Arts feature

Will a new Labour government let architects reshape housing?

‘We make our buildings, and afterwards they make us,’ Winston Churchill said in 1924 in a speech to the Architectural Association. This was flattery of the highest order, designed to butter up the audience of budding architects and inflate their sense of how much power they had to shape society. It’s remarkable then, 100 years

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Gleefully silly: Scottish Opera’s Marx in London! reviewed

A bloke was working the queue outside the Theatre Royal, selling a newspaper called the Communist. ‘Marxist ideas, alive today!’ he shouted into the Glasgow drizzle. Was he part of the show; a Graham Vick-style touch of Total Theatre? In any case, he didn’t seem to be shifting many units. He might have been even



The genius of Yoko Ono

The first I heard of Yoko Ono was when my sister’s boyfriend brought home a little book of hers called Grapefruit. It was 1970, four years after John Lennon took the bite out of an apple that led to the break-up of the Beatles. The apple had been on a plinth in Ono’s 1966 exhibition


It should be boring – but it never is: Perfect Days reviewed

Wim Wenders’s Perfect Days is a film about a Tokyo public toilet cleaner and if the gentle, meditative narrative doesn’t grab you, the toilets almost certainly will. (Trust me. They’re incredible.) It stars Koji Yakusho and, as much as it is set in Tokyo, it is also set on Yakusho’s face, which is so expressive