Laura Freeman

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…

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…