The Town Hall Affair: Making a show out of the showdown between Germaine Greer and Norman Mailer

Published in The i on June 20, 2018

The evening of 30 April, 1971 and New York’s Town Hall is electrified. A debate is being staged between Norman Mailer and several prominent feminists: literary critic Diana Trilling, Village Voice writer Jill Johnston, president of the National Organisation of Women (NOW) Jacqueline Ceballos, and a fox fur-draped Germaine Greer, at the height of her fame following the publication of The Female Eunuch. They speak on the politics of the vaginal orgasm, equal pay, the myth of male genius. Continue reading “The Town Hall Affair: Making a show out of the showdown between Germaine Greer and Norman Mailer”

Meg Wolitzer’s #metoo novel sets the stage for a generational clash of feminism styles

Published in The i on June 30, 2018

The Female Persuasion begins with an event that might have gone unremarked on a few years ago, but in 2018, seems almost absurdly topical: a young student, Greer, is groped at a party. Several girls come forward with similar allegations, but the offender gets off with an apology. Greer is appalled; an activist spark is ignited. Continue reading “Meg Wolitzer’s #metoo novel sets the stage for a generational clash of feminism styles”

Why Sonoma County makes a great introduction to the California wine scene

Published in Evening Standard on June 25, 2018

Arriving in Sonoma County in northern California after an 11-hour flight, I needed a drink — but I wanted a local drop. The first part of my itinerary involved wine surfing but crashing waves were nowhere to be seen — it’s just a cute rebranding of a wine flight, dreamt up by the folks at Gourmet au Bay, a beachside bar in the town of Bodega Bay. A tasting selection of three local, small-production wines are served on a dinky wooden surfboard. Continue reading “Why Sonoma County makes a great introduction to the California wine scene”

Frida Kahlo at the V&A: Forget the £245 flower crowns and lipsticks and look at the work

Published in The i on June 13, 2018

Could there be a better time for a show about Frida Kahlo? The vision presented at the V&A is a female icon who documented her self, and her suffering. A third of her paintings were self-portraits; she posed for her father’s camera from a young age. An art star for the selfie age. Continue reading “Frida Kahlo at the V&A: Forget the £245 flower crowns and lipsticks and look at the work”

Andrew Scott: ‘There was no Hamlet rivalry with Benedict Cumberbatch’

Published in The Observer on June 17, 2018

Andrew Scott, 41, was born and raised in Dublin. Recently seen in the BBC adaptation of King Lear, he is best known for playing Moriarty in Sherlock, and for starring in Robert Icke’s production of Hamlet, which transferred from the Almeida to the West End last year. In 2008, Simon Stephens wrote Sea Wall – a monologue about grief – for Scott; it is being revived as part of the Old Vic’s bicentenary celebrations. Continue reading “Andrew Scott: ‘There was no Hamlet rivalry with Benedict Cumberbatch’”

Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance

Published in The Guardian on June 8, 2018

“I have been fighting for vaginas for a very long time now.” Rhiannon Faith is smiling, but she’s also completely serious. The choreographer’s work, too, exists on this tightrope: her latest show is an immersive dance party about domestic violence. Continue reading “Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance”

Sarah Perry on sexism in publishing, why we don’t need ‘strong female characters’, and inventing her own gothic monster

Published in The Independent on May 21, 2018

“I genuinely don’t really remember writing the book.”

It’s a bold admission for an author to make when discussing their forthcoming novel. Especially if you’re a bestseller like Sarah Perry, whose debut, After Me Comes the Flood, was critically acclaimed, and whose follow-up, The Essex Serpent, was a big fat hit. Continue reading “Sarah Perry on sexism in publishing, why we don’t need ‘strong female characters’, and inventing her own gothic monster”

Sex With Robots and Other Devices explores what happens when AI meets shagging

Published in New Statesman on May 11, 2018

Imagine a world where your partner could arrive in an Amazon package. So goes the tagline for Sex With Robots and Other Devices, a new play about to open at London’s Kings Head Theatre. Continue reading “Sex With Robots and Other Devices explores what happens when AI meets shagging”