Ben West

A far-flung getaway to the Faroe Islands

Before its elevation to the undeniably slim Green List, the isolated windswept, wave-lashed archipelago of volcanic rock in the North Atlantic Ocean known as the Faroe Islands was not on many people’s radars. With direct flights from the UK recommencing on July 1, no doubt its popularity will surge in the coming months. Even before

Should you take your children to visit Auschwitz?

Is the Auschwitz museum suitable for children? I pondered that question on a visit accompanied by a plane load of secondary school teachers, organised by The Holocaust Educational Trust. The Holocaust was first included on the UK’s National Curriculum in 1991 and the Trust charters aeroplanes for a professional development course for UK teachers, taking them to Auschwitz and

Are theatre audiences getting out of hand?

Laurence Fox has this week joined an increasing band of actors hitting back at misbehaving audience members who seem to forget that they are in public rather than their own living room. He ramped up the drama by launching a foul-mouthed attack on a heckler before storming offstage during a live performance at a London theatre.

The same old story

Hard on the heels of last year’s television adaptation starring David Suchet and Ray Winstone is a new version of Dickens’s Great Expectations, in cinemas later this month. The new version, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, and which closed the 2012 London Film Festival, comes after adaptations which include David Lean’s 1946 classic,

Space invaders | 14 August 2010

Ben West investigates the growth in unusual exhibition venues — from brothel to butcher’s shop The economic downturn has forced many of us to rethink how we operate. This is especially so in the arts, an area that has always struggled for funding, and where cuts are inevitably huge considering all the hospitals and schools

A diet of unrelenting mush

Ben West on the decline in quality of regional theatre; he fears it can only get worse We may have been languishing for months in the worst recession for decades, but theatre appears to be booming. West End theatres enjoyed a record £500 million in ticket sales in 2009, with audience figures exceeding 14 million