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Spectator Play: what’s worth – or not worth – watching, listening to or going to this weekend

3 May 2013

6:38 PM

3 May 2013

6:38 PM

I’m So Excited is the latest offering from Pedro Almodóvar who, Deborah Ross says, she would usually love. But is I’m So Excited quite so, well, exciting? The trailer, which promises singing gay flight attendants, The Pointer Sisters, and plenty of booze, is below. And Deborah’s verdict? You can read it for yourself here.

Do you have a favourite opera? In this week’s Spectator, Simon Courtauld declares his love for Verdi’s Don Carlos. It’s not about the structure, or the production, or all the little things that opera critics often criticise, he argues, but more about ‘the glorious music and the drama of the royal court in 16th century Spain. The seventh set of performances of Nicholas Hytner’s production (which Courtauld describes as ‘a treat’) returns to the Royal Opera House this weekend, and here’s the trailer they produced for it:

From one classical music form to another; Michael Henderson has interviewed the English classical pianist Paul Lewis who, he states, must have a bit of a lonely time of it all, being one of very few English pianists. It’s all very well being a classical pianist if you’re from Minsk, but if you’re from Merseyside, the odds of making it are somewhat diminished. Somehow, though, Lewis has managed it very successfully indeed, as Michael discovers. If you haven’t heard his work before, here’s his 2011 version of Schubert’s Schwanengesang, which he recorded with the tenor Mark Padmore.

Is gender-specific radio the way forward? It might seem odd, but Radio 5 Live seem to think so, as they’ve just begun a new series of Men’s Hour, their counter to Radio 4’s popular Woman’s Hour.  The programmes are all very interesting, says Kate Chisholm in her radio review this week; but are they any better for being single-sex? Kate has her own opinion, which you can read here; and here’s a clip from a recent edition of Woman’s Hour.

Ben Elton is back, with a new sitcom called The Wright Way. James Delingpole only managed to get through five minutes of it, but he made some strong impressions of it in those five minutes. What he did enjoy, on the other hand, is Rupert Murdoch: Battle With Britain. Apparently, even some BBC employees and Guardian journalists think than rather than being a terrible influence on the British media, Murdoch’s a bit of a hero. Who’d have thought it? Not James Delingpole, that’s for sure.

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