Arts

Jozsefs Lendvai and Lendvay with Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra at the Proms. Image: BBC/Chris Christodoulos

The Budapest Festival Orchestra makes other orchestras look routine and oafish

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Looney Tunes was always at its best when soundtracked by a Hungarian gypsy dance. (Watch ‘Pigs in a Polka’ if…

‘The Paston Treasure’, detail of a little girl, unknown artist, Dutch School, c. 1663

A historical whodunit that lets you into a forgotten world: The Paston Treasure reviewed

1 September 2018 9:00 am

In 1675 Lady Bedingfield wrote to Robert Paston, first Earl of Yarmouth. Never, she exclaimed, had she seen anything so…

The rough, simple and cheerily thick lifeguards of Bondi Rescue. Image: Mojo Down Under

All the good non-fiction that was ever on TV was made by middle-aged men

1 September 2018 9:00 am

All the good non-fiction things that were ever on TV — from Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation to David Attenborough’s Planet Earth…

Cariad Lloyd has an excellent mission: to get us talking about death. Photographer. Image: Jonny Birch/Bafta/Rex/Shutterstock

Podcasts still have a long way to go to challenge the best of conventional radio

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Here’s a thought. Matthew Bannister, former Radio 1 controller turned presenter of programmes such as Outlook on the World Service…

Aml Ameen as D in Idris Elba’s Yardie

Patchy and muddled: Yardie reviewed

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Yardie is Idris Elba’s first film as a director and what I have to say isn’t what I wanted to…

Aristocrats by Brian Friel at Donar Warehouse Credit: Johan Persson

Brian Friel’s Aristocrats should be called ‘Posh People Move House’

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Non-stop chatterbox and mystifyingly revered fabricator of sub-Chekovian paddywhackery, Brian Friel has received another production at the Donmar. His play…

Pretentious jowly mumrock: Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night III reviewed

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Grade: C+ Mumrock. A lucrative genre, dating from the beginning of the 1970s, when Mums suddenly wanted something a little…

Bad Ischl: the spiritual home of Viennese operetta, and where Franz Joseph signed the declaration of war on Serbia

Operetta is serious business in Bad Ischl – and seriously glorious

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Richard Bratby travels to the forgotten spa town of Bad Ischl to experience the enduring glories of a much-mocked art form

Emma Thompson as Fiona Maye in The Children Act

If you think you can't have too much Ian McEwan, then you are wrong

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The Children Act is the third Ian McEwan film adaptation in 18 months (after The Child in Time and On…

I had no idea how fascinating rubbish could be: The Secret Life of Landfill reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Not the most beguiling of titles, I admit, but The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (BBC4, Thursday) was…

Teenage Fanclub were one of the best bands of the 90s – as these reissues prove

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Still got your record player? Dig it out. The crunchier the music, the better it sounds on vinyl: a broader…

‘The Acrobat Schulz V’ (1921), by Albert Birkle

Caricature, satire and over-the-top horror: Magic Realism at Tate Modern reviewed

25 August 2018 9:00 am

‘It is disastrous to name ourselves!’ So Willem de Kooning responded when some of his New York painter buddies elected…

The power of Sue MacGregor’s The Reunion

25 August 2018 9:00 am

The return of Sue MacGregor’s long-running Radio 4 series The Reunion (produced by Eve Streeter) is a welcome reminder of…

Rob Auton (Chris) in Frank Skinner’s Nina’s Got News

Is Frank Skinner the new Alan Bennett? Edinburgh Fringe round-up

25 August 2018 9:00 am

For recovering teetotallers, like me, Thinking Drinkers is the perfect Edinburgh show. On stage, two sprucely dressed actors perform sketches…

A Beggar’s Opera that beggars belief in Edinburgh

25 August 2018 9:00 am

Robert Carsen’s new updating of The Beggar’s Opera is a coke-snorting, trash-talking, breakdancing, palm-greasing, skirt-hiking, rule-breaking affair — and every…

Let there be light: the Atlantic footballfish dwells 3,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. [Paulo Oliveira / Alamy Stock Photo]

How to live in a world without light: Life in the Dark at the Natural History Museum reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

What is it like to live in a world without light? Mark Cocker reports from the dark side

Face value: ‘An Old Woman Reading’, 1655, by Rembrandt, on show in Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master at the National Galleries of Scotland

Three of the best faces, and six of the best hands, ever painted: the pick of the Edinburgh Art Festival

18 August 2018 9:00 am

The Rembrandt show at the National Galleries of Scotland (until 14 October) has a problem. A mighty haul of Rembrandt…

Holidays in Hell – Such A Pleasant Getaway from the BBC

18 August 2018 9:00 am

Apparently there’s a new ‘character’ on University Challenge. I wouldn’t know. Last year, I vowed never again to raise my…

Still life: Iris Bry, Laura Smet and Natalie Baye in The Guardians

A captivating addition to the filmography of the first world war: The Guardians reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

There are moments in The Guardians when you can imagine you’re in the wrong art form. Time stills, the frame…

An exalted experience even without a convincing central character: Siegfried in Edinburgh reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

There’s one big problem with Wagner’s Siegfried, and the clue’s in the name. None of Wagner’s mature works hangs so…

Sarah Higgins (Helena) and Henry Pettigrew (Bob) in Midsummer

Conversations with a penis, having a laugh about Brexit and why titles matter: Edinburgh Festival reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

David Greig has written the international festival’s flagship drama, Midsummer. This farcical romance is performed as a party piece by…

Another side of John Humphrys

18 August 2018 9:00 am

‘What can you tell me just now,’ asks Audrey Gillan. She’s talking to Tara, who’s been sleeping rough on Fournier…

Before the dawn: Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Dan Godfrey, Sir Alexander Mackenzie and Sir Charles Stanford, seated. Standing: Sir Edward German and Sir Hubert Parry. Bournemouth Centenary Festival, 1910

Music's Brexit

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Only by ignoring European taste, and daring to be vulgar, did British music finally come of age, argues Richard Bratby

Full of bog-standard, if annoyingly effective, emotional manipulation: The Foreign Doctors Are Coming reviewed

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Surprising I know, but judging from The Foreign Doctors Are Coming (Channel 4, Tuesday), Britain mightn’t be such a bad…

Like Jon Bon Jovi struck by lightning: Garrett Lombard as Lucky in Waiting for Godot

Washed-up junkies, Trump the director and a cash giveaway: Edinburgh Festival round-up

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Trump Lear is a chaotically enjoyable one-man show with a complicated premise. David Carl, an American satirist, has arrived on…