Live. When Jeremy Corbyn appeared on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage last summer, perpetual chants of “Ohhh Jeremy Cor-byn” echoed up past the valley’s ancient Tor as the great leader addressed the throng. “Here’s an idea,” thought someone. “Let’s receate this in North London.” Sadly ‘JezFest’ was heading for the…

Christina Aguilera, Liberation review: great voice, shame about the songs

Christina Aguilera’s new album is entitled Liberation, although it is not entirely clear from what or whom she might be seeking to escape. Editorial control, perhaps. Despite portentous orchestral interludes and a cappella links intended to suggest a work of thematic import, Liberation has no discernible centre other than Aguilera’s extraordinary voice. The album is…

Could George V have saved the Romanovs?

Review by Gareth Russell The Imperial Tea Party by Frances Welch ★★★★☆ The Race to Save the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport ★★★★★ In 1983 Kenneth Rose, on publishing his biography of George V, found himself crossed off the Queen Mother’s luncheon party invite list, a blow she dealt with the vim and vigour usually reserved for people with…

 Katy Perry review, O2 Arena: an evening of high-saturation escapism

Katy Perry’s foray into “purposeful pop” didn’t last long. In 2016, after experiencing an “awakening” triggered by Hillary Clinton’s election defeat, she set about becoming enlightened. She wore Planned Parenthood pins on-stage, paid tribute to US senator Elizabeth Warren at the Grammys, and apologised for past cultural appropriation in a live-streamed interview with activist DeRay…

The Trouble with Women with Anne Robinson, review — Robinson is the weakest link in this sprawling film

«Modern feminists, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.» This was essentially the premise of provocatively titled documentary The Trouble with Women with Anne Robinson (BBC One). Provocatively titled partly thanks to that irritating repetition of «with». Journalist and «Queen of Mean» quizmistress Robinson broke Fleet Street’s glass ceiling during the Sixties. She imagined that, half…

Britain’s Best Home Cook: the Final, review — even a twist on a Mary Berry classic couldn’t give this series that elusive magic

It takes a brave amateur to tweak one of Mary Berry’s cake recipes, then serve up the result to the “doyenne of dough” herself. Berry’s verdict? “A bit cheeky.” Yet cancer research scientist Pippa Middlehurst got away with it and went on be crowned Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC One).  After eight weeks of eliminations,…

Ocean’s 8 review: heist caper assembles the best gang imaginable, then forgets the plan

Dir: Gary Ross. Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Armitage, Elliott Gould, 12A cert, 110 mins Time’s up on all-male heist shenanigans in Ocean’s Eight, which proves that Y chromosomes in a glitzy, star-led ensemble caper are thoroughly surplus to requirements. What else does the…

World Cup 2018: Opening Ceremony, ITV, review — Robbie Williams plays ringmaster at the circus-style event

England probably won’t win the football tournament but at least a bloke from Stoke-on-Trent was the star of the curtain-raising event. Before a ball was kicked, Robbie Williams worked the crowd and crooned karaoke-style at the Fifa World Cup 2018: Opening Ceremony (ITV). Port Vale 1, Rest of the World 0. Marking the start of the 21st global…

Romeo and Juliet review, Birmingham Royal Ballet BRB, Sadler’s Wells: luxurious and intensely stirring entertainment

Classical ballet – even of the earthier, 20th-century kind – can struggle at Sadler’s Wells. The stage isn’t quite big enough to allow some of the larger ensembles and longer stories to breathe, there’s no proscenium arch to provide an elegant frame for the action, and the stark modernity of the auditorium is often at…

Travis, Royal Festival Hall: the men who can still carry the crowd 

As Britpop petered out in 1996, Glasgow’s Travis were one of its final beneficiaries, initially touring as support to Oasis circa Be Here Now. In the ensuing 12 months, the musical climate palpably changed, as Radiohead’s OK Computer, and, from America, Jeff Buckley’s Grace, shifted towards a more exploratory and emotionally complex sound-world.  With their…

Mini 1499 GT review: a sheep in wolf’s clothing

Cards on the table, the Mini 1499 GT is no longer available to order new. However, such was the demand for Mini UK’s press demonstrator that it has taken until now for us to get behind the wheel of one. Think of this as more of a nearly-new review, then, bearing in mind that being the…

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,  Donmar Warehouse, review: Lia Williams dances away from the shadow of past interpretations

Brodie’s back. Not that, in a way, Muriel Spark’s most treasured literary creation – and one of the most quotably waspish and entertainingly eccentric pedagogues in the canon – has ever quite been away. Anyone who has beheld Maggie Smith’s Oscar-winning performance in the evergreen 1969 film may well have felt a little like the…

Machinal review, Almeida: unsubtle but fascinating study of 20th-century women’s plight

Feminism is all the rage at the Almeida. Having launched his regime in 2013 with the testosterone-crazed musical American Psycho, Rupert Goold has been carving out more space for women’s voices of late. The Writer, Ella Hickson’s tricksy and truculent exploration of one modern female playwright’s battle against the pressures – and patriarchy – of…

Giulio Cesare, review: smashing revival of a gorgeous Glyndebourne classic

Despite a certain initial notoriety relating to the Britney Spears dance routines that accompany some of the arias, David McVicar’s 2005 production of Handel’s most popular opera has become a copper-bottomed Glyndebourne classic, as this smashing revival proves. Deftly balancing formal baroque tradition with free-form Broadway pizzazz, the Victorians-in-India setting is sketched through the lightest…

Countryfile Royal Special: Sandringham, review — fascinating account of why, for the Queen, the Norfolk estate is for life

The challenge facing Countryfile’s triptych of royal specials (BBC One) has been to convey the Queen’s intimate relationship with her great rural estates, and her passion for countryside living more generally, without dissolving into a puddle of obeisance.  The concluding episode, focusing on Sandringham in Norfolk, got the balance just about right. The nuggets were…

Quality Street, Pitlochry Festival Theatre — review: hilarious, ironic and knowingly modern take on the JM Barrie classic

JM Barrie’s 1901 comedy Quality Street has been somewhat neglected in his homeland of Scotland. The Scottish Theatre Archive shows no professional production of the drama since 1953. This is a strange state of affairs, as this four-act play is neatly constructed, often very funny and entirely open to modern observations on gender politics. That is certainly true of…

Take Me Out: Over 50s Special, review – it relied on interminable tawdry innuendo in place of genuine wit

“Let the golden see the years”, “let the old see the spice” and “let the meals see the wheels”. Take Me Out: Over-50s Special (ITV) was a special episode marking the dating show’s 10th anniversary. Ditching its usual demographic of squawking youngsters to dedicate this edition to over-50s was a welcome way to mark the milestone.  The 30-strong…

To See the Invisible, Aldeburgh Festival, review: oddly compelling

One may expect the Aldeburgh Festival to open with something big, something new or something upbeat, but this year the mood proved somewhat different: a rather dark-toned concert in the main hall of the Maltings, followed by a distinctly far-out one-act chamber opera in the smaller Britten Studio. The result was an interesting evening, but…

Agrippina, Grange Festival, review: a rare Handel production indeed – it actually left the audience wanting more

If you think Baroque opera is a dull business of cardboard characters wrapped in incomprehensible plots and interminable arias, the Grange Festival’s production of Agrippina could just win you round. Handel’s brilliant early opera has been judiciously cut and shrewdly directed, in a way which gives it a biting, farcical edge. At its heart is…

An Audience with The Goodies review, Leicester Square Theatre: enjoyable catch-up with the Seventies’ favourite human cartoons

“You could never do now on TV now what we did back then” says Bill Oddie towards the end of this oneoff live evening with The Goodies. “It’s all healthy and safety and risk assessment,” agrees Graeme Gardner. “Back then,” chips in Oddie, “we risked our lives!” He’s not wrong. The Goodies, three hapless wannabe…

Vanessa Kirby is Crown jewel in lacklustre Julie, National Theatre, review

Alas, poor Vanessa Kirby. So superb as Princess Margaret in gilded Netflix hit The Crown, where she has captured to Bafta-winning perfection the playfulness and pathos of a royal caught between stifling duty, Sixties London and forbidden devotion, this should have been her big moment of status-enhanced theatrical triumph. She’s a shoo-in for Strindberg’s tragic,…

Secrets of the Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury, review: too much like a corporate video? I should cocoa

‘Everyone’s a Fruit and Nut case.” “A finger of Fudge is just enough to give your kids a treat.” “Nuts! Whole hazelnuts.” “Only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate.” “And all because the lady loves…”  Cadbury’s slogans seemed to soundtrack all our yesterdays, so revisiting its vintage adverts on Secrets of the Chocolate Factory: Inside Cadbury (Channel…

When Laura Marling met a Moog – Lump, Dead Oceans, review

There is nothing lumpen about Lump. This atmospheric one-off collaboration between singer-songwriter Laura Marling and multi-instrumentalist Mike Lindsay, complimentary talents from different extremes of the British “nu-folk” scene, flows from start to finish in a cascade of words and music, following a strange, sensuous course of its own. Marling arrived in 2008 as a precociously…

How Britain Really Works by Stig Abell, review: smug and patronising, this might be the worst guide to Britain ever written

One of Stig Abell’s favourite books as a child was «something called» The Reader’s Encylopaedia, edited by «a man called» William Rose Benét, and he rather innumerately hopes that his own book, How Britain Really Works, will become «the reader’s encyclopaedia of Britain for one reader: for you, for me». It may indeed be so for him, in which case…

 Should we be worried about Lily Allen? – No Shame, review

Can you remember when pop stardom used to be a glamorous, aspirational career? On No Shame, one of the sparkiest, wittiest figures in British pop confesses to a life of meaningless sex, drug addiction, isolation, distrust, damaged relationships, failed domesticity, inadequate parenting and crippling self-doubt fuelled by a cruelly embattled relationship with a hostile media…

Beyonce and Jay-Z review, Principality Stadium, Cardiff: Power couple air their laundry — and show they’re undeniably crazy in love

Should anyone have doubted the veracity of the well-publicised infidelity at the heart of Jay Z and Beyonce’s marriage, the hip-hop mogul and pop star wasted little time in setting them right. “THIS. IS. REAL. LIFE” flashed across Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on the opening night of their On The Run II Tour. Here, America’s unofficial…

Lionel Richie review, Hampton Court Palace Festival: the veteran showman still gets everyone dancing on the ceiling

“I haven’t seen dancing like that since 1976,” Lionel Richie told a fan giving it his all as the pop titan performed to an adoring audience on Tuesday night.  Opening the Hampton Court Palace Festival, a series of open-air summer concerts set in the spectacular 3,000-seater Tudor courtyard, the 68-year old Richie also held nothing back as…

The Strange Death of John Doe review, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs: sensitive retelling of a very modern tragedy 

I grew up to the enervating roar of planes making their final descent towards Heathrow over East Sheen, a relatively affluent but anonymous south-west London suburb. What I hadn’t registered, before seeing Fiona Doyle’s new play, was a local incident that puts the hardship of noise pollution into stark, shaming relief.  In September 2012, a…

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom review: Hollywood finds a way to make dinosaurs boring

Dir: J A Bayona; Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Ted Levine, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, James Cromwell, Jeff Goldblum. 12A cert, 128 mins. Exactly why would anyone visit a dinosaur-infested island for a fifth time, when all four previous excursions had ended in limb-gobbling pandemonium? Well, when a hit-and-hope franchise revival…

Our Girl, review: too mired in cliché to be a realistic military drama

In the five years since Our Girl was first broadcast its original frame – naïve girl runs off to join the Army, like Private Benjamin but without the jokes – has been more or less completely dismantled. They’ve changed the lead character (Lacey Turner’s Molly Dawes was replaced by Michelle Keegan’s Georgie Lane in series two); they’ve changed the setting…

The Mars Room proves Rachel Kushner is one of America’s greatest living authors – review

Rachel Kushner once described her mentor Don DeLillo‘s labyrinthine, 827-page novel Underworld as a book of «hell-bent ambition». It’s an appraisal that could be applied to Kushner, too. With each novel, she leaps forward a few decades. Her captivating debut, Telex from Cuba (2008), depicted the island in the Fifties, teetering on the brink of revolution; a tropical «loser’s…

Summer Exhibition, review, RA — weirdly life-enhancing

As you enter the Academy’s imposing central rotunda, you find a gigantic cloth sculpture by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos hanging over you, like some jewelled and fringed velvet candelabra without lights. If it’s pretty hideous, it certainly makes an impact. Surrounding it are an array of quirky paintings, many by unknown artists, from Michael Alan-Kidd’s…

Bobby Robson: More Than A Manager review: tough, fair, and inspirational – just like the man himself

Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho (who Robson pretty much invented by promoting him from young interpreter to trusted right-hand man) queue up to explain how he shaped their managerial careers. It’s all handsomely shot, classily told and subtly soundtracked, with the weighty, well-paced feel of an HBO or Netflix biopic, rather than your…

Prized Possessions: Dutch Masterpieces, review, Holburne Museum — a glittering snapshot of the National Trust’s collection

There are over 12,000 paintings scattered throughout the National Trust’s many properties. That’s more than four times as many as owned by the National Gallery and nearly double the size of the Royal Collection. But this remarkable horde, which includes major works by Titian, Velazquez, Van Dyck, Reynolds and Gainsborough, is, as the Trust’s chief curator David Taylor points out,…

Versailles series three opens with more sex and more intrigue but it is still as cold and uninvolving as ever: episode one, review

You wait ages for a long-haired, rippling-chested historical hero and then two come along at once. Ahead of Poldark shirtless scything and clifftop galloping his way back into our lives, Franco-Canadian production Versailles (BBC Two) returned for its third and thankfully final series. As the raunchy royal romp recommenced, Louis XIV (George Blagden) was celebrating France’s…

Killer Joe review, Trafalgar Studios: Orlando Bloom bares all in this shallow portrait of America’s underclass

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Bill Clinton’s first novel The President is Missing, review: ‘More Jack Bauer than John Le Carré’

A maverick Commander-In-Chief, facing down impeachment charges and a baying media, puts his Presidency on the line to save humanity from impending disaster. Reading the President Is Missing, a high-octane collaboration between ex-Oval Office custodian Bill Clinton and bestseller conveyor belt James Patterson, it’s hard not to leap to the conclusion that the authors may…

Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One review, Tate Britain: a remarkable collection of works that will haunt you for ever 

It begins not with an artwork but with a helmet. Three helmets, to be precise: rusted, dented, shattered sheets of metal that can’t have offered much protection to the wretches wearing them on the Western Front. These are the first objects we encounter in Tate Britain’s stunning and unforgettable new exhibition, Aftermath, which marks the…

Britain’s Got Talent, the final: A worthy winner crowned as royal wedding Bishop Michael Curry gives his blessing

The variety contest’s 12th series climaxed with comedians dominating, Royal Wedding tributes and a worthy winner. Here are the 10 talking points from the grand final… Lost Voice Guy’s triumph made for a feelgood finale Comedian Lee Ridley, a 37-year-old from Newcastle upon Tyne (cue blatant favouritism from Geordie host Declan Donnelly), took to the…

A Very English Scandal, episode 3, review: Hugh Grant completes transformation from romantic lead to hypocritical rotter in finale of the Jeremy Thorpe affair

A Very English Scandal (BBC One) began as a knockabout farce and, even after unlucky pet dog Rinka was executed, it never quite stopped being one. The circumstances of the case certainly helped. What joy that one suspect shared a name with the actor who played Sergeant Wilson in Dad’s Army. And that Norman Scott’s…

Countryfile Royal Special: Balmoral, review — a fine account of why everything the Queen touches turns to gold

Sometimes presenters take genuflexion before royalty just slightly too far. On Countryfile (BBC One) Matt Baker visited a bothy in Balmoral. “I feel incredibly privileged to be sat,” he pronounced, “in front of what is officially the queen of all barbecues.” It was more like the duke of all barbecues, being built to a design…

Arctic Monkeys review, Primavera Sound – despite their disparate material, this was a blistering, cohesive set

Fans need not worry. Headlining Barcelona’s sun-soaked Primavera Sound festival on Saturday night, the quartet delivered a 20-track set that was surprisingly cohesive, weaving together their disparate material into one pleasing whole. Guitars snaked and rasped; drums thundered; and Turner’s voice glided seamlessly between falsetto and a baritone croon that recalled fellow Yorkshireman Jarvis Cocker….

Ham, London NW6, restaurant review: a by-the-book Brit brasserie

Courgettes came in a sort-of risotto with toothsome barley kernels, tomato and tapenade, which all played nicely together but tended to gang up on a timid scattering of shiso; chicken with Jersey Royals (just the two of them, as if we were living through some post-apocalyptic catastrophe of root vegetable cultivation, a Spud Event Horizon…

Britain’s Got Talent, semi final 5: stuffed with potential stars, the show finally finds its form ahead of the final

It was onwards and upwards for singing funnyman Micky P Kerr, who charmed his way into Sunday’s Britain’s Got Talent grand final with a ditty about Andy Murray’s mum. Likewise pole-vaulting into the decider were Vietnam’s Giang Brothers, who finished second despite briefly looking as if they were about to topple into Alesha Dixon during…

Mr White’s English Chop House, London E1, restaurant review: ‘not so much MPW-branded as MPW-themed’

It has been the best part of three decades since Marco Pierre White’s porny gastrotome White Heat brought the former che(n)fant terrible™ to an audience far wider than the clientele of his ­Eighties Wandsworth restaurant, Harvey’s.  However, nobody remembers those 30 years. It’s the grainy monochrome images of the louche, sweaty, long-haired, pouting, fag-toting, cleaver-wielder that…

A hugely distinguished farewell from Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic, plus the best of June’s classical concerts

We review the best classical concerts of the month Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle, Royal Festival Hall  ★★★★☆ At their first of their two farewell concerts in London, the Berlin Philharmonic/Simon Rattle partnership gave us a dose of musical modernism in its most aurally seductive guise, followed reassuringly by a performance of a Germanic masterpiece. The second followed…

Milkman by Anna Burns, review: a viciously funny take on the troubles

This is not exactly Belfast. The «renouncers» here aren’t exactly the IRA, the «defenders» aren’t exactly the Army. Yes, it’s the Seventies, and we’re in a «hair-trigger society» of bomb scares, hijackings, talk of «our community» and «their community», electrified signals «of murals, of traditions, of newspapers, of anthems», right up to the spectre of…

Poetry book of the month: All Under One Roof by Evelyn Schlag

When London first hosted the Olympics, in 1948, alongside boxing and canoeing there was also competitive poetry. By 2012 there were no medals for literature, but a fringe event called Poetry Parnassus invited poets from every Olympic nation to read in London. In a spirit of woolly equality there were no prizes on offer, but if there were,…

Ismael’s Ghosts review: Arnaud Desplechin’s noodly crypto-farce is a mad art-cinema clip reel

Dir: Arnaud Desplechin, Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel, Alba Rohrwacher, László Szabó, Hippolyte Girardot. 15 cert, 135 mins. Ivan Dedalus is the name on everyone’s lips at the start of the new film from Arnaud Desplechin. A narcoleptic secret agent played by Louis Garrel, his forename is pronounced Ee-van, which makes…

Book Club review: smutty over-60s Sex And The City should have stayed on the page

Dir: Bill Holderman. Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn, Alicia Silverstone. 12A cert, 104 mins The four formidable actresses in Book Club – Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen – certainly know their way around a library. In screen adaptations…

Candide review, Iford Arts: a banquet of delights

Aside from prolixity, I can’t fault Clarke’s absolutely super staging. By dint of resourceful theatrical imagination he has managed to produce a witty, lavishly costumed spectacle on a shoe-string, and although the overall length may be wearisome, each of the 23 individual episodes is immaculately paced and sharply characterised, with due weight given to the…

Britain’s Got Talent, semi final 3: Comedian cuts close to the funny bone — and is Dec overcompensating?

Quirky comedian Robert White is laughing all the way to Sunday’s Britain’s Got Talent grand decider after seeing off two Golden Buzzer nominees in a tense third semi-final. He charmed and shocked the judges with his innuendo-packed ditties and clearly impressed voters at home too. Joining him at the weekend will be Amanda Holden’s Golden…

The Big Crash Diet Experiment, review – a useful solution to all those tubby telly clichés

On TV right now, fat is the new thin. Broadcasters, especially the public-minded/do-gooding BBC (delete according to taste), can’t air enough programmes about “the obesity epidemic™”. All of them invariably involve “a groundbreaking experiment” and “leading experts”. Stir in some scene-setting shots of wobbly tummies, straining tape measures and overloaded bathroom scales. Garnish with close-ups…

Tartuffe review, Theatre Royal Haymarket: Sacré blue! Ce bilingual Tartuffe ne works pas

Tartuffe, the time-honoured (in its day controversial) 1664 comedy about religious charlatanism and hypocrisy, can leave you weeping with laughter – witness Tom Hollander’s memorably impish imposter at the Almeida in 1996. This frankly maladroit project, however – boasting an Anglo-French cast, flipping between the two languages and throwing mean, moody Peaky Blinders star Paul…

Britain’s Got Talent, semi-final 2 : Essential viewing — albeit not entirely for the right reasons

Stage invaders, celebrity surprises and shock results. Here are all the talking points from the second live semi-final… Stage invader continued show’s week of woe It’s not working out terribly well for the variety contest at its new home of Hammersmith Apollo. Following last night’s thunderstorm-related loss of transmission for almost 15 primetime minutes, tonight…

Britain’s Got Talent, semi-final 1: A technical fault, Dec without Ant, and a worthy winner of the public vote

There were technical disasters at the talent contest’s new home of Hammersmith Apollo. Here are all the talking points from the first live semi-final… Ad break after technical fault took the biscuit ”We’re sorry for the disruption”. Viewers were left staring at this on-screen caption for more than 10 minutes when the show dramatically went off-air…

Patrick Melrose, episode 3 review: a frothy game of existential Cluedo

The first two episodes of Patrick Melrose (Sky Atlantic) have been dizzying high-wire feats – almost exhausting in their fabulousness. So it came as a surprise and a relief that part three of the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s quasi-memoirs played out as a more-or-less straightforward comedy of manners. Too much pirouetting and the…

Shirleymander review, Playground Theatre,  London W10: memorable encounter with a dubious force of nature

Anthony Biggs’s production sets the political sleaze to a deliciously retro soundtrack (Madness! Bucks Fizz! Soft Cell!), with all the players trapped inside Gregor Donnelly’s neon-lit set which lies somewhere between a Rubik’s Cube and the Blankety Blank studio. Intermittent projections show newspaper clippings from the time. Evans has clearly done his research, and the…

Zama review: an absurd, ruthlessly funny take on empire

Dir: Lucrecia Martel. Cast: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín, Nahuel Cano, Mariana Nunes. 15 cert, 115 mins It’s been a decade or so since we last heard from Lucrecia Martel, the single most acclaimed filmmaker of Argentina’s New Wave, and a maker of taxing, sly, formally adventurous cinema not quite like anyone else’s….

Peter Pan review, Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park: return of a production that really soars

The devil is the detail. Designers Jon Bausor (set), Jon Morrell (costumes) and Rachael Canning (puppetry) ensure that whether it’s mermaids with gas-masks for faces, a Neverland replete with poppies or a tin helmet sitting snugly atop the chimney of Wendy’s ad-hoc fashioned house, the ecstasy of archaic play-fighting foreshadows the agony of real warfare….

Detroit: Become Human review | A tense and intriguing android yarn with a startling lack of subtlety 

For better or worse, French developer Quantic Dream has forged quite the reputation for its lavish interactive dramas. Often bold, always technically stunning but just as often tone-deaf and heavy-handed. With the controversy over a domestic abuse-themed demo for latest opus Detroit: Become Human still fresh in the mind, it is reasonable to doubt that…

Humans, series three, episode two review: Thoughtful science fiction with plenty of heart and drama

We’re “soft-brains”, apparently. That’s what the synthetic robots in Humans Channel 4) called, well, actual humans. Charming. We built them, gave them consciousness and this is the thanks we get. The second episode of the hit sci-fi drama’s latest run saw distrust growing between people and “synths”. Following a police raid at the Rail Yard –…

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