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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Featured article

Bruno and the Referendum

Tomorrow, June 23, the UK will vote on whether or not to remain part of the European Union. Like everyone else who plans to vote, I’ve been thinking a lot about what national identity means to me, in a globally…

Bruno and the Referendum

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The Kindness - Polly Samson’s sensuous tale of family tragedy
Mar 29th 2015
Review

The Kindness - Polly Samson’s sensuous tale of family tragedy

The Kindness - Polly Samson’s sensuous tale of family tragedy

This assured second novel begins as a meditation on love and loss then turns into a complex, thrilling…

Patrick Gale: ‘There was a mythology about
Mar 22nd 2015
Article

Patrick Gale: ‘There was a mythology about

Patrick Gale: ‘There was a mythology about

The novelist on his new book’s debt to his great-grandfather and life as a ‘cattle boy’ on his…

I hope dancing Dermot O’Leary felt the love amid the pain
Mar 15th 2015
Article

I hope dancing Dermot O’Leary felt the love amid the pain

I hope dancing Dermot O’Leary felt the love amid the pain

The TV presenter’s 24-hour ‘danceathon’ for Comic Relief briefly united the nation…

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone - a dark and often troubling performance
Feb 22nd 2015
Review

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone - a dark and often troubling performance

Kim Noble: You’re Not Alone - a dark and often troubling performance

Kim Noble’s latest offering explores male loneliness, old age and the bleakness of existence to unsettling, almost embarrassing…

We Are Pirates - madcap sitcom with a dark twist
Feb 15th 2015
Review

We Are Pirates - madcap sitcom with a dark twist

We Are Pirates - madcap sitcom with a dark twist

Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler steers a pirate ship into uncharted territory in this disturbingly funny novel for…

Vanessa and Her Sister - Bloomsbury reimagined
Feb 15th 2015
Review

Vanessa and Her Sister - Bloomsbury reimagined

Vanessa and Her Sister - Bloomsbury reimagined

Priya Parmar does a fine job of inventing Vanessa Bell’s account of life with the volatile Virginia Woolf…

Myleene Klass is right – children’s parties are a social minefield
Feb 8th 2015
Article

Myleene Klass is right – children’s parties are a social minefield

Myleene Klass is right – children’s parties are a social minefield

Yes, the school party invite the singer received was rude, but shaming the sender won’t win her daughter…

Colleen McCullough’s obituary shows looks aren’t everything. Unless you’re a woman
Feb 1st 2015
Article

Colleen McCullough’s obituary shows looks aren’t everything. Unless you’re a woman

Colleen McCullough’s obituary shows looks aren’t everything. Unless you’re a woman

The obituary of The Thornbirds author emphasises yet again that even in 2015 a woman will be judged…

William Nicholson: ‘In Hollywood, people push you to produce work you didn’t know you had in you’
Feb 1st 2015
Article

William Nicholson: ‘In Hollywood, people push you to produce work you didn’t know you had in you’

William Nicholson: ‘In Hollywood, people push you to produce work you didn’t know you had in you’

The screenwriter and novelist on his love of Emily Dickinson, and the power of great storytelling…

The Offering – the gifted Grace McCleen addresses memory and religion
Jan 18th 2015
Review

The Offering – the gifted Grace McCleen addresses memory and religion

The Offering – the gifted Grace McCleen addresses memory and religion

A woman is traumatised by a forgotten childhood incident in Grace McCleen’s poetic, often painful third novel…

Rising stars of 2015: comedian Jenny Bede
Dec 28th 2014
Review

Rising stars of 2015: comedian Jenny Bede

Rising stars of 2015: comedian Jenny Bede

A switch from musical theatre has paid off for the 31-year-old, who was prompted to make the change…

An Evening with Noel Fielding – enjoyable silliness
Nov 23rd 2014
Review

An Evening with Noel Fielding – enjoyable silliness

An Evening with Noel Fielding – enjoyable silliness

Although Fielding seems slightly directionless without his Mighty Boosh partner, there’s plenty of madcap whimsy and wit…

I don’t want to lecture you… but do tune in to Reith
Nov 23rd 2014
Article

I don’t want to lecture you… but do tune in to Reith

I don’t want to lecture you… but do tune in to Reith

In the age of soundbites and tweets, the BBC’s Reith lectures are the last bastion of our nation’s…

Lee Evans: sweaty, knotty tour de force
Nov 21st 2014
Article

Lee Evans: sweaty, knotty tour de force

Lee Evans: sweaty, knotty tour de force

He defined the modern comedy industry and broke records with his huge audiences. I suspect rumours of his…

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