Arts and culture

The writer with an incurable wound

5 February 2024 2:00 am

‘They were seated in the boat, Nick in the stern, his father rowing. The sun was coming up over the…

Artists behaving badly

3 February 2024 9:00 am

What a weird situation it is that the painter Donald Friend once treasured by Robert Hughes for the lyricism of…

A deeply elegiac work

27 January 2024 9:00 am

That superb poet Peter Porter who was also in love with music used to say there was no denying the…

Barbie’s Oscars snub isn’t sexist

25 January 2024 9:44 pm

Not for the first time, Hillary Clinton is outraged. Reacting to the news that Barbie star, Margot Robbie, and the…

Greek tragedies

20 January 2024 9:00 am

It’s the time of year when there’s a lot of talk about films and catching up with films. Along with…

Barbie’s bombshell

13 January 2024 9:00 am

Who would have thought the beery blokey jukebox musical The Choir of Man at Melbourne’s Playhouse would be such an…

Maestro Bernstein

6 January 2024 9:00 am

What do we know about Leonard Bernstein, who did everything to popularise classical music and wrote the Broadway classic West…

Why are theatres so cowardly?

30 December 2023 11:00 am

Looking back at the year’s West End theatre, a few shows stand out. First, the best. Vanya, starring Andrew Scott…

The British Museum is the best home for the Elgin Marbles

29 December 2023 5:30 pm

Should the Elgin Marbles be returned? Greece’s argument, put forward recently by the country’s foreign minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is well…

Remembering John Gardner

21 December 2023 10:00 am

“Art begins in a wound, an imperfection,” said the late novelist John Gardner, one of the last American writers to…

A very distinguished monster monarch

16 December 2023 9:00 am

So the Matthew Warchus/Jack Thorne A Christmas Carol opened again to just as rapturous a response as it did a…

The Crown is going out in a blaze of camp glory

14 December 2023 5:00 pm

Say what you like about Netflix and Peter Morgan, the producers and creator of The Crown respectively, but they’ve certainly…

The Turner prize doesn’t make sense anymore

10 December 2023 5:30 pm

In 1950 the American critic Lionel Trilling suggested, in his book The Liberal Imagination, that there was no meaningful right-wing…

Every kind of spectacular effect

9 December 2023 9:00 am

It’s starting to turn into the season to be jolly (or whatever variant you can manage) with the Melbourne Symphony…

What fiction can teach us about terrorism

5 December 2023 12:34 pm

The first decade of this century, following Al Qaeda’s attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in September 2001,…

Why Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song is one of the strangest books of all time

2 December 2023 5:30 pm

The 2024 Booker winner, Paul Lynch’s Prophet Song, is a vastly admirable book, but there is something deeply odd about…

The point of perdition

2 December 2023 9:00 am

What will history make of the superior crime stories we seem to be churning out? The late Peter Corris’ Cliff…

When did publishers stop caring what their readers actually want?

2 December 2023 12:23 am

It was easy to choose books for my young nieces and nephews this Christmas. First, I ruled out stories about…

The mad cult of Doctor Who

26 November 2023 4:00 pm

When Doctor Who returned to wild acclaim in 2005, after 16 years off-air and about a generation of being regarded…

Ed Sheeran’s time is up

25 November 2023 11:00 am

Who’s the worst pop star of modern times? Some might say that Adele sounds like a moose with PMT –…

Eye-batting nonchalance

25 November 2023 9:00 am

What is it about the Egyptians that bewitches us? Ramses and the Gold of the Pharoahs opened at the Australian…

Tracey Emin and the problem with museum trustees

19 November 2023 6:00 pm

The Royal Academy has nominated Tracey Emin to be a trustee of the British Museum. There is quite a fanfare…

The brilliance of A.S. Byatt lives on in her writing

18 November 2023 7:10 pm

Dame Antonia Byatt, the novelist A.S. Byatt, has died after a long illness. With her goes part of the conscience…

People of extraordinary glamour

18 November 2023 9:00 am

A refreshing and humbling prospect, in a world where we sometimes imagine cultural coverage gets better, is to revisit the…

In defence of The Crown

17 November 2023 10:43 pm

Since 2016, we have cultivated a new national pastime: moaning about the latest series of The Crown. Every time Netflix’s…