Arts feature

An emotional journey

Director Lindsay Posner finds something primal and truly disturbing in Arthur Miller’s play The day’s rehearsal is about to commence. The actors sit or stand around chatting, telling anecdotes, prevaricating, pouring one last cup of coffee — anything to avoid the moment when they have to begin committing emotionally and psychologically to Arthur Miller’s text.

More from Arts

Capturing movement

Unique Forms: The Drawing and Sculpture of Umberto Boccioni Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, N1, until 19 April The year 2009 sees the 100th anniversary of F.T. Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto, celebrated by a major reassessment of Futurism at the Tate in June. Meanwhile, the Estorick Collection has got in first with a small but select

Oom pah pah!

Oliver! Drury Lane Roaring Trade Soho A show with an exclamation mark in the title has a lot of promises to fulfill. Oliver! opens on a magnificent note. The dark, silkily lit workhouse teems with the figures of stooped orphans who crawl up through the floorboards and march around the shadows like sad doomed little

Identity crisis | 21 January 2009

Skin Deep Opera North Verdi’s Requiem Barbican It takes a brave person, or more likely couple, to attempt an operetta which effectively satirises contemporary fads, and the more obvious the target the more difficult to pull off the satire with the requisite degree of scathingness. David Sawer and Armando Iannucci have taken cosmetic surgery, and

Onwards and upwards

I had a letter from my friend Leo the other day, one of the most interesting men I have ever met. The son of a navvy and a cleaner, he won an exhibition to Balliol to read English and when he arrived in Oxford his Geordie accent was so strong that he was often incomprehensible

Talking heads

Frost/Nixon 15, Nationwide Frost/Nixon is a properly terrific, dramatised account of the television interview between David Frost and disgraced former American President Richard Nixon which, broadcast in the summer of 1977, achieved the largest audience ever for a news programme in the history of American TV with 45 million viewers. As I don’t remember much

Captivating oddity

La Bayadère Royal Opera House I have often wondered what it is that makes the 1877 La Bayadère such a popular ballet. Certainly not the flimsy, derivative and highly unbelievable plot, as full of sensationalist twists as any mass-oriented 19th-century feuilleton; nor the music, a concoction of fairly uninspiring catchy tunes by the well-known 19th-century

Playing it safe

It’s funny how much television depends on repetition. Daytime, especially. The same house is always being auctioned, the same chinoiserie discovered in the attic, the same boxes being opened on Deal Or No Deal. Even the new Countdown has eschewed new letters. It might have been fun if they added a few Greek ones. This

To the heart of Africa

In these dank days of January, the mind struggles to escape the claustrophobia of an English winter, weighed down by heavy grey skies or hemmed in by suffocating mists (pungent with the smell of jet fuel). A couple of atmospheric programmes on Radio Four this week came to the rescue, creating soundscapes so rich in

Hard going

We can all recite the statistics, can’t we? I mean the percentage fall in shopping activity in December, the names of the high street retail businesses that have gone bust or been taken over, the numbers of shopworkers who have lost their jobs. We can all recite the statistics, can’t we? I mean the percentage