Arts feature

Alone in the wilderness

Henrietta Bredin finds out what it is that draws actors to the gruelling one-man show Judi Dench says she’d never do it, Roy Dotrice didn’t do it for 40 years but started again in 2008, Joanna Lumley says that managing to do it while looking at her own reflection in a mirror made her feel

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A place to linger

Isa Genzken: Open, Sesame! Whitechapel Gallery, until 21 June Passports: Great Early Buys from the British Council Collection Whitechapel Gallery, until 14 June The Whitechapel has just re-opened after a major renovation and expansion, increasing gallery space by 78 per cent, incorporating and transforming the old library next door as part of a Heritage Lottery

Writer’s block

The Last Cigarette Trafalgar Studio Rookery Nook Menier Simon Gray’s twilight diaries may well be a prose masterpiece. That the stage adaptation hasn’t done them justice is a fact few want to admit. The ‘much-loved’ fallacy has descended over this production for understandable reasons. Gray was a darling of the theatre, and the cast —

Jesting in earnest

As You Like It; The Winter’s Tale Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon Back in the rehearsal room for the first time since his triumphant Histories cycle, the RSC’s artistic director Michael Boyd whisks As You Like It far away from the Forest of Arden. Not a tree in sight, and does anyone give a twig? Yes, the

Out of harmony

The current exhibition at Tate Modern (Rodchenko and Popova: Defining Constructivism, until 17 May) is rich in cultural reference, apart from any reference to music. Here we have Popova collaborating with theatrical producers and designers, Rodchenko working alongside film-makers and poets (especially Mayakovsky), and everyone in a headlong dash away from easel work towards sculpture,

Wagner’s secret

Lohengrin Royal Opera House Nietzsche said of the prelude to Act I of Lohengrin that it was the first piece of hypnosis by music, and listening to the Royal Opera orchestra’s performance of it under Semyon Bychkov tended to confirm his claim, at any rate until the climax, where Bychkov pulled out a few stops

Star vehicle

Star Trek: The Future Begins 12A, Nationwide Listen, I’m no Trekkie, I don’t speak Klingon, I’ve never boldly been anywhere in the least bit exciting — my fear of motorways has always hampered me horribly in this respect — and I don’t like action epics but Star Trek: The Future Begins is quite fun. I’m

Grinning idiot

Easily the best thing that has happened to me recently was being called a warthog on TV by Charlie Brooker. At least that’s what I heard from people who’d seen Newswipe (BBC4 — But it turned out I was just one of a number of hacks illustrating a point about opinion pieces written by

Daring to be different

At last a late-night ‘comedy’ show on Radio Four that sounds a bit different. At last a late-night ‘comedy’ show on Radio Four that sounds a bit different. Bill Dare and his team of writers have been taking us on Tuesdays at 11 into their Secret World (Radio Four). It’s a universe in which you