sat 19/09/2020

Opinion

Opinion: Why film stars should never play film stars

News that Nicole Kidman is to play Grace Kelly in a movie called Grace of Monaco convinces me that it is foredoomed. This time Kidman won’t have any prosthetics to help her resemble Grace Kelly, such as the long nose she wore as Virginia Woolf in...

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Opinion: What ballet school is for

How many classical ballet dancing jobs, full-time, are there in Great Britain? I make it just 289. That's the Royal Ballet 94, English National Ballet 67, Birmingham Royal Ballet 57, Scottish Ballet 36, Northern Ballet 35. Rambert does sometimes...

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Opinion: Comedy should be taken more seriously

The first ever work of literary theory was Aristotle's Poetics, which was written on two separate papyruses - one on tragedy and the other on comedy. However, at some point the second was lost and along with it our most ancient understanding of the...

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Opinion: do we really need more classic novels adapted?

Wanted: classic novel, preferably 19th-century but 18th will do, or early 20th. Anything reeking of period before television acceptable, though preferably not too working class. English if poss. Barnaby Rudge need not apply.Is there a crisis in the...

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Opinion: Oligarchs and oiligarchs have made art a luxury

For me, 2011 will go down as the year in which the fact that artworks have become luxury goods – playthings for the rich – could no longer be ignored. In response Damien Hirst, one of the first artists to turn himself into a brand, is sprinkling the...

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Opinion: There's more to children's theatre than panto

So, Christmas again then. Ho ho ho. It comes around every year. Cards, crackers, baubles, TV specials. And panto. I am a playwright. I write mostly for children and their families. I tend not to say I'm a children's writer because it's rare that a...

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Opinion: Why can't the British make urban movies?

A spectre is haunting Britain - the spectre of a film called Big Fat Gypsy Gangster. Poised for release in just over a week’s time, this Ricky Grover vanity project is described generously as “Monty Python meets Snatch”, chronicling the life and...

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Opinion: Is The X Factor back for good?

And so it begins again. Earlier this summer I attended what has become a regular British ritual, exactly like Wimbledon and Henley, the Chelsea Flower Show and Ascot, with only one or two small discrepancies. The forecourt in front of the O2 heaved...

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Opinion: Why are we so ghoulishly obsessed with self-destruction?

By and large, Adele Adkins chooses to avoid the limelight, and therefore little is known of either her personal life or her indulgences, whatever they may be. The spectacular success of 21 suggests that her audience couldn't care less either way,...

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Opinion: Who says music isn’t good any more?

The former Bee Gee Robin Gibb unveiled a plaque at the London home of Dusty Springfield a couple of weeks ago. At the ceremony he commented, “There’s been no one to match her. This includes the United States as well – they can’t come close to her....

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Opinion: Is classical music irrelevant?

Cambridge University, cradle of Newton, Keynes and Wittgenstein, of Wordsworth, Turing and Tennyson, has produced 15 prime ministers and more Nobel Prize-winners than most nations. In its 200-year history, the university’s debating society has...

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Opinion: Time to say goodbye to the label 'World Music'

Although the phrase “world music” was first coined by American ethnomusicologist Robert Brown in the 1960s, it didn’t become a brand, as it were, until 1987, when a bunch of London-based DJs, musicians and record company folk (including the late...

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