Arts

Why are Haydn’s operas so lousy? La fedelta premiata reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

There’s a book about musicals that every opera lover should read. Not Since Carrie by Ken Mandelbaum is a history…

The man who built Britain’s first skyscraper

16 November 2019 9:00 am

In 2011 Britain’s first skyscraper was finally given Grade I listing. The citation for 55 Broadway — the Gotham City-ish…

Patronising, clichéd and corny: BBC1’s Gold Digger reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Some last taboos, it seems, can remain last taboos no matter how frequently they’re confronted. Grief, the menopause, masturbation, mental…

The Polish electronic music revolution of the 1950s

16 November 2019 9:00 am

It was created in November 1957, a year before the BBC’s fabled Radiophonic Workshop, and was far more influential in…

Detailed and devastating: Marriage Story reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is a drama about the breakdown of a marriage and it is, at times, devastatingly painful.…

The script’s a dud: Antipodes at the Dorfman Theatre reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

The Antipodes, by the acclaimed dramatist Annie Baker, is set in a Hollywood writers’ room. Seven hired scribblers are brainstorming…

Unsettlingly faithful to the spirit of Schiele: Staging Schiele reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Come up and see my Schieles.’ Those were the words that ended a friend’s fledgling relationship with an art collector.…

The cult of Trifonov is doing the pianist no favours

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– Deutsche Grammophon have decided that Daniil Trifonov’s new Rachmaninov piano concertos with the Philadephia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin…

Mick Hucknall on women, rejection and cultural appropriation

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Michael Hann talks to Mick Hucknall, Britain’s greatest underappreciated pop star

John Flaxman is the missing link between superhero movies and Homer

9 November 2019 9:00 am

As you enter the forecourt of the Royal Academy, you see them. A row of artistic titans, carved in stone,…

How a City lawyer conquered the hardest piano work ever written

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Charles-Valentin Alkan played the piano faster than Liszt and louder than Chopin. The dying Pole left instructions that only Alkan…

God awful: BBC1’s His Dark Materials reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Here’s your new Sunday night obsession…’ the BBC announcer purred, overintoned and mini-orgasmed, like she was doing an audition for…

Why I love a bit of death on a Sunday night

9 November 2019 9:00 am

There’s nothing like a nice bit of death on a Sunday evening. Radio 4 originally transmit their obituary programme Last…

Scorsese at his most leisurely, meandering and engrossing: The Irishman reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

The Irishman is Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour epic — a mobster-a-thon, you could say — starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino,…

The open-hearted loveliness of Hot Chip

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Squeeze and Hot Chip are both great British pop groups. But they never defined a scene. Their ambitions extended further…

Why the Royal Court is theatre’s answer to Islamic State

9 November 2019 9:00 am

The Royal Court is the theatre’s answer to Islamic State, a conspiracy of nihilists fascinated with death, supported by groups…

Woke slogans welded to incompetent grunge: Neil Young’s Colorado reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B- Horribly woke boilerplate slogans welded inexpertly to the usual incompetent Crazy Horse grunge. Young and his pick-up band…

‘The only place I can’t get my plays on is Britain’: Peter Brook interviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Stuart Jeffries talks to the loquacious 94-year-old director Peter Brook about the parlous state of British theatre, Brexit and how he wishes more politicians were like Vladimir Putin

A surefire international hit: Lungs reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

No power on earth can stop Lungs from becoming an international hit. Duncan Macmillan’s slick two-handed comedy reunites Matt Smith…

A last dose of vitamin D before the clocks go back: Royal Ballet’s triple bill reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Were those gerberas in Francesca Hayward’s bouquet on opening night? Gentlemen admirers take note: no woman, ballerina or otherwise, has…

The truth about food photography

2 November 2019 9:00 am

While looking at the photographs of food in this humorous exhibition at the Photographers’ Gallery, I thought of how hopelessly…

BBC wildlife documentaries are just a chance to tell us all off

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Older readers may remember a time when landmark BBC wildlife documentary series were joyous celebrations of the miraculous fecundity of…

Patently insincere: Kanye’s Jesus is King reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– Kanye West has found Jesus Christ. Lucky old Christ. If I were Christ I’d have hidden out a…

From Brexit to Beethoven: John Humphrys returns to radio

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Some listeners will have had quite a shock first thing on Monday. Turning on at six to Classic FM they…

Scooby Doo with better CGI: Doctor Sleep reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Wheeeere’s Johnny? Nearly 40 years ago Jack Nicholson went berserk in a snowbound Rockies hotel, smashing an axe through a…