Published in BBC Culture May 12, 2021
For books that are all about surprising transformations, it should perhaps be no real surprise that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are among the most frequently adapted and reinterpreted stories ever written.
Continue reading “Why Alice is the ultimate icon of children’s books”
Published in The Evening Standard January 21, 2021
While 2020 may be behind us, the new year brings continued uncertainty for the UK’s theatre industry. And if the situation is bleak for staff and freelancers facing shuttered venues, it’s surely even tougher for the next generation of talent: young people still studying – who have had to return to remote learning online this month, as schools and colleges shut once more – as well as those who graduated last summer with little chance of working.
Continue reading “Rehearsing Othello on Zoom: the theatre students pursuing their dream during a pandemic”
Published in The Observer October 25, 2020
Kae Tempest has added one more string to an already crowded bow: On Connection is the first nonfiction work by this Mercury prize-winning musician, Ted Hughes award-winning poet, acclaimed playwright, novelist, and chief creative chronicler of the last decade. It’s also Tempest’s first publication since changing their name from Kate, and using they/them pronouns.
Continue reading “Review: On Connection, Kae Tempest”
Published in BBC Culture August 21, 2020
We often hear about break-up albums – records made by artists in the throes of heartbreak, destined to be listened to on repeat by fans when they have their own wounds to lick. But there’s also a lesser-recognised musical phenomenon: the putting-yourself-back-together record.
Continue reading “How Björk has helped me heal from heartbreak”
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 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”
Now in its 17th year, Green Man festival sold out again in record time. But it’s easy to see why revellers loyally return year after year – and it’s not just for the music. Set in one of the most beautiful festival sites in the UK, on the Glanusk estate in south Wales, its outdoor stages are framed by the Black Mountains.
Continue reading “Review: Green Man Festival”
Published in The Independent June 14, 2019
It’s 25 years since the Spice Girls formed, and their reunion tour – minus Victoria Beckham, who gets a dig on “Wannabe” (“Easy V: where is she?”) – has packed out Wembley for three nights.
Continue reading “Review: Spice Girls, Wembley Stadium”
Published in The Independent May 31, 2019
It is 44 years since Patti Smith released her debut album Horses, a volcano of a record that was not just startlingly vivid and assured for a debut but also a genre-busting game changer.
Continue reading “Patti Smith interview: ‘Mozart was a punk rocker’”
Published in the i May 23, 2019
Cate Le Bon has spent just over a decade carving her own musical niche, via surreal lyrics sung in a deep, deadpan voice, angular guitar parts and wonky, ear-snagging melodies. I’m meeting her ostensibly to talk about her fifth album, Reward. Instead, we’re chatting about furniture.
Continue reading “Cate Le Bon: ‘I’d play piano to stop thinking about chairs’”