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Wasted talent

A collaboration between Jean Cocteau and Philip Glass, even though it necessarily had to be posthumous, sounds like a bad idea, and so it proved to be in an admirable production by the Royal Opera of Orphée at the Linbury Studio. This two-act opera played continuously for 100 minutes, so there was no escape. I

Bumping along

Hard to know where to start with On the Shore of the Wide World. The title, maybe: a sweet, rambling, lyrical phrase made up of vacuous and seductive borrowings. Like the show. We open with Susan, played by Susannah Harker, waddling on stage, apparently up the duff. Her aggrandising tum operates as a sort of

Crowd control

‘Times have changed,’ I was told by one disgruntled Academician. Once the members were guaranteed to have their work hung ‘on the line’ (i.e., in pride of place at eye-level), and non-members would get the remaining positions if they were lucky. This year John Hoyland’s large paintings have been ‘skied’, and one of Craigie Aitchison’s

Picture perfect

There are weeks when I even feel privileged to be a television critic. You’re vaguely aware that out there somewhere people are watching Celebrity Love Island (though not very many), those dreary Saturday-night dancing contests, and Your 100 Favourite Embarrassing TV Animal Moments on Channel 4. Then along comes a clutch of shows and you

Station to be cherished

Like every red-blooded male, I do like a gadget, and the latest pointless item of electrical flummery to adorn our absurdly small flat is a digital radio. What a wonderful machine it is. The excellence of the sound quality, the ease of use, and the fact that Radio Two is no longer blotted out by

Draughtsman of genius

C. R. Cockerell RA (1788–1863) The Professor’s Dream is the title of a small exhibition (until 25 September) in the Tennant Room at the Royal Academy, a relatively new space that links with the John Madejski Fine Rooms, formerly the piano nobile of old Burlington House. Who was this professor, and what was his dream?