SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Nick Thomas

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February 27, 2020
We’re back. After eight-and-a-half years in Amsterdam the Thomas family has returned to Blighty, although for the girl of 12 and the boy of nine the move is not a homecoming but a brave migration to a new life.   Last July they were still throwing on their mufti and walking hand-in-hand across the bridge
December 19, 2019
The following questions are presented as crossword clues. Some, including the one that appears three times, have more than one possible answer, some are easy, some obscure, some cryptic. The trick is to get all the right answers and then arrange their first letters in order to spell out a seasonal message. A blessed Christmas
December 20, 2018
This light-hearted entertainment involves 13 clues whose solutions, when rearranged, lead to an answer consisting of two seasonal lines. It will probably work best (or worst) as a contest between generations; elders will get more of the solutions from memory, while juniors will be quicker at looking things up online. But elders might well arrive
September 27, 2018
At the age of 10, after a string of parts in church Nativity plays and school musicals, my daughter decided to sign up for proper drama classes, once a week, with a professional outfit here in Amsterdam. Now, a year later, her eight-year-old brother is going for it as well. I cheer them both on,
June 21, 2018
English language drama is a bit thin on the ground here in Amsterdam, though there is clearly a demand for it, because Orange Theatre’s production of Martin McDonagh’s heart-wrenchingly horrible comedy The Pillowman last month was a deserving sell-out. The show was terrific, and drinks with the outstanding company afterwards just as good. My heart
February 22, 2018
In 2001 I enjoyed modest success on the London Fringe with my first play, Dancing Bears, a comedy in which a (fictionalised Old Labour) retired foreign secretary of little brain is honey-trapped into boasting of a treasonable association with an Eastern Bloc diplomat during the Cold War. Actors are generally not very good at keeping
January 04, 2018
Whenever some noxious, malign social fashion starts grabbing headlines on a daily basis and elicits loud harrumphing at the breakfast tables of the shires, it is a good idea to take a leaf out of Cicero’s book and politely inquire “Cui bono?” To whose benefit? Who stands to gain from this nonsense? That way you
December 11, 2014
Curb Your Enthusiasm is still the best television comedy of this century