More than just a miniskirt: Two exhibitions reveal how Mary Quant shaped our world

Published in The Independent February 2, 2019

If you’re a British woman, you’ve probably got Mary Quant in your wardrobe. OK, maybe not literally – but if there’s a sleeveless shift or a tunic dress, a Peter Pan collar or a skinny-rib sweater, a pair of brightly coloured tights or even a PVC raincoat, you’re wearing Quant. And that’s before mentioning her most famous creation: the miniskirt.

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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”

Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn

Published in BBC Culture on April 12, 2018

“A eus le rag hwedhlow dyffrans?” So goes the first track on Le Kov, the second album by Welsh singer Gwenno Saunders. But it isn’t Welsh: it’s Cornish, a minority language spoken by fewer than a thousand people. The line translates as “is there room for different stories?” – and this is the question at the heart of her record, which celebrates variance in language, culture and identity. Continue reading “Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn”

The beer for people who don’t like beer

Published in Munchies on June 17, 2016

Your jaw tightens, your tongue tingles, and your cheeks pucker like you’ve downed a shot of vinegar. A first taste of sour beer often comes as a rather sharp shock. But it can soon prove addictive stuff: the perfect crisp, refreshing pint to sup in the sunshine. Continue reading “The beer for people who don’t like beer”

The cross-dressing gents of Victorian England

Published in BBC Culture on June 8, 2016

Had you been sitting in the Royal Strand Theatre one evening in April 1870, you might have noticed a giddy young woman in a low-cut cerise silk dress, larking around in a box before repairing to the ladies’ lavatory. If you had looked a little closer, you would have realised this was no lady after all: rather, a 22-year-old man by the name of Ernest Boulton. Or, to give her the name she preferred, Stella. Continue reading “The cross-dressing gents of Victorian England”

Generation Boring? British teenagers are partying less

Published in Refinery 29 on March 17, 2016

The series Fresh Meat returned to our screens recently – with the gang of Manchester students soon to graduate and face the real world. In the second episode, reluctant teen Luca is sent by his mum round to the flat share, to see how brilliant university life is. Continue reading “Generation Boring? British teenagers are partying less”