Arts

‘I just kept getting turned down and turned down’: Catherine Foster

From the NHS to Bayreuth: Norman Lebrecht talks to midwife-turned-opera singer Catherine Foster

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Every summer for the past six years, Bayreuth has risen to its feet to acclaim an English Brünnhilde. Catherine Foster,…

‘The Tea Party’, 1727, by Richard Collins

A brief history of tea

20 July 2019 9:00 am

It had to happen. Since almost everything became either ‘artisan’ or ‘curated’, conditions have been ripe for a curator of…

A sonic masterclass: the Silesian String Quartet at Wigmore Hall reviewed

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Of all the daft notions about the classical music business, the daftest is that it’s a business at all. Seriously:…

Pure hagiography – the BBC’s Extinction Rebellion: Last Chance To Save The World?

20 July 2019 9:00 am

I’m beginning to feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers: almost the last person on Earth who…

How to talk to astronauts

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Television has the pictures but the most spine-tingling moments in the recordings from the Apollo space missions are the bursts…

The greatest actor in the world couldn’t salvage David Hare’s batty adaptation: Peer Gynt reviewed

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The National Theatre’s boss, Rufus Norris, has confessed that he ‘took his eye off the ball’ when it came to…

Animal magnetism: you’ll want to reach into the screen, pluck Simba out and take him on to your lap for a cuddle

Completely and utterly and entirely blown away: the Lion King reviewed

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The Lion King is Disney’s photorealistic CGI remake of the beloved, hand-drawn 1994 original that, for many children, offered a…

He’s everywhere and nowhere: Jim Broadbent

‘It could be a disaster’: Jim Broadbent talks to Stuart Jeffries about his latest role

13 July 2019 9:00 am

‘I live completely anonymously,’ whispers Jim Broadbent down the phone from Lincolnshire. Nonsense, I counter. You’re one of the most…

‘Telepainting’, 1964, by Takis

Full of wonders: Takis at Tate Modern reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Steel flowers bend in a ‘breeze’ generated by magnetic pendulums. This is the first thing you see as you enter…

A cartoonish look at migration: Europe at the Donmar reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Europe. Big word. Big theme. It was used by David Greig as the title of his 1994 play about frontiers…

Steve Bannon will be thrilled by The Brink

13 July 2019 9:00 am

The Brink is Alison Klayman’s documentary portrait of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist (he shaped the ‘America First’…

Leo Jemison (Miles), Elen Willmer (Flora) and Sophie Bevan (Governess) in The Turn of the Screw at Garsington Opera

Deft, elegant and genuinely chilling: Garsington’s Turn of the Screw reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Think of the children in opera. Not knowing sopranos and mezzos, pigtailed and pinafored or tightly trousered-up to look child-like,…

You leave awe-struck but also a bit frazzled: Holland Festival’s Aus Licht reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

In Stockhausen’s Klavierstück XI hands become fists, arms and elbows clubs, shoving, pounding and ker-pow-ing the keyboard to near oblivion.…

An important story but not for the faint-hearted: Deadliest Day podcast reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

One of the advantages that podcasts have over the scheduled array of programmes is the space that can be given…

Moonwalking: Rufus Wright as Neil Armstrong in 8 Days: To the Moon

Reminds you how uncomplicatedly thrilling the first moon landing was: BBC2’s 8 Days reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

As the title suggests, 8 Days: To the Moon and Back (BBC2, Wednesday) comprehensively disproved the always questionable idea put…

The women who invented collage – long before Picasso and co.

6 July 2019 9:00 am

The art-history books will tell you that sometime around 1912, Picasso invented collage, or, actually, perhaps it was Braque. What…

Testosterone and passion: Royal Opera’s Marriage of Figaro reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Another turn around the block for David McVicar’s handsome 1830s Figaro at the Royal Opera — the sixth since the…

Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman

6 July 2019 9:00 am

My plan to cut the BBC out of my life entirely is working well. Apart from the occasional forgivable lapse…

‘The Ball’ (1899) by Félix Vallotton

No masterpieces but there are beautiful touches: Félix Vallotton at the RA reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Félix Vallotton (1865–1925) was a member of the Nabis (the Prophets), a problematically loose agglomeration of painters, inspired by Gauguin…

Hideously tasteful elegies to useless country singers: Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Grade: B– The first Springsteen song I ever heard was ‘Born To Run’, back when I was 14. I clocked…

Jonathan Dimbleby is right: we need to rise up and defend the BBC

6 July 2019 9:00 am

There’s been a Dimbleby on air since before I was born but last Friday saw the end of that era…

A good horror film for those who don’t like horror films: Midsommar reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Midsommar is the latest horror film from Ari Aster, who made Hereditary, which starred Toni Collette and was a sensation.…

Enclosure act: Es Devlin’s terrific set for The Hunt at the Almeida

A crowd-pleasing pantomime: Present Laughter at the Old Vic reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Present Laughter introduces us to a chic, louche and highly successful theatrical globetrotter, Garry Essendine, whose riotous social life is…

Untitled #122, from the Fashion series, by Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman – selfie queen

29 June 2019 9:00 am

The selfie is, of course, a major, and to me mysterious, phenomenon of our age. The sheer indefatigability of selfie-takers,…

Himesh Patel as Jack in Yesterday

Funny moments swamped by an intolerable romance: Yesterday reviewed

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Yesterday is the latest comedy (with sad bits) from Richard Curtis, directed by Danny Boyle, about an unsuccessful singer-songwriter, Jack,…