Arts feature

Sea fever

Looking at the sketchbook of William Whitelock Lloyd, a soldier-artist who joined a P&O liner after surviving the Anglo-Zulu War, I’m reminded why I avoid cruises. On board this India-bound ship were: a ‘man who talks a great deal of yachting shop and collapses at the first breeze of wind’, ‘a successful Colonist’, and ‘the

More from Arts

Justin Timberlake: Man of the Woods

Grade: B– Hey, here comes Justin, the ‘President of Pop’ and ‘one of the greatest all-around entertainers in the history of show business’, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Sheesh, shows how far a white man can go by pretending — pretending very, very hard — to be black. Maybe there’s a market in the States


Changing the bard

Nicholas Hytner’s new show is a modern-dress Julius Caesar, heavily cut and played in the round. It runs for two hours, no interval. The action opens with the audience grouped around a central stage where a ramshackle rock gig descends into a riot. The play unfolds like an illegal rave at a warehouse. It’s bold,


Accentuate the negative

A chaste act of adultery and a silent conversation: these are the encounters at the heart of Un ballo in maschera. On paper Verdi’s opera is a hot-blooded political thriller climaxing in a regicide, but in the watching it’s something entirely other. Just like the buoyant score, whose ‘aura of gaiety’ seems so at odds


Girls on film

To mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage — if a little oddly — Channel 4 on Tuesday brought us a special girls-only edition of The Secret Life of Five-Year-Olds. The cast were a mix of new faces and old hands from previous series: among them Jet who, like a primary-school version of a traditional


Home is where the art is | 8 February 2018

When I first visited Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, I was shown around by Jim Ede, its founder and creator. This wasn’t an unusual event in the 1970s. I was an undergraduate, and in those days Ede — elderly, elegant and almost translucently ascetic — showed round anyone who rang his doorbell. It was rather as if


From Russia with no love

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless is, indeed, devastatingly loveless, as well as devastatingly pitiless, which does not sound hopeful. Yet it is also devastatingly haunting, absorbing and transfixing. It’s a domestic drama about a missing boy that’s been widely taken as a state-of-the-nation drama about Russia today — a From Russia With No Love Whatsoever, if you


State of independence

When the BBC’s Arabic-language network went out on air for the first time 80 years ago, on 3 January 1938, its mission was to provide ‘reliable news’ to a region that was being fed German and Italian ‘propaganda’ via short-wave transmissions from those countries. News is still its main focus, says Bassam Andari, news-gathering editor