Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering

Published in The Independent on March 22, 2017

Fourteen years after it first schmaltzed up our cinema screens, Love Actually is back. Richard Curtis has filmed a short reunion for Comic Relief. Obviously, that’s a marvellous cause and everyone please give generously to charity. But if there’s one film which does not deserved to be looked on charitably, it’s surely Love Actually. Continue reading “Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering”

The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies

Published in Vice on October 25, 2016

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.” So claimed French film director Jean-Luc Godard back in the 1960s. This quote that hit home for performance artist Louise Orwin, partly because the 29-year-old recognized the uneasy truth in it: She’s long loved the smoulder of the femme fatale, and grew up on a diet of Westerns, road movies, and Tarantino. Continue reading “The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies”

Review: The Homecoming, Trafalgar Studios

Published in Exeunt on November 14, 2015

This is as much a birthday party as a homecoming: Harold Pinter’s play premiered in London 50 years ago. Jamie Lloyd’s production proves that, unlike many texts that become revered modern classics, half a century on The Homecoming has lost none of its power to shock. Continue reading “Review: The Homecoming, Trafalgar Studios”

Review: I Call Myself a Feminist, Letter to a Young Generation

Published in The Independent on Sunday on November 21, 2015

In 2013, Fifty Shades of Feminism provided a platform for a multitude of feminist voices. I Call Myself a Feminist halves the number – and slashes the age range, to offer “the view from twenty-five women under thirty” (alongside lots of inspirational quotes from feminists from Mary Wollstonecraft to Tina Fey). It’s a sound endeavour: fourth-wave feminism has galvanised an internet-savvy, internationally-interacting, next-generation of young women. That they deserve a platform is irrefutable. Continue reading “Review: I Call Myself a Feminist, Letter to a Young Generation”

Giving female Pop artists their due

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 4, 2015

Marilyn Monroe’s face, printed over and over again. Cartoon-strip women, embraced by lovers or crying on the phone. Some of the most famous works of Pop Art certainly make use of the female image – but they were made by the big poster boys of the mid-20th century movement, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. They formed a colourful contingent along with, er, other white, Western men – Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, David Hockney, Allen Jones. Because Pop Art had XY chromosomes, and only spawned in New York, LA and London, right? Continue reading “Giving female Pop artists their due”

Sexual performance: theatre works tackle internet porn

Published in BBC Culture on June 17, 2015

For theatre to be relevant, it can’t ignore technological developments and their impact on our lives. Yet staging technology is famously hard to do well – people staring at computer screens is theatrically inert, but go too hard on the techno-wizardry and you risk no longer feeling theatrical at all. The problem, you might imagine, would only be compounded when dealing with one of the most vexed aspects of online culture: internet porn. Continue reading “Sexual performance: theatre works tackle internet porn”

Beth Jeans Houghton on Du Blonde, her nervous breakdown and industry sexism

Published in The Independent on June 6, 2015

“We were on tour, and I had really bad death anxiety for about five days, and I hadn’t slept, and I was just going insane – I felt like my brain was spilling out of my head.” Beth Jeans Houghton pauses, and adds: “It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.” Continue reading “Beth Jeans Houghton on Du Blonde, her nervous breakdown and industry sexism”

Can Bend It Like Beckham succeed in the West End?

Published in The Independent on May 19, 2015

The scene is Old Trafford, where a young girl – playing for Manchester United – boots the ball and scores a goal. The crowd goes wild. This was the opening dream sequence of Gurinder Chadha’s much-loved 2002 film Bend It Like Beckham, about a teenage Sikh tomboy named Jess, who defies her parents to play football. Continue reading “Can Bend It Like Beckham succeed in the West End?”