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Force Majeure reviewed: meaty and hilarious – but it may wreck your relationship

24 April 2015 13:13

If you’re unsure about the man (or woman) you’re dating, go and see this film. It’ll cause rifts in a weak relationship, and yield powerful debate – or perhaps agreement… Continue reading

4 Comments
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The Falling reviewed: a film of beauty and magic

24 April 2015 12:37

Long live the glockenspiel, that typically dull percussion stalwart usually relegated to primary school memories, along with humdrum gym classes and endless repetitions of Kumbaya. Here the glock is like… Continue reading

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Russell Brand’s The Emperor’s New Clothes reviewed: ‘uncomfortable viewing’

23 April 2015 13:45

For the past year Russell Brand – who is worth an estimated £10 million – has been making a film about inequality. You may already know this. The comedian’s antics… Continue reading

33 Comments
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Men dominate professional chess thanks to history not ‘hardwiring’ in their brains

22 April 2015 11:56

British chess Grandmaster Nigel Short has form when it comes to explosive statements. Competing in a tournament in France some years ago as a junior player, he was asked during an… Continue reading

56 Comments
Joyce DiDonato with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic at the Barbican. Photo: Chris Lee

Joyce DiDonato, the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert at the Barbican reviewed: ‘seductive’

20 April 2015 12:28

We ought to have discovered Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Nyx (2011) before now. The dense orchestration was dappled with soupçons of indigenous music, folk, noir, Harryhausen Hollywood and French impressionism. The New York… Continue reading

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Nigel Farage. No prizes for guessing what his desert island luxuries might be. Image: Getty

Spectator competition: Nigel Farage’s Desert Island discs (plus: a politician’s take on Kipling’s ‘If’)

18 April 2015 9:30

The latest challenge was to suggest suitable Desert Island discs for a historical figure, living or dead. Your choice of castaways was somewhat narrow — Richard III, Henry VIII, Tony… Continue reading

22 Comments
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The trailer for the new Star Wars film suggests it could be the best yet

17 April 2015 16:30

If the Fast & Furious team made Casablanca 2 (‘Morocco Drift’) it would be a more artistically credible, better acted, and more entertaining movie than Star Wars: Episode I –… Continue reading

4 Comments
Shechter's Royal Ballet debut Untouchable

Why is British dance training so poor? ‘Diversity’ is trumping quality

16 April 2015 17:55

A very British thing happened at the dance industry conference last weekend. Three of the UK’s most celebrated contemporary choreographers said British contemporary dance training is not up to snuff.… Continue reading

29 Comments
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Like all the best spiritual leaders, this diet theologian will leave you trembling

16 April 2015 17:19

Eat. Nourish. Glow., the healthy eating book currently number one in at least three Amazon categories, came to my attention recently while I was in a stew of self-loathing over… Continue reading

6 Comments
Simeon John-Wake as the Soldier and Temi Wilkey as the Devil in Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale

Benjamin’s Into The Little Hill is a masterpiece: Speech Acts at Shadwell Opera reviewed

15 April 2015 16:11

Speech Acts Shadwell Opera, Courtyard Theatre Election time is upon us again. But before we arrive at the main event there are the warm-up acts – televised debates, broadsheet profiles… Continue reading

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Should Jamie Oliver be scared? (Picture: Moley Robotics)

Lawyers, journalists, chefs, bankers, doctors – the robots are coming for your jobs next

15 April 2015 13:30

At the Hannover Messe robotics fair in Germany yesterday, UK company Mobey Robotics launched the world’s first robot chef, capable of watching and mimicking the kitchen skills of a human… Continue reading

45 Comments
Lord Ashcroft. Photo: Getty

Exclusive: David Cameron’s official biographer responds to Lord Ashcroft

13 April 2015 15:58

This morning Lord Ashcroft wrote a blog post for ConservativeHome detailing information regarding his upcoming biography of David Cameron, Call me Dave. Ashcroft, who is known to have a lukewarm… Continue reading

2 Comments
Headshot of American country singer Johnny Cash (1932 - 2003) singing on stage in a still from the film, 'Johnny Cash - The Man, His World, His Music,' directed by Robert Elfstrom, 1969. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Spectator competition: When Ogden Nash met Johnny Cash (plus: brunch with Byron?)

11 April 2015 9:30

The latest brief was to submit irregular quatrains that bring together two people from the world of the arts and finish on a couplet describing the consequences. Popular couplings included… Continue reading

4 Comments
Richie Benaud (Photo: Tom Shaw/Getty)

An anti-cricketer’s tribute to Richie Benaud, a cricketing great who radiated televisual decency

10 April 2015 12:47

Cricket-captain-turned-cricket-commentator Richie Benaud died in Sydney this morning. He would have been 85 next October.  That last pair of sentences contains, believe it or not, two of the most crucial… Continue reading

17 Comments
British Museum director Neil MacGregor at the opening of the exhibition on Greek art, with the marble sculpture of the river god Ilissos, at rear, in the Hermitage, St Petersburg. Photo: AP/Dmitry Lovetsky

Who will be the next head of the British Museum? Here are the runners and riders

8 April 2015 19:37

The hunt for the next head of the British Museum is not going to be easy. The director needs to have the confidence of his trustees, to inspire his curators and to… Continue reading

13 Comments
56th BFI London Film Festival: Midnight's Children - Official Screening

Salman Rushdie sets the record straight on the classics

7 April 2015 17:51

Salman Rushdie became embroiled in a literary row over the weekend after he rated a number of books on the website Goodreads thinking these would be private when in fact the information was viewable to the… Continue reading

7 Comments
The unlucky ninth president of America, William Henry Harrison

Blessed are the speechmakers?

4 April 2015 0:01

As the election season finally gets its boots on, office-seeking motor-mouths of every creed and colour would do well to remember the tale of William Henry Harrison, ninth president of… Continue reading

2 Comments
Wilhelm Fürtwängler: a genius who deserves better sound

Eight remastered classical recordings you need to hear

2 April 2015 9:27

In the magazine this week I’ve written about spectacular new advances in the art of remastering vintage classical recordings. Many restoration engineers are removing hiss and correcting pitch so that historic… Continue reading

2 Comments
Look away now: Sir Gerald Kaufman at the Westminster Dance UK manifesto launch

Dance has never addressed whether making money is a good or bad thing. It’s time to do so

1 April 2015 16:45

A couple of weeks ago some dance instructors went to Westminster to coach MPs to shake their tushes for the cameras, while they promised to support a ‘dance manifesto’ for… Continue reading

11 Comments
Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds at the Royal Albert Hall, 2015

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Royal Albert Hall, review: who goes to a Noel Gallagher gig?

1 April 2015 16:19

When people say Noel Gallagher is big-headed, they don’t know the half of it. He has what is known as a ‘classic rock-star build’ – that is, a tiny, fragile… Continue reading

6 Comments
Emma Thompson (Mrs Lovett) and Bryn Terfel (Sweeney Todd). All photographs: Tristram Kenton

Sweeney Todd, ENO, review: blunt and bloody

31 March 2015 10:38

Sweeney Todd English National Opera, in rep until 9 April A wicked deception is sprung in the opening moments of this New York-originated concert staging of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh… Continue reading

3 Comments
Richard Desmond of the Northern & Shell company at the headquarters of Express Newspapers in central London

Spectator competition: laments for lost newspapers (plus: historical characters’ desert island discs)

28 March 2015 9:30

In his 2004 book The Vanishing Newspaper Philip Meyer predicted that the final hard-copy newspaper will plop through someone’s letterbox in 2043. So who’ll be the first to go? In… Continue reading

2 Comments
The Remains Of King Richard III Are Finally Laid To Rest

Benedict Cumberbatch reads at his distant relation Richard III’s burial (despite saying he’s not ‘part of the landed gentry’)

26 March 2015 15:43

Benedict Cumberbatch once complained that ‘posh-bashing’ had got so bad in Britain that he was contemplating a move to America. Cumberbatch, who attended Harrow, moaned that people showed prejudice towards his background despite the fact… Continue reading

11 Comments
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Today’s reburial wasn’t about Richard III. It was about Benedict Cumberbatch

26 March 2015 15:07

We should have known it. Today’s reburial isn’t about Richard III. It’s about Benedict Cumberbatch. Isn’t everything these days, somehow about Benedict Cumberbatch? I have a theory that he’s the… Continue reading

10 Comments