Arts

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Ahead of their time

30 October 2010 12:00 am

‘Museum decides against building new extension’ is not the stuff of newspaper headlines, so most of you will be unaware that the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff has been creating a distinct museum of art on the top floor of its existing Edwardian building. A few weeks ago, the Welsh museum relaunched its Impressionist and Modern galleries after an imaginative paint job and a rehang, and next year it will open a new suite of contemporary galleries in its former archaeology wing. For £6.5 million — £1 million from the Welsh Assembly government — it will have bought itself 40 per cent more space (comparing favourably with another national museum currently poised to pour £50 million of Department of Culture, Media and Sport money into a hole in the ground in Bankside). But the National Museum Cardiff can afford to economise. It doesn’t need flash architecture to attract attention; its collections are attraction enough.

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Interview – Tomas Alfredson: outside the frame

23 October 2010 12:00 am

Without warning, Tomas Alfredson jumps up and starts wading about the room like a water bird treading over lily pads.

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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.

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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.

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Mrs Gaskell’s bicentenary: Knutsford’s Amazons

16 October 2010 12:00 am

On the southern edge of Manchester, a few miles from the airport, there is a commuter town where the Victorian novel remains very much alive.

Opera Perfect performance Michael Tanner

16 October 2010 12:00 am

Promised EndLinbury Studio, in rep until 16 NovemberRadamistoEnglish National Opera, in rep until 4 November‘There is perhaps no play which keeps the attention so strongly fixed; which so much agitates our passions and interests our curiosity.

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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.

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Short and sweet

9 October 2010 12:00 am

Who’s my favourite stage actress? Since you ask, Olivia Williams in Shakespeare and Nancy Carroll in anything.

Arts debate: ‘Brutal and vulgar’

9 October 2010 12:00 am

From the start, the combatively worded motion — ‘Time for the arts to stand on its own two feet and stop sponging off the tax-payer’ — came under attack in the Spectator arts debate at Church House last month.

Enough is enough

9 October 2010 12:00 am

Really? This was necessary? Why? What’s the point? OK, I suppose revisiting Wall Street all these years later is timely, given the banking crisis and resultant global meltdown.

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A place to dream

9 October 2010 12:00 am

As regular readers of this column will know, I am not an admirer of large exhibitions.