A controversial fixer for arms deals linked to an alleged corruption scandal that engulfed Nicolas Sarkozy has been refused entry to Britain.
Holland Park (London)
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Wednesday 19 May 2010
How do you make torture entertaining? How do you stage terror, infanticide, brutalisation and extraordinary rendition in a way that leaves your audience uplifted and in the mood for a drinks party? That's the problem that faced the Human Rights Watch organisation at the weekend, as they staged their benefit night at London's Royal Court Theatre. Rather than relying, as they have in previous years, on the reportage of individuals (which can be a recipe for earnestness and gloom), the organisers commissioned several mini-dramas from famous playwrights and actors, under the umbrella title The Laws of War. I checked the programme: there were nine events – an hour and a half of gruelling statistics and savage political satire, before we could hit the free wine. "Enjoy," said the ticket-tearer. I scanned her face for signs of irony.
Rhiannon Harries: Health and fitness, fine. But what's with this modern-day obsession with perfect bodies?
Sunday 09 May 2010
What is the anti-smoking lobby going to do with David Hockney? There he was on last week's edition of The South Bank Show Revisited, in fine fettle at 72, sharp, energetic and talking extraordinary good sense. "I was sitting on a bench in Holland Park – watching the rabbits and the magpies," he recounted. "I lit up a cigarette and three great big girls go jogging by, see me smoking and wag their fingers at me. They think they're very healthy – they're totally obsessed with their own bodies and never saw the rabbits or magpies. They think they're healthy, but I think I'm healthier. That's my odd view of it."
Thursday 08 April 2010
Friday 02 April 2010
Wednesday 31 March 2010
The auditorium has risen once more, the box office is open and busy, and the peacocks are warming up – Opera Holland Park is gearing up for the new season.
Sunday 28 March 2010
Claud Wright: Senior civil servant who was also a leading expert in geology, palaeontology and archaeology
Monday 08 March 2010
In the War Office there were a lot of old fossils. But the one who was the real fossil was Claud William Wright. He was not only a senior administrative civil servant, and when transferred to the Ministry of Education the first Permanent Secretary, in effect, to Lord Eccles' Ministry of the Arts under Margaret Thatcher, but also from an early age, a leading geologist, palaeontologist and archaeologist.
Saturday 06 March 2010
The 19th-century President of the Royal Academy, Frederic, Lord Leighton spent 30 years creating his very own "Private Palace of Art" on the edge of west London's Holland Park. It wasn't straightforward, but neither was his vision. Starting with a single house in 1866, designed by the architect George Aitchison under the watchful eye of the proprietor, the painter and sculptor Leighton slowly added a domed two-storey extension, which he stuffed with the most exquisite materials and furnishings the world's more remote regions had to offer. Three decades later, his labour of love was finally complete.
Monday 15 February 2010
Monday 25 January 2010
Have you heard the one about the journalist and the taxi- driver? It may sound like the stalest and most risible of clichés, but this time, it leads to an instructive story.
The long goodbye: What do Antonia Fraser's diaries of life with Harold Pinter add to the marital memoir?
Friday 15 January 2010
Wednesday 13 January 2010
Bad enough having Britain's media bring up your £10m pay package every time your employer is mentioned – but the real problems for Stephen Hester start when he gets home.
Sunday 03 January 2010
Sunday 03 January 2010
Wednesday 30 December 2009
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
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- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy