Festivals

Watching Stephen Fry was like being in the presence of a god

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Stephen Fry lies prone on an empty stage. A red ball rolls in from the wings and bashes him in…

Paul Simon says farewell with a daring and inventive show that left some restless

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Early in 1987, a middle-aged woman approached me on the record counter of the Slough branch of Boots. ‘What do…

Power of two: Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim play a duet at this year’s Lucerne Festival

Mistaken identity

26 August 2017 9:00 am

This year’s Lucerne Festival is given its identity by having as its theme ‘Identity’. Since the word doesn’t mean anything,…

London calling

12 August 2017 9:00 am

What is the Edinburgh Fringe? It’s a sabbatical, a pit stop, a pause-and-check-the-map opportunity for actors who don’t quite know…

Miranda Richardson in Robert Wilson’s 1996 production of Orlando for the EIF

Show up and show off

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The Edinburgh Festival was founded as a response to war. The inaugural event, held in 1947, was the brainchild of…

Festival time, Serbian style: playing the trumpet in Guca

Balkan brass

29 July 2017 9:00 am

When brass instruments with button-operated valves were introduced in the second half of the 19th century, music-making changed. Once requiring…

Fringe rubbish: Company Non Nova’s ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Foehn’, a highlight of 2013

‘I’m about to lose a lot of money’: our theatre critic prepares for his Edinburgh Fringe debut

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Our theatre critic, Lloyd Evans, makes his Edinburgh debut

The fightback against wackiness starts here

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Forced, studenty wackiness has taken over our culture. It’s time to take a stand

Spectator letters: Indian soldiers in the first world war, public relations PR, and why Nineteen Eighty-Four?

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Placing refugees Sir: Tony Abbott seems to have fooled The Spectator. Your editorial (23 August) gives plaudits to the Australian…

The self-delusion that makes people go to festivals – me included

23 August 2014 9:00 am

I wouldn’t describe myself as a veteran of the summer festival circuit, but I’ve been to enough to have a…

My daughter wants to know why you haven't heard of the Jayhawks

9 August 2014 9:00 am

One of the many delightful aspects of having children is that you can get them to do things you are…

Want to be a neglectful parent? Come to a festival and learn

2 August 2014 9:00 am

I spent last weekend at Port Eliot in Cornwall. This is supposed to be a literary and music festival and…