First World War

Trump should take lessons in lying from Joe Biden

12 September 2020 9:00 am

Gstaad It snowed on the last two days of August up here, and why not? We’ve traded freedom of speech…

Jam and Opium on the Somme

25 July 2020 9:00 am

Phone calls aside, the only human contact I had on my ten-day Somme battlefield tour was with the lady who…

The beauty of military cemeteries

18 July 2020 9:00 am

They are starting to cut the corn. But apart from combine harvesters and tractors, the roads up here on the…

My Great War obsession

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Bernafay Wood B&B, Somme, France I came up on the TGV yesterday from the Midi to northern France and it…

Not even a genius could make Much Ado About Nothing funny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

The RSC’s 2014 version of Much Ado is breathtaking to look at. Sets, lighting and costumes are exquisitely done, even…

Chaotic, if good-natured, muddle: Hytner’s Midsummer Night’s Dream reviewed

4 July 2020 9:00 am

Nicholas Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens in a world of puritanical austerity. The cast wear sombre black costumes and…

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale

28 March 2020 9:00 am

War and plague have menaced theatres before, but rarely on this scale, says Lloyd Evans

Good hats – shame about the film: Sunset reviewed

1 June 2019 9:00 am

Sunset is French-Hungarian writer-director Laszlo Nemes’s follow-up to his astonishing Oscar-winning debut, Son of Saul. This time round the film…

How to fight Bolshevism

11 May 2019 9:00 am

From 10 May 1919: The heart of the country is always for moderation. Nothing could show this more plainly than…

Can Deborah Ross finish her Tolkien review before it fades from memory?

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Tolkien is a biopic covering the early life of J.R.R. Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) and it is not especially memorable. I’m…

‘One World’ by Mark Wallinger

The winner of the 2018 What’s That Thing? Award for bad public art is…

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Not a bad year for the award. Honourable mentions must go to the landfill abstractions of Oxford’s new Westgate Centre,…

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…

Diego Luna as Felix Gallardo in Netflix's latest series of Narcos. Photo: Carlos Somonte / Netflix

No, Narcos, those who’ve had the odd puff and cheeky line aren’t to blame for the drug wars

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Narcos is back on Netflix, set in Mexico this time, with a cool, world-weary, manly voiceover swearily lecturing us at…

RLPO and the NDR Radiophilharmonie performing Britten's War Requiem in Liverpool Cathedral. Photo: Liverpool Philharmonic / Mark McNulty

Britten’s War Requiem almost sounded like a masterpiece – but it’s isn’t, is it?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

‘What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?’ We’ve heard a lot, lately, of the knell that tolls through the…

Standing in front of my great-uncle’s grave, we thought: I’m so sorry it took us so long

10 November 2018 9:00 am

The story is part of family lore. How, during the Battle of Mons, on 23 August 1914, two long columns…

Is Emmanuel Macron having a meltdown?

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Emmanuel Macron was elated when France won the World Cup in July. The photograph of him leaping out of his…

Michelle Obama during the 2008 Democrat primaries. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

When the first world war ended, many soldiers were left with ‘a terrible empty feeling’

10 November 2018 9:00 am

‘It was so unreal,’ said one of the first world war veterans about the long-awaited Armistice. It was the most…

28th October 1914: British soldiers lined up in a narrow trench during World War I. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

My first world war obsession

27 October 2018 9:00 am

My reactionary first world war reading jag continues. The literature is vast, but so is my capacity and fascination. I…

‘Camo 15-Inch Howitzer’, 1916, by F.J. Mears

Authenticity over artistry: Brushes with War reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

The first world war paintings of Paul Nash are so vivid and emotive that they have come to embody, as…

Still life: Iris Bry, Laura Smet and Natalie Baye in The Guardians

A captivating addition to the filmography of the first world war: The Guardians reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

There are moments in The Guardians when you can imagine you’re in the wrong art form. Time stills, the frame…

‘Prostitute and Disabled War Veteran. Two Victims of Capitalism’, 1923, by Otto Dix

Sorrow and pity are no guarantee of artistic success: Aftermath at Tate Britain reviewed

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Some disasters could not occur in this age of instant communication. The first world war is a case in point:…

Donald Hankey: a remarkable – and neglected – English voice

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Last year the BBC radio drama department received 3,797 scripts from hopeful authors, of which just 33 were recommended to…

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…

From the archive: Brothers-in-arms

26 May 2018 9:00 am

From ‘The new crusade’, 25 May 1918: It is curious to think how great must soon have been the spiritual…

From the First Battle of Ypres to Brexit

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Poperinghe, Bailleul, Wytschaete, Gheluvelt, Ploegsteert, Messines, Zonnebeke, Passchendaele. The other week I grandiosely claimed that I have been reading about…