Culture

Is There a Doctor in the House?

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The trauma of ER is not just medical. Mike Gonzalez gives a diagnosis.

You know before it starts that one person will die and one or two be saved, that a group of people you vaguely recognise from the bus stop will mill around in the background, that it will rain unseasonally, or snow, that Carter will agonise and Dr Green and his surgeon partner will barely hold their lives together. You know that some group of people will arrive bleeding and broken wearing Viking helmets or the togas of a gospel choir.

Representing Our Fates

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Review of 'Homebody/Kabul' by Tony Kushner, Young Vic, London

This ambitious and powerful drama is set principally in Kabul under the Taliban. In the aftermath of the 1998 American air strike ordered by President Clinton, the mullahs are in full control. The Homebody of the title has travelled in the hope of finding the ancient Afghanistan, the exotic, historic crossroads of civilisations that she has read of in books.

Women on Yop

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'The PowerBook' by Jeanette Winterson, National Theatre, London

'The PowerBook' is a brilliantly staged adaptation of Jeanette Winterson's examination of the clash between love and social convention. The play is part of the Tranformation season which is currently playing at the National Theatre. The play revolves around the fate of two women lovers, played by Saffron Burrows and Fiona Shaw. They collide on an evening in Paris. One is married, unwilling to take the risk of leaving the security of an exhausted marriage to be with her lover.

Love Story South of the River

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Review of 'Vincent in Brixton' by Nicholas Wright, Cottesloe Theatre, London

In case you didn't make the connection, 'Vincent in Brixton' is indeed about Van Gogh. But it is not about Vincent the famous painter who only decided to become an artist at the age of 27 and shot himself at the age of 37 (in 1890), but Vincent aged 21, who was transferred by a Dutch art dealer's firm to work in its London branch. He rents a room in a Brixton house with a Mrs Loyer and her daughter, and another lodger, Sam.

Themes from the Dawn of Time

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Review of 'Bacchai' by Euripides, National Theatre, London

This astonishing play by the youngest of the three great dramatists of ancient Greece is both very primitive and very modern. The story Euripides took as the basis of his play was a traditional one, well known to its audience. Pentheus, king of Thebes, disguises himself as a woman in order to witness the women-only sacred rites of the followers of the god of wine, Dionysus. Unmasked, he is torn to pieces by his own mother who in her frenzy believes she is killing a wild beast. Yet Euripides handles this traditional story in ways that are modern to his times.

Workers Take Control

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

The Arcola Theatre has established a reputation for bold and imaginative productions. Open for just over a year it occupies a disused warehouse in one of London's poorest boroughs, Hackney. Peter Gee spoke to Mehmet Ergen, the theatre's director.

Q. What made you set up the Arcola theatre in a disused factory in Hackney?

A. I was teaching in this area and was fascinated by Hackney and became aware of the lack of theatre in this area. I stumbled across this factory and converted it into a theatre within weeks and started to do plays. There were no grants--just the free labour of hard working, theatre loving people. It appeals to me that theatre can be anywhere, and a factory is a good location. We are all working in it--we are all workers. Also we don't need things to be glossy--it's the show that counts.

Mouthwatering Perspectives

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of exhibition 'Matisse Picasso' at Tate Modern, London

This exhibition has been acclaimed as 'momentous' and 'tremendous' and 'the first major exhibition of the 21st century'. For once, it is an event that lives up to the hype. The masterpieces are worth the pricey £10 entrance fee by themselves. But seeing Matisse and Picasso's works placed next to each other, seeing how they learnt from and fed off each other across the decades, is a revelation.

Much to Console

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Review of exhibition 'Game On' at the Barbican, until 15 September and transfers to the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, in October

The 'Game On' exhibition, an exploration of the culture and history of videogames, is very timely. It comes at the start of a new wave of consolidation in the games console industry. Microsoft's X-Box and Nintendo's Game Cube have just been launched in Britain, where they will be pitched against Sony's PlayStation 2.

A Mix of Old and New

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of Manchester Art Gallery, Mosely Street, Manchester

The Manchester Art Gallery has recently re-opened after a £35 million refit. The neo-classical section has now been expanded to almost twice its original size. The gallery has a number of permanent exhibitions with themed 'stories' and displays which highlight how historic and contemporary art and design has been woven into the fabric of the city. Works by LS Lowry and Adolphe Valette are complemented alongside works by artists and designers working in the city today.

Fight or Flight

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Review of 'The Invincible', director Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog's 'The Invincible' is set in 1932 in a Polish stetl (Jewish village), and Berlin just before Hitler's victory. It tells the story of Zishe Breitbart (Jouka Ahola), the son of a Jewish blacksmith with phenomenal physical strength, who is lured to Berlin with the promise of fame and fortune. There he meets Hanussen (Tim Roth), 'king of the occult', who runs a cabaret specialising in the supernatural that is popular with Nazis and wealthy Berliners, at a time when the Nazi movement is on the edge of power.

Pages