Paul Vallely is visiting professor in Public Ethics at the University of Chester and a senior research fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester. He writes on ethical, political and cultural issues. He has a fortnightly column in the Independent on Sunday and also writes for the New York Times and the Church Times. His latest book is Pope Francis – Untying the Knots. He was co-author of the report of the Commission for Africa and has chaired several development charities.
14 July 2013 06:55 PM
When the interval arrived during The Machine I realised I had been so engrossed by the play that I had forgotten to take a single note during the first half. A play about a chess match between a man and a computer, as its author Matt Charman, had conceded beforehand, sounded almost terrifyingly dull. But this was no ordinary man. It was Garry Kasparov, the youngest world chess champion ever, who reigned unchallenged for two decades. Nor was it an ordinary machine. It was Deep Blue, then the most sophisticated chess computer the world had ever seen, which could analyse more than 500 million positions every second.
14 July 2013 06:45 PM
One of the little touches of genius about this year’s Manchester International Festival has been the imaginative choice of venues with which the artistic director Alex Poots has given extra resonance to the works being staged. Perhaps the best example of this was Maxine Peake’s bravura performance of The Masque of Anarchy, the long poem which Percy Byshe Shelley wrote in indignation against the Peterloo Massacre of 1819.
10 July 2013 11:35 AM
Very occasionally a performance is so special that the audience feels reluctant to shatter the moment which hangs in the air between them and the musicians with something as profane as applause. So it was at the concert of music by Sir John Tavener at the Manchester International Festival which contained no fewer than three world premieres by the great man as he approaches his 70th birthday.
05 July 2013 02:46 PM
It would help if you read Daniil Kharms’ short story before you go to see The Old Woman which opened this year’s biennial Manchester International Festival. It would help. But not a lot.
19 May 2013 12:00 AM
Muslim community activists are not given enough credit for challenging distorted notions of masculinity
15 May 2013 12:00 AM
Parallels between the Oxford case and last year’s case in Rochdale raise some difficult questions. But the issues are much more complex than they seem
09 April 2013 12:00 AM
Saviour of the nation from post-war decadence, or heartless milk-snatcher who destroyed heavy industry and decimated whole communities? Paul Vallely sifts the reputation from the reality
07 April 2013 12:00 AM
Lashing out at the freakshow of Mick Philpott won't solve the problems of our overstretched welfare system
24 March 2013 12:00 AM
Stirring words aside, it is not clear what the US President can do to make peace in the Middle East a lasting reality
17 March 2013 12:00 AM
The new Pope prompts Paul Vallely to consider an unfashionable virtue in an age of individualism
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
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