Arts

Remembering one of the best – and bitchiest – pianists who ever lived

3 March 2018 9:00 am

I’m unlucky with Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata. Twice in the past year I’ve bolted for the exit as soon the pianist…

The big chill: Allison Janney as LaVona Golden

I, Tonya is not quite a gold-medal masterpiece

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Films about the Winter Olympics don’t grow on conifers. Twenty-five years ago there was Cool Runnings about the Jamaican bobsleigh…

If I were a detective looking for serial killers I’d stake out Frozen

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Frozen starts with a shrink having a panic attack. She hyperventilates into her hand-bag and then gets drunk on an…

One of Anthony McCall’s celestial shafts of ‘solid light’ from a 2013 show with Mischa Kuball

The pioneering artist whose creations vanished before his eyes

24 February 2018 9:00 am

When the artist Anthony McCall was in his mid-thirties his creations vanished before his eyes. Laura Gascoigne talks to him about what happened next

Worth a trip for the David Joneses alone: Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

To bleak, boarded-up Margate — and a salt-and-vinegar wind that leaves my face looking like Andy Warhol’s botched 1958 nose-peel…

A mischievous, daring production that produces the goods: Iolanthe reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

‘Welcome to our hearts again, Iolanthe!’ sings the fairy chorus in Gilbert and Sullivan’s fantasy-satire, and during this exuberant new…

From 'playable stamps’ to minidiscs – the joys of dead media

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Listen closely, among the shelves of the last remaining music shops, in student dorm rooms and amid the flat whites…

Girls in the hood: traditional hairdresser in Nottingham, 1996

The captivating art, science and politics of hair: Beehives, Bobs and Blow-dries reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

One of the best things about Beehives, Bobs and Blow-dries — yep, an exhibition about hairdressing — is the reaction…

Monica Dolan as Tessa in The B*easts. Photo: Alan Harris

The York Realist feels like it’s been written by a newcomer at a creative writing weekend

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The Donmar’s new show, The York Realist, dates from 2001. The programme notes tell us that the playwright, Peter Gill,…

The joy of YouTube is that the content created is content-free

24 February 2018 9:00 am

None of us is above YouTube, and nothing is beneath it. We have of course all long since submitted to…

The men give the women little to work with: Giselle reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

A bumper fortnight for Covent Garden florists thanks to a 20th-anniversary flower shower for the Royal Ballet’s Marianela Nunez and…

The dangers of taking a blind friend to see Fifty Shades of Grey

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Audio description, or AD, as it is fondly called, is coming of age. Once consigned to the utility room of…

Troy managed to descend into cliché even when nobody was actually using any words

24 February 2018 9:00 am

ITV’s Marcella (Monday) represents another triumphant breakthrough in the portrayal of female cops on television. Of course, thanks to more…

Heavy-going and heavy-handed: Dark River reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Dark River is the much-anticipated third feature from British writer/director Clio Barnard and it is one of those bleak, rural-…

Franz Ferdinand take disco and make it rather glorious: Always Ascending reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A Yay, people with a modicum of wit. They come along so very rarely these days. A decade on…

Ramblings takes an unexpected turn

24 February 2018 9:00 am

This week’s edition of Ramblings with Clare Balding did all the usual things: a walk in the country (cue breathy…

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

David Hare is the kind of second-rate artist who flourished under Stalin

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Shortly after my rave review of McMafia eight weeks ago, I got a long message from an old friend chastising…

A step too far: the new production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House

A colossal bore: Royal Opera's Carmen reviewed

17 February 2018 9:00 am

The new production of Bizet’s Carmen at the Royal Opera has received mixed reviews. It shouldn’t have done. They should…

Why do sweet, tender young lefties like MGMT love the decade of Reagan and Bush Snr?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B Horrific memory, flooding back, halfway through the track ‘TSLAMP’ (Time Spent Looking at My Phone). It was the…

Radio’s role in winning the Cold War

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Some of us grew up worrying about reds under the bed, which was perhaps not as foolish as all that…

Jonas Kaufmann’s presence or absence can make or break a season

‘I was really, really scared’: Jonas Kaufmann opens up about his #MeToo moment

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Jonas Kaufmann, one of the world’s greatest tenors, talks to Norman Lebrecht about his #MeToo moment

Girls having mums. That’s where it’s at: Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf as Marion

I liked Shape of Water well enough but Lady Bird is where it’s at

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Lady Bird is a semi-autobiographical film written and directed by Greta Gerwig with a plot synopsis that need not detain…

Why do critics claim to adore the waffle-fest that is Long Day’s Journey into Night?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

It’s considered the great masterpiece of 20th-century American drama. Oh, come off it. Long Day’s Journey into Night is a…

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