Rob Sharp

Rob Sharp is a freelance journalist specialising in arts and culture. He was on staff at The Independent from July 2007 to December 2011, first as a features writer, and then as the paper’s arts correspondent. He has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. For more information visit his website, www.robsharp.com or email him at rs@robsharp.com.

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Why do adults read children's books? Blame modern life

From commuters absorbed by Harry Potter books to the wide appeal of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, the mystery of why some grown-ups like reading children's books may finally be solved. Adults are hacked off with the disappointment of modern life.

Why the Royal Opera House set up shop in Essex

A 46-year-old electrician from Thurrock, Essex, stands in a school music room, breathes deeply, then blasts out Verdi's 1853 opera Il Trovatore.

How the Royal Opera House helped a suburb find its voice

Rob Sharp visits a community choir as it takes the stage at Covent Garden

Still life after death: Freud's final work to go on display

The late painter Lucian Freud won fame for his unflinching eye for detail. And with his 2011 work Portrait of the Hound – unmistakably Freud, apart from a small section of its canvas left unpainted – he concluded his career with the same formidable intensity that had earlier won him millions of fans.

Former chancellor Alistair Darling says he may quit politics

The former chancellor Alistair Darling rebuffed an approach by Labour leader Ed Miliband to join the Shadow Cabinet, telling him he was "worn out". He also hinted that he may decide to leave politics for good next year.

Darling: I rejected chance to join Miliband's team

Former Chancellor sheds light on present – and past at the Woodstock Literary Festival

Tate attendant wins unfair dismissal case

The Tate unfairly dismissed a gallery attendant because it did not properly investigate her allegations of bullying by managers, an employment tribunal ruled yesterday.

Tate gallery attendant, 61, claims unfair dismissal

The Tate sacked a gallery attendant following a row over her leaving her seat to chat to a security guard, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.

End of the hit parade: Pop art hero dies

He is known as the "father of Pop Art", the man whose White Album cover for The Beatles was the first not to use their likenesses and a man who more recently caused a stir with his political imagery of Tony Blair dressed like a cowboy.

Gallery buys Wintour portrait

A portrait of American Vogue's formidable editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London for £125,000.

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The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch