Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans

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

They call me the ‘problem teetotaller’

My guts went on strike last July. I was staying in a hotel and I spent several days sprawled on the bed, vomiting occasionally, eating and drinking nothing and barely able even to wet my lips with water. Meanwhile, a bottle of Prosecco offered by the management stood untouched next to the widescreen TV. I

Dreary Keir Starmer makes Iain Duncan Smith sound exciting

It might have been an inside job. The saboteur who threw a handful of glitter over Sir Keir Starmer at the start of his speech turned the Labour leader into a hero for a few seconds. The assailant was frogmarched away while protesting in a very expensive accent. ‘True democracy is citizen-led’ he brayed, using

Lloyd Evans

London’s ‘Free Palestine’ protest descended into farce

Central London succumbed last night to a mob of protestors celebrating the outrages perpetrated by Hamas on Saturday. That was the verdict of many news outlets. ‘Night of Fury’ ran the Daily Mail’s headline. ‘Police separate warring groups’ said the Daily Express.  The protest outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington lasted more than two hours

Rishi the revolutionary? Come off it

It was preposterous. A prime minister at the head of a party that’s been running the country for 13 years posed as a revolutionary today. Rishi Sunak presented himself to the Tory conference as a dashing anarchist, an upstart rebel, a fearless saviour who wants to wrest power from an authoritarian clique and hand it

What you won’t learn from Channel 4’s Partygate drama

Partygate has morphed from a half-forgotten scandal into a new drama-documentary which airs on Channel 4 tomorrow night. This rehash of old news depicts Boris Johnson as an amiable tyrant, played by Jon Culshaw, who presides over a gang of chaotic law-breakers as they hold riotous parties in Downing Street at the height of lockdown.

Freddy Gray, Kate Andrews & Lloyd Evans

20 min listen

This week Freddy Gray takes a trip to Planet Biden and imagines what would happen if little green men invaded earth and found a big orange one back in the White House (01:15), Kate Andrews finds herself appalled by the so-called ‘advice’ routinely handed out to women that can be at best, judgemental, and at

Judgment call: the case for leaving the ECHR

42 min listen

On the podcast this week: Lord Sumption makes the case for leaving the ECHR in The Spectator’s cover piece. He says that the UK has strong courts and can pass judgement on human rights by itself and joins the podcast alongside Dr Joelle Grogan – legal academic and head of research at UK in a Changing Europe

Could I find a girlfriend on a Guardian Blind Date?

Free grub, free booze and the chance to fall in love. That’s the deal offered by Blind Date, a matchmaking strand in the Guardian that brings together lonely hearts and asks them to spill the beans. When I applied for this enticing freebie I had no expectation of being chosen, but my email was answered

Cheesy skit: A Mirror, at the Almeida Theatre, reviewed

The playwright Sam Holcroft likes to toy with dramatic conventions and to tease her audiences by withholding key information about the characters. This tinkering seems to scare the critics into praising her scripts even though they feel like clumsily written thrillers or botched sci-fi yarns where the rules keep changing. Her technique appeals to high-minded

Russell Brand’s gags are coming back to haunt him

It has now officially all gone wrong for stand-up’s sex god. Ahead of Saturday night’s Channel 4 documentary about Russell Brand, and the newspaper disclosures in the Sunday Times, there was speculation that the witnesses could be opportunistic attention-seekers. The account of the first complainant appears to undermine that idea. On the same day as

Osborne, Balls and a glimpse of Westminster’s rotten culture

Podcast mania continues at Westminster. Discarded grandees from all parties have noticed the success of The Rest is Politics, the hit podcast by Rory Stewart and Alastair Campbell, which has now become a lucrative roadshow. The two gasbags sold out the Albert Hall in a matter of minutes, and their popularity has drawn new players

Did PMQs uncover the truth about the Westminster spy scandal?

An odd affair, PMQs. Few blows were landed, no blood was spilled. The party leaders tussled over a handful of fifth-order issues. Sir Keir Starmer suggested that the escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife should have been held as a Category A prisoner. Rishi Sunak scolded the great barrister for not knowing that unconvicted suspects are

Sir Keir’s shouting beats Rishi’s stats at PMQs

Crumbling concrete dominated PMQs. Sir Keir climbed to his feet and announced in sepulchral tones that most of Britain’s schools are likely to be flattened by the first stiff breeze of autumn. He gave an example, from May 2018, of a primary school that suddenly imploded ‘over the weekend, and thankfully no children were injured’.

Two very long hours: The Effect, at the Lyttelton Theatre, reviewed

Lucy Prebble belongs to the posse of scribblers responsible for the HBO hit, Succession. Perhaps in honour of this distinction, her 2012 play, The Effect, has been revived at the National by master-director Jamie Lloyd. The show is a sitcom set in Britain’s most dysfunctional drug-testing facility where two sexy young volunteers, Tristan and Connie,