Charlotte Higgins on Muck Rack

Charlotte Higgins Verified

London, mostly
Chief Arts Writer — Guardian

Chief culture writer, the Guardian; classicist. THIS NEW NOISE, a book on the BBC, is out on 18 June. UNDER ANOTHER SKY, a book about Roman Britain, is out now.

I say this with trepidation - it is surprisingly easy to get used to a butler — At the weekend I opened an exhibition. I've never opened anything like an exhibition before, and struggle even to open everyday objects (jars, tins, doors) satisfactorily, so this was a challenge. Before the ceremony the delightful director of the gallery told me that last year's speech had been frightfully good, and only 10 minutes long.

Prejudice and a BBC pioneer - the amazing story of Grace Wyndham Goldie — On the night of 23 February 1950 the evening's television began with the usual announcement of the schedule. There would be films, including an American slapstick with Charley Chase, and, as customary, the 9pm news delivered in sound only. But this was an exceptional evening: the night of the general election, with Clement Attlee's huge 1945 majority contested by Winston Churchill.

What I learned from Peter Cropper, the maestro of the Midlands — On 29 May Peter Cropper died suddenly, aged 69. He had been the leader of the Lindsay String Quartet, and set up Music in the Round in Sheffield (which was exactly that, music performed not on a stage, but "in the round" in the Crucible theatre, so that the audience was always a breath away from the musicians).

Do you know your Oedipus from your Antigone? - Greek theatre quiz — Are you a titan of the theatre or have the fates abandoned you? As the Almeida puts on a festival inspired by Dionysus, test your knowledge of Greek drama

Baileys prize winner Ali Smith: ‘We’ve always been up against the canon and the canon is traditionally male. That is what this book is about’ — You could take all the books on the Baileys prize shortlist on holiday this year and have your summer reading dilemmas solved at a stroke. It is a richly enjoyable selection of novels that scoops you up from 1920s suburban south London to a dig in Turkey in summer 1914; from the deeply imagined inner life of the honeybee to the soup-thick air of an Athens summer to depression-era America.

Unforgettable Ferri: age is no bar to artistry in the dance of life — This week I went to the Royal Opera House to see Alessandra Ferri dance in Wayne McGregor's new Woolf Works at the Royal Ballet. She's now 52 - even beyond Sylvie Guillem's retirement age. I'd last seen her on 21 April 1984, when she was dancing Juliet on the same stage.

David Pickard likely to bring evolution not revolution to the Proms — So the BBC Proms has a new director in David Pickard - the down-to-earth, enthusiastic, deeply musical man who since 2001 has been general director of Glyndebourne.

Kill and counter-kill: why does the Oresteia still slay them? — This week, the actor Lia Williams visited a butcher's shop. There, she learned how to stab a knife through live flesh and ribs: to feel in her arm and hand what it is to cut through a body, through its sinew and muscle and bone, to the death.

Hello selfie stick, goodbye chin(s) — It's always interesting to see what the street vendors of Venice happen to be selling in any one year. Always, it's fold-up brollies when the rain comes. At night, for a few years now, it's been curious objects that one can fling into the air and return to earth in a shower of fluorescent light (very annoying they are, too).

Why do we want this to be Shakespeare’s ‘true portrait’ so much? — What's in a face? It was claimed this week that a portrait of Shakespeare made during his lifetime has been discovered hiding in plain sight, on the frontispiece of John Gerard's book The Herball.
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Jun 30, 2015

Writing in the garden. A comma flew by. Not the punctuation mark, but the butterfly.

Jun 29, 2015

@richardmarson2 I'd love to see this. Would it be possible to have it sent to the Guardian address Kings Place, 90 York Way Lndn N1 9GU?

Jun 25, 2015

@rsutcliff It's certainly worrying and I would like to hear @Tate's side of the story.

Jun 25, 2015

@EamonnMaxwell !!! I am awaiting full class war from the beloved readers...

Jun 25, 2015

@billt It would definitely increase my sales by about 5 trillion per cent if they did.

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