Allez les standups! Are French comics gutsier than…

They’re inspired by Charlie Hedbo and tell jokes that would get British comedians cancelled. Our writer spends a week watching French standupsHow Greece’s theatre staged triumph from tragedyLast dance for Berlin’s 56-hour party people?Poland’s world-beating…

Forget Julius Caesar – Trump is more like…

Two US companies have pulled their sponsorship from a New York production of Julius Caesar because it depicts a Trump-like character – grisly ending and all. But the bard has other characters that better fit…

Svetlana Alexievich: ‘Most children caught up in war…

The Nobel prize-winning author on using oral history to convey the horrors of war, her regard for Dostoevsky, and Greta Thunberg’s activismSvetlana Alexievich gave a lecture last week commemorating the work of murdered Russian journalist…

Shut down but not silenced: Isis play Homegrown…

Cancelled in 2015, a play about the radicalisation of young Muslims has now been published. It’s challenging, gloriously authentic and prompts grownup debate. So who is brave enough to put it on?In 2015, the National…

From Baba Yaga to Hermione Granger: why we’re…

Vengeful, seductive, feminist, misogynist ... witches have appeared in many forms in literature. Now a new generation of novelists are falling under their spellA witch is a woman who has too much power. Or, to…

A world of walls: the brutish power of…

A recent Supreme Court vote in favour of funding for Trump’s border wall has focused attention back on one of the most grotesque aspects of his presidency. But the US regime isn’t unique. From Calais…