Firestation Arts: thinking commercially without dumbing down

The arts need to be a little less indignant and a little more honest about funding

13 November 2015 17:16

Last week, industry body UK Theatre reported that average theatre prices rose by more than five per cent across the…

Chancellor George Osborne tours the National Museum in Beijng where he viewed Chinese antiquities. Picture: PA

Why I’m not talking bunkum

12 November 2015 17:18

When George Osborne travelled to China in September, he took with him gifts of British artistic and cultural enterprise. He…

England Netball gets about the same amount of money as the Serpentine Gallery

Cut funding to sport (which we’re no good at) and give it to the arts (which we are)

22 October 2015 14:57

This morning Art Review announced its ‘Power 100’, a list of movers and shakers of the international art world. Last year the…

Ian Fleming

If I were prime minister, by Ian Fleming

14 May 2015 19:35

This article was first published in The Spectator on 9 October, 1959. I am a totally non-political animal. I prefer the…

Van Dycke's 'Portrait of Sir William Killigrew', acquired for Tate Britain by Sir Christopher Ondaatje

The arts rely on the generosity of non-doms. We pursue them at our peril

27 April 2015 16:32

This much we know. If Ed Miliband wins, he will reintroduce the 50p top rate of tax, impose a mansion tax on…

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Visits Northern Ireland

Ed Miliband attempts to build bridges with the arts world, but where will the money come from?

23 February 2015 17:36

After Labour confirmed that they would not reverse Tory art cuts, the luvvies turned on Ed. During a spending plans…

Chris Bryant and James Blunt

Blunt is right. Being posh in the arts is career suicide

20 January 2015 14:55

Yesterday saw Labour’s shadow minister for the arts, Chris Bryant MP, amusingly and justly savaged by the pop star James Blunt…

The late Comandante, Hugo Chavez. Photograph: Reuters

Hugo Chavez – the ballet

28 November 2014 17:12

Here’s something to watch next time you’re visiting Venezuela, if you can avoid getting murdered while you’re there – a…

The Mike Leigh/Nick Serota puff piece for Newsnight

Newsnight’s arts coverage has descended into a string of fawning advertorials

17 November 2014 15:37

Newsnight‘s decision to interview misogynist comedian Daniel ‘Dapper Laughs’ O’Reilly has been slammed as a cynical ratings grab, a descent…


3,000 masochists descend on Edinburgh

9 August 2014 11:30

And they’re off. The mighty caravan of romantic desperadoes, radical egoists, stadium wannabes, struggling superstars and vanity crackheads is on…


Anti-Semitic double standards: the arts and the Jews

6 August 2014 15:35

‘Would you force anyone else to behave like this?’ the promoters of the UK Jewish Film Festival asked the artistic…

Imperial War Museum. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty.

The Apollo Podcast July/August: The Imperial War Museum Reopens

4 August 2014 17:24

The Apollo magazine podcast, produced in association with The Spectator’s Culture House, takes a monthly look at international art and museum news.…

Katherine Jenkins. Photo: Getty Images

Don’t knock Cool Britannia II – it’s a clever move by the Tories

30 June 2014 17:04

It sounds like a cruise liner, doesn’t it? The Cool Britannia II: stopping at Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and…


Let’s not stop at Maria Miller. Let’s get rid of the Department of Culture completely

9 April 2014 10:20

The arts world will not shed a tear at the news that Maria Miller has resigned. Though it was Jeremy…

Tony Hall, the BBC director-general

Tony Hall’s new vision for BBC Arts: waffle, stale buns and chief execs

25 March 2014 13:48

I can’t remember the last time I turned to the BBC for cultural guidance. That’s not to say that the…

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Addresses MIT Graduates

Science versus Arts – which degree is harder?

1 December 2013 14:00

People get competitive about the difficulty of their degrees. The accepted line at Oxford is that Science is harder than…

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

13 September 2013 18:17

As the new artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran might be expected to lie low as he…

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

7 June 2013 17:30

Coronation Day across the Globe was first broadcast in 1953, by the Home Service, and until last Sunday, it wasn’t…

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

31 May 2013 16:49

Christopher Purves began his musical career playing doo-wop and rock and roll with the band Harvey and the Wallbangers . These…

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

24 May 2013 18:33

This Saturday’s Eurovision contest was never going to be a triumph for the UK, that much was for certain. What…

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Spectator Play: what’s worth – or not worth – watching, listening to or going to this weekend

3 May 2013 18:38

I’m So Excited is the latest offering from Pedro Almodóvar who, Deborah Ross says, she would usually love. But is…

Benedict Cumberbatch at a photo call for the adaptation of Parade's End that aired last year. (NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Benedict Cumberbatch takes over the world

1 May 2013 15:09

What do you do if you wake up to discover your colleagues implying that you have it easy? If you’re…

Visitors At The Hay Festival 2011

This Britain: Maria Miller confuses economics with pleasure and beauty.

30 April 2013 15:46

Is it possible for a government minister to give a speech that is not a “keynote address”? That was my…

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

26 April 2013 18:00

Perched at number 3 in The Times’ ‘30 Richest under 30’ list this week were Fawn and India Rose James,…

Maria Miller today unveiled protections for religious institutions that don't want to conduct gay weddings. Picture: Getty

Maria Miller and Britain’s creative industries need to talk

25 April 2013 16:58

Everyone seems to like talking about the ‘creative industries’ these days. For arts folk, it gives the impression that what…