Laura Freeman

The big burly blokes who make infinitely precise pointe shoes by hand

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Pauline, Petrova or Posy? Which Fossil sister are you? Or, rather, which Fossil sister did you hope to be when…

From cartoons to stage design: the genius of Osbert Lancaster

30 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Bigger,’ said Sir Osbert Lancaster when asked the difference between his work for the page and for the stage. ‘Definitely…

Be more carthorse: why we would all benefit from a little self-loathing

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Leaving the auditorium of the Royal Opera House last week after The Sleeping Beauty, I passed a woman taking selfie…

Unsettlingly faithful to the spirit of Schiele: Staging Schiele reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Come up and see my Schieles.’ Those were the words that ended a friend’s fledgling relationship with an art collector.…

A last dose of vitamin D before the clocks go back: Royal Ballet’s triple bill reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Were those gerberas in Francesca Hayward’s bouquet on opening night? Gentlemen admirers take note: no woman, ballerina or otherwise, has…

Tat Britain: Museum gift shops are naff – but necessary

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Exit through the gift shop. Pick up a postcard, a magnet, a novelty eggcup in the shape of Queen Elizabeth…

Manon can be magnificent, this one was merely meh

19 October 2019 9:00 am

Manon: minx or martyr? There are two ways to play Kenneth MacMillan’s courtesan. Is Manon an ingénue, a guileless country…

Inspiring and sweet-smelling: David Nash’s 200 Seasons at Towner Art Gallery

You’ll be blubbing over a wooden boulder at David Nash’s show at Towner Art Gallery

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Call me soppy, but when the credits rolled on ‘Wooden Boulder’, a film made by earth artist David Nash over…

The many faces of William ‘Slasher’ Blake

14 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Imagination is my world.’ So wrote William Blake. His was a world of ‘historical inventions’. Nelson and Lucifer, Pitt and…

Nothing sings and shimmies like Alvin Ailey

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Hit them with your best shot? Or save the best till last? Almost 30 years after Alvin Ailey’s death in…

‘Flowers’, 1942, by Ivon Hitchens

Whooshing seedlings and squabbling stems: Ivon Hitchens at Pallant House reviewed

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Set down the secateurs, silence the strimmers. Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow. Ivon Hitchens was a…

How woke is your home?

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Quick! Roll up the Persian carpet. Hide the willow-pattern service. Sweep the wok and chopsticks under the Berber rug. Mr…

Daffy charm and diabolo tricks: Bolshoi’s The Bright Stream reviewed

17 August 2019 9:00 am

The Bright Stream is a ballet about a collective farm. Forget everything you know about collectivism — the failed harvests,…

Silly but stellar: Bolshoi Ballet’s Spartacus reviewed

10 August 2019 9:00 am

It’s togas-a-go-go as the Bolshoi bring Yuri Grigorovich’s 1956 ballet Spartacus to the Royal Opera House. Oh dear, I did…

Lines of beauty: Nancy Ekholm Burkert’s illustration for James and the Giant Peach

Before Quentin Blake, there was Nancy Ekholm Burkert – Dahl’s forgotten illustrator

27 July 2019 9:00 am

Bunnies were out. Beatrix Potter had the monopoly on rabbits, kittens, ducks and Mrs Tittlemouses. ‘I knew I had to…

Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets is a revelation

1 June 2019 9:00 am

T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets is full of music and movement. The players, such as they are, slip, slide, shake, tumble,…

Snog a Tory: Why you should learn to step outside your comfort zone

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Ew! Are you squeamish? Are you grossed out by meat, by fish, by eggs, by scales and suckers and shells…

Natalia Osipova, cursed with a frightful Ascot fascinator, a Halloween shock-wig of black pipe cleaners, in Medusa as the Royal Opera House Credit: ©ROH, 2019 Photograph by Tristram Kenton

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s #MeToo Medusa is a bad hair day from Hades

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Medusa is the bad hair day from Hades. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s retelling of the Greek myth is frizzy, tangled and…

Lance encounters: a plate from The Book of Tournaments, Maximilian’s remarkable encyclopedia of jousting

The joy of jousting

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Emperor Maximilian I liked to say he invented the joust of the exploding shields. When a knight charged and his…

Electrifying: English National Ballet’s She Persisted reviewed

13 April 2019 9:00 am

‘Where was the Kahlo brow?’ asked my guest in the first interval of English National Ballet’s She Persisted, a triple…

Dancer, choreographer, iconoclast: Merce Cunningham in 1962

A masterclass of menace and magnificence: Romeo and Juliet reviewed

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Two households, both alike in dignity. Capulets in red tights, Montagues in green. Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet opens in…

Still far from perfect but chaps will like it: Royal Ballet’s Frankenstein reviewed

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Choreographer Richard Alston is now 70 and his latest outing at Sadler’s Wells is a greatest hits medley. As with…

Odious, endless dross: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch reviewed

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Please believe that I try to give every production my full attention, to do due diligence, to blink and miss…

Credit: istockphoto.com

Clucking hell – hen parties are just awful

23 February 2019 9:00 am

‘Last fling before the ring.’ ‘Buy me a shot, I’m tying the knot.’ ‘Keep calm and bridesmaid on.’ If you…

Forget the Don – come for the Mataphwoar Ryoichi Hirano: Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote reviewed

23 February 2019 9:00 am

The trouble with Don Quixote is Don Quixote. Whenever the doddering, delusional Don is onstage, tilting at windmills, riding his…