The women poets taking over the world

Published in BBC Culture on July 14, 2017

Poetry. Does the word make you think of rarefied tomes on dusty bookshelves, po-faced readings with glasses of warm white wine, or trudging dutifully through homework? It shouldn’t. Poetry is exploding in popularity: igniting Instagram, streaming on Spotify, being shared on Twitter and going viral on YouTube. Continue reading “The women poets taking over the world”

Review: Ink, The Almeida

Published in The Independent on June 28, 2017

To 1969, when a beleaguered, high-minded newspaper is sold to an Australian sheep-farmer with ambitions to turn it into a popular tabloid. The rag is The Sun, the proprietor Rupert Murdoch – and the playwright retelling this story, This House writer James Graham. Continue reading “Review: Ink, The Almeida”

Review: Remnants, The Print Room

Published in The Telegraph on June 20, 2017

Dubbed an “electro-folk drama” by theatre-maker Patrick Eakin Young, director of the company Erratica, Remnants is a work that resists categorisation – a potent tapestry of song, electronic music, dance and recorded interviews. Continue reading “Review: Remnants, The Print Room”

Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on July 25, 2017

Tennessee Williams’ once rejected the idea of the “straight realistic play with its genuine Frigidaire and authentic ice cubes”. Here, director Benedict Andrews plonks a whole great sack of them at the front of the stage, next to four bottles of whisky. Continue reading “Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre”

Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism

Published in The Independent on July 10, 2017

“Some songs arrive like little vignettes, little scenes. Or I get a full orchestra of a song in my head. How do things come to us: are they just in the air?” Jane Weaver – writer, musician, singer and producer of gloriously spacey psych-rock – is musing about the muse with just the sort of ethereal wonder you might expect from someone whose new album is called Modern Kosmology, and was inspired by Spiritualist avant-garde painter Hilma af Klint.   Continue reading “Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism”

Imelda Staunton on the National’s new blockbuster musical Follies

Published in The Telegraph on July 14, 2017

It may not open till next month, but the first release of tickets for Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre are already entirely sold out. However thousands more are on sale today from 8.30am, at the same time as a first-look photograph of the cast is unveiled.

The level of love for the musical has surprised its star, Imelda Staunton – but then, it hasn’t had a full staging in London since 1987. The story of the Weismann Follies’ vaudeville showgirls, who return to the theatre they performed in 30 years previously, features standards such as ‘Losing My Mind and ‘I’m Still Here’, and garners serious devotion among Sondheim fans.

Continue reading “Imelda Staunton on the National’s new blockbuster musical Follies”

Review: A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Published in What's on Stage on July 14, 2017

It was set in olden times; it was set in modern times. That’s the main conceit of Matthew Dunster‘s new stage adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities — but sadly, it fails to really become a potent tale for anyone’s time. Continue reading “Review: A Tale of Two Cities, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre”

Maria Balshaw: Tate’s northern powerhouse set for the challenge

Published in The Observer on July 2, 2017

The new Tate director, Maria Balshaw, can pinpoint the explosive moment that started her journey to the job: visiting a blown-up shed. In 1991, a Cornelia Parker installation, Cold Dark Matter, saw the artist hang pieces of a detonated garden shed from the ceiling. Continue reading “Maria Balshaw: Tate’s northern powerhouse set for the challenge”

Blanche McIntyre: ‘Staging violence against women responsibly keeps me up at night’

Published in The Stage on June 30, 2017

Titus Andronicus has got a reputation. It’s Shakespeare’s schlock horror moment, a gore fest that for centuries was considered too crass to be staged, and now prompts gleeful headlines about how many audience members have fainted at its dismemberments. Continue reading “Blanche McIntyre: ‘Staging violence against women responsibly keeps me up at night’”