Laura Freeman

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…

The view from Paris: ‘Why are Brexiteers so stupid?’

28 July 2018 9:00 am

‘Problème est masculin; solution est féminine,’ says Brigitte, the adored French teacher at the British embassy in Paris. Good way…

Akram Khan in Mirella Weingarten’s starkly stupendous set

A smidge of self-indulgence amid the power and grace: Akram Khan’s Xenos reviewed

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Comedy Sunil Lanba, Salman Quaraishi, Omar Syed…’ Names play from a crackling gramophone. We hear what they were before the…

How to silence Henry James: the Pont du Gard

Only the south of France could silence Henry James

2 June 2018 9:00 am

‘Saint-Tropez?’ said the French mother of a friend. ‘C’est un peu… “tacky”.’ She was distressed to think of our taking…

Astonishing splashes of colour: ‘Square Green with Orange, Violet and Lemon’, 1969, by Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron’s paintings are exhilarating – his colours dance, pulse & boff you on the nose

2 June 2018 9:00 am

Patrick Heron’s paintings of the 1950s melt like ice creams. You want to run your tongue along the canvas and…

Is it any wonder children can’t express themselves when all they have is emojis?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Smiley face. Sad face. Smoochy face. Sick face. Edvard Munch ‘Scream’ face. How are you feeling today? Any of the…

‘Little Girl in a Blue Armchair’, 1878, by Mary Cassatt

No one can beat Mary Cassatt at painting mothers and children

5 May 2018 9:00 am

A lady licking an envelope. An intimate thing. It might be only the bill from the coal-man she’s paying, but…

My life in Paris as a Diplomatic Wag

28 April 2018 9:00 am

The French President says he wants to rule as a Jupiter — but he doesn’t look like a Jupiter to…

French Phidias: Auguste Rodin in his workshop in Meudon, c.1910

How Rodin made a Parthenon above Paris

28 April 2018 9:00 am

‘My Acropolis,’ Auguste Rodin called his house at Meudon. Here, the sculptor made a Parthenon above Paris. Surrounded by statues…

The Spanish court’s fondness for dwarfs and dogs is captured by Velázquez

Spend, spend, spend at the court of Philip IV of Spain

7 April 2018 9:00 am

‘Nine hours,’ boasted my friend the curator about his trip to the Prado. Nine! Two hours is my upper limit…

‘Waterloo Bridge, Overcast Weather’ (1899-1903)

Monet painted London not brick-by-brick, but light-by-shade

31 March 2018 9:00 am

The Savoy was too sumptuous, complained Claude Monet, returning to the hotel in 1904. His rooms — one for sleeping,…

Shouldering a hoe, Christ appears to Mary Magdalene in Fra Angelico’s ‘Noli Me Tangere’ (c.1438–50)

The loveliest episode of Holy Week – Christ rises from the potting shed

31 March 2018 9:00 am

In Nicolas Poussin’s ‘Noli Me Tangere’ (1653) Christ stands with his heel on a spade. He appears, in his rough…

Lifelong friends: P.T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb

Showman, con man, family man: P.T. Barnum’s many faces

16 December 2017 9:00 am

‘There’s a sucker born every minute.’ That was the P.T. Barnum battle cry. It has come to have a ring…

Susie Boyt neatly skewers the self-help trends

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Grief is not being able to eat a small boiled egg. ‘Could you face an egg?’ the widowed Jean asks…

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…