Review: Mrs Dalloway, Arcola

Published in Time Out on October 2, 2018

Adapting Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel – set over one day in London, as Clarissa Dalloway prepares to throw a party – is always likely to be tricky. Its stream-of-consciousness style swirls together shifting impressions of the present and reflections on the past, and Woolf switches between the interior monologues of a whole host of characters beside Mrs D. Continue reading “Review: Mrs Dalloway, Arcola”

Review: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre

Published in Time Out on August 31, 2018

‘Remember us from your GCSEs?’

It’s Henry VIII’s six wives – and they’re back, bitch, to re-tell ‘her-story’ as a slick, sassy girl band. Think Euro-pop remixes of ‘Greensleeves’, Anne Boleyn spouting tweenage text-speak (‘everybody chill/it’s totes God’s will’), and K-Howard warbling #MeToo tales of gropey employers. Continue reading “Review: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre”

Review: Little Shop of Horrors, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Published in Mail on Sunday on September 1, 2018

This 1982 cult musical has always been a potty favourite: hapless florist Seymour cultivates an alien plant with an appetite for human flesh – a Faustian pact that wins him fame, fortune and Audrey, the girl of his dreams. Continue reading “Review: Little Shop of Horrors, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre”

The artist who triumphed over her shocking rape and torture

Published in BBC Culture on August 27, 2018

“The works shall speak for themselves.” So wrote Artemisia Gentileschi in 1649, in a letter to a patron acknowledging her rare position in the art world at that time: a painter, and a woman. Although all too aware that she had a harder job being taken seriously, she had faith in her talent, her work. Continue reading “The artist who triumphed over her shocking rape and torture”

Review: Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die, Amber Massie-Blomfield

Published in The TLS on August 22, 2018

In 2016, the arts producer Amber Massie-Blomfield began “plotting an adventure”: a freewheeling trip around Britain’s “most remarkable” theatres. Each would need to have an unusual story, or a distinctive setting. Continue reading “Review: Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die, Amber Massie-Blomfield”

‘It was therapeutic’: How Frightened Rabbit found solace making music for a new play, following the death of Scott Hutchison

Published in The Independent on August 10, 2018

When playwright Gary McNair was asked who should provide the music for his new play Square Go, there was only one answer: Frightened Rabbit. He’d been friends with the Scottish indie rock band for years – as well as being a huge fan – and had been waiting for a chance to work with them on the right show. Continue reading “‘It was therapeutic’: How Frightened Rabbit found solace making music for a new play, following the death of Scott Hutchison”

Why The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine is a trippy cult classic

Published in BBC Culture on July 25, 2018

In 1968, The Beatles got in a yellow submarine and sailed away to the sea of green – on screen at least – in an animated caper designed to fulfil their three-picture contract for United Artists, without much effort on their part. Continue reading “Why The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine is a trippy cult classic”

Forget Patagonia or Nepal, why you should go trekking in Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains

Published in Evening Standard on July 23, 2018

Standing under the raffia porch, I watch an unexpected, unseasonal shower painting two rainbows across the sky. They seem to be growing right out of the clifftop where my guesthouse is perched, then leaping down towards the Maasai plains below. On my other side, the sun is setting, turning the lushly green Usambara Mountains into, well, a pot of gold. Continue reading “Forget Patagonia or Nepal, why you should go trekking in Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains”