Arts review

Education in horror

30 October 2010 12:00 am

When my brother and I were teenagers growing up in the arse end of nowheresville — Bromsgrove to its friend — we were mainly looked after by Nanny VHS.

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Northern lights

30 October 2010 12:00 am

It’s been too long since I saw The Merry Widow. I have been thinking that for some time, and the superb new production of it by Opera North only made me feel that we should be able to go to more performances of it than we get a chance to. It has been newly and wittily translated by Kit Hesketh-Harvey, and the production is in the safe hands of Giles Havergal, with set and costume designs by Leslie Travers.

Family at war

30 October 2010 12:00 am

I couldn’t wait for this one. Nina Raine’s debut play Rabbit was a blast. With exquisite scalpel-work she dissected the romantic entanglements of a quartet of posh young professionals. Her new effort, Tribes, opens on similar terrain. A family of bourgeois Londoners are seated around the dinner table punishing each other with rhetorical flick-knives. Dad and Mum are writers. Ruth is a jobless soprano. Dan is wasting his youth smoking skunk and writing an impenetrable thesis on linguistics.

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Stiff competition

30 October 2010 12:00 am

So, a funny thing happened on the way home from the screening: I bumped into Paul Whitehouse, who has a cameo in Burke and Hare, and congratulated him on an extremely convincing tumble he takes down two flights of stairs (it hits just the right note, somewhere between the pantomime and The Exorcist).

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UnEnglish triumph

30 October 2010 12:00 am

Sometimes an exhibition does what it says on the tin. The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy, the Ashmolean’s first major show post-revamp, is such an exhibition.

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Picasso by Picasso

30 October 2010 12:00 am

In an upstairs room in an unfrequented corner of Zurich’s Kunsthaus, there is a portrait of one of the unsung heroes of modern art.

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Illustration: The laws of shadows

30 October 2010 12:00 am

In May 1904 a young artist called James McBryde wrote excitedly to his great friend M.R. James. ‘I don’t think I have ever done anything I liked better than illustrating your stories. To begin with I sat down and learned advanced perspective and the laws of shadows...’

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Silent witness

30 October 2010 12:00 am

Andrew Lambirth meets Leon Kossoff, an artist of few words who prefers to let his work speak for itself

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United Nations

23 October 2010 12:00 am

There have been the usual moans about the BBC spending £100,000 on coverage of the Chilean miners.

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Revolting listeners

23 October 2010 12:00 am

A rare but threatened species, in dire need of a campaign to save it from extinction, could be heard on Saturday night.

Postmodern spirit

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Once upon a time, in America, a group of dancers and performance artists gathered in the Judson Church Theater and challenged long-held artistic tenets.

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Greek myth

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Thank God for the critics.

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Gang of four

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Red is not a very good film and neither does it try to be.

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Venetian Visions

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Andrew Lambirth finds the National Gallery’s new exhibition on Canaletto and his contemporaries both illuminating and enjoyable

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Eastern promise

20 October 2010 12:00 pm

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra is like a teenage athlete just about to hit peak form. This could be one of the great orchestras of the 21st century.

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French foray

16 October 2010 12:00 am

One surefire sign of maturity is the acceptance that you have friends who are more talented than you are.

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Back to basics

16 October 2010 12:00 am

One of the few professional stand-up comics I’ve met who wasn’t bitter, twisted, malign, graceless, grumpy, chippy, egomaniacal and slightly to the left of Stalin is Mark Billingham.

Women of substance

16 October 2010 12:00 am

Jude Kelly missed a trick when she set off in search of that very British creation, the battleaxe, for this week’s Archive on 4.

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Bourgeois frippery

16 October 2010 12:00 am

Regime change at Hampstead Theatre. The era of special measures is over and Ed Hall, son of Sir Peter, has taken charge. Hall’s debut show is daring in its complete lack of audacity.

Body language

16 October 2010 12:00 am

The Dance Umbrella season has always been a unique window on international choreography, as well as a great platform for national talent.

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Nice work, Zuck!

16 October 2010 12:00 am

The Social Network is a brilliantly entertaining and fascinating film about a subject in which I have absolutely no interest: Facebook.

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Taking to the skies

16 October 2010 12:00 am

In the first retrospective of his work for nearly 40 years, Peter Lanyon (1918–64) is given the kind of recognition long his due.