Marlon James won the Booker for A Brief History of Seven Killings, his bestselling novel about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley. Who knows what the judges will make of this gleeful and wholehearted leap into genre fiction: Black Leopard, Red Wolf is a vivid, bloody fantasy epic, playing out over more than 600 pages, complete with the sort of maps Tolkien would be proud of.
Continue reading “Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James”
Small but perfectly formed: the novella is back. The slim little sister of your regular novel, a novella is usually defined as coming in under 50,000 words. But any long short story or short novel may slip into the category. Continue reading “Small is beautiful: from Jane Austen to George RR Martin, the novella is making a come-back”
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”
Take a classic Elizabethan play about a man who sells his soul to the devil, give it a modern-day twist as a satire on celebrity, and cast a pretty actor who shot to global fame in Game of Thrones. Seems like another smart idea by director Jamie Lloyd, who has form when it comes to hip stagings of classics with canny casting. Continue reading “Review: Doctor Faustus, Duke of York’s”
George Bernard Shaw’s play may be entitled Man and Superman, but I’ve just met its superwoman. A new production of this rarely performed play opens at the National Theatre next week, directed by Simon Godwin, and starring Ralph Fiennes as Shaw’s speechifying philosopher, Jack Tanner. But Indira Varma – who plays his romantic sparring partner Ann – is in no doubt as to the importance of the female lead in this epic play.
“Ann, who does not speak half as much as Tanner, should bear the mantle for women,” the 41-year-old actress says. “He wants to be the superman, philosophical man or whatever, but I feel Ann is that too – she just doesn’t talk as much. She’s practical.” Continue reading “Indira Varma: From Game of Thrones to Man and Superman”