The Monocle Arts Review

Art: in bottles, on bumper cars and bringing midcentury New York to life

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26 May 2017

Episode 523

44 minutes


Photo: The Other Richard

Matt Alagiah is joined in the studio by Matt Wolf, theatre critic for the ‘The New York Times International Edition’, and Nancy Durrant, commissioning editor for ‘The Times Arts’, to discuss the week in London theatre and art. Plus: we take a dodgem ride around an arts festival by the Thames and we take a whiff of some olfactory art.

26 May 2017

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Chapter 1

12 minutes


Photo: The Other Richard

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Chapter 1

London theatre review

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Matt Wolf takes us to the theatre for Richard Twyman’s much-praised take on ‘Othello’ at Wilton's Music Hall and Trevor Nunn’s ode to his late friend, the playwright Peter Shaffer, with a new production of ‘Lettice and Lovage’ at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

12 minutes

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Chapter 2

6 minutes

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Chapter 2

Merge Bankside: The Dodgems of Your Mind

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Down by the Thames in London, the annual arts festival Merge Bankside is currently taking place. Boasting all sorts from an installation on dodgems to Latin and jazz music performances and a classroom full of robots, Merge borrows elements of art, music and performance to create an entertaining line-up that explores the area’s rich history. Monocle 24’s Holly Fisher meets some of the people behind it and gets behind the wheel of their bumper cars.

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

13 minutes

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Chapter 3

London art review

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Nancy Durrant, commissioning editor for ‘The Times Arts’ tells us why we need to see ‘Alice Neel, Uptown’ at Victoria Miro gallery and ‘Graphic Witness’ at The Drawing Room this week.

13 minutes

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Chapter 4

5 minutes


Photo: The Art & Olfaction Institute

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Chapter 4

Olfactory art

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Olfactory art is becoming more, shall we say, visible. There’s Hugo Boss prize-winner Anicka Yi’s ‘Life is Cheap’, currently at the Guggenheim in New York, which integrates smell into complex conceptual installations. Or Peter de Cupere’s ‘Smoke Flowers’, a site-specific work that ran the opening week of the Venice Biennale. This art isn’t perfume, though perfumers may create it. As the discipline develops, questions about composition, categorisation and collection arise. Susan Stone met some in the olfactory art world recently in Berlin who are working on the answers.

5 minutes

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Chapter 5

6 minutes

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Chapter 5

Global countdown: Thailand

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Bill Leuty joins Matt Alagiah in the studio to discuss the top-five singles in Thailand this week.

6 minutes

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