The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week


The true cost of theatre closures

It turns out that if there’s one thing more expensive than making theatre, it’s not making it. Empty buildings haemorrhage money. Postponing a show already in rehearsal or raising the curtain only for it to be dropped shortly after — as happened in December when theatres reopened just to close days later — scares off

Ancient and modern

Tacitus and the hypocrisy of cancel culture

The delicious hypocrisy at the heart of today’s cancel fraternity is that it is strongly opposed to censorship. Romans grappled with the issue; the historian Tacitus nailed it. Since the Roman republic sprang from the expulsion of a tyrant-king (509 bc), anti-monarchic views became standard fare in legal and political debate whenever anyone suspected tyranny.


How many people are self-isolating when they’re told to?

Isolated cases Large numbers of people are still being ordered to self-isolate in spite of having been vaccinated — 137,560 people were identified as close contacts of positive Covid cases through the Test and Trace system between 10 and 16 June. How well have they been adhering to the rules? — 79% say they have


Letters: We can’t build our way out of the housing crisis

Excess demand Sir: Liam Halligan (‘The house mafia’, 26 June) treats us to an exposé of the shoddy products of the mass housebuilders. In the course of his article, however, he accepts as given that the solution to the housing crisis is to build more houses. The problem, however, is not one of deficient supply;