The Spectator

19 September 2015

Why I left

I cannot be part of a movement run by half-educated fanatics

Arts

Still from the documentary ‘Palio’: a medieval rite at once nonsensical and puerile, and yet profoundly alive and meaningful

Arts feature

Palio exposes the bribery and violence that lies at the heart of Siena’s lawless ritual

A new documentary lifts the lid on the Italian horse race-cum-medieval pageant where you're hospitalised for coming second

Clara Schumann

Music

There's a good reason why there are no great female composers

Nothing by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Ethel Smyth or Judith Weir matches up to the work of their male counterparts

Opera

As good a treatment of a Bellini opera as we are likely to see: WNO's I puritani reviewed

Plus: the Royal Opera's first ever production of Gluck's Orphee et Eurydice is full of risible dancing and pointless directorial decisions

Theatre

The Globe's Oresteia lets Aeschylus speak - the Almeida's muzzles him

Adele Thomas's faithful approach to the Greek tragedy achieves something both stately and sickening. Robert Icke's production, meanwhile, warrants a visit from trading standards officers

‘Socialist realism and pop art in the battlefield’, 1969, by Equipo Cronica

Exhibitions

The World Goes Pop at Tate Modern - our critic goes zzzzz

Plus: though handcrafting his own reputation is Ai Weiwei favoured medium, there are some works of real poignancy and beauty in his Royal Academy show

The ascent of man: Michael Kelly as Jon Krakauer

Cinema

All about the climb (and little else): Everest reviewed

Oscars do not beckon for this crudely characterised, Gravity wannabe. On the plus side, Keira Knightley is at her least annoying

Dance

War, socialist tyranny and the oppression of the handicapped - welcome to the new dance season

The start of the year is all good if sombre stuff, and includes a revival of English National Ballet's Lest We Forget, a version of 1984 from Northern Ballet and a new work from Amici Dance Theatre

Television

An Inspector Calls is poisonous, revisionist propaganda - which is why the luvvies love it

Yet despite the oppressively didactic set-up, the BBC's new TV adaptation of J.B. Priestley's weird melodrama grips and compels

Radio

The Baroque composer who was a world music pioneer

Plus: the politician of the future and Orwell before he was famous