The Guardian9 min letti
How A Writer Found Himself In A Missing Person Story
Despite the cold, it had been a decent day. Late March is sometimes like that in London. More winter than spring, the grass often still frozen half solid underfoot. It’s rarely a time that speaks too loudly of renewal. This year wasn’t any different,
The Guardian10 min letti
‘Everyone’s Gagging For It’ – How Britain Got High On Nitrous Oxide
Barry Smith spent this summer clinking as he walked. The 26-year-old painter from Devon sold nitrous oxide at four UK festivals. Before each event, he loaded his van with 20 boxes containing 480 canisters, bought online at 25p each, and hundreds of b
The Guardian4 min letti
The Week In Classical: The Valkyrie; Sacconi Quartet Review – At The Mercy Of The Gods
Wagner maintained that the kernel of The Ring of the Nibelung lay in the second of the cycle’s four operas, The Valkyrie, in which Wotan, flawed leader of the gods, gives an exhaustive account of the backstory. The reason English National Opera began
The Guardian5 min letti
‘I Have An Outsider’s Perspective’: Why Will Sharpe Is The A-List’s New Favourite Director
Will Sharpe has only been surfing a couple of times, but he really loved it. “So I’m not a surfer, I’m not very good at it, I’ve been twice,” clarifies the 35-year-old English-Japanese actor, writer and director. “But there’s something about being in
The Guardian5 min lettiCrime
Cain’s Jawbone: How Crime Novel’s Puzzling Plot Still Keeps Us Guessing
In 1934 Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express was published and became a bestseller. That same year another murder mystery appeared, to rather less fanfare, by “Torquemada”, a contributor to this newspaper famed for his inscrutable crossword
The Guardian4 min letti
Adele Is Right – An Unshuffled Album Is The Proper Way To Listen
When you are the most powerful, popular artist in the world, you can insist on anything. And so Adele has persuaded Spotify to hide its shuffle button, to encourage listeners to listen to her new album 30 – and, presumably, every other album – in the
The Guardian3 min letti
The Week In Clasical: Macbeth; Brentano String Quartet – Review
Corruption leads to excess. Excess leads to downfall. Phyllida Lloyd’s production of Verdi’s Macbeth, currently revived at Covent Garden, feels like a cautionary tale for our times. When the Thane of Cawdor takes on a second job as assassin, he and h
The Guardian6 min letti
Glennon Doyle: ‘So Many Women Feel Caged By Gender, Sexuality, Religion’
The marriage wasn’t unbearable, but it didn’t feel right any more. The lightbulb moment came when she realised she needed to think about what she truly wanted, rather than about what society had trained her to think she wanted. Also, she became aware
The Guardian5 min letti
Saturday Night Live: Simu Liu And A Returning Trump Celebrate Thanksgiving
For the second time this month, Saturday Night Live opens with a new segment of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show. The rightwing pundit (Cecile Strong) invites on “fellow judge” Bruce Schroeder (Mikey Day), who defends his disgraceful handling of t
The Guardian5 min letti
Doctor Who Recap: Flux Chapter Four – Village Of The Angels
Wow – what an incredible slice of Doctor Who served up by Chris Chibnall and Maxine Alderton, with a jaw-dropping conclusion. It gave us plenty of jump scares, but, like the reveal that the cursed Devon village had been quantum-extracted into space,
The Guardian5 min letti
Dürer’s Journeys: Travels Of A Renaissance Artist Review – All Over The Place
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was the most intrepid traveller in the history of art. From his home city of Nuremberg he crossed the Alps more than once in treacherous conditions, staying in icy mountain shelters. The ship on which he sailed for six days
The Guardian6 min letti
‘I Just Can’t Believe It Exists’: Peter Jackson Takes Us Into The Beatles Vault Locked Up For 52 Years
When the world closed down in March 2020, most of us had to make do with pretending to enjoy video calls with friends or baking bread. Peter Jackson, meanwhile, was busy sifting through a mountain of unseen footage – 60 hours in total – of the Beatle
The Guardian5 min letti
Alan Cumming And Forbes Masson: ‘People Say Double Acts Are Like Marriage Without The Sex’
Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson met at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1982. Together, they created Victor & Barry, a double act who became legends of the Scottish comedy scene. They went on to present several TV shows, and star
The Guardian7 min letti
Overloaded: Is There Simply Too Much Culture?
There was a moment, back in, oh, 2012, when I thought I’d be able to keep up with it all. And by “it all”, I meant all the good TV shows, all the good movies, all the good music. From my tiny studio apartment in Austin, Texas, I would read the Twitte
The Guardian7 min letti
Lubaina Himid: ‘The Beginning Of My Life Was A Terrible Tragedy’
Lubaina Himid has waited a long time for a show at Tate Modern. She is now 67, and in 2017 she had the bittersweet honour of being the first Black woman, and the oldest-ever artist (at 63), to win the Turner prize. Bittersweet because “I knew very de
The Guardian7 min letti
From The Booker To The Nobel: Why 2021 Is A Great Year For African Writing
This has been a great year for African writing,” announced Damon Galgut, accepting the Booker prize earlier this month for his multilayered novel, The Promise, which tells the story of an Afrikaner family amid the political and social upheaval that f
The Guardian6 min letti
‘Annoying Snobs Was Part Of The Fun’: Paul McCartney And More On The Beatles’ Rooftop Farewell
It’s lunchtime on a cold Thursday in January 1969. After weeks of sometimes difficult rehearsals and recordings, the Beatles and their new songs finally – and spectacularly – collide with the outside world. The occasion is now fixed in their iconogra
The Guardian4 min lettiAmerican Government
Seth Meyers: ‘Why Are We Taking Chris Christie, Of All People, Seriously?’
Seth Meyers tore into Chris Christie’s cable news image rehabilitation tour on Wednesday evening, following numerous appearances by the former governor of New Jersey on such networks as CNN and MSNBC. “Cable is so desperate to fill time that CNN even
The Guardian6 min letti
‘We Want To Get Treated Like Normies’: Gang Of Youths On Fame, Faith And Family Secrets
Step outside Australia, as Gang of Youths have done, and you may struggle to find someone who knows them by name. They’re unforgettable live – frontman Dave Le’aupepe has the charisma and intensity of a preacher, howling his songs like a burly Michae
The Guardian4 min letti
Sign Of The Times: Row Over Street Art Shines Light On Spain’s Divisions
For the past 11 months, the two walls that make up a street corner in east Madrid have engaged in a mute but bitter debate that mirrors the faultlines, fights and ferocities of Spanish politics. On the left wall are 24 street signs commemorating poet
The Guardian4 min letti
‘The Greats Are All Here’: Readers’ Favourite UK Permanent Exhibitions
The ceramics collection at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent must be among the best in the world – I would say even better than that held by the V&A. It’s free and easily accessible if you’re in the Midlands. The collection covers
The Guardian5 min letti
Is Tony Soprano Alive? Will Greg ‘Win’ Succession? How Fan Theories Took Over TV
Few TV series have been more eagerly awaited than series three of Succession. Jesse Armstrong’s drama about the odious Roy dynasty and its savage power grab returned last month after a two-year absence – partly owing to pandemic-related delays – with
The Guardian4 min letti
‘It’s Constant Upheaval’: What It’s Like To Be A Displaced Syrian Refugee
I was a refugee as a child, towed along by family as we escaped war in Sri Lanka. My memory of the whole ordeal is vague. There were stops that lasted weeks and months, as we were left in limbo in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Vancouver, before finding a home
The Guardian5 min letti
‘I Thought I’d Never Hear Applause Again’: Brazilian Sambistas Rejoice At The Return Of Music
“If I want to smoke, I’ll smoke. If I want to drink, I’ll drink,” the legendary Brazilian singer Zeca Pagodinho proclaims in one of his best-known sambas. Coronavirus robbed Zeca of an even greater pleasure: performing the songs that have made him on
The Guardian4 min letti
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy: The Definitive Edition review – an infuriating disappointment
Given the extreme complexity of the art form, remasters of decades-old games can be … variable. But when a publisher applies the label “definitive edition” to newly packaged versions of three landmark open-world crime games, games that loom so large
The Guardian4 min letti
The Children’s Funeral That Shook Belfast – Alain Le Garsmeur’s Best Photograph
I had been to Belfast several times. I was a freelance photographer and all my work came from the Sunday Times ringing me up and saying: “Are you interested in going to such and such a place?” They would send me abroad for a couple of weeks with a po
The Guardian3 min letti
‘We’re Ready For Anything’: Sydney Festival 2022 Unveils Full Program
A 2.7 tonne melting iceberg will be suspended 20 metres above Sydney harbour for 10 hours a day as part of the 2022 Sydney festival. The free event, titled Thaw, is a new work by physical theatre company Legs On the Wall, and is a dramatic theatrical
The Guardian4 min letti
‘It Is Surreal’: The Five-second Book Reviews Going Viral On TikTok
Fifteen seconds is all you need. Point your phone camera to a shelf and hold up your favourite book, or three. Add a trending soundtrack, a caption, a couple of hashtags – #BookTok #FYP. Throw a pandemic into the mix and you have the formula: you can
The Guardian6 min letti
No Turkeys Allowed! 25 Of The Best Shows To Book For Christmas 2021
An adorable elephant puppet named Peanuts was the big hit of this circus spectacular when it rolled into the Southbank Centre in 2019. Now it’s back, with ringmaster David Williamson introducing some old favourites alongside new international acts in
The Guardian5 min lettiWorld
A £300 Monsoon-busting Home: The Bangladeshi Architect Fighting Extreme Weather
For the people of coastal Bangladesh, the monsoon can bring untold torment – and, occasionally, unexpected joy. Every year from June to October, in the Ganges delta region where the country’s three major rivers converge, the waterways swell and river
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