Are Nineties throw-backs a theatrical comfort blanket?

Published in What's on Stage on June 15, 2016

Do you know every single word of “A Whole New World”? Can you answer without a moment’s hesitation which Hogwarts house you’d be in? Do you know exactly what a Ross and Rachel couple is? Congratulations: not only are you a classic child of the Nineties, but you’re also now the theatre’s new favourite customer. Continue reading “Are Nineties throw-backs a theatrical comfort blanket?”

Why Game of Thrones is bad news for British theatre

Published in The Telegraph on June 2, 2016

Game of Thrones must be a dream for the theatrical casting agent. It’s full of good-looking, young British actors whose involvement in the wildly successful TV show guarantees feverish interest from fans and frothing media coverage, whatever they do next. Even if it’s Elizabethan drama. Continue reading “Why Game of Thrones is bad news for British theatre”

Why Ross and Rachel’s relationship was doomed

Published in The Debrief on May 27, 2016

Ross and Rachel: on again, off again, on a break. But of course they were eventually on. They might have started as the ultimate will-they won’t-they couple, but they were meant to be together, right? That final episode of Friends was always going to be The One where they realised they’d already found The One. Continue reading “Why Ross and Rachel’s relationship was doomed”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: how Hollywood retold a gritty story

Published in BBC Culture on May 9, 2016

The little black dress. The pearls; the oversized sunglasses and the absurdly long cigarette holder. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – the 1961 film based on Truman Capote’s 1958 novella – has become more famous for its visual shorthands, its signifiers of New York chic and fashionable femininity, than its actual story or characters. Continue reading “Breakfast at Tiffany’s: how Hollywood retold a gritty story”

Jack Thorne on staging disability and transporting Harry Potter to the West End

Published in The Independent on Sunday on February 21, 2016

His face may not be familiar, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of Jack Thorne’s TV programmes – Skins, Glue, This is England ’86, (and ’88 and ’90 come to that), The Fades – or maybe his hit stage version of vampire movie Let the Right One In, or council budget-cuts drama Hope, which played at the Royal Court. Continue reading “Jack Thorne on staging disability and transporting Harry Potter to the West End”

Jessie Buckley on War and Peace, Judi Dench and competitive karaoke

Published in Evening Standard on December 16, 2015

“It’s always good dinner chat: ‘Have you read War and Peace?’” says Jessie Buckley, star of the new BBC six-part adaptation of Tolstoy’s novel, pealing into laughter at the thought of showing off such a highbrow reading appetite. While many viewers will no doubt tune in thinking the telly version will save them at the occasion of such dinner-party chat, it should also inspire people to pick up Tolstoy’s doorstopper. Continue reading “Jessie Buckley on War and Peace, Judi Dench and competitive karaoke”

Andrew Scott breaks away from being the baddie in The Dazzle

Published in The Independent on Sunday on December 13, 2015

From playing Moriarty in Sherlock, to a sinister government suit in the latest Bond film Spectre, to a sadistic rock star in Simon Stephens’ play Birdland, Andrew Scott has made a bit of a reputation for himself as a psychopath. Maybe it’s those big dark eyes – or his flashing sarcastic grin. Continue reading “Andrew Scott breaks away from being the baddie in The Dazzle”

Johnny Flynn, interview: ‘I’m just a glutton for experience’

Published in Evening Standard on November 26, 2015

Johnny Flynn has what you might call a restless creativity. He’s an actor of British theatre, American movies and international sitcoms but a musician too, singing as the frontman of his band The Sussex Wit, scoring BBC4’s Detectorists and composing Renaissance music for Shakespeare’s Globe. He’s even in talks to write his own musical. Continue reading “Johnny Flynn, interview: ‘I’m just a glutton for experience’”

Mathew Baynton interview: on playing Shakespeare – and playing the clown

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 13, 2015

To be or not to be William Shakespeare? It wasn’t a hard question for actor Mathew Baynton to answer – especially as his take on the Bard is rather, well, irreverent. Bill is a new film made by and starring the Horrible Histories gang, who give the early life of Shakespeare their surreally comic signature treatment. Just don’t call it a kids’ film… Continue reading “Mathew Baynton interview: on playing Shakespeare – and playing the clown”

Life in Squares: does the Bloomsbury group drama go far enough?

Published in The Independent on Sunday on July 26, 2015

Within the first five minutes of Life in Squares, the BBC’s major new drama about the Bloomsbury Group, two corsets are ripped off – and summarily chucked out of a window with a cry of “freedom!” It’s a statement of intent from sisters Vanessa and Virginia Stephens, a literal throwing off of restrictive Victorian convention, before they became the beating heart of the bohemian social circle of artists and thinkers named after the London neighbourhood in which they lived in the early 20th century. Continue reading “Life in Squares: does the Bloomsbury group drama go far enough?”