The Friday Arts Diary

Our Cultural Picks for the Week Ahead.


Tate Britain, London SW1, Has the Film Already Started?, until 26 February
A series of galleries illuminating ways in which notions of performance have been expressed in the art of the past 30 years.


Lyric Hammersmith, London W6, Lyric Comedy Night, 26 February
Hosted by John Maloney, this regular Sunday Night Comedy slot features Mark Thomas, Andrew O'Neill, Catie Wilkins and Doc Brown.


Rose Theatre, London SE1, The Merchant of Venice, until 26 February
This modern-dress version sets Shakespeare's dark comedy in the contemporary London banking scene as it faces meltdown.


Tate Britain, London SE1, English National Ballet, from 27 February
In the Tate's Duveen Galleries, for a week, the English National Ballet celebrates the Tate's current Picasso xxhibition, Picasso and Modern British Art.


St John's, Smith Square, London SW1, Schwanengesang, 28 February
Performing alongside pianist Joseph Middleton, Matthew Rose sings Schubert's final song-cycle. Recently described by The Times as "the cream of a new generation", Middleton studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music on an EMI Scholarship, followed by a residency at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

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“Minoan pendant”: a new poem by Mark Granier

“Yes – I press my nose / to the pleasantly warm glass – / it’s a copy of one I saw / cased in the cool museum”

Yes – I press my nose
to the pleasantly warm glass –
it’s a copy of one I saw
cased in the cool museum –
gold beaten to honey, a grainy
oval dollop, flanked by two
slim symmetrical bees –

garland for a civilisation’s
rise and collapse, eye-dropped
five thousand years: a flash
of evening sun on a windscreen
or wing mirror – Heraklion’s
scooter-life buzzing and humming –

as I step in to browse, become
mesmerised by the warm
dark eyes of the woman
who gives her spiel and moves
softly and with such grace,
that, after leaving, I hesitate

a moment on the pavement
then re-enter with a question
I know not to ask, but ask
anyway, to hear her voice
soften even more as she smiles
and shakes her hair – no.

Mark Granier is an Irish poet and photographer. He is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Haunt (Salmon).

This article first appeared in the 16 June 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Britain on the brink