Review: The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr

Published in The Observer January 4, 2021

In a letter to the reader at the start of Robert Jones Jr’s debut novel, he says he was compelled to write the book after hearing voices insisting he ask the question “Did Black queer people exist in the distant past?” and then share the answer: of course they did.

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‘If people can’t go to the panto then it must go to them’: the birth of The Travelling Pantomime

Published in The Telegraph November 29, 2020

Pantomime is a cornerstone of Christmas for families up and down Britain – but few cities are quite as committed to it as York. The annual show at York Theatre Royal is a proper local institution, with generations of families booking the same seats year after year, and prompting queues around the block the day tickets go on sale.

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The Green Homes Grant is an own goal for Rishi Sunak

Published in The Sunday Times November 22, 2020

When the Green Homes Grant was announced in July it seemed like perfect timing. I was in the process of buying my first home, a draughty Victorian terraced house in Sheffield. The idea that the government would help pay to insulate it properly, and replace the ancient single glazing — to the tune of several thousands of pounds — within a month or so of me moving in appeared . . . almost too good to be true.

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Review: On Connection, Kae Tempest

Published in The Observer October 25, 2020

Kae Tempest has added one more string to an already crowded bow: On Connection is the first nonfiction work by this Mercury prize-winning musician, Ted Hughes award-winning poet, acclaimed playwright, novelist, and chief creative chronicler of the last decade. It’s also Tempest’s first publication since changing their name from Kate, and using they/them pronouns.

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Tinuke Craig: ‘Part of me feels Black Lives Matter brought people together; part thinks people were bored’

Published in The i paper October 28, 2020

“I had this anxiety that I would just be extremely rusty,” says Tinuke Craig, with an apologetic smile, when I ask how it feels to be back in a rehearsal room. While the director is thrilled to be preparing for a socially distanced production and live stream of Sarah Kane’s stark, poetic play Crave at Chichester Festival Theatre, she was nervous about getting back to work, too.

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Rufus Norris on theatre and class: There’s ‘an awful danger’ that only people with money can survive in the industry

Published in The i Paper September 24, 2020

When lockdown was announced, Francesca Martinez’s play All of Us was in its final week of rehearsals at the National Theatre.

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‘There will be positives’: artistic directors on theatre’s terrible year

Published in The Observer September 27, 2020

Last summer, the Observer profiled a group of newly-appointed artistic directors – a fresh surge of talent taking its place at the top of six of our best-loved theatre companies. A notably diverse cohort, they were bursting with optimism and ideas for shaking up the industry.

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Review: More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Published in The Observer September 7, 2020

It’s hard to overstate just how influential Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman was when published in 2011 – and how far we’ve come since. Nine years on and the feminism she had to advocate for has become thoroughly, totally mainstream, while perky books by clever journalists about every conceivable aspect of being a woman have proliferated in the ground Moran tilled.

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