The ‘most painted woman in the world’

Published in BBC Culture on November 13, 2017

She is known as ‘the most painted woman in the world’: around 225 artists have captured the captivating likeness of Suzy Solidor, including Tamara de Lempicka, Jean Cocteau, Francis Bacon, Man Ray and Francis Picabia. A French cabaret star, she was a major mainstream recording artist in the 1930s – even though she sang really rather explicit songs of lesbian desire. Today, however, the chanteuse is hardly a familiar face. Continue reading “The ‘most painted woman in the world’”

Review: Labour of Love, Noel Coward Theatre

Published in The Independent on October 6, 2017

Why was the red rose chosen by Labour as its new symbol during rebranding in the Nineties? “Because it looks pretty but is full of pricks,” quips party faithful Jean, in a play that sugars its analysis of the internal struggles of the Labour Party with an extremely high gag rate. Continue reading “Review: Labour of Love, Noel Coward Theatre”

Chipo Chung: I had to go round the houses to get into theatre

Published in The Stage on September 14, 2017

When Chipo Chung last saw Christopher Marlowe’s Dido, Queen of Carthage, she didn’t understand it. Now, she’s about to play the queen herself at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Perhaps surprisingly, it’s the first time the company has staged the tragedy. Continue reading “Chipo Chung: I had to go round the houses to get into theatre”

Meet Thomas McCrudden, the violent criminal squaring up to his past on stage

Published in The Telegraph on August 17, 2017

There’s a scene in Doglife, one of this year’s most talked-about plays at the Edinburgh Fringe, where the wife of a Glaswegian gangland enforcer, confronting him about his job, suddenly writhes onstage as if experiencing the violence he inflicts on others. Continue reading “Meet Thomas McCrudden, the violent criminal squaring up to his past on stage”

I went to the maddest interactive shows on the Fringe so you don’t have to

Published in The Independent on August 14, 2017

It’s midnight, and I’m lying on a massage table on stage in front of a room full of people. I’m gripping a cucumber between my thighs, which a tall Australian man is demonstrating his hand-job technique on. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Edinburgh Fringe. Continue reading “I went to the maddest interactive shows on the Fringe so you don’t have to”