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The Spectator

20 July 2019

Watson’s new plot

The Labour leader may about to be floored

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Arts

‘I just kept getting turned down and turned down’: Catherine Foster

Arts feature

From the NHS to Bayreuth: Norman Lebrecht talks to midwife-turned-opera singer Catherine Foster

The story of the soprano fêted on the Continent but shunned by Covent Garden exposes the snobbery at the heart of British opera

‘The Tea Party’, 1727, by Richard Collins

Exhibitions

A brief history of tea

Teapots are the star of a show at Compton Verney that charts the journey from drink of kings to the nation’s favourite brew

Music

A sonic masterclass: the Silesian String Quartet at Wigmore Hall reviewed

Plus: Remoaners and Brexiteers will come away equally offended by Buxton Festival’s sublimely silly Orpheus in the Underworld

Television

Pure hagiography – the BBC’s Extinction Rebellion: Last Chance To Save The World?

Plus: season three of Stranger Things is self-indulgent and twee – more Scooby-Doo than Alien

Radio

How to talk to astronauts

Two podcasts and a Radio Four drama series about the Apollo landings make them seem even more amazing than they did at the time

Theatre

The greatest actor in the world couldn’t salvage David Hare’s batty adaptation: Peer Gynt reviewed

Plus: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin would be perfect for the Sunday-night snooze-in slot

Animal magnetism: you’ll want to reach into the screen, pluck Simba out and take him on to your lap for a cuddle

Cinema

Completely and utterly and entirely blown away: the Lion King reviewed

You’ll want to pluck Simba from the screen and give him a cuddle