Arts feature

Life is a cabaret: Barry Humphries and Meow Meow

Barry Humphries on Trump, transgender ‘rat-baggery’ and causing maximum offence

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans talks to Barry Humphries about Brexit, transgender ‘rat-baggery’ and pre-cataclysmic art

‘Never work’: graffiti on the walls of Nanterre University, March 1968

How situationism changed history

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Luke Haines on the situationists – the avant-garde art movement that sparked off the riots and foresaw the future

Queen Victoria’s ‘State Barge’, 1866–7, by James Henry Pullen

The ‘idiot’ artists whose surreal visions flourished in Victorian asylums

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Laura Gascoigne on the ‘idiot’ artists whose surreal visions flourished in Victorian asylums

One of Britain’s first mosques, the Shah Jahan,Woking, completed in 1889 and financed by the female ruler of Bhopal

The problem with British mosques

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Britain is crying out for mosques that reflect the reality of the modern West, says Ed Husain

The reluctant frontman: Ray Davies

‘I think The Kinks could have found a better frontman’: Ray Davies interviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

At 74, Ray Davies is as sharp as ever. Michael Hann talks to him about America, angry groupies and being a reluctant frontman

The earliest aerial drawing, made from a balloon basket, by Thomas Baldwin, 1785, left, and Apollo 8’s ‘Earthrise’, right, 50 years old

How the world was turned upside down by revelation of aerial perspectives

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Adam Begley explains how the world was turned upside down by the revelation of aerial perspectives

Musically, politically and culturally, Kanye West is a true original

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Musically, politically and culturally, Kanye West is a true original. Armond White explores the work of the hip-hop maverick

Remembrance of things past: interior of the Pantheon, Oxford Street, 18th century, by William Hodges, demolished in 1937

The buildings we knocked down in the name of ‘progress’

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Oxford Street once had a Pantheon to rival the one in Rome. Daisy Dunn goes in search of London’s forgotten buildings

Roger Allam as John Christie in David Hare’s The Moderate Soprano

A champion actor and fully paid-up member of the human race: Roger Allam interviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

On stage Roger Allam has covered pretty much everything in his four decades as an actor. Off it, he is a fully paid-up member of the human race, as Michael Henderson discovers

Garden of earthly delights: horticultural apprentice Emma Love in the newly reopened Temperate House at Kew

The real stars of Kew's newly restored Temperate House

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Kew’s newly restored Temperate House is undoubtedly awe-inspiring, says Isabel Hardman, but it’s the plants that are the real stars of the show

Dancing feat: Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby rehearsing choreography for Blue Skies

A short history of tap

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Tap dancing is having a moment. Louise Levene looks back at its golden age, its African American roots and how cultural appropriation was part of its life blood

Teetering chords and incestous sex: Francesca da Rimini at La Scala

How Riccardo Chailly brought joy – and Italian opera – back to La Scala

5 May 2018 9:00 am

Riccardo Chailly has brought joy – and Italian opera – back to La Scala. But will it last? Norman Lebrecht investigates

French Phidias: Auguste Rodin in his workshop in Meudon, c.1910

How Rodin made a Parthenon above Paris

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Rodin never set foot in Athens but he made a Parthenon above Paris, says Laura Freeman

From left to right: embroidered linen jacket, 1620s; pine marten fur hat, Caroline Reboux, 1895; man’s silk waistcoat embroidered in silk with a pattern of macaque monkeys, 1780–89

This V&A show, about fashion’s fascination with the natural world, will seduce and appal

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Melanie McDonagh is seduced and appalled by a show about fashion’s fascination with the natural world

Viv Albertine, left, at Alexandra Palace, 1980; and right, today

Viv Albertine of the Slits on anger, honesty and being an arsey feminist

14 April 2018 9:00 am

Viv Albertine, formerly of the Slits, is publishing her second book – and it’s full of the honesty and anger that have marked her life. Michael Hann takes the brunt

In 1985 it was ‘the most expensive building ever built’: HSBC’s Hong Kong headquarters designed by Norman Foster

From Stansted to corporate swank: superstructuralism has a lot to answer for

7 April 2018 9:00 am

Foster and Rogers wanted to save the planet – in fact, their high-tech architecture did the opposite, says Phineas Harper

Games without frontiers: Ian Cheng’s ‘Emissaries Guide – Narrative Agents and Wildlife’ (2017)

The artist who creates digital life forms that bite & self-harm. Sam Leith meets him (and them)

24 March 2018 9:00 am

The artist Ian Cheng creates digital life forms that bite and self-harm. Sam Leith meets him (and them)

Discomfort and joy: the director Ruben Ostlund, whose films are funny but subtly savage

The subtly savage world of filmmaker Ruben Ostlund

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Ruben Ostlund’s films scrape away the veneer of liberal civility to reveal our true animal nature. Jasper Rees meets him

Cherchez la femme: ‘Reclining Nude (Femme nue couchée)’, 1932, by Pablo Picasso

Peak Picasso: how the half-man half-monster reached his creative – and carnal – zenith

10 March 2018 9:00 am

James Woodall on Picasso at his creative – and carnal – zenith

The 1958 world première of Pinter’s The Birthday Party at the Lyric Hammersmith: John Stratton as McCann, John Slater as Goldberg and Richard Pearson as Stanley

The last survivor of The Birthday Party’s 1958 première remembers the traumatic first night

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Critics love The Birthday Party now. But that wasn’t always the case, says Jasper Rees

Are cruise liners the solution to the housing crisis?

10 February 2018 9:00 am

You won’t catch her on a cruise, but an exhibition at the V&A makes Daisy Dunn wistful for the golden age of travel

A right laugh: Geoff Norcott

What's it like being one of the only right-wing comics around?

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Lloyd Evans meets Geoff Norcott, Britain’s first ‘openly Conservative’ comedian

‘Anne Cresacre’, c.1527, by Hans Holbein the Younger

A sumptuous feast of an exhibition: Charles I at the Royal Academy reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

Martin Gayford is overwhelmed by the sheer concentration of visual splendour amassed by Charles I

Conduct unbecoming: clockwise from top left, Leonard Bernstein, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Charles Dutoit and James Levine

The sex lives of conductors

20 January 2018 9:00 am

Norman Lebrecht on classical music’s dirty secret

Premier performance: Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill

Andrew Roberts’s guide to Churchill on screen

13 January 2018 9:00 am

Andrew Roberts on the challenges of playing Churchill