tue 23/04/2024

tv

theartsdesk Q&A: Actor Robert Vaughn

Adam Sweeting

New York-born actor Robert Vaughn, who has died at the age of 83, achieved massive popular success when he starred as the sleek secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which ran for four seasons from 1964 to 1968 and exploited the then-new James Bond mania to ratings-busting effect.

Read more...

Warren Mitchell - ‘If you could be Welsh and Jewish you really couldn’t miss’

Jasper Rees

“He has been in poor health for some time, but was cracking jokes to the last,” read the statement from Warren Mitchell’s family following news of his death today, at the age of 89. That will come as no surprise for those who remember the actor primarily as Alf Garnett, first in Till Death Do Us Part (on the BBC, 1965-75), and later In Sickness and In Health (1985-1992).

Read more...

Maggie Smith: 'If there’s an old bat to play, it’ll be me'

Jasper Rees

Maggie Smith rarely gives interviews. In the week that Downton Abbey's last-ever series episode is broadcast, and she reprises on screen her role in Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van (pictured below with Alex Jennings), theartsdesk revisits an encounter that took place in Highclere Castle in 2010.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer Bernard Cornwell

Barney Harsent

Bernard Cornwell's best-selling Sharpe series, set during the Napoleonic wars, transferred to television with huge success. This week, it’s the turn of his Saxon Stories to make the jump, as the BBC airs its lavish, eight-part drama The Last Kingdom, based on Cornwell's novels.

Read more...

10 Questions for Broadcaster Bettany Hughes

Jasper Rees

How do you live a good life? Is wealth a good thing? How do you create a just society? The United Kingdom's electorate recently pondered such questions in the polling booth, and made their decision. The Labour Party is agonising over them as it chooses its next leader. And yet while these anxieties may feel very now, they have deep roots.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Spooks, the movie

Adam Sweeting

During its 10-season run on BBC One between May 2002 and October 2011, Spooks built a lasting reputation as a superior espionage thriller, charting the battle of a squad of MI5 agents to protect the realm against its fiendish and unscrupulous adversaries.

Read more...

'Most of the time I play complete losers'

Jasper Rees

The world now knows him as Lord Crawley, stiff-backed in white tie and tails, regimental garb or, for relaxation, tweed. But before he became the face of Downton Abbey – and of bumbling institutional incompetence in Twenty Twelve and W1A – Hugh Bonneville could be seen in roles of considerable depth and range, including a moving Philip Larkin and a brutish husband in the BBC's Daniel Deronda.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress MyAnna Buring

Adam Sweeting

There came a moment, around three years ago, when MyAnna Buring suddenly seemed to be in everything. "I'm so sorry!" she shrieks (ironically) when I point this out to her. She had given warning of her arrival by appearing in Ben Wheatley's Kill List and, rather more prominently, as Tanya (who as you'll know was a vegetarian vampire from the Denali coven) in the concluding pair of Twilight films.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Actress Sofie Gråbøl

Jasper Rees

Sofie Gråbøl as Danish royalty: it hardly stretches credulity. The face of Nordic noir has been a star in her home country ever since appearing in Bille August's Pelle the Conqueror in 1987, but is solely familiar on these shores as Sarah Lund, the jumpered Copenhagen detective from three unmissable series of The Killing.

Read more...

theartsdesk Q&A: Writer Jimmy McGovern

Jasper Rees

The black stuff. The phrase was patented in the early 1980s by Alan Bleasdale, Liverpool's other small-screen big hitter. But it could just as well describe the drama that issues from McGovern's imagination, with its dark understanding of the Manichean psyche, its intimacy with the curlicues of Catholic guilt, its knowledge that animal instincts pulse insistently beneath the epidermis we call civility.

Read more...

Pages

 

latest in today

Špaček, BBC Philharmonic, Bihlmaier, Bridgewater Hall, Manch...

Billed as a “Viennese Whirl”, this programme showed that there are different kinds of music that may be known to the orchestral canon as coming...

Banging Denmark, Finborough Theatre review - lively but conf...

What would happen if a notorious misogynist actually fell in love? With a glacial Danish librarian? And decided his best means of...

Album: Fred Hersch - Silent, Listening

The previous solo piano solo album from Fred Hersch, one of the world’s great...

Music Reissues Weekly: Linda Smith - I So Liked Spring, Noth...

Three years ago, the release of Till Another Time 1988-1996 generated a thumbs up. A compilation of recordings by the Baltimore and/or...

London Tide, National Theatre review - haunting moody river...

“He do the police in different voices.” If ever one phrase summed up a work of fiction, and the art of its writer, then surely it is this...

Watts, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Bignamini, Barbica...

Anyone who’d booked to hear soprano Sally Matthews or to witness the rapid progress of conductor Daniele Rustioni – the initial draw for me –...

The Songs of Joni Mitchell, Roundhouse review - fans (old an...

For most people’s 40th birthday celebrations, they might get a few...

Fantastic Machine review - photography's story from one...

The first photograph was taken nearly 200 years ago in France by Joseph Niépce, and the first picture of a person was taken in Paris by Louis...

Album: Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department: The Ant...

Taylor Swift’s unfathomable ability to articulate human emotion shines as brightly as ever in her latest double album The Tortured Poets...

Jonathan Pie, Duke of York's Theatre review - spoof pol...

If you don't like sweary comics – Jonathan Pie uses the c-word liberally – then this may not be the show for you. In fact if you're a Tory, ditto...