James Graham

James Graham is a playwright and screenwriter. His latest TV series, Sherwood, is available on BBC iPlayer.

Boris, Sherwood and the politics of the past

It feels like the end, but we’ve been here before. The past months of Boris Johnson’s teetering administration have felt like the final act of a Shakespearean tragedy and yet the curtain just won’t fall. This week saw one of those rare electric nights of drama when a prime minister looks set to be toppled.

The birth of the culture wars

The last time I wrote for The Spectator’s diary slot, over the summer, theatres were tentatively beginning to turn their lights on again, following the historically long closures at the height of the pandemic. On Monday night the West End went dark once more, but thankfully only briefly. Theatres along Shaftesbury Avenue and beyond dimmed

The true cost of theatre closures

It turns out that if there’s one thing more expensive than making theatre, it’s not making it. Empty buildings haemorrhage money. Postponing a show already in rehearsal or raising the curtain only for it to be dropped shortly after — as happened in December when theatres reopened just to close days later — scares off

Can London’s theatres survive this crisis?

Never have I stared at my own face so much. Not because I want to, it’s just always there now, ever present in one part of the screen I’m compelled to look at as I talk to the person who requested a Zoom, or a Teams, or a FaceTime. It feels apt, in an existential