Review: Luster, Raven Leilani

Published in The Observer January 17, 2021

Luster sails into 2021 on clouds of praise, vapour trails of hype streaming behind it. “The most delicious novel I’ve read,” says Candice Carty-Williams; “brutal – and brilliant” opines Zadie Smith. Perhaps she would say that, being Raven Leilani’s mentor and former tutor at NYU.

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Rehearsing Othello on Zoom: the theatre students pursuing their dream during a pandemic

Published in The Evening Standard January 21, 2021

While 2020 may be behind us, the new year brings continued uncertainty for the UK’s theatre industry. And if the situation is bleak for staff and freelancers facing shuttered venues, it’s surely even tougher for the next generation of talent: young people still studying – who have had to return to remote learning online this month, as schools and colleges shut once more – as well as those who graduated last summer with little chance of working.

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Review: The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr

Published in The Observer January 4, 2021

In a letter to the reader at the start of Robert Jones Jr’s debut novel, he says he was compelled to write the book after hearing voices insisting he ask the question “Did Black queer people exist in the distant past?” and then share the answer: of course they did.

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‘If people can’t go to the panto then it must go to them’: the birth of The Travelling Pantomime

Published in The Telegraph November 29, 2020

Pantomime is a cornerstone of Christmas for families up and down Britain – but few cities are quite as committed to it as York. The annual show at York Theatre Royal is a proper local institution, with generations of families booking the same seats year after year, and prompting queues around the block the day tickets go on sale.

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The Green Homes Grant is an own goal for Rishi Sunak

Published in The Sunday Times November 22, 2020

When the Green Homes Grant was announced in July it seemed like perfect timing. I was in the process of buying my first home, a draughty Victorian terraced house in Sheffield. The idea that the government would help pay to insulate it properly, and replace the ancient single glazing — to the tune of several thousands of pounds — within a month or so of me moving in appeared . . . almost too good to be true.

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Review: On Connection, Kae Tempest

Published in The Observer October 25, 2020

Kae Tempest has added one more string to an already crowded bow: On Connection is the first nonfiction work by this Mercury prize-winning musician, Ted Hughes award-winning poet, acclaimed playwright, novelist, and chief creative chronicler of the last decade. It’s also Tempest’s first publication since changing their name from Kate, and using they/them pronouns.

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Tinuke Craig: ‘Part of me feels Black Lives Matter brought people together; part thinks people were bored’

Published in The i paper October 28, 2020

“I had this anxiety that I would just be extremely rusty,” says Tinuke Craig, with an apologetic smile, when I ask how it feels to be back in a rehearsal room. While the director is thrilled to be preparing for a socially distanced production and live stream of Sarah Kane’s stark, poetic play Crave at Chichester Festival Theatre, she was nervous about getting back to work, too.

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