The Spectator

22 September 2018

A wake-up call

More of us are addicted to our smartphones. But the fightback is beginning

Arts

Fantastic beasts and where to find them: ‘Wild Woman with Unicorn’, 1500–10

Arts feature

A brief history of unicorns

From ancient Greece to the twinkling Bambis of instagram

What a scorcher: bearing the brunt of Harold Pinter’s temper was one of life’s central experiences
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the LSO at the Barbican

Music

Rattle’s recapitulation: LSO/Simon Rattle at Barbican reviewed

Plus: Aurora Orchestra’s Beethoven Fifth, played entirely from memory, was a nerve-shredding experience

Arinzé Kene is a performer of great charm and charisma led astray by bad advice and public money

Theatre

Blacktivist rhetoric and impenetrable symbols: Misty reviewed

Plus: Underground Railroad Game is a racist Amsterdam floor show

A bloody miracle: ‘Apollo and Marsyas’, 1637, by Jusepe de Ribera

Exhibitions

The Spanish artist who is more gruesome even than Caravaggio

He was always too Catholic for British tastes, but Jusepe de Ribera’s time may have finally come

Letter signed by Wagner from an exhibition at the Saxon State and University Library in Dresden in 2013

Music

As a writer, Richard Wagner was both sublime – and unreadable

The composer was a consummate dramatist, but his prose works were terrible

‘Camo 15-Inch Howitzer’, 1916, by F.J. Mears

Exhibitions

Authenticity over artistry: Brushes with War reviewed

This battalion of works by artistic nobodies is a history exhibition as much as an art show

JR and Agnès Varda in Faces Places, a mesmerising meditation on lives lived

Cinema

The invisible woman of French cinema: Faces Places reviewed

Agnès Varda ranks with Godard, Truffaut and Rohmer, but as usual the fellas have hogged all the limelight

Easy rider: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve