Published in Exeunt May 23, 2020
Revisiting a piece of art can be like time travel. You come face-to-face with your former self in the pages of a book re-opened after years on the shelf, or in an album that whisks you back to a distant summer, a different you.
Continue reading “Revisiting The Encounter”
Published in The Observer March 29, 2020
When #MeToo broke, it wasn’t just about high-profile cases of abuse – it felt like a new light being shone on all past interactions, allowing us to see them differently. Everywhere you saw women talking feverishly to each other, you knew it would be about this creepy boss, or that older guy.
Continue reading “Review: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell”
Published in Time Out March 19, 2020
There’s probably a German word for the precise feeling of frustration you get watching Globe artistic director and world-class Shakespearean actor Michelle Terry sat on stage, not playing one of the thorniest parts in Shakespeare.
Continue reading “Review: The Taming of the Shrew, The Globe”
Published in The Observer March 22, 2020
Discomfort is putting it mildly. Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel, which has been longlisted for the International Booker prize, goes all the way to disturbing.
Continue reading “Review: The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld”
Published in The Mail on Sunday March 7, 2020
If you’ve ever wondered how the 1990 movie Pretty Woman, which made a fairytale romcom out of a rich-man-meets-prostitute premise, would fare in the age of #MeToo – well, this production won’t help.
Continue reading “Review: Pretty Woman: The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre”
Published in The Observer March 8, 2020
Seven teenage girls are falling over themselves with laughter. They’re meant to be posing for a picture, but it’s a bit like photographing a box of puppies – they can’t keep still, pawing and hugging and joking, and bursting into coordinated dance moves.
Continue reading “Rocks stars: meet the teenage cast of the hot new British film”
Published in The Observer March 1, 2020
Listen to the opening number of the Peruvian-born producer Sofia Kourtesis’s first, self-titled EP, and you imagine a train made of rackety sonic junk clattering down a track. Its destination? A good time, surely: while her brand of house may be arrestingly distinct, clicking and juddering with distorted vocals and fragments of field recordings, she always keeps her eyes firmly on the dancefloor rather than the navel.
Continue reading “One to watch: Sofia Kourtesis”
Published in The Observer February 16, 2020
It’s often said that Nora’s slam of the door as she walks out on her husband and children at the end of A Doll’s House has echoed down the centuries. In Stef Smith’s smart new version of Ibsen’s 1879 play, her story certainly reverberates: Smith reimagines Nora in 1918, in 1968, and in 2018.
Continue reading “Review: Nora: A Doll’s House, Young Vic”
Published in BBC Culture February 3, 2020
If we hear at all about Britain’s involvement in slavery, there’s often a slight whiff of self-congratulation – for abolishing it in 1833, 32 years ahead of the US, where the legacy of slavery is still more of an open wound. Less well known, however, is the enormous cost of this decision for the taxpayer – the British government spent £20 million, a staggering 40% of its budget in 1833, to buy freedom for slaves.
Continue reading “How Britain is facing up to its hidden slavery history”
Published in The Observer January 28, 2020
If you’ve read so much as a sentence of Eimear McBride’s writing, it is likely to have burned into your brain. Her first two novels, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing and The Lesser Bohemians, were both written with a ferocious immediacy, in hurtling, viscerally direct prose that captures pre-verbal thought processes “far back in the mind”, as McBride put it.
Continue reading “Review: Strange Hotel, Eimear McBride”