Category Archives: Art

Round and round the houses

He’s a Home Counties boy who flays the middle-classes from his base in Yorkshire, a shy man whose inner turmoil comes out in his plays, a comic writer of world renown – yet the critics are divided about his reputation. … Continue reading

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An iconoclast on Broadway

Acclaimed for transforming the face of the American musical, he has also been condemned for pessimistic lyrics and unhummable tunes. Simon Fanshawe on a champion of commercial theatre, back in London to revive one of his shows that was panned … Continue reading

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What you see is what you get

Claims for the effects of the arts in school have reached dolphin-like proportions in recent years. In the same way that the fashion for swimming with dolphins led to cures for everything from dyslexia to depression, the so-called Mozart effect … Continue reading

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Bigotry in the bloodstream

The TV adaptation of Angels in America shows how far gay men have come in the 20 years since Aids emerged, says Simon Fansh The terror comes rushing back. Watching a preview of the television film of Tony Kushner’s Angels … Continue reading

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Cooking the books

For Austen, meals were a framework for society. For Dickens, they were a sign of love. Simon Fanshawe chews over food in a few classic books – and offers some literary recipes For Austen, meals were a framework for society. … Continue reading

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‘How frightening is this?’

Dawn French has confidence to spare – but a solo West End show still scares her, she tells Simon Fanshawe “Hey, pretty boy, you want fuckee-fuckee?” The window has just rolled down on a passing Jag and a cherub with … Continue reading

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You are what you own

Abigail’s Party was more than a celebration of naffness, says Simon Fanshawe. It was a warning about Thatcherism Three years ago I interviewed the original cast of Abigail’s Party on the stage of the National Theatre for one of their … Continue reading

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Pretty witty

No one would have accused Rob Lowe of being a fine dramatic actor in his Brat Pack days, but he did have an aura. Then came the hotel room, the girls, the scandal. Now, playing a White House aide in … Continue reading

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To be perfectly Frank

When you’ve come second to ‘Freddie Mercury’ in TV’s Stars In Their Eyes final, your showbiz days should be over. But for Stephen ‘Frank Sinatra’ Triffitt, they were just beginning. Simon Fanshawe tells his story This is a real showbiz … Continue reading

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What’s it all about, Albee?

His plays may be full of sparring vitriol and dysfunctional lives, but Edward Albee is rather sweet, thinks Simon Fanshawe Edward Albee reminds me of an airline experiment that happened some years ago. The hostesses served passengers with raspberry-flavoured ice-cream. … Continue reading

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