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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 Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson - The Winter’s Tale retold
Oct 4th 2015
Review

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson - The Winter’s Tale retold

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson - The Winter’s Tale retold

The novelist’s recasting of Shakespeare is respectful of the original while injecting it with contemporary grit and characteristic…

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood - madcap life-swapping dystopia
Sep 7th 2015
Review

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood - madcap life-swapping dystopia

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood - madcap life-swapping dystopia

The Canadian author’s latest novel recasts modern America in dark comic terms…

Stewart Lee: A Room With a Stew - a tongue-in-cheek comic on top of his game
Aug 23rd 2015
Review

Stewart Lee: A Room With a Stew - a tongue-in-cheek comic on top of his game

Stewart Lee: A Room With a Stew - a tongue-in-cheek comic on top of his game

Lee’s ability to ‘test a set piece to destruction’ is at the fore of an evolving show delivered…

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - heckling iPods, improv ballads and feminist rap
Aug 16th 2015
Review

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - heckling iPods, improv ballads and feminist rap

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - heckling iPods, improv ballads and feminist rap

Ambitious Daniel Kitson, energetic Pippa Evans and chatty Jenny Bede play it their own way, while Bridget Christie…

Felicity Ward: ‘As soon as I mention the word anxiety, the audience go quiet’
Aug 16th 2015
Article

Felicity Ward: ‘As soon as I mention the word anxiety, the audience go quiet’

Felicity Ward: ‘As soon as I mention the word anxiety, the audience go quiet’

The Australian comic explains that her show about irritable bowel syndrome and anxiety has no ‘serious moment’…

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - Lolly Adefope, Aisling Bea and Joseph Morpurgo among the highlights
Aug 9th 2015
Review

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - Lolly Adefope, Aisling Bea and Joseph Morpurgo among the highlights

Edinburgh festival 2015 comedy - Lolly Adefope, Aisling Bea and Joseph Morpurgo among the highlights

Character comedy, childhood memories and a fantasy Desert Island Discs hit the mark in week one on the…

Nina Conti: ‘I’m hoping people will sit in the front row if they’re feeling brave’
Aug 9th 2015
Article

Nina Conti: ‘I’m hoping people will sit in the front row if they’re feeling brave’

Nina Conti: ‘I’m hoping people will sit in the front row if they’re feeling brave’

The comedian and ventriloquist explains why she decided to make the audience her puppets in her new show…

Mislaid & The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink - audacious and shockingly funny
Jul 5th 2015
Review

Mislaid & The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink - audacious and shockingly funny

Mislaid & The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink - audacious and shockingly funny

Jonathan Franzen’s protege proves herself worthy of his patronage with this highly original pair of novels…

Is the pram in the hall still the enemy of good art?
Jun 20th 2015
Article

Is the pram in the hall still the enemy of good art?

Is the pram in the hall still the enemy of good art?

A forthcoming BBC documentary fronted by Lily Cole will take Cyril Connolly’s famous quote as its starting point…

So-called ‘Viagra for women’ leaves me cold
Jun 7th 2015
Article

So-called ‘Viagra for women’ leaves me cold

So-called ‘Viagra for women’ leaves me cold

Flibanserin is supposed to be the answer to a woman’s low libido. It sounds like a real headache…

The Infidel Stain - MJ Carter’s smartly plotted murder mystery
May 24th 2015
Review

The Infidel Stain - MJ Carter’s smartly plotted murder mystery

The Infidel Stain - MJ Carter’s smartly plotted murder mystery

Political unrest and poverty plague 19th-century London in the novelist’s skilful follow-up to last year’s lauded The Strangler…

Sophie and the Sibil - George Eliot’s later life reimagined
May 17th 2015
Review

Sophie and the Sibil - George Eliot’s later life reimagined

Sophie and the Sibil - George Eliot’s later life reimagined

A mix of fact and fiction makes for a clever comedy of Victorian manners, but it engages the…

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - her finest work
May 10th 2015
Review

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - her finest work

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - her finest work

The genre-defying author follows Life After Life with a bold, playful and engrossing companion piece…

Holly Walsh: ‘Britain’s the best place in the world to do comedy’
Apr 12th 2015
Article

Holly Walsh: ‘Britain’s the best place in the world to do comedy’

Holly Walsh: ‘Britain’s the best place in the world to do comedy’

The teenage nerd-turned-successful comedian on her new standup show, being terminally uncool and having a vicar for a…

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