Arts

Extension of credit: the vaults, part of David Chipperfield’s redevelopment of the Royal Academy

How lucky we are to have the Royal Academy

26 May 2018 9:00 am

What is the Royal Academy? This question set me thinking as I wandered through the crowds that celebrated the opening…

What a wasted opportunity: Jonas Kaufmann's Four Last Songs reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

No wonder we have a problem with classical music in this country. The week started in celebration. The stats are…

Podcasts often have no real interest in those who might be listening

26 May 2018 9:00 am

‘Do you ever imagine your audience?’ was a question thrown at James Ward, creator and presenter of The Boring Talks…

Magisterial: BBC1’s A Very English Scandal reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little, so you can imagine how sickened I was by the magisterial…

Large chunks felt lifted from The Archers: Nightfall reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Bridge’s big summer show is Nightfall by prize-winning newcomer Barney Norris. Widowed Jenny wants her grown-up kids, Lou and…

Artists of the Royal Ballet against the easel-worthy backcloths of John Macfarlane’s ravishing designs for Swan Lake

Proper tutus, gorgeous designs, first-rate dancing: Royal Ballet’s new Swan Lake reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s 2016 Frankenstein was a masterclass in how not to make narrative dance and the news that Liam…

Much is routine – and a fair amount is worse: Glyndebourne’s Madama Butterfly reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

There is no such thing as a moderately good performance of Madama Butterfly, or, to be more precise, it’s not…

I desperately wanted to love Edie but I couldn’t

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Edie tells the story of an 84-year-old woman who wants to fulfil a girlhood ambition by climbing a Scottish mountain.…

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

Wonder woman: Saoirse Ronan is miraculous as Florence in On Chesil Beach

Whoever signed off on the ending deserves a good thrashing: On Chesil Beach reviewed

19 May 2018 9:00 am

But it’s surefooted mostly and always watchable and Ronan Saoirse is a wonder

Wood and ivory figure group depicting a tooth extraction, 17th century

The troubling history behind the healthy, happy smile

19 May 2018 9:00 am

In his Physiognomische Fragmente, published between 1775 and 1778, the Swiss physiognomist Johann Kaspar Lavater insisted that ‘clean, white and…

How does David Matthews get away with writing symphonies with tunes in them?

19 May 2018 9:00 am

‘All fish in flood and fowl of flight/ Be mirthful now and make melody’ writes the poet William Dunbar in…

Panel from the bedroom of Louis Henri I, Prince de Condé, by Christophe Huet

The greatest French museum you've never heard of

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Imagine a French museum that’s second only to the Louvre when it comes to paintings, with an eye-watering collection of…

The glums: Marisol Montiel and Ana Luisa Montiel in Taryn Simon’s ‘An Occupation of Loss’

Grief-conjurors, space-mincers and earth-shovellers: performance roundup

19 May 2018 9:00 am

They enter two by two. Grannies, mainly. Headscarved, mainly. Some locking arms. A bit glum. Like rejects from Noah’s ark.…

What a relief: ‘Descent of the Ganges’ or ‘Arjuna’s Penance’, 7th century

India's Sistine ceiling

19 May 2018 9:00 am

In Tamil Nadu we found that we were exotic. Although there were some other western tourists around, in most of…

Rarely have I sat through such a chaotic and whimsical script: Describe the Night reviewed

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Describe the Night opens in Poland in 1920 where two Russian soldiers, Isaac and Nikolai, discuss truth and falsehood. Next…

Living the high life: Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose

Sky Atlantic’s Patrick Melrose adaptation is triumphant

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Warning: if you haven’t seen it yet, the first episode of the much-anticipated Patrick Melrose (Sky Atlantic, Sunday) contains scenes…

How hospices make you think differently about life

19 May 2018 9:00 am

The timing of the Today programme’s series about hospices could not have been more apt, coming as it did so…

A Bowie tribute album: Arctic Monkey’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino reviewed

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Oh, terrific — a concept album about a 1970s hotel somewhere in space, plus an attack on our…

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

Belly, the band responsible for one of my favourite 90s songs, is back

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ One of my favourite songs from the 1990s was about a Chinese adulteress forced to walk around town…

Why can’t podcasts be more like Radio 4?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Now here’s a series that would make a brilliant podcast but is also classic Radio 4 — they don’t have…

‘Office at the Mühling prisoner-of-war camp’, 1916, by Egon Schiele

Animals, tourists and raptors: the hazards of being a plein-air artist

12 May 2018 9:00 am

A conservator at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum was recently astonished to find a tiny grasshopper stuck in the paint of…

Which now unbearable TV show has been ruined for ever by political correctness?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Twenty years after it first appeared, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is back for a brief, week-long anniversary run…

Cecilia Noble as Aunt Maggie in Nine Night at the National Theatre

Flawed but often hilarious new play: Nine Night at the Dorfman Theatre reviewed

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Nine Night refers to a Jamaican custom that obliges bereaved families to party non-stop for more than a week following…