Latest Issue: 19 April 2014
19 April 2014
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Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross


16 April 2014 by John Morrish

A BBC documentary, broadcast tonight, recreates a first in philanthropy: a unique musical event held in 1750 to alleviate the plight of London’s orphans

16 April 2014 by Robert Thicknesse

Some say it was Stalin himself who wrote the Pravda critique of this work that concluded with the chilly words “

16 April 2014 by D.J. Taylor

Peter White’s intriguing foray into the world of Giovannino Guareschi (1908-68) and his most celebrated creation, the Italian priest Don Camillo (10 April) began in a trattoria in downtown Brescello.

16 April 2014 by Mark Lawson

Critics attempting to characterise the regimes of different artistic directors of the National Theatre have often alighted on their attitudes to the work of Alan Ayckbourn ...

16 April 2014 by Francine Stock

John Banville’s Booker-winning novel The Sea is framed as an account by art historian Max of the recent death of his wife, Anna.

Previous issues

10 April 2014 by Laura Gascoigne

Manchester’s Passion Art Trail is a unique Way of the Cross, conceived by its curator to make vivid the possibility of redemption amid the distractions of modern urban living

10 April 2014 by Francine Stock

Calvary – like limbo or, in a secular context, Coventry – can refer both to place and state of being. This ambiguity runs through John Michael McDonagh’s thriller/meditation set in a village on the spectacular west coast of Ireland.

10 April 2014 by D.J. Taylor

Lord Adonis’ contribution to this year’s series of Lent talks (2 April) – on the general theme of “power” – pursued a somewhat circuitous path: from the New Testament to votes for 16-year-olds in little more than 13 minutes.

10 April 2014 by John Morrish

It looks like a bank holiday weekend, and Ian Hislop is wandering around in a field full of battle re-enactment enthusiasts, brist­ling with weapons and resplendent in their costumes. “It is clear that many of us in Britain are in love with the past,” he says.

10 April 2014 by Mark Lawson

Theatre in New York is dominated by musicals and star-cast revivals and the chances of new plays reaching Broadway are reduced even further by the absence of a subsidised circuit. Every so often, though, an original drama becomes a hit there and one of them – Jon Robin Baitz’s 2010 success, Other Desert Cities

03 April 2014 by Rick Jones

Many scores by C.P.E. Bach were removed from Berlin by the Soviet army in 1945 and presumed lost. The rediscovered St John Passion will be performed in London during Holy Week

03 April 2014 by Francine Stock

Noah has a problem. His Creator has indicated that he wishes by watery means to eradicate human life on earth on account of its sin and general destruction.

03 April 2014 by John Morrish

Kim Philby was devoted to the Soviet Union, until he had to live in it. Such are the rewards of 30 years of treachery. He died in 1988, a lonely, bitter man who had been perhaps the most effective, and most destructive, Soviet agent of the last century.

03 April 2014 by D.J. Taylor

Dr Thomas Dixon, the presenter of this new multi-part enquiry into the meaning and experience of friendship over the last half-millennium (from 24 March) turns out to hold the somewhat eye-catching title of director of the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London.

03 April 2014 by Mark Lawson

The regular transfers of productions from the subsidised to the commercial sector can give the impression that there is not much of a gulf between the interests of public and private money. However, two startlingly contrasting current shows demonstrate just how far apart the ambitions and instincts of the two types of theatre can be.

27 March 2014 by Laura Gascoigne

The Veronese exhibition at London’s National Gallery brings together the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s masterpieces – both sacred and profane – ever to be shown in Britain

27 March 2014 by Robert Thicknesse

Sometimes only the echo remains; does anyone still read Ariosto? From the moment it appeared in 1516, his epic poem Orlando Furioso gripped the consciousness of Europe, a blockbuster which everyone read, which instantly created its own mythology and a sparkling, fully formed chivalric world of knights, magic horses and distressed damsels, a continental Camelot.

27 March 2014 by D.J. Taylor

Five months before the anniversary itself, Radio 4’s coverage of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has begun to explore some of its non-military byways.

27 March 2014 by Mark Lawson

The question of whether to make a point of someone’s age is traditionally delicate – and especially with actresses, who have been known to knock a few years off in reference books – but there is no avoiding the fact that the greatest distinction of the new West End production of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit is the fact that its leading lady is 88.

27 March 2014 by John Morrish

Every year, 2,000 British people disappear. They just leave the house and never come back. The Missing (25 March) looked at the effect of such disappearances on those left behind to search, speculate and grieve. According to this documentary, someone disappears every two minutes. Most are back within 48 hours; 99 per cent have turned up within a year. The rest are still being sought.

20 March 2014 by Robert Thicknesse

In a unique staging by the Royal Opera, Francesco Cavalli’s L’Ormindo is to be performed in a London theatre built to evoke the period when the piece was written

20 March 2014 by Francine Stock

Donald Rumsfeld, twice US Secretary of Defense during the course of four decades, is both the youngest and oldest individual to have held that post – for Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, respectively.

20 March 2014 by John Morrish

Imagine what Jonathan Swift, or Lindsay Anderson, or even Armando Ianucci would have made of the BBC’s recent turmoils. W1A (19 March), set in New Broadcasting House, is satire – but not that sort of satire.

20 March 2014 by Mark Lawson

Premiered in 1958, A Taste of Honey, the debut (and only enduring) play by Shelagh Delaney (1938-2011), has usually been discussed as part of a wave of working-class drama

20 March 2014 by D.J. Taylor

How does one comprehend the revelation of the divine in the person of Jesus Christ?