Fear eats the soul: cast members of The Crucible at the Old Vic. Photo: Alastair Muir/Rex
Mark Lawson: What would Arthur Miller have made of Operation Yewtree?
By Mark Lawson - 17 July 10:00

Two of the standout London productions of this year are the scorching version of The Crucible at the Old Vic and the Young Vic’s brilliant rethinking of A View from the Bridge.

Crosby, Stills and Nash (minus Young) in 1983. Photo: Getty
The long shadow of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
By Bob Stanley - 15 July 15:51

Bob Stanley takes a look at long-overdue rereleases for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Garth Brooks has cancelled five Dublin gigs in protest at a licensing dispute. Photo: Getty
Why is country star Garth Brooks cancelling five Dublin gigs causing such uproar in Ireland?
By Oliver Farry - 11 July 18:00

Ireland is currently split between people who are mortally embarrassed by the cancellation farrago and those who declare it to be of the utmost importance. What is it with the Irish and country music?

The Libertines. Photo: Getty
Are Pete Doherty and Carl Barât the last of British music’s tempestuous best friendships?
By Anoosh Chakelian - 11 July 16:38

As once estranged Libertines frontmen passionately reunite, they highlight the dearth of stormy musical partnerships in today’s music.

Pathos: Tom Morris’s 2012 production for ENO. Photo: Rex Features
Those most offended by John Adams’s Death of Klinghoffer haven’t seen it
By Nicholas Lezard - 10 July 11:47

It's a case of knee jerk by proxy, says Nicholas Lezard.

Grand designs: from left to right, James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore.
The Manic Street Preachers: “I’ll always hate the Tory party. But now I hate Labour, too”
By Dorian Lynskey - 08 July 14:46

The Manic Street Preachers talk to Dorian Lynskey about meeting Castro, losing faith in politics and why Europe is a “unified art movement”.

Martin Freeman as Richard III. Photo: Marc Brenner
Stop clap-shaming first-time theatregoers who like Martin Freeman from off the telly
By Caroline Crampton - 07 July 14:12

So-called “seasoned theatregoers” have complained about the audience clapping during Martin Freeman’s West End appearance as Richard III, in what is nothing more than a display of blatant snobbery.

Blessed are the cheese joke makers! The Pythons reunite on stage. Image: Alamy
Everyone expects the Spanish Inquisition: Monty Python and their loyal superfans
By Mark Lawson - 03 July 17:08

While it’s generous and sensible to give the fans what they want, the familiarity of the material starts to feel weird.

Adokiye in a promo shoot. Photo: daXclusive/adokiye.com
Nigerian popstar Adokiye offers Boko Haram her virginity for kidnapped schoolgirls' release
By Daisy Lafarge - 27 June 17:06

A rising star in Nigeria, frustrated at the fading news coverage of Boko Haram's abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls, has offered up her virginity.

Making the cut: Viv Albertine, Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt of the Slits in 1981
Punk survivor: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine
By Tracey Thorn - 26 June 17:00

With their backcombed hair, dreads, tutus, ripped tights and Doc Martens, the Slits were the most anarchic and badly behaved band on the “White Riot” tour. 

Lana Del Rey.
Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence”: glorification of physical abuse, or a radical appeal for self-love?
By Daisy Lafarge - 26 June 10:52

The singer’s new album is a sad indictment of post-feminism – a culture in which women may achieve what they are told to and still feel brutally unhappy.

Kristine Opolais as Manon and Jonas Kaufmann as Des Grieux in "Manon Lescaut". Photograph: Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House
Uneasy futility at the opera: Manon Lescaut and In the Penal Colony
By Alexandra Coghlan - 23 June 11:11

Alexandra Coghlan reviews Jonathan Kent’s new production of Manon Lescaut at the Royal Opera House and Shadwell Opera’s In The Penal Colony at the Arts Theatre.

Carmelite nuns in France, 1904. Dialogues des Carmélites tells the story of Carmelite nuns executed during the French Revolution. Photo: Getty
Sounds from the sweatshop: Marxist Chillwave and Dialogues des Carmélites
By Alexandra Coghlan - 12 June 10:00

Classical music perhaps wouldn’t be everyone’s medium of choice to shout about issues, ideas and beliefs but two recent events made a strong case for why it should be.

Performers onstage during Terry Gilliam's production of Berlioz's "Benvenuto Cellini" at the English National Opera. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
Classical music has a serious communication problem
By Andrew Mellor - 11 June 11:02

Until state-funded arts organisations like the Royal Opera House can advertise their work to people who don’t already love their art form, they will never attract broader audiences.

Photo: YouTube screengrab of Rik Mayall's Noble England
Whistles, reggae, samba and Henry V: England’s official 2014 World Cup song candidates
By Anoosh Chakelian - 10 June 15:02

Gary Barlow’s been quietly ditched. The Monty Python members have mobilised. Lily Allen is ubiquitous. The late Rik Mayall takes his last stand. Here are the best and the rest of England’s options for its World Cup anthem.

Girls to the front: why we need more women-friendly gigs
By Beulah Devaney - 06 June 11:05

It's time for gigs to take women's safety seriously, in a world where audience members and performers are routinely assaulted.

Polly Stenham.
Mark Lawson: schools may soon be studying the plays of Polly Stenham
By Mark Lawson - 06 June 11:00

In musical terms, the second album is a crucial test. For 27-year-old Polly Stenham, it is her fourth play, Hotel, which opens this week at the National Theatre, that will make or break her career.

The Voice.
Tracey Thorn: one round in today’s TV talent shows and I’d have been back in the library
By Tracey Thorn - 06 June 10:30

These shows can be harsh and cruel, but they are merely a microcosm of the world – a swift introduction to the realities of a career as a performer.

Bruce Springsteen in concert.
Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA at 30: soundtrack to my life
By Max Liu - 05 June 12:36

Bruce Springsteen's 1984 album Born in the USA is 30 years old this week. It has been the soundtrack to Max Liu's life, from the end of his parents' marriage to the beginning of his own.

Feed the world: Live Aid 1985, which Mark Ellen helped present. Photo: Getty
Mark Ellen: a big bad love affair with music mags
By Andrew Harrison - 05 June 10:00

Mark Ellen changed the face of music magazines with Smash Hits, Q, SelectMojo and finally The Word. His memoir is as “hectic, self-deprecating, quietly perceptive” as the man himself. 

“You’re not a real cosplayer”: since when did dressing up for comics conventions lead to bullying?
By Margaret Corvid - 02 June 16:24

Cosplayers – particularly women – report being insulted, groped or harassed at conventions. How did this happen in a community that prides itself on friendliness and cooperation?

Dr Angelou visiting the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2010. Photo: Getty Images
US poet and author Maya Angelou has died, aged 86
By Ian Steadman - 28 May 14:57

Sad news as an American literary icon passes away.

The action at Queen of the Night. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com
Celebrating art-as-commerce: what happens when immersive theatre gets popular
By Tara Isabella Burton - 28 May 11:54

New production Queen of the Night – backed by the same producer as Punchdrunk’s wildy popular immersive theatre experience Sleep No More – seems entirely predicated on the notion that spectacle, and spectacle alone, is what audiences want.

Don’t follow leaders: Dylan has long disliked the media’s “fancy labels”. Photo: Rex
Why Bob Dylan can never shake off his fans
By Yo Zushi - 28 May 10:00

By the mid-1980s, Dylan had long been playing down the notion that he was the “voice of a generation”. Such strategies failed in the long run. 

Tara Erraught as Octavian, Lars Woldt as Baron Ochs and Kate Royal as the Marschallin in the 2014 Glyndebourne production of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. Photo: Bill Cooper
Glyndebourne 2014: Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
By Alexandra Coghlan - 27 May 16:36

From acid social satire to romance, the new season at Glyndebourne has something to offer those willing to go beyond mere appearances.

Why did Anne Boleyn have to die?
By Amy Licence - 27 May 14:01

Henry VIII didn’t have to execute his second wife to be rid of her – retirement abroad or into a convent was customary for rejected queens. So why did he choose to send for the swordsman?

Real thing: Kathleen Turner in Bakersfield Mist, about a woman who discovers a potential Pollock
Mark Lawson: how “keepers of the flame” protect an artist’s legacy
By Mark Lawson - 16 May 11:10

From Larkin’s diaries being burnt to the refusal to acknowledge forgotten Jackson Pollocks, literary and art executors run a tight ship.

Neil Young.
Review: A Letter Home by Neil Young – a froggy echo travelling up the U-bend of time
By Kate Mossman - 15 May 14:00

A Letter Home was recorded in a Voice-O-Graph booth in Jack White’s “novelties lounge”. With cover songs and lo-fi crackles, it is an object study in the pros and cons of retro audio porn.

Seventeen-year-old pianist Martin James Bartlett, the eventual winner of the competition. Photo: BBC
Pluck and courage: BBC Young Musician 2014
By Alexandra Coghlan - 15 May 11:30

BBC Young Musician is a biennial reminder that Britain has got more than just talent. What its young performers have is a craft.

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