wed 20/09/2017

book reviews and features

theartsdesk Q&A: Garrison Keillor

jasper Rees

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, and has been for the past 42 years, ever since Garrison Keillor first reported on the town's goings-on in his weekly radio show A Prairie Home Companion...

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Who was St Clair Bayfield?

jasper Rees

This week Stephen Frears's film about Florence Foster Jenkins opens. It will bring to the widest attention yet the story of a New York socialite who couldn’t sing and yet did sing, infamously, to...

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Søren Dahlgaard’s Dough Portraits

theartsdesk

Can a portrait really be a portrait if we can’t see a person’s face? And what if the reason we can’t see their face is that it is covered with a lump of dough? Is it a joke? And if it is a joke,...

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Extract: The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre

Aleks Sierz And

Theatre is one of the glories of British culture, a melting pot of creativity and innovation. Beginning with the coronation of Elizabeth I and ending with the televised crowning of the current...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Günter Grass

Kate Connolly

The Nobel prize-winning writer, playwright and artist Günter Grass was arguably the best-known German-language author of the second half of the 20th century. Kate Connolly met him in May 2010 in...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Novelist Hilary Mantel

jasper Rees

Hilary Mantel is a maker of literary history. Wolf Hall, an action-packed 650-page brick of a book about the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Its...

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theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Mark Hudson

Remember when festivals were only about what they were ostensibly about? When, say, Reading offered nothing beyond hard rock bar disgusting toilets, overpriced hamburgers and the prospect of a...

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Extracts: John Tusa - Pain in the Arts

ismene Brown

In the midst of ferment as the arts world faces fast-shrinking public subsidy, Sir John Tusa, former managing director of the BBC World Service and the Barbican Arts Centre, publishes this week a...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Biographer Claire Tomalin on Charles Dickens

jasper Rees

The tally of Charles Dickens’s biographers grows ever closer to 100. The English language’s most celebrated novelist repays repeated study, of course, because both his life and his work are so...

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'Books have been my life': Doris Lessing

jasper Rees

Doris Lessing’s storm-tossed life would make a stirring biopic. She spent her early years on an isolated farm in the Southern Rhodesian veldt, abandoned the children of her first marriage to take...

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Bad Move, ITV review - Jack Dee resettles in the middle of t...

The countryside as a dump where all good things come to a dead end is hardly a new thought. There are plenty of novels and memoirs and indeed...

Neil Sedaka, Royal Albert Hall review - sparkly veteran defi...

As pretty much everything but a plague of locusts is visited upon this grim old world, an evening in the company of Neil Sedaka is the greatest of...

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Has Hackney ever seen or heard such a spectacle – a full ...

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Port Talbot (population 38,000) is a town on the south Wales...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle review - too much of everything

Take one off-the-wall spoof spy thriller that becomes...

DVD/Blu-ray: The Legend of the Holy Drinker

A decade after his masterpiece, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, won the 1978 Palme d’Or at...

Oslo, National Theatre review - informative, gripping and mo...

Documentary theatre has a poor reputation. It’s boring in form, boring to look at (all those middle-aged men in...

Mae Martin, Soho Theatre review - life is a drug

She’s only 30, but Mae Martin has been at this comedy lark...

Mads Mathias, Pizza Express Jazz Club - honeyed yet precise

Caressing the microphone, and gazing into the audience with winsome, soulful sincerity, tousled auburn locks glistening in the stage...

CD: Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Luciferian Towers

Luciferian Towers, the third album since Canadian oddballs Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s 2011 reunion, is an instrumental...

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