Ideal homes

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

Artists, poets and philosophers have not paid much attention to Milton Keynes …although comedians have. This urban experiment has been…


Acting with a capital ‘A’

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

Let’s be clear: Jackie is a better performance than it is a film, although I suspect the performance will carry…


Great leaps forward

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

In the 1940s Lucian Freud took another young painter, Sandra Blow, up to the top of a bombed church in…

Visitors outside the Royal Festival Hall in with London Eye

Safe and sound

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

This week the Southbank Centre began its ‘Belief and Beyond Belief’ festival — a series of concerts and talks claiming…


The xx: I See You

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

The xx is a trio of Londoners whose eponymous first album, released in 2009, has defined the way pop music…

Death rattle

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

The Barbican website warns us that Ligeti’s opera Le grand macabre ‘contains very strong language and adult themes’. The strong…


Spot the ball

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

The purest form of radio is probably sports commentating, creating pictures in the mind purely through language so that by…


Dual control

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

Revolting (Tuesdays) is the BBC2 comedy series that spawned the now-infamous sketch ‘Real Housewives of Isis’. It has been watched…

Remembrance of things past

19 January 2017 3:00 pm

The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Now it arrives on…


Haus of ill repute

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Here in Munich, in the gallery that Hitler built, this year’s big hit show is a spectacular display of modern…


Caveats be damned

14 January 2017 9:00 am

You will have registered the buzz surrounding La La Land and clocked its seven Golden Globe wins and 11 Bafta…


The Bourne identity

14 January 2017 9:00 am

From a film about ballet to a ballet about film. In reworking the 1948 Powell and Pressburger classic The Red…


Shape shifter

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Victor Pasmore once told me how he greeted Pablo Picasso at Victoria station. The great man had come to Britain…

Woman in blue nurse clothes sitting on the floor

Word perfect

14 January 2017 9:00 am

All that’s needed for Radio 4’s One to One series (Tuesdays) to succeed is a sharp-eyed interviewer, ready with the…

Our Dancing Town

Shall we dance?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Blimey! How on earth did they think of that?’ is unlikely to be anyone’s response to Our Dancing Town (BBC2,…


Drama queen

14 January 2017 9:00 am

God, what a dusty old chatterbox Schiller is. Like Bernard Shaw, he can’t put a character on stage without churning…


Munchkins and mischiefs

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Arthur Rackham shouldn’t have lived in anything as conventional as a house. It should have been a gingerbread cottage, like…


Long suffering

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Silence is Martin Scorsese’s film about Jesuit priests in 17th-century Japan whose faith is sorely tested, just as your patience…


Ways of seeing

7 January 2017 9:00 am

‘Radical’ is like ‘creative’, a word that has been enfeebled to the point of meaninglessness. Everybody seems to want to…


Giving it both barrels

7 January 2017 9:00 am

In Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March, the ageing Emperor Franz Joseph regrets the drab field-grey that has replaced his army’s…

Global internet telecommunication concept, 3d globe, satellite orbits

Joining the dots

7 January 2017 9:00 am

A new website,, lets us browse radio stations across the globe. Nothing new about that. That’s been a key…

Sherlock S4 - Ep1

Holmes spun

7 January 2017 9:00 am

One of the few intelligent responses from the liberal-left to our radically altered political landscape was an essay published last…


Hedda Garbler

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Hedda Gabler is one of the most influential plays ever written. It not merely illuminated an injustice, the enslavement of…


Back in the USSR

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

For much of 1517 Michelangelo Buonarroti was busy quarrying marble in the mountains near Carrara. From time to time, however,…


All bark and no bite

29 December 2016 3:00 pm

A Monster Calls is a fantasy drama about a young boy whose life is crap, basically. His mother is sick.…