Arts feature

What now for ENO?

It has been a bracing start to the year at English National Opera. David Alden’s production of Peter Grimes, praised to the skies for the musical performance under Edward Gardner, returned to the Coliseum. Next up is Rigoletto (reviewed on page 50), directed by Alden’s twin, Christopher. Then comes Rodelinda, in another new production (or

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Tutus, loo rolls and a roomful of balloons

A tip: go see Martin Creed’s retrospective at the Hayward in the company of a child. I didn’t, but I tagged on to a merry gaggle of five-year-olds being guided round by their mums. I watched as they pointed at the enormous rotating beam with a neon sign that reads ‘MOTHER’. ‘Jump up and touch



Rigoletto in a gentleman’s club

So it’s farewell to the fedoras and adieu to the jukebox. After 32 years of service, Jonathan Miller’s Little Italy staging of Rigoletto has been given the heave-ho by English National Opera and replaced by a younger model. First seen and disliked in Chicago in 2000, then seen and disliked again in Toronto, Christopher Alden’s


The TV shows my children allow me to watch at half-term

Half-term again, so naturally all my TV viewing plans have gone out of the window. In some households — my bearded Victorian brother Dick’s, for example — parents still cleave to the old-fashioned values whereby a sofa-blocking child in front of the TV is instantly ejected should its father or mother wish to watch something