Orion: The Man Who Would be King

Is television at its best when it mimics radio?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Not that long ago the BBC trumpeted a new Stakhanovite project to big up the arts in its many and…


Arts subjects are essential for a well-rounded education

19 September 2015 9:00 am

Arts subjects have always been a vital part of a well-rounded education; concentrating only on sciences is just short-sighted, says Muriel Gray

Disc jockey Anne Nightingale, 1964 (Photo: Getty)

Compiling my greatest hits (and my Twitter trolls')

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Compilation schompilation. Having been in music for as long as I have you would think I had a good idea…

James McAvoy Photo: Getty

James McAvoy is wrong – the arts are better off without subsidy

14 March 2015 9:00 am

The season of cringe-making acceptance speeches at arts awards ceremonies is nearly over, thank heavens. But it hasn’t passed without…

A visitor views a painting by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens entitled 'Tiger, Lion and Leopard Hunt' Photo: Getty

You can’t force low-income people to go to an art gallery or the theatre if they don’t want to

28 February 2015 9:00 am

I went last week to see the justly praised production of Wagner’s The Mastersingers at English National Opera, and I…

James Blunt on stage at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards, 2014 Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty

Maybe it’s a problem when all artists are like James Blunt. But it’s worse when Labour MPs are like Chris Bryant

24 January 2015 9:00 am

What should we do with James Blunt? This is what I have been asking myself. And I am not looking…

The arts, the Ancient Greeks and Maria Miller

4 May 2013 9:00 am

The Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, has said the arts world must make the case for public funding by focusing on…


The pen was mightier than the brush

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

Of the making of books about the Pre-Raphaelites, it appears, there is no end. Like the Bloomsberries, most of the…


Fruitful oppositions

26 May 2012 11:30 am

There are so many good exhibitions at the moment in the commercial sector that the dedicated gallery-goer can easily spend…


Enlightened patronage

12 February 2011 12:00 am

Alberto Della Ragione (1892–1973) was a naval engineer from Genoa with a passion for music, poetry and the visual arts; he also had the collecting bug.


In from the cold

12 February 2011 12:00 am

Philip Ziegler puts the case for Terence Rattigan, whose centenary is celebrated with numerous revivals of his work


Wedgwood Museum: At risk

18 December 2010 12:00 am

We are fairly certain that the late Robert Maxwell never met the even later Josiah Wedgwood, but Cap’n Bob’s nefarious legacy is now being keenly felt by Wedgwood’s descendants.

MacMillan’s loyalty

4 December 2010 12:00 am

In the first week of September, the Scottish composer James MacMillan sat in the ‘composition hut’ in the backyard of his Glasgow house, finishing the music he’d been commissioned to write for the Pope’s Mass at Westminster Cathedral.

Anthony Whitworth-Jones: Garsington on the move

27 November 2010 12:00 am

When is a country-house opera not a country-house opera? When it no longer has a country house attached. This is what is about to happen to Garsington Opera, which is moving, lock, stock, barrel and picnic basket, from the exquisitely planned and intimate gardens of the Bloomsbury-redolent Garsington Manor near Oxford to the wide-open rolling hills of the Wormsley Estate in nearby Buckinghamshire.


The folly of ambition

27 November 2010 12:00 am

Andrew Lambirth talks to the artist Keith Coventry about drawing inspiration from Sickert, Churchill and Ladybird Books


Small blessings

20 November 2010 12:00 am

As I pointed out last week, one of the chief attractions of the Treasures from Budapest show at the Royal Academy is the inclusion of two rooms of Old Master drawings.


Friends indeed

30 October 2010 12:00 pm

Jarrow playwright Peter Flannery’s superb television serial Our Friends in the North started life as an RSC production in Stratford…


Finding a voice

30 October 2010 12:00 am

It’s one of the most haunting sounds I’ve ever heard — the plangent wail of a female Sufi singer from Afghanistan.

Education in horror

30 October 2010 12:00 am

When my brother and I were teenagers growing up in the arse end of nowheresville — Bromsgrove to its friend — we were mainly looked after by Nanny VHS.


Northern lights

30 October 2010 12:00 am

It’s been too long since I saw The Merry Widow. I have been thinking that for some time, and the superb new production of it by Opera North only made me feel that we should be able to go to more performances of it than we get a chance to. It has been newly and wittily translated by Kit Hesketh-Harvey, and the production is in the safe hands of Giles Havergal, with set and costume designs by Leslie Travers.


Stiff competition

30 October 2010 12:00 am

So, a funny thing happened on the way home from the screening: I bumped into Paul Whitehouse, who has a cameo in Burke and Hare, and congratulated him on an extremely convincing tumble he takes down two flights of stairs (it hits just the right note, somewhere between the pantomime and The Exorcist).

Funding: Local heroes

30 October 2010 12:00 am

I was acting and directing at Helmsley Arts Centre last week, in a little piece of ‘café theatre’ performed in the bar to an audience of only 50. But it was a sell-out every night and, I hope, a light-hearted distraction for the citizens of my Yorkshire town from all that gloomy talk about cuts, more cuts — and who deserves to be cut most.


UnEnglish triumph

30 October 2010 12:00 am

Sometimes an exhibition does what it says on the tin. The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy, the Ashmolean’s first major show post-revamp, is such an exhibition.


Picasso by Picasso

30 October 2010 12:00 am

In an upstairs room in an unfrequented corner of Zurich’s Kunsthaus, there is a portrait of one of the unsung heroes of modern art.


Ahead of their time

30 October 2010 12:00 am

‘Museum decides against building new extension’ is not the stuff of newspaper headlines, so most of you will be unaware that the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff has been creating a distinct museum of art on the top floor of its existing Edwardian building. A few weeks ago, the Welsh museum relaunched its Impressionist and Modern galleries after an imaginative paint job and a rehang, and next year it will open a new suite of contemporary galleries in its former archaeology wing. For £6.5 million — £1 million from the Welsh Assembly government — it will have bought itself 40 per cent more space (comparing favourably with another national museum currently poised to pour £50 million of Department of Culture, Media and Sport money into a hole in the ground in Bankside). But the National Museum Cardiff can afford to economise. It doesn’t need flash architecture to attract attention; its collections are attraction enough.