26 members recommend

mr-turnerGet Razzle-Dazzled by Turner and Keifer

Two absolutely outstanding exhibitions on in London at the moment.

  1. Late Turner at Tate Britain is a joy. Wonderful how Turner was painting impressionist paintings before the term was ever invented. And it’s a perfect accompaniment to Mike Leigh’s film “Mr Turner”. I’ve never liked Mike Leigh’s film’s much but this one converted me – visually stunning and moving.
  2. Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy. Is he the greatest living artist? He’s less well-known that many given that title but his show makes the claim convincingly. It’s deeply dark but absolutely beautiful, and his recent works show that he might still have the best to come.


John Simmons


enigmaCool Cumberbatch

Go see The Imitation Game and watch Benedict Cumberbatch at his very best. Forget the grumbles that the story fails to adequately explore his homosexuality. It shows it well enough – as something deeply suppressed inside the complex man that’s Alan Turing. Excellently directly by Headhunters’ Morten Tyldum.

Amna Boheim



Francis Glibbery agrees:



The Imitation Game is a must for any Cumberbatch follower. And it’s a great movie for writers, dealing – as it does – with the nuanced meaning of words and our understanding of what we say to each other. It’s also brilliant on the risks of human frailty and the difficulty of keeping secrets.

frankensteinFrankenstein: A Monster Performance


The night before Halloween I went to a screening of Danny Boyle’s 2011 National Theatre production of “Frankenstein”, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the monster. The entire production was packed with stunning tricks and treats. Cumberbatch’s evocation of a tortured soul was utterly mesmerising. Worth seeing any night of the year!

Francis Glibbery

blank-spaceNightmare Dressed Like a Daydream

  1. Ok, I have to admit, I love Taylor Swift’s new video and song Blank Space. Talk about being a gorgeous Feminist, parodying those who call her clingy, boy crazy, a Glenn Close wannabe (ie ‘Fatal Attraction’). Watch this and you’ll love Swift too. My favourite line is “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”.
  2. I just discovered The Women’s Room which I love, especially the blogger’s piece on first losing kids to university and then worse. I so relate to this blogger, whoever she is.
  3. I can’t wait to watch the Royal Court and Guardian’s new collaboration – five-minute long (ideal for those with ADD) micro-plays. Off the Page looks at food, fashion, music, sport, education and politics. First on-line play ‘ ‘Britain isn’t Eating’ just launched and was written by Laura Wade, award-winning author of Posh which turned into the film ‘The Riot Club’.

Elena Bowes



brilliant-friendJane Austen gets angry and summer is long to come

  1. Summer is long to come on Radio 4. I’ve been listening to some beautiful short dramas from Radio Wales.
  2. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. A book recommended in last week’s Guardian. I devoured it in days – like a furious Jane Austen in Naples with blood, sex and violence.
  3. The Foundling Museum. The tokens, left by mothers when they handed over their babies, broke my heart.

Elen Lewis

williamsUnderstanding Williams

Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr: mammoth and masterful biography of Tennessee Williams, no holds-barred look at this life and his work, throwing new light on masterpieces of 20th century theatre. Understanding Williams is the key to understanding his work.


Haves and Have Nots: exhibition of photographs by Graeme Robertson of The Guardian at Stirling University until the end of December – moving portraits of blind people in Eastern Uganda taken by this award-winning Scottish news and war photographer.


Kleiber Complete Orchestral Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon: four glorious re-mastered vinyl LPs of music by Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms by one of the conducting giants. Classical music at its most engaging. Also available on CD, but stunning in a format making its comeback.

Tom Collins

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