Arts

Painting with light: a Polaroid shot on vintage film by photographer Alex Cad

The magic of Polaroid – and how I rescued it from oblivion

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Florian Kaps celebrates the magic of Polaroid – and describes how he rescued it from oblivion

Greece is the word: Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata in ‘Chi-Raq’

A tragicomic lecture about deadly penis extensions: Chi-Raq reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

The bizarro concept of a ‘President-elect Trump’ came to pass despite the wishes, clearly stated on the stump, of the…

Endlessly watchable: Mark Rylance as Ron in ‘Nice Fish’

An undemanding and underwritten frivolity: Nice Fish at the Harold Pinter Theatre reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

An ice floe. Two anglers. Months to kill. That’s the premise of Nice Fish by Mark Rylance and Louis Jenkins.…

Priscilla Presley introduces Elvis (Photo: Getty)

Elvis would have loved it: Elvis in Concert at the O2

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Elvis Aron Presley departed this world on 16 August, 1977. Even if you delight in conspiracy theories and believe the…

Robert Leonard's 1949 film In the Good Old Summertime (Photo: Getty)

Chilly noirs, kinky Cluedo & John Wayne as a gun-toting Wise Man: an alternative Xmas film canon

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Comfort and joy. That’s what the song talks about, and that’s what the classic Christmas movies deliver. Whether it’s Die…

‘Bed’, 1955, by Robert Rauschenberg

The first half is essential – the second much less so: Tate's Robert Rauschenberg reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Robert Rauschenberg, like Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, was a ‘snapper-up of unconsidered trifles’. Unlike Shakespeare’s character, however, he made…

Les Coutes d'Hoffman (Photo: Catherine Ashmore)

A noble flop: Royal Opera's Les Contes d'Hoffmann reviewed

3 December 2016 9:00 am

As the dreaded season of goodwill approaches, the Royal Opera has mounted two revivals of pieces that are interestingly contrasted:…

The Missing

Would BBC1’s The Missing blow it in the concluding episode – like so many thrillers before it

3 December 2016 9:00 am

BBC1’s The Missing has been one of the undoubted TV highlights of 2016. Yet, even thrillers as overwhelmingly thrilling as…

Will Self (Photo: Getty)

What drives the yearning for the return of the ghastly GDR?

3 December 2016 9:00 am

‘We’re going to get lots of negative attention from environmentalists,’ he cackled, great puffs of blue-grey smoke emerging from the…

Drama queen: Claire Foy as Elizabeth and Matt Smith as Prince Philip in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’

Is it curtains for BBC drama?

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Power is ebbing from the once-mighty BBC drama department to the likes of Netflix. But is it terminal? Neil Armstrong has the inside story

The greatest laurels belong to the kids in ‘School of Rock’

I'm not sure I've seen a more powerful finale: School of Rock reviewed

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Who could resist School of Rock? For me it was a chance to see a heavy-metal musical written by the…

‘Scenes of the Private and Public Life of the Animals’, 1842, by J.J. Grandville

An entertaining show at Marian Goodman Gallery – where the joke’s on us

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Ernest Hemingway loved going to the zoo, but not on Sundays. The reason, he explained, was that, ‘I don’t like…

Phill Jupitus (Photo: Getty)

Why boredom is good for us

26 November 2016 9:00 am

When did you last experience a boring Sunday afternoon? If you’re over 16, probably not since you were last 16…

All at sea: Rachel Kelly as Donna Elvira and Henk Neven as Don Giovanni in Northern Ireland Opera’s ‘Don Giovanni’

Oliver Mears’s limp Don Giovanni doesn’t bode well for the Royal Opera

26 November 2016 9:00 am

The last ten minutes of any Don Giovanni tell you more about a director than the previous two hours. Mozart’s…

EOB_8044.NEF

I was so looking forward to The Grand Tour but it’s not there yet

26 November 2016 9:00 am

Apart from the next Game of Thrones, there’s nothing I’ve been looking forward to quite as much as The Grand…

Forbidden love: Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams and David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama

Such courage, bravery and love – if only we could feel it: A United Kingdom reviewed

26 November 2016 9:00 am

A United Kingdom is based on the greatest love story you probably didn’t have a clue about. I know I…

The Elephant House at London Zoo, designed in 1964 by Casson Conder Partnership

Want to understand your animal side? Head to the Wellcome Collection

19 November 2016 9:00 am

We’ll do anything to forget we are animals. Charles Foster hails a forthcoming exhibition that makes us face up to reality

‘Study of Two Blossoming Branches of Almond Trees’, early February 1890, Saint-Rémy

Is this newly discovered Van Gogh sketchbook real?

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Vincent van Gogh spent a remarkably short span of time in the southern French town of Arles. The interval between…

The white stuff: drawing showing sections of the stucco interiors at 20 Portman Square, c.1775, by Robert Adam

Three cheers for stucco – which The Spectator once called 'immoral'

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Whenever the words ‘stucco house’ appear in the newspapers, you can be certain the occupiers have been up to no…

‘Shelter Scenes, Tilbury’ by Edward Ardizzone

Edward Ardizzone – the English Daumier

19 November 2016 9:00 am

It’s funny, isn’t it, how a dust jacket on a book can draw you to it from the other end…

What you see is what you get: ‘Self-Portrait’ by Brigid Berlin

The wayward deb and Warhol groupie who invented the selfie

19 November 2016 9:00 am

It took a while for Brigid and I to get to know each other, not to mention like each other.…

Intimations of perplexity: Joanna Dudley in ‘Lulu’ at ENO

A work of enormous allure – and repulsiveness: ENO's Lulu reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

I wonder why ENO has invested in a new production of Berg’s Lulu, when the previous one, which we first…

Ade Edmondson at the Soho Theatre (Photo: Jane Hobson)

A treat to hum along to but don't ask me what it's about: Bowie's Lazarus reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

One of David Bowie’s last works, Lazarus, is a musical based on Walter Tevis’s novel The Man Who Fell to…

cinema

Bristles with sexual energy, emotional richness and, yes, indignation: Indignation reviewed

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Indignation is an adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2008 novel and amazingly, for an adaptation of a Philip Roth novel —…

Priceless sheet of the Penny Black (Photo: Getty)

Stanley Gibbons – the womanising stamp-collector

19 November 2016 9:00 am

If I tell you that on Monday there was an hour-long documentary about the history of stamp-collecting, then you probably…