Arts

‘The Four Elements’, before 1937, by Adolf Ziegler, which hung above Hitler’s fireplace

Was Nazi art really that bad?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Bad men and bad politics don’t necessarily equal bad art. So perhaps it’s time to reassess Hitler’s taste in painting, says William Cook

Paul Ritter and Rufus Sewell in Art, The Old Vic (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

A three-hour bum-number by a German gas bag: Schiller’s Mary Stuart at the Almeida reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

God, what a dusty old chatterbox Schiller is. Like Bernard Shaw, he can’t put a character on stage without churning…

The Dolly Mixtures from Huddersfield in Our Dancing Town

‘Blimey! How did they think of that?’ said no one about BBC2’s Our Dancing Town

14 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Blimey! How on earth did they think of that?’ is unlikely to be anyone’s response to Our Dancing Town (BBC2,…

The Red Shoes (Photo: Johan Persson)

Too much redemption, not enough damnation: Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

From a film about ballet to a ballet about film. In reworking the 1948 Powell and Pressburger classic The Red…

Woman in blue nurse clothes sitting on the floor

Sometimes allowing someone to die is in the patient’s best interest

14 January 2017 9:00 am

All that’s needed for Radio 4’s One to One series (Tuesdays) to succeed is a sharp-eyed interviewer, ready with the…

‘Spiral Motif in Green, Violet, Blue and Gold: The Coast of the Inland Sea’, 1950, by Victor Pasmore

Who was the real Victor Pasmore?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Victor Pasmore once told me how he greeted Pablo Picasso at Victoria station. The great man had come to Britain…

Let’s dance: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in ‘La La Land’

Even with caveats it is still more wonderful than almost anything else: La La Land reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

You will have registered the buzz surrounding La La Land and clocked its seven Golden Globe wins and 11 Bafta…

Rackham frontispiece: ‘Hey! Up the chimney, Lass! Hey after you!’, from ‘The Ingoldsby Legends, or Mirth & Marvels’

Disney, Biba, Laura Ashley, Tim Burton – all owe a debt to the great Arthur Rackham

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Laura Freeman celebrates the riotous imagination of tidy, thrifty, cautious Arthur Rackham

‘Salvador Dalí, New York’, 1947, by Irving Penn

A great ad for the optical benefits of rehab: the Elton John Collection reviewed

7 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Radical’ is like ‘creative’, a word that has been enfeebled to the point of meaninglessness. Everybody seems to want to…

Der Rosenkavalier

Has the subtlety of a howitzer: Royal Opera’s Der Rosenkavalier reviewed

7 January 2017 9:00 am

In Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March, the ageing Emperor Franz Joseph regrets the drab field-grey that has replaced his army’s…

Say a little prayer: Liam Neeson as Father Ferreira in ‘Silence’

So long and repetitive, I had a nap: Silence reviewed

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Silence is Martin Scorsese’s film about Jesuit priests in 17th-century Japan whose faith is sorely tested, just as your patience…

Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Sherlock

BBC1’s Sherlock is peak Remain

7 January 2017 9:00 am

One of the few intelligent responses from the liberal-left to our radically altered political landscape was an essay published last…

Global internet telecommunication concept, 3d globe, satellite orbits

Global radio is now available at the swipe of a fingernail – yet it all sounds the same

7 January 2017 9:00 am

A new website, radio.garden, lets us browse radio stations across the globe. Nothing new about that. That’s been a key…

Kate Duchêne as Juliana, Kyle Soller as Tesman, Ruth Wilson as Hedda, Rafe Spall as Brack and Sinead Matthews as Mrs Elvsted in ‘Hedda Gabler’

Scarcely worth discussing this daft old muddle: Hedda Gabler at the Lyttelton reviewed

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Hedda Gabler is one of the most influential plays ever written. It not merely illuminated an injustice, the enslavement of…

‘Bolshevik’, 1920, by Boris Mikhailovich Kustodiev

The USSR, USA, David Hockney and plywood: Martin Gayford on the visual treats of 2017

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford looks forward to two big Russian shows coming to London next year – and to other visual treats on offer in 2017

Yew and me: Lewis MacDougall, as Conor, and the tree monster

All bark and no bite: A Monster Calls reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

A Monster Calls is a fantasy drama about a young boy whose life is crap, basically. His mother is sick.…

"Classic FM overturned its daily schedule in the run-up to Christmas to stage an all-Mozart day with nothing but the virtuoso’s works for 24 hours"

Digital is taking away one of the treasured aspects of radio: its serendipity

31 December 2016 9:00 am

It’s been a turbulent year, and not just in the outside world. Inside radio, digital is changing not just when…

The Entire Universe, BBC2

Unprecedentedly odd: BBC1’s The Entire Universe reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

As you’ve probably noticed, TV critics spend a lot of their time trying to identify which other programmes the one…

Alice (Barbara Hannigan) throttles the Red Queen (Allison Cook) as the White Queen (Hilary Summers) looks on. Image: Mark Allan

Nonsense squared: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Gerald Barry loved playing organ for Protestants as they allowed him a lie in. Then they found out he wasn’t…

Madeleine Worrall as Wendy in the Olivier’s post-truth ‘Peter Pan’

For those who want to gawp at the underclass from a safe distance: Buried Child reviewed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Buried Child is a typical Sam Shepard play. The main character, Dodge, is a brain-damaged alcoholic cripple stuck in a…

Left: Maíno, 1612–14: ‘The Adoration of the Kings’ Right: ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’

O come, let us adore this little-known Spanish painter

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is dazzled by two Adorations by a little-known Spanish painter

Soldiers on the Western Front celebrating Christmas Day in a shell hole partly occupied by the grave of a comrade

The muddy, bloody origins of a treasured Christmas Eve ritual

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Alexandra Coghlan reveals the muddy, bloody origins of a treasured Christmas Eve ritual

Trump l’oeil: the atrium of Trump Towers

Donald Trump's interiors: make America crass again

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Donald Trump’s taste is as revealing of the man as any of his outbursts, says Stephen Bayley

muisc

A surprising number of great composers were fond of the bottle – but can you hear it?

10 December 2016 9:00 am

‘Brahms and Liszt’ is a lovely bit of rhyming slang, but it doesn’t have the ring of authenticity. Can you…

John Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, 1972

Scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder: the many faces of my father Johnny Cash

10 December 2016 9:00 am

John Carter Cash reflects on the many faces of Johnny Cash: scholar, entertainer, poet, hoarder