Drama

Exhilaratingly original, C4’s Flowers is much more than just a ‘dark comedy’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

On Wednesday, BBC Four made an unexpectedly strong case that the human body is a bit rubbish. Our ill-designed spines,…

Why is this Israeli drama such a hit with Palestinians? Because it tells the truth

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘The rule in our household is: if a TV series hasn’t got subtitles, it’s not worth watching,’ a friend told…

The terrific cast of BBC2's King Lear (BBC/Playground Entertainment/Ed Miller)

Understated and heartbreaking: BBC2’s King Lear reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I recently came across a theory of the American poet Delmore Schwartz’s that Hamlet only makes sense if you assume…

Why the arts are needed to put the ‘A’ into ‘STEAM’

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Amongst the good places to be in Britain, the National Theatre and the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon are up there. What…

Sun readers will be disappointed – E.M. Phwoar-ster it is not: Howards End reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Any readers of the Sun who excitedly tuned in to Howards End on Sunday night with their pause button at…

An out-of-work steel worker walking through Port Talbot, 1964

Welsh noir: How Port Talbot became the drama capital of Wales

9 September 2017 9:00 am

Why, as well as steel, does the Welsh town produce great actors? Jasper Rees reports

Autistic endeavour: Keir Gilchrist as Sam in Atypical

Funny, sympathetic Netflix series on autism won’t please the righteous

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Most new Netflix series are greeted not merely with acclaim, but with a level of gratitude that the returning Christ…

A drama that really does show how much better Britain is today compared to 50 years ago

29 July 2017 9:00 am

As you may have spotted, the BBC is marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality with an…

BBC1’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream seems deliberately designed to flush out purists

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Spoiler alerts aren’t normally required for reviews of Shakespeare — but perhaps I’d better issue one before saying that in…

Even the sternest Leavisite critic would find it hard to resist BBC2's Peaky Blinders

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The big returning show of the week began with servants laying out the silverware at a large country house in…

The integrity and chain-smoking of these East German Commies is rather attractive

23 January 2016 9:00 am

No one remembers this now but there really was a period, not so long ago, when the Eighties were universally…

Shakespeare at his freest and most exuberant: The Wars of the Roses reviewed

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The RSC’s The Wars of the Roses solves a peculiar literary problem. Shakespeare’s earliest history plays are entitled Henry VI…

The Last Kingdom is BBC2’s solemnly cheesy answer to Game of Thrones

24 October 2015 9:00 am

The opening caption for The Last Kingdom (BBC2, Thursday) read ‘Kingdom of Northumbria, North of England, 866 AD’. In fact,…

An Inspector Calls is poisonous, revisionist propaganda - which is why the luvvies love it

19 September 2015 8:00 am

What a load of manipulative, hysterical tosh is An Inspector Calls. It wasn’t a work with which I was familiar…

Are we ready for a play about Jimmy Savile?

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Will Gore talks to the playwright who has brought Jimmy Savile’s crimes to the stage

Raised by Wolves review: council-estate life but not as you know it

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Journalist, novelist, broadcaster and figurehead of British feminism Caitlin Moran, who writes most of the Times and even had her…

James McAvoy is wrong – the arts are better off without subsidy

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The season of cringe-making acceptance speeches at arts awards ceremonies is nearly over, thank heavens. But it hasn’t passed without…

Dark thoughts: Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell

Could it be that Wolf Hall is actually the teeniest bit dull?

31 January 2015 9:00 am

In January 1958, the British government began working on the significantly titled Operation Hope Not: its plans for what to…

Channel 4’s Cyberbully: an unashamedly old-fashioned drama in being both well made and moral

17 January 2015 9:00 am

Channel 4’s Cyberbully (Thursday), written by Ben Chanan and David Lobatto, turned out to be a brilliantly gripping drama, even…

What parenting meant in 1914

10 January 2015 9:00 am

‘Not still War and Peace!’ exclaimed my husband on 1 January during the all-day Tolstoy splurge on Radio 4. In reality…

Kate Chisholm on what makes the BBC World Service so special

1 November 2014 9:00 am

‘Don’t take it for granted,’ she warned. ‘It’s one of the few places where you can hear diverse voices, different…

Is a new art form being born on Woman's Hour?

25 January 2014 9:00 am

In a comic-strip cartoon, beads of water apparently radiating outward from the head of one of the characters indicate embarrassment.…

Just imagine what BBC schedules might look like in Christmas Future

14 December 2013 9:00 am

Is it time to scrap the licence fee? That’s a question we’re going to hear more and more about in…

Gruesome fun

11 December 2010 12:00 am

Having been away, I only got to Alexander Raskatov’s opera A Dog’s Heart at its fifth performance by ENO, by which time everyone knew that it was brilliantly mounted, but not of much musical substance.

Hard times

20 November 2010 12:00 am

Courtroom dramas filled the schedules this week, with Jimmy McGovern writing a series for the BBC called Accused (BBC1, Monday).