Caroline Phillips


Caroline Phillips
“Caroline Phillips is a tenacious and skilful writer with a flair for high quality interviewing and a knack for making things work.”

Caroline Phillips


All Culture articles

Review: Jews. In Their Own Words, at the Royal Court Theatre

Country & Town House | 10 Oct 2022

Jews make up less than one per cent of the UK population. Yet a quarter of all hate crimes in the country are antisemitic. In the week that the Jewish Chronicle reported on this harrowing statistic, I went to the Royal Court to see journalist Jonathan Freedland’s ‘Jews. In their Own Words,’(JITOW). I have a Church of  England mother but grew up with antisemitism: the curious sort from my Jewish father (the son of observant parents) who directed it against his own kind — arguably a manifestation in part of self-hatred and a perverse desire for assimilation. (‘Jews can be the worst antisemites,’ a Jewish friend explained.)

View cutting image View PDF View Web page

Review: The Crucible, National Theatre

Country & Town House | 7 Oct 2022

When girls started yelping and convulsing and then went limp or rigid, witchcraft was diagnosed. This was Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The Crucible —which was first staged in New York in 1953 —was, as is well known, Arthur Miller’s partly-fictionalised story of the Salem witch trials: a quasi-allegorical play based on the story of the pre-adolescents’ denunciations that gripped Salem and which saw hundreds of townsfolk accused of witchcraft and sent to their deaths. The play was Miller’s response to the paranoia and hysteria of post-war US politics, when Communists and suspected Commies were treated as devils in need of exorcism by senator Joe McCarthy and his like; something Miller witnessed personally.

View cutting image View PDF View Web page

Val McDermid, queen of crime, on the perfect murder

Country & Town House | 11 Sep 2022

Val McDermid, international bestselling crime writer, is talking for the first time about when she was suspected of having killed someone – and it could have been the perfect murder. The author, 67, also reveals her feelings about transitioning to become a man, and about her lesbianism. And about the medical condition that could potentially stop her from writing.

View cutting image View PDF View Web page

Theatre Review: The Welkin

Country & Town House | 3 Feb 2020

The opening scene of The Welkin, a world premiere by Lucy Kirkwood, is visually compelling. The audience is presented with what could almost be a bank of enormous television screens inside a broadcasting studio. But inside each frame, a live woman is doing housework: changing nappies, beating carpets. It’s not the only thing that makes this such an aesthetically pleasing play (with design by Bunny Christie). The sober and muted palette — of olive, fawns, creams – gives the feeling of walking into a Vermeer or 18th century Dutch painting, although the play takes place in East Anglia.

View Web page

Review: My Brilliant Friend at the National Theatre

Country & Town House | 9 Dec 2019

There are few more satisfying ways to spend five plus hours than in watching parts one and two of My Brilliant Friend, the stage version of Elena Ferrante’s publishing sensation, the Neapolitan Novels. April De Angelis has deftly condensed over 1500 pages into this two-part play (one book, one intermission, another book…twice) spanning nearly 50 years. Melly Still’s production combines a study of a close and complex female friendship with the backdrop of post-war Italy.

View Web page

Review: The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2019

Country & Town House | 5 Jun 2019

“And on the left there’s a fake customs booth. It’s got ‘Customs Arrivals from the EU’ and ‘Keep Ou…’ written on it, with the ‘T’ missing,” says a guide, leading a man with a white stick around the galleries. We’re at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The sightless man, it turns out later, is blind artist David Johnson. And the customs booth is a Banksy, about which more later.

Cultural exchange

Bentley | 29 Jun 2013

This is the story of the Marquess, the Old Masters and the Bentley. The tale of masterpieces by Van Dyck, Velazquez and Rubens being returned from Russia to Britain after 234 years. The tale of an exclusive 48-hour trip to blaze the trail for the return of these priceless works collected by Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, and sold scandalously in 1779 to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, to adorn the walls of the Hermitage, St Petersburg.

View cutting image View PDF

A novel time in Marrakech

Evening Standard | 23 Aug 2006

“My family grew up with a really big secret,” says the broadcaster and author Aminatta Forna. “My father had been killed and nobody told us what had happened.” An aid worker, a Bloomsbury publisher and a classics scholar sit transfixed as this powerful woman explains that her father was hanged. Aminatta is addressing the the Jnane Tamsna Literary Salon in the eponymous hotel in the Paleraie, the oasis outside Marrakech that has become a playground for London’s artistic belle monde.

View cutting image View PDF

Favourite Culture articles