Arts

One of the great whodunnits: Old Vic’s All My Sons reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

It starts on a beautiful summer’s morning in the suburbs of America. A prosperous middle-aged dad is chatting with his…

Moore’s art has never looked more in context than it does here, undulating in the spring sunshine with Palladian architecture on one side and vistas of greenery on the other: ‘Large Reclining Figure’, 1984

Moore’s art has never looked better: Henry Moore at Houghton Hall reviewed

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Henry Moore was, it seems, one of the most notable fresh-air fiends in art history. Not only did he prefer…

The eyes have it: ‘The Zebra’, 1763, by George Stubbs

What makes British art British?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

British art is a triumph of natural observation, says Jonathan Jones, and empiricism is at the heart of it

Richard Ayres' The Garden at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Image: © Mark Allan

Hearing Gilbert & Sullivan on period instruments was a revelation

27 April 2019 9:00 am

‘I consider that music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all,’ wrote Stravinsky in one…

Notre Dame from above (image: Lana Sator) and, right, Michel Virlogeux and Norman Foster's Millau Viaduct (image: Bernard Jaubert / Imagebroker / Rex / Shutterstock)

Notre Dame is an architectural nullity

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Notre Dame is only important from a Shakespeare’s-birthplace point of view. Architecturally it is a nullity beside the cathedrals of…

Any scene she isn’t in pretty much dies on its arse: Julianne Moore in Bel Canto

Not nearly as good as the book: Bel Canto reviewed

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Bel Canto is an adaptation of the Ann Patchett novel first published in 2001, which I remembered as being brilliant…

Mark Tully, presenter of Something Understood, in New Delhi in 2015. Image: Shivam Saxena/ Hindustan Times/ Getty Images

Why was Something Understood cut?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

It was never given the choicest slot in the schedule, airing first thing on Sunday morning with a repeat at…

Frankie Boyle's New World Order, on which the comic is paid to say the totally and predictably sayable. Image: BBC/ Endemol Shine UK/ Brian J Ritchie

Why has Frankie Boyle gone so soft?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

‘I spend a lot of time helping teenagers who’ve been sexually abused…’ — beat — ‘…find their way out of…

Maggie Smith is miraculous as the ageing Nazi, Brunhilde Pomsel. Image: © Helen Maybanks

One of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen in the theatre: A German Life reviewed

27 April 2019 9:00 am

It starts at a secretarial college. The stage is occupied by a dignified elderly lady who recalls her pleasure at…

Northern soul: Whitby Abbey was built on the site where the date of Easter was decided

Whitby Abbey is at the heart of Britain's spiritual and literary history

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Saints, vampires and home of the first English poet: the town’s abbey is at the heart of Britain’s spiritual and literary history, says the Revd Steve Morris

‘Landline Star’, 2017, Sean Scully

A beautiful exhibition of a magnificent painter: Sean Scully at the National Gallery reviewed

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Sean Scully once told me about his early days as a plasterer’s mate. At the age of 17 he was…

The daunting, uplifting prose of The Psalms

20 April 2019 9:00 am

As if in defiance of the BBC’s current obsession with programming designed to entice in that elusive young and modish…

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) having some quality time together

I admire the scale and ambition of Game of Thrones – but isn’t it just a little bit corny?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

If you’ve ever faced the social embarrassment of having to admit that you’ve never seen Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic,…

The early death of Lili Boulanger is the most grievous of all among composers

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Total immersion weekends can prove tricky. The established masters don’t need them, while lesser-known figures often turn out to be…

A gratifying evocation of 1960s sweets – but I wanted more: Toast reviewed

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Nigel Slater is popular because he’s an exceptionally meek cook. Not for him the sprawling restaurant empire or the transatlantic…

Manspreading, The Movie: Loro reviewed

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Fans of Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo, The Great Beauty (which won an Oscar) and his HBO series, The Young Pope,…

Aspiring to profundity: Robyn at Ally Pally

At her best Robyn is magical – but her contribution to pop is hardly unique

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Last autumn, anyone who a) has an interest in pop music, and b) reads the weightier end of the press,…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

Merce Cunningham's work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian – revival is futile

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Merce Cunningham’s work was magical, intangible, Einsteinian, says Ismene Brown. Revival is futile

‘Head by Head’, 1905, by Edvard Munch

Absorbing – a masterclass in print-making: Edvard Munch at the British Museum reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

An eyewitness described Edvard Munch supervising the print of a colour lithograph in 1896. He stood in front of the…

Why did Parry's Judith vanish?

13 April 2019 9:00 am

‘When a man takes it upon himself to write an oratorio — perhaps the most gratuitous exploit open to a…

Enjoyable but over-rated and elitist: Caryl Churchill's Top Girls reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Caryl Churchill’s best-known play, Top Girls, owes a large debt to 1970s TV comedy. It opens with a Pythonesque dinner…

Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’

If you liked Triumph of the Will, you'll love Our Planet

13 April 2019 9:00 am

If you liked Triumph of the Will, you’ll love this latest masterpiece of the genre: Our Planet. The Netflix nature…

Electrifying: English National Ballet's She Persisted reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

‘Where was the Kahlo brow?’ asked my guest in the first interval of English National Ballet’s She Persisted, a triple…

With each song Jessie Buckley practically burns a hole in the screen

Jessie Buckley’s performance burns a hole in the screen: Wild Rose reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Jessie Buckley is the actress who, you may remember, was ‘phenomenal’ in Beast — I am quoting myself here so…

The man who changed the sound of radio

13 April 2019 9:00 am

He is said to ‘have changed the sound of speech radio’, not just by giving voice to those who until…