Arts feature

Giving life to characters

Henrietta Bredin talks to Ian McDiarmid about turning a novel set in Scotland into a play Ian McDiarmid possesses a voice that, if he chose to let it, could curdle milk. Half-strangled and poisonously clotted it emerges in an evil flow in his portrayal of the Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars films. As Satan

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Tourist attraction

Well Apollo Hit Me! The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury Leicester Square In Blood: The Bacchae Arcola So what does the theatre critic make of the recession? No one’s asked me, actually, so here goes. Leaving aside the obsessive 24-hour media coverage, there’s little trace of it in the real world. Immunise your bonce

At one with nature | 14 January 2009

Beth Chatto — A Retrospective Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, until 19 April The Garden Museum, situated in the old church of St Mary’s, hard by Lambeth Palace, has undergone a major refurbishment. It looks tremendous, much better than in the old days of slight muddle and a feeling of temporary storage. A

Vision in white

Manon Coliseum Ballet goers don’t seem to mind the endless flow of new productions of 19th-century classic works. Every year works such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and the ubiquitous Nutcracker are presented to audiences worldwide with new designs, new sets, new dramaturgic readings and, in some instances, with new choreography. Yet such a

Off the ropes

The Wrestler 15, Nationwide The Wrestler is Mickey Rourke’s big comeback movie in which he plays Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, a professional wrestler of the kind so popular in the Eighties when they all had names like ‘The Ram’ or ‘Rock’ or ‘Bad Blood’ or ‘The Hulk’ or ‘Ayatollah’ and fought under the WWF banner,

Measure of success

If your concert-going habits mean that you always attend the same kinds of venue in the same kinds of town in the same country, the equation I am about to put to you may strike you as being rather odd. But the fact is that on the world stage there are socialist concerts and capitalist

Falling short

Maybe it was too soon for Saturday night’s Archive on 4 to reflect on George W.’s reign as President of the US of A. After all, there are still three days left of his administration. But Bremner on Bush: A Final Farewell was a missed opportunity. Rory Bremner was presumably hauled in as presenter because

Batle of the sexes

Is it just me or is Fiona Bruce incredibly, incredibly annoying? I only ask because I didn’t have a view on the subject till I was watching her present The Real Sir Alan Sugar (BBC2, Sunday) and on at least two occasions found myself so cross it was all I could do not to smash