Everlasting love

A few weeks ago, feeling stale and stressed, I escaped to our dilapidated cottage in Dorset for a few days on my own. When I was younger, and especially when I was drinking heavily, I often felt ill at ease in my own company, but these days I get on quite happily alone, though I

Arts feature

On the waterfront | 28 April 2012

William Cook says that I.M. Pei’s latest building, Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art, once again captures the spirit of the age Standing outside Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art, in Doha, watching the sun rise over the Persian Gulf, you’re reminded of Mies van der Rohe’s dictum: ‘less is more’. Van der Rohe was a hero

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Magic chemistry

Artifact was the first work that the groundbreaking dance-maker William Forsythe created in 1984 for the legendary Ballet Frankfurt. It is, therefore, pure ‘vintage’ Forsythe, even though it is as aggressively and engagingly provocative today as it was 28 years ago. It therefore comes across as a theatrically vibrant reminder of where it all started.

From street to stage

Breakin’ Convention, now in its ninth year at Sadler’s Wells, offers a feast of hip hop for all-comers, be they newbies or hip hop heads. Hip hop developed in the Bronx in the late 1970s from a mix of Bboying (breakdance), graffiti art, MC-ing and DJ-ing. From street-corner hobby of young Afro and Latin American


Bible story

Be still, at last, you clamouring brainboxes. Those who long for more highbrow drama in the West End can thank God for David Edgar’s Written on the Heart. Commissioned by the RSC, this celebratory play tells the story of the King James Bible, which was first published in 1612. Making scripture accessible to the masses


Return to mystery

Weber’s Der Freischütz is the finest neglected opera in or hovering on the edge of the canon. It’s not entirely bewildering why it should be, but there are ways of coping with structural defects, which is what it suffers from. Yet I don’t think there has been a UK performance of it since Edinburgh in


Under pressure | 28 April 2012

Rest easy on your deckchair, Delingpole, for I come in peace. Your column is safe — from me, at least — because this week I have made an unpleasant discovery: your job is really hard, and I don’t know how to do it. It’s not the watching that’s so hellish, it’s deciding what to watch.


Rocky ride

Now that the great design surveys regularly mounted by the V&A have come up to date, what will it seek to beguile us with next? These exhibitions have always been of interest, at least in parts, and often infuriating, a combination that has helped to ensure their success. The wide range of paintings and objects


What a marvel!

As last week I believe I provided the world’s first entirely interrogative film review, I thought that this week I would up the stakes and embroider this review on antimacassars, in mirror writing — this has also never been done before, as far as I know — but time, alas, proved my great enemy, so


Good night out

It would never have worked on TV. Ann Widdecombe going out for a night on the town with a group of young professional women. No self-respecting binge-brunette would have allowed themselves to be seen on camera with a sexagenarian ex-MP who just happened to be off the booze for Lent. But there she was, in