Arts feature

Lloyd Evans

‘I want to be a vagabond’

Lloyd Evans talks to Sophie Thompson, whose lack of vanity defines her approach to acting Straight off, as soon as I meet Sophie Thompson, I can see the look she’s striving for. Elegant ragamuffin. Torn jeans, scruffy trainers and a charity-shop blouse all offset by some peachy designer accessory worth five grand. Then I realise

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Wedding belles

The pedants who say fly-on-the-wall documentaries are cheap, meaningless television could not be more wrong. They are the postmodernist answer to David Attenborough, the Life on Earth de nos jours. Anyone who doubts this should watch My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on Channel 4 (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. and, if missed, on 4oD). Not since meerkats

Look and learn

Bridget Riley turns 80 this year, a fact easy to forget when looking at the surging energy and contemporaneity of her pictures. She is a remarkable artist who, although imposing severe formal restraints on her work, manages continually to surprise us with the richness of her invention. Perhaps it is because of the self-limitations she


Trouble at home

The Almeida relishes its specialist status. The boss, Michael Attenborough, isn’t keen on celebrity casting because he wants ‘the theatre to be the star’. It’s a niche operation for purists and connoisseurs, for seekers and searchers, and for those who can spell Verfremdungseffekt without having to check (as I just had to) what the penultimate


Animal magic

The annual collaboration between Scottish Opera and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama is, as the principal of the RSAMD writes, ‘a model…for partnership working between professionals and professionals-in-training’, and it is hard to think of any work more suitable for this partnership than Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. The annual collaboration between


Grown-up viewing

Sky’s new channel, Atlantic, kicked off this week with two big shows: Boardwalk Empire, which is set in 1920 and is about gangsters, and Blue Bloods, which is set in the modern day and is about a family of New York law enforcers. Sky’s new channel, Atlantic, kicked off this week with two big shows:


Second sight

Although I can’t generally get too worked up about remakes, just as I can’t get too worked up about most things these days — too old; too tired; too long in what teeth I still have left (four, I think) — I suppose this Brighton Rock does have its work cut out. Although I can’t


Save the World Service

All this talk about cuts might not be such a bad thing, if it forces us to think about what really should not be left to rot and wither away for lack of funding. Take the BBC’s World Service. Do we really need it in these post-imperial times? After all, it was set up in