26 recommends

Twelfth Night at the Young Vic

It’s the first show put on by the Young Vic’s new artistic director, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and it is a thing of pure joy. It’s a musical adaptation, and it’s full of fantastic show tunes, a glorious set, and a vast cast. Anyone with a pulse would adore this. Rip up all other plans to get tickets for this while you can.

– Martin Lee



I Object, British Museum

Must see: ‘I Object!’, Ian Hislop’s show at the British Museum on dissent and the business of poking fun at absurd authority. Listen to Hislop’s radio talks before you go, then, as you see the objects, imagine the bravery, foolishness or sheer cheek of the dissenters.

– David Mathews


The Weeping Window

I went to the Imperial War Museum, London, to see the Weeping Window installation. It’s poignant, beautiful and moving. The poppy installation is touring the UK, so everyone has the opportunity to see them.

– Sana Iqbal


Reading and mental health

I’d like to recommend this brilliant episode of Front Row on Radio 4 – all about how reading fiction is good for mental health.

– Olly Davy



Love is Blind

I think that William Boyd is one of our greatest living writers, and I imagine that even his shopping lists or noted for the milkman are elegant masterpieces. Certainly his latest novel, Love is Blind, is marvellous, telling the story of Brodie Moncur, an expert piano tuner who ends up deploying his talent across Europe at the start of the twentieth century. The book combines a powerful love story and personal drama with charming portrayals of Edinburgh, Paris and St Petersburg (among others). Boyd’s prose style is beautiful, blending clarity with elegance, and ensnaring the reader’s attention within a few lines. he also manages to convey a huge amount of information about constructing and tuning grand pianos without ever taxing the reader’s patience. As it happens, this was the hundredth book I have read this year, and the best by a considerable margin.

 Ian Brydon


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