mon 14/06/2021

book reviews and features

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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10 Questions for Count Arthur Strong

Jasper Rees

Autumn is a season of tumbling leaves, dark afternoons and of course fatuous memoirs from people off the telly. But every so often the world is taken by surprise, less by autumn itself than by the...

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Pages

latest in today

Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings & Watercolours, Ashmolean Muse...

Drawing is the cornerstone of artistic practice, but is often overshadowed by "higher" forms of visual art, such as painting and sculpture. When...

Extract: David Lan's As If By Chance

In June 2001 the London Festival of International Theatre brought Amir Nizar Zuabi’s Alive from...

Elinor Cleghorn: Unwell Women review – misunderstanding and...

I’m one of the women in the pages of Elinor Cleghorn’s new history of the female body, Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a...

Album: Joan Armatrading - Consequences

Back in dark days of the first lockdown when she was birthing her new album,...

Reissue CDs Weekly: Screamers - Demo Hollywood 1977

In its first issue of 1979, Melody Maker included an...

Blu-ray: The Hands of Orlac (Orlacs Hände)

The German director Robert Wiene is best known for The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), perhaps the most influential piece of...

First Person: Director Maria Aberg on drawing fresh inspirat...

When theatres in the UK closed last March, I found myself in a vacuum. Having been a freelance theatre...

British Ballet Charity Gala, Royal Albert Hall review - a ce...

The Royal Albert Hall – 150 years old this year and with a commemorative £5 coin to prove it – is a great  space for many kinds of spectacle...

Lupin, Part 2, Netflix review - master of disguise versus ra...

Lupin isn’t really about the fictional character it’s...

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