The Spectator

19 January 2019

The rebel alliance

Backbench MPs want to take back control of Brexit. Will they succeed?


Gary Raymond and Richard Burton in Tony Richardson’s 1959 film version of Look Back in Anger

Arts feature

What a relief we can finally admit Jimmy Porter was a pain in the neck

Gary Raymond, one of the last surviving members of the Look Back in Anger cast, talks to Steve Morris about what he really thought of John Osborne’s angry young man

It will take a few weeks, if not months, to know whether Zoë Ball will become as much of a favourite as Terry Wogan. Photo: BBC / Sarah Jeynes


Zoë Ball has the voice and warmth but not so much the chat

Plus: the most sophisticated contribution to the Riot Girls season on Radio 4 was Into the Maze by Ayeesha Menon

Better than the film deserves: Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots


A slog – and why does Elizabeth look like Ronald McDonald? Mary Queen of Scots reviewed

The scenery is ravishing and the two leads, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, are better than the film deserves but they can’t rescue the script

David Oyelowo as Javert in Andrew Davies's Les Misérables. Photo: BBC / Lookout Point / Laurence Cendrowicz


Les Misérables is another depressing example of the BBC’s woke quota targets

Plus: Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins shows you what equality between the sexes really looks like

Rupert Graves and Colin Mcfarlane in Pinter's 'hilarious sketch' Victoria Station. Photo: Marc Brenner


One masterpiece, one dud and one interesting rediscovery: Pinter Five reviewed

Plus: a musical that is more religious experience than drama at the Playhouse Theatre

‘March’, 1939, by Grant Wood


The joy of prints

Gauguin, Goya, Dürer and Caulfield were all better printmakers than painters

Philipp Fürhofer's handsome and often ingenious designs for the Royal Opera's overcomplicated new production of The Queen of Spades. Photo: ROH 2018 / Catherine Ashmore


Never quite pivots from thesis to drama: Royal Opera’s Queen of Spades reviewed

Plus: the raging, passionate talent of Barbara Strozzi at Kings Place