Surprises aplenty from I Fagiolini: Monteverdi’s other Vespers

I Fagiolini‘s very interesting programme of music by Monteverdi and his contemporaries pulls together a wide range of works, but somehow lacks an ensemble feel. These “Other Vespers” are not exclusively by Monteverdi: Robert Hollingworth has included pieces by Monteverdi’s contemporaries Bovicelli, Donati, Usper, Viadana and Gabrieli, as well as earlier bits from Monteverdi’s own corpus (such…

Seriously angry birds: Suddenly Last Summer, Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams’ view of humanity, in terms of dead-eyed, disillusioned despair, can give even Ibsen and Thomas Hardy (neither famed for their rosy-tinted outlook) a serious run for their money. Suddenly Last Summer is a horrible story, told by terrible people, about other, even more disgusting people and the revolting things they do to others…

Fascism, fun and fury: Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Dario Fo

Before the glitzy, transient landscape of Fake News, we had the sinister reign of “alternative facts.” Dario Fo’s sardonic, wisecracking black farce, performed at the Sewell Barn Theatre in Gavin Richards’ fast-paced, swearword-strewn English adaptation (as approved by Fo himself) finds three Italian policemen frantically trying to get their story right after an anarchist they…