Laura Freeman

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…

Alina Cojocaru and Joseph Caley in Manon. Photo: Laurent Liotardo

One nasty moment aside, the ENB’s Manon is superlative

26 January 2019 9:00 am

If you like the BBC’s Les Misérables, you’ll love English National Ballet’s Manon. Manon, in Kenneth MacMillan’s telling, is The…

If you’ve got taste, you don’t look at Instagram to decorate your home

19 January 2019 9:00 am

You can tell something about national character from the way a country clears its cupboards. In the States they have…

A cure for homesickness: Shakespeare & Co

The homesick Brit’s guide to Paris

12 January 2019 9:00 am

‘Yes, it’s here!’ says the sign above the English épicerie in Paris. ‘Yes, at last,’ thinks the starved expat wandering…

January as you would wish it: Royal Ballet’s Les Patineurs reviewed

5 January 2019 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet’s Les Patineurs is January as you would wish it. No slush, no new-year sales, no streaming chest…

Time and Twitter seemed to stop

After five days of being snowed in, awe and wonder starts to wear off

15 December 2018 9:00 am

It took three hours for cabin fever to set in. Last Christmas, snowed in at the Oxfordshire homestead, my brother…

The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker. Photograph: Tristram Kenton

You’ll have shivers down your spine and tears in your eyes: Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker reviewed

15 December 2018 9:00 am

Not another Nutcracker, I thought on the way to the Opera House. Haven’t we had our fill of Sugar Plums?…

Matthew Ball as Ted Feltham in the Royal Ballet's The Unknown Soldier. Photo: ROH, Helen Maybanks

Has the Royal Ballet found its hero?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

The Royal Ballet is a company in search of a prince. It has no lack of dancing princesses. You could…

Vadim Muntagirov as Solor and Marianela Nunnez as Nikiya in Royal Ballet's Bayadère. Photo: ROH / Bill Cooper

How could anyone object to the Royal Ballet engaging in cultural appropriation?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

La Bayadère opens with a sacred flame and ends with an earthquake. In between, Marius Petipa’s ballet of 1877 gives…

Everything is now an Instagram photo op

10 November 2018 9:00 am

On Sunday morning, in Puy-en-Velay, I climbed the 275 volcanic steps to the tiny chapel of Rocher Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe. There,…

Marat was assassinated in his bath by Charlotte Corday in 1793. Credit Getty Images

Horrors of the house of wax: Little, by Edward Carey, reviewed

3 November 2018 9:00 am

The reader of Edward Carey’s Little must have a tender heart and a strong stomach. You will weep, you will…

Natalia Osipova as Mary Vetsera and Ryoichi Hirano as Rudolf in Mayerling

Why Mayerling is a #MeToo minefield

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling is a #MeToo minefield. Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary is a serial seducer, a man of many…

‘The Agony in the Garden’, c.1458–60, by Giovanni Bellini

Bellini vs Mantegna – whose side are you on?

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes Andrea Mantegna was just showing off. For the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, he painted a false ceiling above the…

Fantastic beasts and where to find them: ‘Wild Woman with Unicorn’, 1500–10

A brief history of unicorns

22 September 2018 9:00 am

After the England football team beat Tunisia at this summer’s World Cup, they celebrated with a swimming-pool race on inflatable…

(Getty)

Save us from Tiger, the posh Poundland of tat

15 September 2018 9:00 am

There is a Tiger on the loose. It is stalking our high streets. It is prowling our train stations. It…

Captain Scott’s 1911 expedition to Antartica, with the Terra Nova anchored in the background, from The Colour of Time

The artist who breathes Technicolour life into historic photographs

4 August 2018 9:00 am

There is something of The Wizard of Oz about Marina Amaral’s photographs. She whisks us from black-and-white Kansas to shimmering…