Arts features

Interview: Neil Gaiman

By Anne Joseph, July 1, 2010

Neil Gaiman has been described as a writer of extraordinary imagination. This imagination has been responsible for producing decades' worth of award-winning fantasy and science-fiction work, for readers of all ages. His novels, American Gods, Anansi Boys, Coraline and The Graveyard Book have all been New York Times best-sellers. He is well known for his graphic novel series The Sandman, for which he has a cult following, but he is also a prolific creator of poetry, short stories, journalism, song lyrics and drama.


Review: Cross Purposes

By Julia Weiner, June 24, 2010

When Marc Chagall began to use images of Jesus's crucifixion in the 1930s to symbolise Jewish suffering under the Nazis, many Jews found it disturbing. After all, Jews had long been blamed for the killing of Jesus and were repeatedly persecuted as a result. By using the Crucifixion in this way, Chagall represented innocent Jewish victims by the religious symbol of many of their oppressors.


Where Joshua Sobol and Etgar Keret come to write

By Julia Weiner, June 24, 2010

It is the place where visual artists, musicians, writers and theatre directors go when they really want to focus. Cove Park is an international centre in Scotland that offers artists who work in a variety of media residencies to undertake research and develop new projects. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it was the brainchild of Eileen and Peter Jacobs, a couple originally from Glasgow who have been based in London since 1983.


Interview: Edmund Dewaa

By David Herman, June 17, 2010

"Well done. You found it." Edmund de Waal seems genuinely surprised that I've managed to locate his studio, in south-east London - left at the charity shop, past the Co-op, the kebab house and launderette and right, down a dusty path, past cars being fixed with much drilling and banging.

It is a world away from the palatial homes in 19th-century Paris and turn-of-the century Vienna of the Jewish Ephrussi dynasty, the subject of his family memoir. Houses full of beautiful art collections, libraries full of precious books.


Interview: Lou Reed

By Jonathan Wingate, June 10, 2010

In 1975, after a run of three commercially successful albums on the back of his best-known LP, Transformer, Lou Reed committed commercial suicide by releasing Metal Machine Music, a double album which consisted of 65 minutes of atonal guitar feedback and white noise. Although it went on to sell a respectable 100,000 copies, the rumour that Reed actually recorded it as a way of getting out of his contract with RCA Records has persisted ever since. In the end, RCA were forced to apologise publicly for even releasing it.


Interview: David Greilsammer

By Jessica Duchen, May 27, 2010

Every so often, along comes a recording that stays alive in your mind long after you have heard it. One that arrived recently was a CD of Mozart's piano concertos, played and conducted by the young Israeli pianist David Greilsammer, with an orchestra mysteriously named Ensemble Suedama. The strength of purpose of Greilsammer's interpretations made the disc stand out as something out of the ordinary.


Interview: David Suchet

By John Nathan, May 21, 2010

'I don't really want people to see me. I'm not into stardom," says David Suchet. What Suchet wants people to see is the character he is playing in the new production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, not the actor who is playing him.


Interview: Neil Sedaka

May 13, 2010

It's the ultimate kvell," declares Neil Sedaka. "How much prouder can one be than to see your life on stage?

The veteran singer is talking about the experience of sitting in the audience and watching Laughter in the Rain, the show that celebrates his life and career, which is currently touring the UK.

"The first night was so emotional," he continues, "my wife Leba and I, we had to stay over a second night and see it again."


Beware: the cult US mamas are coming

By Simon Round, May 6, 2010

Ronna and Beverly are two fiftysomething Jewish mothers from Boston (actually comic characters played by thirtysomething actresses Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo). The pair have become cult figures in Los Angeles with their celebrity chatshow and their self-help book aimed at divorcees, You'll Do a Little Better Next Time. We called them in the United States as they prepared to fly over for their London debut.

Are you looking forward to coming over to London?

Beverly: I can't wait. You have a king and a queen. It's so romantic.


Interview: Gil Shaham

By Jessica Duchen, May 6, 2010

It is hard not to fall in love with Gil Shaham's violin playing. Whether he is giving recitals together with his sister, the pianist Orli Shaham, recording for his own CD label or exploring the violin concerto masterpieces from the 1930s - which form his chief project this season - generosity and warmth emanate from his tone.