arts

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 …

Fighting Trident with the facts

Published: July 13, 2016
Written by Paul Donovan

The Truth About Trident by Timmon Milne Wallis Luath Press £12.99 This timely book provides a comprehensive demolition of most arguments for the UK to continue to hold Trident nuclear …

Fighting spirit of working women

Published: July 13, 2016
Written by Mark Metcalf

Northern ReSisters by Bernadette Hyland Mary Quaile Club £5.95 Manchester’s Bernadette Hyland quotes Eddie Frow, who cofounded the Working Class Movement Library with Ruth Frow, as the inspiration behind her …

Still rocking in the free world

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by Mike Parker

Neil Young and Promise Of The Real O2 Arena London Earth Neil Young and Promise Of The Real Reprise Records There was a time in the mid-1980s when Neil Young …

Fate of a whistle-blower

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by Aleks Sierz

Wild Hampstead Theatre London Edward Snowden is easier to respect than like. In 2013, the computer specialist and former CIA employee leaked more than 150,000 classified documents revealing US military …

Birthday girls

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by William Russell

Ugly Lovely The Old Red Lion Angel, London Shell is having a birthday. The vodka has had a bad effect. Her motormouth friend Tash is proving a nuisance, her boyfriend …

Writer with a problem visitor

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by Graham Kirby

The Victorian in The Wall Radio 4 Murder at Broadcasting House Radio 4 Extra TThere is no better phrase to decribe Will Adamsdale’s The Victorian in the Wall than ‘good-natured’. …

Emily struggles

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

The Colony Director: Florian Gallenberger Will Emma Watson ever become a bonafide movie star? Not if she keeps picking euro-pudding movies such as The Colony. Set in Chile in 1973, …

Fairy tale flops

Published: July 11, 2016
Written by Patrick Mulcahy

Tale of Tales Director Matteo Garrone The seventeenth century fairy tale collection Pentamerone by Giambattista Basile contains such stories as ‘Goat-Face’, ‘The Stone in the Cock’s Head’ and ‘The Two …

Be careful on the way down

Published: June 27, 2016
Written by Stephen McCabe

HOW TO BE A GOVERNMENT WHIP by Helen Jones Biteback £12.99 This book is the first insight into the Government Whip’s Office during Gordon Brown’s Premiership, the financial crisis and …