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The highlight of the Christmas shows: Arthur Pita's The Little Match Girl. Photo: Phil Conrad

The best (and worst) of ballet and dance over Christmas

19 December 2014 15:50

The Nutcracker, English National Ballet, until 4 Jan *** The Little Match Girl, Lilian Baylis Studio, until 4 Jan ***** Edward Scissorhands, Sadler’s Wells, until 11 Jan *** Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Royal Ballet, until 16 Jan ** The Mad Hatter’s… Continue reading

The Sony leak revealed harsh emails about Angelina Jolie (Photo: Getty)

Does Hollywood need bullies?

19 December 2014 10:47

There have always been bullies in Hollywood; it’s institutionalised, like a form of hazing, but the key difference between the film business and the Marine Corps is that bullying in… Continue reading

?Explore the Home Counties?, LNER poster, 1936.

Rod Liddle: my favourite books of the year

18 December 2014 15:32

I’ve been away in Oslo. Not the world’s most exciting destination, I have to say. And the locals really do talk and smile exactly like Frances McDormand does in Fargo.… Continue reading


Why Frozen is a fabulously irritating film

17 December 2014 17:40

For a film I’ve never seen, I really, really hate Frozen. For those who don’t have children and don’t look into shop windows and don’t buy toys and are oblivious… Continue reading

Darren Henley - the new CEO of the Arts Council

The new CEO of the Arts Council has been announced – Guardianistas won’t be happy

17 December 2014 16:10

It is difficult to describe with equanimity the culture shock that has been administered to Arts Council England, the 69 year-old benefits office for the creative industries. Invented by Maynard… Continue reading

Nigel Farage with Steph and Dom Parker. Photo: Channel 4.

Poor Farage was stitched up by Steph and Dom

16 December 2014 10:38

Steph and Dom are the posh-sounding, drunk couple from Gogglebox – the surprise hit programme where people are recorded sitting on sofas giving a running commentary on the TV shows… Continue reading

(Picture: Channel 4)

Steph and Dom Meet…Nigel Farage: the last authentic politician or tipsy fool?

15 December 2014 23:07

Would you invite Nigel Farage around for drinks and dinner? Steph and Dom Meet…Nigel Farage shows what happened when the ‘posh couple’ from Gogglebox did just that. The Ukip leader comes… Continue reading

House Prices Hit New High In The UK

A radical plan to ease Britain’s housing shortage – double the population of London

15 December 2014 13:55

Roger Scruton writes in today’s Daily Telegraph, a sentence that in itself fills me with a sense of Wa – harmony, order. He writes: ‘Whether or not our political class… Continue reading


Did Adnan Syed do it?

12 December 2014 16:21

I doubt most people would have been familiar with the relatively unremarkable murder of a Baltimore high school student by her ex-boyfriend in 1999. Until Serial started a couple of months ago.… Continue reading

Patsy Ferran (Jim Hawkins) and Arthur Darvill (Long John Silver) - Photo: Johan Persson

Treasure Island is a boys’ book. There’s no need for a feminist twist

11 December 2014 17:34

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island he declared triumphantly that if it wasn’t a winner with boys, then he didn’t know what boys were like. And it was indeed… Continue reading

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In defence of the smug Cereal Café owners – and the mugs who eat there

11 December 2014 14:46

There is a great deal of excitement around today about an interview that Channel 4 News did yesterday with some quite smug chaps who have set up something called a… Continue reading

Janet Suzman and Khayalethu Anthony in 'Solomon and Marion'

Don’t criticise Janet Suzman for saying theatre’s ‘a white invention’, thank her

10 December 2014 13:27

Janet Suzman’s throwaway comment about the theatre being ‘a white invention’ has attracted a storm of opportunistic derision. What Dame Janet may have meant was this. Theatre is gossip ceremonially… Continue reading


If you like The Godfather, you’ll love this

9 December 2014 16:32

There can’t have been many trumpet players more nervous about their solo at the Albert Hall than the one who opened the performance there last night. His orchestral colleagues surrounding… Continue reading


Why are the Elgin Marbles going to Russia? They belong to Greece

5 December 2014 10:59

There can’t be a better spot in the whole of London than the British Museum, the crown jewel of the city’s cultural life and a fantastic tribute to the British… Continue reading

Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Commonwealth Day Of Observance At Westminster Abbey

Who cares that Liz Lochhead has joined the SNP?

2 December 2014 15:11

Is it acceptable for writers to sport their political allegiances publicly? In more sensible times you’d hardly need to consider the question since its answer would ordinarily be so bleedin’… Continue reading

Doldrum, (Video: Le Clash), Anri Sala. Installation at Gemeentemuseum for 'The Vincent Awards 2014'. Photo: Daniel Nicolas

An art award that actually rewards talent

1 December 2014 14:11

Before I was asked to go out and cover it, I’d never heard of the Vincent Award for contemporary art. It’s a big deal in the Dutch art world, apparently,… Continue reading

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Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

A Putinesque world of cronyism and fear: life in BBC News

30 November 2014 16:21

I’ve a piece in the current issue of Standpoint  on the disastrous rule of James Harding as the BBC’s Head of News. He was a former editor of the Times,… Continue reading

Hong Kong Customs Seize Endangered Species Cargo

Spectator competition: unlikely aphrodisiacs (plus: New Year haikus)

29 November 2014 9:30

It was ‘In Praise of Cocoa — Cupid’s Nightcap’ by that legend of the comping world Stanley J. Sharpless that gave me the idea for the most recent challenge, to… Continue reading

The late Comandante, Hugo Chavez. Photograph: Reuters

Hugo Chavez – the ballet

28 November 2014 17:12

Here’s something to watch next time you’re visiting Venezuela, if you can avoid getting murdered while you’re there – a ballet based on the life of the glorious late president… Continue reading


Forget genre: P.D. James wrote novels that are worth reading and re-reading

28 November 2014 13:22

P.D. James was the Queen Mother of crime fiction. Her career as a writer stretched over half a century, and her death at the age of 94 deprives the country… Continue reading


The Turner Prize shortlist is the worst in its history. Who should have won the award? Nobody

27 November 2014 17:23

What were you thinking? What? What? What? This is the question I’d ask the people who selected the artists for this year’s Turner Prize. The first time I visited, I… Continue reading


Is theatre more left wing than other art forms? Yes – and so it should be

27 November 2014 17:07

A couple of nights ago a question arose in our post-show discussion. It is a question I am familiar with. I run Theatre Uncut. We commission writers to create short… Continue reading

Gerhard Richter's '920-4 STRIP', 2011, now showing at the new Marian Goodman Gallery in London

‘Painting is total idiocy’ says Gerhard Richter – and he has some new paintings to prove it

27 November 2014 16:33

Gerhard Richter has got a website. This is odd in itself – artists only usually have websites when they are young and not represented by a commercial gallery. They then… Continue reading


P.D. James (1920 – 2014) on Jane Austen and the joys of great-grandparenting

27 November 2014 13:57

P.D. James died today at the age of 94. She was a great friend of The Spectator. Here is her diary from 27 January 2010: Our protracted family Christmas with my… Continue reading

Tate Britain robot viewing art After Dark project. Photograph: Alexey Moskvin/Tate Britain/PA

Apollo Awards 2014: Digital Innovation of the Year

26 November 2014 18:36

This article first appeared in Apollo magazine Apollo’s new Digital Innovation of the Year award commends organisations harnessing digital technology to advance access to, or knowledge of art. The winner will be chosen… Continue reading

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