Review: Martin Creed’s Words and Music, EIF

Published in Fest on August 7, 2017

Artist Martin Creed’s show defies easy categorisation. He shares some thoughts, from the problem with trousers to the inadequacies of language to explanations of his sculptures. He plays some songs: some illustrate his musings, some are aural non-sequiturs. Continue reading “Review: Martin Creed’s Words and Music, EIF”

Ivo van Hove on working with David Bowie and tearing up Shakespeare

Published in The i on April 20, 2016

When Belgian director Ivo van Hove last brought a Shakespeare production to London, he warned his actors: “We are now going into the cage of the lions. We are going perhaps to be devoured – or we tame them.” Continue reading “Ivo van Hove on working with David Bowie and tearing up Shakespeare”

Grey Gardens: how a hit musical adapts the cult 1975 documentary

Published in The Independent on Sunday on January 3, 2016

“If there’s anything worse than a staunch woman … S-T-A-U-N-C-H – there’s nothing worse, I’m telling you. They don’t weaken. No matter what. ” So said “Little Edie” Beale in the 1975 documentary Grey Gardens – but generations of viewers have not agreed with her, taking this staunch woman fully to their hearts. So much so that it spawned a hit musical. Continue reading “Grey Gardens: how a hit musical adapts the cult 1975 documentary”

Gizzi Erskine is taking on the ‘clean eating’ fanatics

Published in The Independent on Sunday on July 26, 2015

“People don’t know how to eat any more.” It’s a bold statement – but, then, that’s typical of Gizzi Erskine. The food writer, TV presenter and trained chef doesn’t mince her words. She credits this tendency for being a bit “gobby” as having helped launch her career more than a decade ago, when she was picked up for Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin TV series. Several hit recipe books followed, all with the basic premise that good food, cooked well, can be healthy and delicious. Continue reading “Gizzi Erskine is taking on the ‘clean eating’ fanatics”

My life in festivals: Super Noodles, Super Furry Animals and supervisory parents

Published in The Independent on Sunday on May 17, 2015

The childhood years

Age 8 to 13 / 1994 to 1999

My childhood festival-going all took place at Womad. My parents may have gone to Isle of Wight in 1969 without so much as a tent to sleep under – but they didn’t want to go feral with me and my brother. When a friend told them that Womad was safe and lovely and had craft workshops for kids, they were sold. We decamped in style, taking a giant frame tent, a batik awning and half a sofa. Continue reading “My life in festivals: Super Noodles, Super Furry Animals and supervisory parents”

How synaesthesia inspires artists

Published in BBC Culture on September 4, 2014

The experience of colour as we usually understand it is a visual one: objects have colour, artists use colour, and we can recall a colour in our mind’s eye. But for some people, colour is a more multi-sensory affair, linked to sound, texture, taste or shapes. Music has a hue – like the parping of a trumpet that evokes a shower of burnt orange. Numbers, letters and days of the week have their own shade: the number one is white, the letter L is blue and Monday is red. Continue reading “How synaesthesia inspires artists”