Arts feature

Damian Thompson

King Charles III’s love of classical music

The musical tastes of King Charles III are more sophisticated than those of our late Queen. That’s not being rude: it’s just a fact. Her favourite musician appears to have been George Formby, whose chirpy songs she knew by heart. No doubt she relished their double entendres – but the hint of smut meant that,


The UK Drill Project, at The Pit, reviewed

The UK Drill Project is a cabaret show that celebrates greed, criminality and drug-taking among black males in London. It opens with a septet of masked performers, sheathed in dark Lycra, singing a rhythmic poem while pretending to fire guns and stab people with knives. These sad young rappers are desperate to look scary because





Astonishing cinema: No Bears reviewed

Jafar Panahi’s No Bears is, first and foremost, a wonderful film. More than this, you don’t need to know but I’ll tell you anyway. Panahi, an Iranian filmmaker, was banned from making films by the Iran government in 2010 yet has persisted clandestinely. One of his films (This Is Not a Film) was smuggled to


The extraordinary case of Malcolm MacArthur

Non-fiction tells you what happened, fiction affirms the kinds of things that happen. According to Aristotle, anyway. So while journalism seeks out unlikely events, fiction creates pleasing inevitabilities. The problem as it pertains to our brave narrative podcasters is that they have to straddle the two worlds: their material must be interesting and unusual, but


The joy of B-sides

Paul Weller releasing a collection of solo B-sides is cause for mild celebration. After all, the Jam were one of the great B-side bands. ‘Tales From The Riverbank’, ‘The Butterfly Collector’, ‘Liza Radley’ – all A-list songs, relegated to the subs’ bench. Remember the B-side? That bijou, creative safe space which didn’t merely permit but