In the good old days, when Hackney still had a proper swimming pool, I used to do lengths every morning with an old boy called Bob.
Those who believe that ballet today is often no more than a grotesque physical display ought to have seen American Ballet Theatre’s performance of Jardin aux Lilas last week.
Recent events in Egypt have exposed not just the chasms in our understanding of what’s been going on in the countries of the Middle East, but also the effects of changes in how the BBC is spending the licence fee on reporting ‘fast-breaking’ stories.
Alberto Della Ragione (1892–1973) was a naval engineer from Genoa with a passion for music, poetry and the visual arts; he also had the collecting bug.
Someone should write an opera about a once-great opera company, now in artistically suicidal decline.
Horizon (BBC2, Monday) asked, ‘What is reality?’ and didn’t really have an answer.
A frock that shocks, a terror-filled red coat and diamonds of seductive power are all promised next week in an alluring late-night series on Radio 3 (produced by Duncan Minshull).
It’s sometimes intriguing to speculate, as you go to an opera in a fringe production of one kind or another, about how much messing around (used neutrally) this or that popular work can take.
Ballet is a dying art, according to Jennifer Homans’s bestselling history of ballet, Apollo’s Angels.
Gently does it. The Fitzrovia Radio Hour takes us back to the droll and elegant world of light entertainment in the 1940s when the airwaves were full of racy detective shows and overheated melodramas about pushy Yorkshiremen and rogue Nazis.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the cuts to broadcasting have already been implemented, with nothing but Mozart on Radio 3 and the Bible on Radio 4 on Sunday.
Is Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel an opera for children of all ages, or for grown-ups and for children, or mainly for grown-ups? I went to the Royal Opera’s revival of it just after Christmas, to a 12.30 matinée (there were several), which I took to be for the benefit of children, as well as possibly being an unusual piece of thoughtfulness about transport on the part of the management.
The Radio Times now lists 72 channels, and that’s not all of them.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock — in which case, keep it to yourself; I’m done with rocks — you’ll have already heard about 127 Hours.
It’s that time of year. The great reckoning is upon us. Insurance is being renewed. Tax returns are being ferreted out. Roofing jobs are being appraised and budgeted for. And spouses are being trundled into central London for the annual session of dialysis at the theatre.
Although I stopped watching TV some years ago, films are a continuing solace and pleasure.
Some albums you love instantaneously, others you have to work at.
Fashion may be Folly’s child, but that never stopped gardeners, when the urge was on them, from planting something à la mode.
The most watched programme on British television this year was the special live edition of EastEnders, broadcast in February to mark the soap’s 25th anniversary.
We might actually be glad of the time difference over in Australia this Christmas, so that we can switch on to Aggers and co.
Was there a golden age of English music a hundred years ago? From today’s vantage-point there probably was.
Peter Weir’s The Way Back tells the story of a group of escapees from a 1940 Siberian gulag who walked across Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet and the Himalayas to freedom in British India, a journey of 12 months and 4,000 miles, and a journey that will bring into sharp focus the domitability of your own crappy spirit, particularly if you always take the bus two stops up the hill, as I do.
Deceptively attractive. Romeo and Juliet tempts directors and leads them on while keeping all its false doors and secret pitfalls out of view.
Here in HMV on London’s Oxford Street, three comedians are signing autographs.
Hush: it’s secret