We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Cultural life: John Heffernan, actor


Theatre & Opera

I made a resolution earlier this year to educate myself more about opera, and so I took myself off to see The Minotaur and Written on Skin, both of which completely floored me. I have also recently enjoyed Othello at the National, Chimerica at the Almeida and the wonderful Sea Wall at The Shed.


I came out of Frances Ha completely smitten with Greta Gerwig (it might be cheesy but the shot of her dancing through New York to the sound of David Bowie is so euphoric). And Before Midnight seemed to me the finest yet in the trilogy.


I finally got to see Bruce Springsteen – for my birthday in June at the Olympic Park. Typically, he played for over three hours at full pelt, and his rapport with the audience and the E Street Band is a wonderful thing to behold!

Visual Arts

I'm a huge fan of Stanley Spencer and having made pilgrimages to Cookham and the Sandham Memorial Chapel, I was very excited to see the A Crisis of Brilliance exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. I was not disappointed. His incredible gift of seeing the humane and the transcendental on the other side of the garden fence is so funny.

John Heffernan stars in 'Edward II' at the National Theatre, London SE1 (nationaltheatre.org.uk) until 26 October.