Satire

Earth dying in five billion years I can deal with, but not a world-weary Brian Cox

1 June 2019 9:00 am

When you see the opening caption ‘4.6 billion years ago’, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re watching a programme…

A tease for #MeToo

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Titania McGrath is the alter ego of the schoolteacher Andrew Doyle. A perpetually enraged ‘activist, healer and radical intersectional poet’,…

Credit: Getty Images

Fun at the EU’s expense: The Capital, by Robert Menasse, reviewed

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Stendhal likened politics in literature to a pistol-shot in a concert: crude, but compelling. When that politics largely consists of…

‘A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion’, 1792, by James Gillray

From ancient Egyptian smut to dissent-by-currency: I object at the British Museum reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,’…

Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t funny – especially when he’s mocking the powerless

28 July 2018 9:00 am

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest series Who Is America? isn’t funny. But then, nor was his terrible 2016 movie The Brothers…

What’s the point of Philomena Cunk?

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Because I’m a miserable old reactionary determined to see a sinister Guardianista plot in every BBC programme I watch, I…

Cover illustration for the magazine Garm 1944, by Tove Jansson

A chance to see the Moomins’ creator for the genius she really was: Tove Janssons reviewed

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Tove Jansson, according to her niece’s husband, was a squirt in size and could rarely be persuaded to eat, preferring…

The many sides of satire

19 August 2017 9:00 am

Brexit the Musical is a peppy satire written by Chris Bryant (not the MP, he’s a lawyer). Musically the show…

Torn between envy and contempt

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Arriving at boarding school with the wrong shoes and a teddy bear in his suitcase, the hero of Elizabeth Day’s…

Andrey Kurkov’s The Bickford Fuse is a satirical masterpiece

14 May 2016 9:00 am

Whimsy, satire and deadpan humour: welcome to the world of Andrey Kurkov. If you know Kurkov’s work, The Bickford Fuse…

Talk of the Devil: Kit Harington in ‘Doctor Faustus’

A literary lap dance: Doctor Faustus reviewed

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Great excitement for play-goers as a rare version of a theological masterpiece arrives in the West End. Doctor Faustus stars…

An Egyptian comedy of errors

16 January 2016 9:00 am

The Yacoubian Building, the first novel of the Egyptian writer Alaa Al Aswany, sold well over a million copies in…

‘Second Empire Renaissance’ (from Pillar to Post). ‘Its most notable feature was the mansard roof. However suitable this device may be on top of the Louvre, it altogether fails to produce an effect of inevitable rightness amid the less exalted surroundings of Victoria Station.’

Osbert Lancaster: a national treasure rediscovered

12 December 2015 9:00 am

True to his saw that ours is ‘a land of rugged individualists’, Osbert Lancaster, in his self-appointed role of popular…

Jonathan Coe’s raucous social satire smoulders with anger

14 November 2015 9:00 am

When Rachel, one of the unreliable narrators of Number 11, wants to ‘go back to the very beginning’, she starts…

A broad farce about banking’s dirty secrets in post-Celtic-Tiger Dublin

1 August 2015 9:00 am

It’s not Paul Murray’s settings or themes — decadent aristocrats, clerical sex abuse, the financial crisis — that mark him…

Welcome to the world of Big Byz

18 July 2015 9:00 am

The title of Victor Pelevin’s 2011 novel stands for ‘Special Newsreel/Universal Feature Film’. This product is made by the narrator,…

Seeds of a mystery in a great-aunt’s will

27 June 2015 9:00 am

There is something cruelly beautiful, delightfully frustrating and filthily gorgeous about a Scarlett Thomas novel. Two family trees open and…

Satire is dying because satirists are too successful

9 May 2015 9:00 am

I appeared on Radio 4 a couple of weeks ago to discuss the age-old question of whether political satire is…

Channel 4's The Coalition reviewed: heroically free of cynicism

28 March 2015 9:00 am

In a late schedule change, Channel 4’s Coalition was shifted from Thursday to Saturday to make room for Jeremy Paxman…

The Heckler: how funny really was Spitting Image?

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Hold the front page! Spitting Image is back! Well, sort of. A new six-part series, from (some of) the team…

The Associates at Sadler's Wells reviewed: another acutely inventive work from Crystal Pite

14 February 2015 9:00 am

The prodigious streetdancer Tommy Franzén pops up everywhere from family-friendly hip-hop shows by ZooNation, Boy Blue and Bounce to serious…

A brief, witty look at the coming of the e-book

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Paul Fournel is a novelist, former publisher and French cultural attaché in London, and the provisionally definitive secretary and president…

Six Bad Poets, by Christopher Reid - review

28 September 2013 9:00 am

Is poetry in good enough health to be made fun of in this way? The irony is that this long,…