Published in The Observer February 16, 2020
It’s often said that Nora’s slam of the door as she walks out on her husband and children at the end of A Doll’s House has echoed down the centuries. In Stef Smith’s smart new version of Ibsen’s 1879 play, her story certainly reverberates: Smith reimagines Nora in 1918, in 1968, and in 2018.
Continue reading “Review: Nora: A Doll’s House, Young Vic”
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”
Published in BBC Culture December 2, 2019
Diversity has become a buzzword in the entertainment industries – and if there’s still debate about how much things are really changing, or if moves towards greater representation are too often mere lip service or box ticking, the diversity conversation is at least being had. Do badly, and it will get called out.
Continue reading “Will disabled people ever get the stories they deserve?”
Published by Exeunt November 8, 2020
“Kosovo is the most isolated country in Europe; the citizens are the only ones that can’t travel freely without visas. And so the theatre, too, is isolated.” Jeton Neziraj is on a mission to change that.
Continue reading “Kosovo Theatre showcase”
Published in The FT November 25, 2019
We all know that our data can be bought and sold. The trail of personal information, purchases and preferences we leave across the internet becomes the bedrock for targeted advertising. But could such data be put to more creative use?
Continue reading “The shows where drama meets data”
Published in The TLS November 22, 2019
IAN MCKELLEN The biography Garry O’Connor
BEHIND THE LENS My life David Suchet
Continue reading “Gandalf pays!”
It all started here: one woman, on stage, telling a story. In 2013, Fleabag opened in a small, dank fringe space in Edinburgh, before Phoebe Waller-Bridge turned it into a beloved, era-defining TV comedy, the show that launched her career – and a thousand think pieces.
Continue reading “Review: Fleabag, Wyndham’s Theatre: It’s still brilliant”
Published in The FT August 22, 2019
“It is enough for us to state the simple fact; Orlando was a man till the age of 30; when he became a woman and has remained so ever since.” Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando was published in 1928, yet contains an expression of gender fluidity that feels as fresh and matter of fact as if it were written today.
Continue reading “Why Virginia Woolf’s Orlando speaks to gender fluidity today”
Baby Reindeer ★★★★☆ / Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats ★★★★★ / Lucy McCormick: Post Popular ★★★★☆
Some acts defy whatever section of the fringe programme you put them in. Theatre? Comedy? Performance art? Who cares? This year, several performers who have long straddled such boundaries return to the fringe. And however you define them, they’ve got something serious to say.
Continue reading “Edinburgh Fringe 2019 review round-up”
Published in Exeunt July 29, 2020
There’s a scheme that asks you to programme three shows, and do two rounds of interviews, for the chance to be in a pool of potential assistant directors. One that asks for thousands of words pitching a pie-in-the-sky show, right down to the marketing strategy.
Continue reading “Are theatre’s schemes and awards deterring a new generation of talent?”