Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans

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

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,

Alex Salmond teases a reconciliation with Sturgeon

Even in her absence, Nicola Sturgeon dominated Iain Dale’s discussion with Alex Salmond and David Davis at the Edinburgh festival. Dale invited them both to comment on George Galloway’s suggestion that Sturgeon is ‘Mrs Thatcher in a kilt.’ Salmond flatly rejected this caricature. (Evidently he knows that criticising her in public will do him no

Lloyd Evans

A tragicomic lecture about Gold at Edinburgh Festival

A chilly August in Edinburgh. Colder than it’s been for 20 years and the city looks scruffier than ever. Locked Portakabins squat in elegant stone courtyards. Unused site machinery lies abandoned outside neoclassical museums. Pavements and bridges are scarred by ugly steel roadblocks, and lurid street signs mar the visual harmony of virtually every thoroughfare.

Mick Lynch is stuck in the past

Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the RMT, has never felt truly English. In conversation with Iain Dale at the Edinburgh festival, he reveals that his parents moved here from Ireland during the war and settled in the Ladbroke Grove area of London where they raised him and his four siblings. His father was ‘an

Finally an entertaining play at the Royal Court: Cuckoo reviewed

The boss of the Royal Court, Vicky Featherstone, will soon step down and she’s using her final spell in charge to try an unusual experiment. Can she entertain the punters and make them feel happy rather than forcing them to confront various forms of gloom, misery and despair? The answer is yes. Featherstone can tickle

Roll up, roll up for Ian Blackford’s farewell tour

Ian Blackford, the SNP MP, is to stand down at the next election. And last night he gave an interview to Anand Menon of the think-tank UK In a Changing Europe. The mood was cosy, the questions as soft as marshmallows. Menon opened with the issue of independence and he allowed Blackford to change the

PMQs: Rishi prepares for opposition

The tectonic plates were shifting at PMQs. Sir Keir Starmer asked Rishi Sunak if the total NHS waiting list of 7.2 million had risen or fallen during his nine months in office. Rishi said the number was up because striking medics are denying treatment to the people whose taxes pay for it. He suggested that

Lloyd Evans

Forgettable stuff: The Crown Jewels, at the Garrick, reviewed

In the 1990s, the BBC had a popular flat-share comedy, Men Behaving Badly, about a pair of giggling bachelors who were scolded and dominated by their mummy-substitute girl-friends. The author, Simon Nye, has written a historical crime caper about the theft of the crown jewels in 1671, as Charles II prepared to celebrate his tenth

It was a bad day for Oliver Dowden at PMQs

Blindness, ignorance and folly were on fully display at PMQs. Rishi Sunak was absent in Vilnius where he’s busy discussing with his Nato chums how to prolong or escalate the war in Ukraine. His deputy, Oliver Dowden, tried to fend off some excellent, probing questions from Labour’s Angela Rayner. She berated the Tories for overseeing