wed 16/10/2019

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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latest in today

theartsdesk Q&A: Gianandrea Noseda on conducting Mahler...

There's something about the very opening of a Mahler symphony...

The Peanut Butter Falcon review - sentimental comedy is so d...

It’s an uncomfortable feeling to find oneself completely at odds with an audience in a cinema, but it happens. The recent London Film Festival...

Lenny Henry's Race Through Comedy, Gold review - illumi...

Sir Lenny Henry, PhD and CBE, is scarcely recognisable as the teenager who made his TV debut on New Faces in 1975. He’s been a stand-up...

Bill Frisell's Harmony, Cadogan Hall review – superb Am...

“Bill Frisell is all about sound and melody and enhancing whatever context he is in.” That quote, which defines both the American guitarist’s...

Zauberland, Linbury Theatre review - an adaptation that adds...

Dichterliebe is a song-cycle full of gaps, silences, absences. Where is the piano at the start of “Ich hab’ im Traum geweinet” when the...

Chaos in the Cockpit: Flights from Hell, Channel 5 review -...

Apparently your odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11 million, while chances of death in a car accident are about one in 5,000....

Bevan, The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Christophers, Barbican...

Verdi, Elgar, Janáček, John Adams - just four composers who achieved musical transcendence to...

Cross Currents/Monotones II/Everyone Keeps Me, Linbury Theat...

This programme of three short works is all about influence, specifically the supposed cross currents between ballet and...

A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court review -...

Sabrina Mahfouz is a British-Egyptian writer who has explored issues of Muslim and British identity in various formats. Her work includes poetry,...

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