Armando Iannucci recently said that the UK falls behind the US when it comes to female comedy writers. Do you find it to be a male-dominated industry?
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Wednesday 21 April 2010
Monday 19 April 2010
Sebastian Barry's subtle, speculative new play takes off from a sad yet amusing real-life circumstance.
Polar Bears, Donmar Warehouse, London<br/>Andersen's English, Hampstead Theatre, London<br/>Beyond the Horizon/Spring Storm, NT Cottesloe
Sunday 11 April 2010
Friday 26 March 2010
Simple acts of walking are threaded through the fiction of many writers, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Franz Kafka, who put their characters on the road for compelling reasons. So it seemed an idea to round them all up, and steer them into an anthology called The Burning Leg. Twenty authors gathered. Except my favourite was missing, because his words are non-fiction, though they flow fantastically. Quest, myth and even farce colour the pages of his rich and remarkable diary - the sort of diary that invites you to stop reading before pulling on your Timberlands.
Friday 19 March 2010
At the moment we're used to seeing Joseph Fiennes play action man. As the star of the US television sci-fi drama FlashForward, he charges around Los Angeles waving a gun, trying to work out why everyone on the planet simultaneously lost consciousness for 137 seconds.
Monday 15 March 2010
Saturday 20 February 2010
It is a fair bet that the vast majority of the British population has never picked up a Trollope – one of the 19th-century novelist's works that is, not a tart. Even for those who made the excursion into Barsetshire and got to know the Pallisers, Anthony Trollope will for ever be under the shadow of his contemporary Charles Dickens.
Friday 15 January 2010
According to Dickens, "the one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself". Nowadays it often seems that the great principle is to run up vast costs, particularly in civil litigation cases.
Sunday 27 December 2009
Monday 14 December 2009
Friday 13 November 2009
Thursday 12 November 2009
If I had a fiver for everyone I've heard say, "I never watch any television apart from the news and David Attenborough", well, it would probably cover my licence fee. But while there being Nothing on TV has been a staple moan of British cultural life for some time now, radio is in far happier shape. The Rajar figures for the third quarter of the year were good for the BBC, especially Radios 3, 4 and 5 Live. There were all sorts of explanations, including the Ashes and the Proms and global economic meltdown to explain why people were reaching for the radio. Yet perhaps it comes down to the fact that radio simply does some things better.
Friday 02 October 2009
Dickens's ruthless ambition grew from family failure. His father constantly ran into trouble with money, and was eventually imprisoned for debt. In what has become one of the most familiar episodes in any writer's life, 12-year-old Charles was sent to work in a dingy blacking factory, sitting in a window to paste labels. Idlers would gather to watch. The shame was overwhelming, but it could not crush Dickens's relish for what London offered, even to a "common labouring boy".
Friday 18 September 2009
A triumph of research in an unexpected field, Boddy's lucid study starts with the Greek gagster Lucilius ("Your head, Apollophanes, has become a sieve") before moving briskly on to the boxing obsessions of Byron, who created a pugilistic scrapbook on a folding screen, and Dickens, who inserted punch-ups in works from Pickwick to Edwin Drood.
Friday 24 July 2009
That a documentary about the most exuberant comic novelist who ever lived should be quite so plodding as this is really a cause for shame.
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
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