thu 22/02/2024

book reviews and features

Harriet Walter on Brutus and Other Heroines

Harriet Walter

A part we have played is like a person we once met, grew to know, became intimately enmeshed with and finally moved away from. Some of these characters remain friends, others are like ex-lovers...

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Sunday Book: I Am Brian Wilson

Adam Sweeting

For decades Brian Wilson was depicted as the mad, lost genius of the Beach Boys, but these days, at 74, he's looking more like one of pop's great survivors. After all, he has comprehensively...

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Sunday Book: Carlo Rovelli - Reality Is Not What It Seems

Peter Forbes

Scientists today tend to patronise the early Greek philosophers who, 2500 years ago, inaugurated enquiry into the nature of things. The Atomic Theory? A lucky guess, they allege. But Carlo Rovelli...

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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 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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Less than three years after her magnificent Macbeth, Yaël Farber returns to the Almeida with another...

Bill Bailey: Thoughtifier, Brighton Centre review - offbeat...

I first saw Bill Bailey at least 30 years ago in the cabaret tent at...

Hadestown, Lyric Theatre review - soul-stirring musical glor...

Doom and gloom, we are told, may have abounded in the classical underworld, but Hadestown suggests otherwise. Returning to...

Tom Chatfield: Wise Animals review - on the changing world

Consider a chimp peeling a stick which it will poke into a termite nest. It strikes us as a human gesture. Our primate cousin is fashioning a tool...

Album: Aziza Brahim - Mawja

Glitterbeat is home to a wildly eclectic and reliably brilliant world of...

An Enemy of the People, Duke of York's Theatre - perfor...

Real life is a helluva lot scarier right now than you might guess from the performative theatrics on display in the new...

Double Feature, Hampstead Theatre review - with directors li...

It’s awards season in the film world, which means that we’re currently swamped by hyperbolic shows of love and respect – actors and their...

theartsdesk Q&A: Wim Wenders on 'Perfect Days'

Wim Wenders’ latest narrative film Perfect Days might seem an uncommonly mellow work by the maker of Alice in the Cities (...

Album: Laetitia Sadier - Rooting for Love

It must be kind of unreal living in the Stereolab universe.

A band of geeky...

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