arts

The struggle to outrun the limits of Labourism

Published: August 9, 2016
Written by Sheila Cohen

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth Of Radical Politics by Richard Seymour Verso £12.99 “Poor old Jeremy” has been the refrain sounding in my brain since watching Corbyn suffer the torments surrounding …

Memories of a reluctant minister

Published: August 9, 2016
Written by Denis MacShane

Westminster Diary by Bernard Donoughue IB?Tauris £25 Bernard Donoughue has written an important and fascinating account about the run-up to the 1997 election and Tony Blair’s arrival in Downing Street. …

Googling the Renaissance

Published: August 9, 2016
Written by Scarlett MccGwire

The Tower by Allessandro Gallenzi Alma Books £7.99 Giordano Bruno was a man of genius – a philosopher, mathematician and poet with a prodigious memory. As a cosmologist he expanded …

On-form Labute

Published: August 8, 2016
Written by William Russell

Some Girls The Park Theatre Finsbury Park, London Guy is a thirty-something lecturer about to get married who has decided to visit some of his past loves – women he …

Film world farce

Published: August 8, 2016
Written by Aleks Sierz

Unreachable Royal Court London Anthony Neilson has the reputation of being the bad boy of 1990s British theatre, making his mark with in-yer-face plays such as Penetrator, The Censor and …

An experience of Hell

Published: August 8, 2016
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

Queen of Earth Director Alex Ross Perry When I emerged reeling from the screening of Queen of Earth at 2015’s Vienna Film Festival, my response – my only response – …

In search of nitrate gems

Published: August 8, 2016
Written by Neil Young

As his film festival expedition reaches New York state, Neil Young risks incineration in pursuit of the perfect prints. Tottie screamed “Birdie! Let me! Birdie, you are made of celluloid, …

An extraordinary hour of cabaret gold

Published: August 4, 2016
Written by Cary Gee

Tiger Lillies Soho Theatre, London   Beneath a bloody moon the macabre, clown-like Martyn Jacques picks up an accordion and takes a deep breath. Too much breath. His lungs seem …

Compelling performer crossing the generations

Published: July 27, 2016
Written by Cary Gee

An Evening With Marc Almond Royal Festival Hall Thank goodness for heat­proof mascara. It’s thirty degrees on the South Bank but Marc Almond’s fans are easy to spot. They are …

Legacy of a paranoid sociopath

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Mike Parker

The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976 by Frank Dikotter Bloomsbury £25 Stalin said: “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” His admirer Mao certainly seemed to …

Similarities across the Asian divide

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Scarlett MccGwire

Crystal Wedding by Xi Xiaobing Masked Dolls by Shih Chiung-Yu Balestier Press £12.99 each British fiction readers are often berated by publishers for reading few books in translation. We are …

Epitaph for a forgotten hero

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Paul Routledge

Foley:?The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews by Michael Smith Biteback £10.99 From his modest office at the British Passport Control centre in Tiergatrenstrasse 17 in Berlin during the 1930s, Frank …

Fiery female characters battle a lack of plot

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Aleks Sierz

Screwed Theatre 503 London As the Brexit vote demonstrates, it is unwise to neglect the urban poor. While in contemporary culture, the working class is often demonised and laughed at, …

Not telling the truth

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by William Russell

The Truth Wyndhams Theatre London Totally different from Florian Zeller’s previous plays seen here – The Father and The Mother – this is a classic very funny farce about infidelity …

Bloody fringe at its best

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by William Russell

Titus Andronicus Rose Theatre London The most bloodthirsty of all Shakespeare’s plays, this tragedy set in Rome, unlike the other Roman plays, is fiction and probably not all by the …

The DIY film festival

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Neil Young

Continuing his travels on the North American film festival scene, Neil Young arrives too early in the Yucatan …   The next leg of my two-month tour was supposed to …

Tragedy of a jazz legend

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Rita Di Santo

Born To Be Blue Director Robert Budreau T he Chet Baker-inspired Born To Be Blue is not so much a film about the life of jazz musician, rather a film …

A sequel better than the sequel

Published: July 22, 2016
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

Ghostbusters Director Paul Feig The heavily-trailed remake is finally here and within 30 seconds I was in mirthing pains; I ain’t afraid of no reboot. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold …

An ideal man for troubled times

Published: July 14, 2016
Written by Paul Routledge

Harold Wilson:?The Unprincipled Prime Minister? ed Andrew Crines and Kevin Hickson Biteback £20 Like novelists, politicians come into and out of fashion. Most of them, anyway. Some just get completely …