Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans is The Spectator's sketch-writer and theatre critic

Why are theatres so cowardly?

Looking back at the year’s West End theatre, a few shows stand out. First, the best. Vanya, starring Andrew Scott at the Duke of York’s Theatre, was an audacious and frankly barmy attempt to reimagine Chekhov’s sprawling family melodrama, Uncle Vanya, as a monologue. The risk was that it might come across as a lengthy

Thank God for Christmas, and a break from PMQs

Christmas at PMQs began with a call for the government to scrap its in-house astrology team.  Greg Smith, a Tory backbencher, said he was fed up with the Office of Budget Responsibility whose latest forecast ‘was £30 billion out.’ Smith wants ‘lower taxes’ and he suggested that ‘we need a better system of financial modelling.’

Sir Keir’s style is too legal to land a blow on Sunak

The Rwanda treaty has established two new norms in politics. First, the Supreme Court acts as a revising chamber with the power to change government legislation. Secondly, Labour is terrified of Rwanda.  At PMQs, Sir Keir thought he was on a winning ticket and all he had to do was mock the relocation scheme and

Lloyd Evans

The new status symbol of the super rich: headlice

To help out friends, I sometimes collect a boy from his primary school near Sloane Square. This part of London boasts the most expensive homes in Britain and the local families are served by a crop of ultra-pricey schools. The best known, Hill House, was founded in the 1940s by an eccentric army officer, ‘the

Did Starmer let slip Labour’s secret plan to win back the Red Wall?

Winter looms, and at PMQs the Scottish nationalists were swift to exploit the darkness and the chill.  ‘Dread,’ intoned Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s freakishly macabre leader in Westminster. ‘Their hearts fill with dread,’ he said. Flynn was describing the inner lives of parents in Aberdeen as they contemplate the first snows of November. Their ‘dread’

Don’t mock Big Tech around Rishi Sunak

PMQs began with Sir Keir Starmer’s favourite trick. He read out a sob-story intended to humiliate the government. Having outlined the woes of two unfortunate citizens, he accused Rishi Sunak of ‘refusing to take responsibility’ and of ‘boasting that everything is fine’. The sad pawns in this prank were a teenage boy and his hard-working

PMQs: Sunak struggles to defend David Cameron

The House of Lords is like a bag of doughnuts in the lap of a traffic policeman. There’s always room for one more. The newest peer, David Cameron, was the subject of much amused scorn at PMQs. Rishi Sunak wasn’t prepared for an obvious query about his new Foreign Secretary: what is Dave’s greatest feat

Elon and Rishi’s unseemly love-in

Two of the world’s great unelected power-brokers met last night at Bletchley Park. Elon Musk and Rishi Sunak held a joint interview after the international conference about AI. Their topic was regulation. ‘What should a government like ours be doing?’ said the PM. What an odd start. Why is the Prime Minister asking a foreign

It’s a bit late for Dominic Cummings to apologise

Dominic Cummings showed up at the Covid Inquiry dressed in his signature white shirt. Plus, in a nod to formality, he’d added a shoe-string tie , rakishly askew. He was interrogated by Hugo Keith KC, a lawyer with a plausible manner and an expensive tailor. He looked like one of those shiny new MPs with

The shallow truth about Rachel Reeves

Sexism struck early in Rachel Reeves’s life. Last night the shadow chancellor gave a talk about her new book on female economists, and she recalled an early brush with toxic masculinity. Aged eight, competing in a public chess tournament, she faced a little boy who foresaw a swift and easy victory. ‘Lucky I’m playing a

Rishi Sunak has lost his fizz

A harrowing session at PMQs. Rishi Sunak seemed subdued and de-energised. His fizz had gone flat. The usual hip-wriggling shuffle at the despatch had been replaced with a hunched, anxious pose. Heavy shoulders. Head drooping. The Middle East crisis has snapped his elastic. The issue Sir Keir had ducked was Gaza. Too hot to handle

Lloyd Evans

If only Caryl Churchill’s plays were as thrillingly macabre as her debut

The first play by the pioneering feminist Caryl Churchill has been revived at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Owners, originally staged in 1972, feels very different from Churchill’s later work and it recalls the apprentice efforts of Brecht who started out writing middle-class comedies tinged with satirical anger. Churchill sets her play in the cut-throat London