Luke Jennings

Luke Jennings is the former dance critic of the Observer.

Learned Behaviour

Luke Jennings, 23 September 2021

When​ the Royal Ballet returned to Covent Garden earlier this year after fourteen months of cancelled shows and empty auditoriums, its public announcements were upbeat. The new season (which has just opened) would include world premieres by Wayne McGregor, Christopher Wheeldon and Kyle Abraham, alongside classic ballets by Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton. In May and June, ahead of the...

Longing for Croydon

Luke Jennings, 7 February 1991

The West Indians were the first to be recruited in any numbers. They started arriving in the early Fifties and were followed a year or two later by the Asians. The Great British economy, even if still swaying a bit, was back on its feet and in need of servicing. The new arrivals did not find the welcome they hoped for; they were poorly received, but they kept on coming; times were even worse at home. Or home was no more; in the mid-Sixties their numbers grew as Asian refugees from newly-independent Kenya and Uganda looked to their British passports for security. There was public concern. ‘They’ began to be seen as a ‘problem’. Enoch Powell prophesied ‘rivers of blood’ and white working-class fascists shaved their heads. A series of Immigration Acts was passed, dividing families, stemming the flow. Most of the migrant workers had originally meant to stay a few years; go back with some money. But it didn’t often work out that way. Most of them stayed.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences