arts

TV: Down memory lane

Published: July 13, 2017
Written by Les Hull

Who Do You Think You Are? BBC 1 Porridge: Inside Out Yesterday It might have been tempting, at one point, to have marvelled at Who Do You Think You Are? …

Music: Triumph of the backroom boys

Published: July 11, 2017
Written by Cary Gee

The Tex Pistols Nells Jazz and Blues Club, London Billed as a celebration of Americana this Independence night gig is really a celebration of the fundamentals of great rock n …

Books: Passion and inspiration

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Mike Parker

Hay Literary Festival Part 2 Harriet Harman and Yanis Varoufakis may have warmed up the Hay audience earlier in the festival, but the fire was truly lit on the second …

Books: Brave confrontation with evil

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Sarah Gellner

Mischling by Affinity Konar Atlantic Books £12.99 What can you say about the style, characterisation, plot structure etc of a novel about the systematic torture of children? An abomination that …

Books: Nightmare of an occupation

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Paul Routledge

The Single Soldier by George Costigan Urbane Publications £8.99 We have no modern experience of occupation. It’s almost a thousand years since William the Conqueror led the last successful invading …

Books: Madness of death by religion

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Stephen Kelly

The Burning Time:?The Story Of The Smithfield Martyrs by Virginia Rounding Macmillan £20 It always seemed apt that during the turbulent 1970s Tribune should have its offices in Smithfield, a …

Film: Hermit on the Heath

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Rita Di Santo

Hampstead Director: Joel Hopkins Welcome to a modern fairytale. Inspired by a true story, Hampstead shows that love can explode in the most ­unexpected places and age is no barrier …

Film: Park City in Piccadilly

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

Sundance London 2017 For four days in June, Park City Utah came to Piccadilly Circus. Sundance London returned with a selection of independently-produced American films – dramas, documentaries and the …

Theatre: Entertaining alienation

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Aleks Sierz

Gloria Hampstead Theatre, London Punts Theatre 503, London The subject here is alienation, at work and in the home. In contemporary society, office work seems to symbolise a life of …

TV: Cut according to the cloth

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by Les Hull

Broken BBC 1 There’s a long tradition of comedy clergy featuring in English language fiction; many theatrical farces from the Ben Travers era usually brought one onto the stage by …

Theatre: A play of two halves

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by William Russell

These Trees Are Made Of Blood Arcola Theatre, London Set in what purports to be a cabaret club called ‘The Coup’ where satirical performances take place, These Trees Are Made …

Music: Evocative sonics

Published: July 6, 2017
Written by James McGowan

Daniel Lanois Koko, London The Convergence Festival has been showcasing and exploring the interface between culture and technology since 2014. This year’s programme covered venues from the Barbican to the …

Hay Literary Festival 2017

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Mike Parker

Part One Unlike last year, when we were facing a poll that had been announced far enough in advance for the Festival to theme a series of events around it, …

Books: A moving story of survival

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Carole Dawson Young

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea by Melissa Fleming Fleet £16.99 This book should be required reading for every newly elected MP because the desperate human tragedy it describes …

Books: A comic political saga

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Cary Gee

A Very English Scandal:?Sex, Lies And A?Murder Plot At The Heart Of The Establishment by John Preston Penguin £9.99 What happens when an Eton dandy falls for a socially inadequate …

Books: What is truth?

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Charlie Beaumont

Post-Truth:?The New War On Truth And How To Fight  Back by Matthew D’Ancona Ebury Press £6.99 This valuable book poses interesting challenges to readers, encouraging reflection as to what is …

Theatre: Rural epic, urban vigour

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Aleks Sierz

Common National Theatre, London Barber Shop Chronicles National Theatre, London History is a tricky harlot. She is bought and sold, fought for and thrown over, seduced and betrayed – and …

Exhibition: Uneven, colourful Bell

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Tony Collins

Vanessa Bell Dulwich Picture Gallery, London With reference to the visual arts of painting and sculpture, Modernism is conventionally defined as an international movement dating from the latter years of …

TV: Metal Gurus

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Les Hull

The Detectorists BBC 2 Having been launched on BBC 4, The Detectorists is enjoying a promotion and repeat on BBC 2. Written and directed by its star, Mackenzie Crook (pictured), …

Film: Zac and Rock at bay

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

Baywatch Director: Seth Gordon Zac Efron needs better career advice. For the past three years, he has been cast against type as a hard partier who would defend his right …

Opera: Sophisticated and moving

Published: June 17, 2017
Written by Cary Gee

Semele Garsington Opera Presenting oratorio in fully staged performances is now a well-established tradition and there have been many notable successes. Even Handel’s own performances were usually semi-staged in some …