Published by The Independent June 22, 2019
Two ageing, fading Irish gangsters sit in the port of Algeciras, watching and waiting for 23-year-old named Dilly, who they believe to be heading by ferry from Spain to Morocco. Actually, scrap that – there’s nothing faded about Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redman.
Continue reading “Review: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry”
Published in Time Out June 20, 2019
Really, what is the point? Why stage this? I write with weariness, not anger. Because it’s all too tiresome, and too predictable. Turns out, nope, we really didn’t need a Harvey Weinstein play, written by a man and from a male perspective. The whole thing leaves you feeling… grubby.
Continue reading “Review: Bitter Wheat, Garrick Theatre”
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 by Oh Comely in June 5, 2019
A comedian and actor, Doon Mackichan has worked as a stand-up and in influential TV comedies such as The Day Today, Brass Eye and Smack the Pony.
Continue reading “A chat with Doon Mackichan”
Published in BBC Culture June 4, 2019
“Change is life.” So said Lee Krasner, in an interview in 1972 – in doing so, the artist captured a truth about her work as well an essential fact of human existence. As an artist, she never stayed still; unlike many of the other Abstract Expressionists she’s sometimes grouped with, Krasner never developed a signature style, but instead remained restlessly reinventive.
Continue reading “Lee Krasner: The wild artist who brought colour to dazzling life”
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 29, 2019
Andrea Dunbar is back in Bradford – and back down the pub. After writing three scorchingly honest, brutal comedy-dramas – The Arbor, Rita Sue and Bob Too, and Shirley – about life on the Buttershaw estate in Bradford, the playwright died of a brain haemorrhage in a pub toilet in 1990 at the age of 29.
Continue reading “Andrea Dunbar: does the revival of interest in a working-class genius focus too much on her troubled personal life?”
Published in The Independent May 24, 2019
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has certainly had a vivid afterlife: subject to countless adaptations, rewrites, and remakes. Jeanette Winterson is the latest to re-animate the 19th-century Gothic classic, both playfully and sometimes arduously bringing it into a contemporary world of smart-tech and artificial intelligence (AI).
Continue reading “Review: Frankkkistein by Jeanette Winterson”
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’”
Published in BBC Culture May 16, 2019
A young princess in 19th-Century ringlets and a flouncy white dress creeps across the stage and eyeballs the audience warily. “I’m of a very delicate nature,” she tells us. “And it is all made far more complicated due to the fact that I have a grand piano inside me… a grand piano would be bad enough but this one happens to be made out of glass.”
Continue reading “The princess who thought she was made of glass”