More from Arts

Lloyd Evans

I don’t believe it!

Got the right place? Yup, this looks like it. I’m about to meet TV’s grumpiest man, and his fixers have booked us a room in a fashionable media institute in Covent Garden. I peer through the frosted glass at what appears to be a hotel, a bistro, a therapy centre and a health farm all

Distinguished company

If ever there was an exhibition which warranted a speedy and assessing first look, and then a longer, more lingering concentration on certain pictures, then Citizens and Kings is it. Subtitled ‘Portraits in the Age of Revolution, 1760–1830’, it doesn’t have an exactly prepossessing moniker. Citizens and Kings sounds like something out of one of

Feathered friends

The Parrot in Art? Unraise your eyebrows: parrots have featured in Western European art for 500 years, depicted by Dürer, van Eyck and Mantegna; Rubens and Rembrandt; Tiepolo, Reynolds and Goya; Delacroix and Courbet; Matisse and Frieda Kahlo. It is hardly surprising. Ever since they were imported into Europe from India in the 4th century

The importance of being British

Sheridan Morley died suddenly last weekend. He was The Spectator’s theatre critic from 1990 to 2001. His knowledge of both the stage and its leading practitioners was encyclopedic, while his many theatrical anecdotes were hugely entertaining. He and his wife, the producer and critic Ruth Leon, were planning to spend more time shuttling between London

Dynastic dissonance

The RSC’s Complete Works festival continues to produce wondrous juxtapositions. In the Courtyard Theatre Michael Boyd has rounded off his Wars of the Roses sequence with a Richard III which for a week played alongside an Arab reworking of the same play in the Swan. There seems no end to the uses to which the

Marriage of minds

‘Made in Heaven’: the contrasts and complements linking Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky in two-way reciprocality form a felicitous marriage of true minds perfect for the week of wall-to-wall broadcasting on Radio Three covering (sometimes more than once) every note the two Russian masters composed. First, the contrasts: Tchaikovsky the emotional, passionate, subjective, confessional, pouring his heart

Act of sabotage

Exactly 400 years ago, 24 February 1607, the first great opera received its première in Mantua. It’s a crucial date in the history of the arts in Western Europe, and it would have been agreeable to be able to report that Opera North, in its new production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo, did it justice. And musically

Comfort station

Sometimes when listening to Radio Four you can have the odd experience of spiralling downwards into your very own time warp. Lying in the bath on Sunday morning, for instance, with the radio warbling in the background, you could almost pretend you were back in the 1970s (except that the cork tiles and avocado finish

Morpheus descending

Insomnia is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When, for example, I made up my mind that I was going to review the BBC’s new series Sleep Clinic (BBC1, Monday), I knew that later that night I would have enormous difficulties getting to sleep. This is one of the horrible tricks we insomniacs play on ourselves. We’ll have