Arts feature

Power of the pencil

Andrew Lambirth talks to Paula Rego about the new museum dedicated to her and the politics behind her work Paula Rego is an artist working at the height of her powers, internationally celebrated and with a museum dedicated to her about to open in her native Portugal. It’s been a long climb to this pinnacle

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Under the stars

Van Gogh and the Colours of the Night Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam until 7 June Remembering his former teacher Vincent van Gogh, the painter Anton Kerssemakers described a walk one evening in 1884 from Nuenen to Eindhoven when Vincent suddenly stopped before the sunset, framed it in his hands and, half closing his eyes, cried

Halfway to heaven

When some 700 people throng the auditorium at Earl’s Court to hear a debate about whether eco houses are ugly, then a frustrated tree-hugger like myself may feel that we are halfway to heaven, not that I plan to share my Elysium with Germaine Greer in ranting mode if I can avoid it. When some

In the extreme

Verdi’s Requiem Royal Opera House Carmen Sadler’s Wells Every time there’s a performance of Verdi’s Requiem the issue of whether it is a liturgical or theatrical work gets solemnly discussed, as if it couldn’t be both. If you take the Creator to be the figure described or invoked in the Bible, then He clearly has

A sum of all parts

Most attractively packaged, these four CDs comprising the new survey of British songwriting are issued by NMC recordings to mark the 20th anniversary of its indispensable activities; poetically evocative photographs of the initial letters, drawn from pubs, floral clocks, blue heritage plaques, transport directions, shops, warehouses, fruit barrows, etc., spell out the salient words, and

Mishima’s behemoth

Madame de Sade Wyndhams New Boy Trafalgar Studio In the 1960s Mishima wrote a play about the Marquis de Sade. What’s it like? It’s like this. A Greek tragedy consisting entirely of choral speeches performed on the radio. The naughty nobleman’s wife and her family are assembled on stage, along with a pair of sidekicks,

Sporting marriage

The Damned United 15, Nationwide The Damned United is, I suppose, a football film but if you don’t like football don’t let this put you off. (If you do, I’ll hear about it, and then you’ll be in trouble.) I liked it enormously even though football bores me stiff and I don’t know the first

It’s so unfair

Is it really a six-figure salary? Only, this time last year it wouldn’t have seemed worth it, but now it’s looking almost as attractive as a job in the public sector. I think I might have to go for it. ‘Step up to the plate,’ as I must learn to say, if I’m to stand

Not four children

Cuts. We’re going to have to get used to them in the next few weeks and months as the vast maw of recession gapes wider and wider and things start disappearing into its black hole. Cuts. We’re going to have to get used to them in the next few weeks and months as the vast