"Bo Burnham: What", Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh Fringe, August
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Sunday 08 November 2009
Melissa Katsoulis's entertaining account of literary hoaxes from the ancient world to the present day covers all three main kinds of hoax: the "genuine" hoax, that is to say the hoax that was never intended to be discovered (the Hitler diaries, the Ossian poems); the mock hoax, where a writer adopts a persona to create a new literary voice, such as James Norman Hall's invention of the 10-year-old poet Fern Gravel; and, most deliciously of all, the entrapment hoax, perpetrated to make a fool of a specific target.
Monday 12 October 2009
Saturday 10 October 2009
One virtue of the 1960s: the dreadful term "staycation" was a good four decades from being coined. At the time, mind, the majority of Brits had no option but to holiday at home. Even though the package-holiday industry was expanding rapidly, the government did its utmost to keep us at home with a limit on overseas spending of just £50. So the best way to travel vicariously was to visit exotic locations in Britain that distilled the essence of Abroad and served it up to the passer-by.
Handel Remixed, Barbican Hall, London<br/>The Bernstein Project, Royal Festival Hall, London<br/>The Damnation of Faust, Barbican Hall, London
Sunday 27 September 2009
Friday 18 September 2009
Advancing age clearly poses less of a barrier to pop success than in previous eras, as the recent chart placings of Bob Dylan and the Beatles can confirm.
Wednesday 16 September 2009
Wednesday 16 September 2009
Friday 11 September 2009
Friday 11 September 2009
A man newly arrived in the big city makes a brief acquaintance with a preoccupied stranger. The next time they meet, there's a knife sticking out of the stranger's side. Our hero scarpers, leaving incriminating clues, but finds there's a ruthless assailant outside his home. Soon he's on the run, both from the police and some unknown malevolent organisation which is out to get him, unless he gets them first...
Sunday 06 September 2009
Just as Mali's Rokia Traoré irritated some purists with her coolly innovative recent album Tchamantché, so Zimbabwe's Netsayi is set to ruffle a few ceremonial feathers with this thrilling mix of African polyrhythms and Joan Armatrading-style singer-songwriting.
Sunday 23 August 2009
Elizabeth Lowry's debut novel has one of the creepiest narrators since Nabokov's Humbert Humbert; this one, too, falls for a young girl, though one slightly older than Lolita. Thomas Lynch is an acquisitive art historian, who has already been sacked from his New England college for sexual misdemeanours, when he arrives at Mawle House in Oxford, on the hunt for a missing masterpiece he believes is concealed in its grounds. Young Anna is the owner of the house, and she and her mother are well aware of the reason Lynch has come to see them; whether they will let him get what he wants is another matter.
Friday 21 August 2009
It's no surprise to learn that both Wilco and Fleet Foxes have chosen Blitzen Trapper as the support act for their late summer UK tours, as the Portland, Oregon-based sextet share many of those bands' musical traits.
Saturday 08 August 2009
Forgive me if I shed a tear, but a trip to Lutyens hurtles the ageing journalist down Memory Lane, to the days when one wrote stories on Adler portable typewriters that went ping!, and one hung out in El Vino's at lunchtime, chatting to someone from a rival newspaper about what the conclusion to your leader should be. Sir Terence Conran's new restaurant is imposingly housed in the old Reuters building designed by Sir Edward Lutyens in 1930, next door to the journalists' church of St Bride's. It's his third venture with Peter Prescott – they've already opened Boundary and the Albion Café in howlingly trendy Shoreditch – and, although this intersection of Fleet Street and Farringdon isn't a natural posing venue for the Pixie Geldof generation, you can be sure Conran knows what he's doing.
Tuesday 21 July 2009
Sunday 19 July 2009
Insofar as anything to do with Gilbert and George can be described as natural, their recent fondness for axes of reflection is it. An axis of reflection is a line – the surface of a pond, say – that divides an object from its mirror image. Since their Tate Modern show in 2007, G&G's work has been full of them.
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
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