Published in BBC Culture January 17, 2022
Look up the term “collage”, and the Tate’s website will inform you that this cut-and-paste method for making new work was “first used as an artists’ technique in the early 20th Century.” Generally, Picasso and Braque get credited with inventing collage, with Picasso’s decision to paste oilcloth into his painting Still Life with Chair Caning in 1912 considered a firing shot for an explosion of avant-garde art.
Continue reading “The surprising ways that Victorians flirted”
Published in The Observer January 30, 2022
It was news last week that women are having fewer children and at a later age: the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that more than half of women in England and Wales don’t have children by the time they are 30. But it hardly felt surprising to me.
Continue reading “Why assume it’s a problem if a woman is child-free at thirty? Maybe she prefers it that way”
Published in The Telegraph December 17, 2021
What a treat this is: a delicious romcom, staged with real wit and elan, so that it feels genuinely both romantic and very funny – not something revivals of old musicals always manage to pull off.
Continue reading “Review: She Loves Me, Sheffield Crucible”
Published in The TLS December 10, 2021
When Michael Billington stepped down as lead theatre critic for the Guardian in 2019, after almost fifty years, it was seen as the end of an era.
Continue reading “Review: Affair of the Heart, Michael Billington”
Published in The Stage October 27, 2021
The theatre critic’s job is largely conducted in darkness and silence: we watch other people perform from the gloom of the stalls, and then write about it. But last Saturday, the spotlight – and the microphone – was quite literally turned on me, as I was grilled about my job in front of an audience on stage at Leeds Playhouse.
Continue reading “Critic under the spotlight: the 12-hour play showcasing everyday jobs”
Published in the Mail on Sunday October 16, 2021
The first surprise of Yaël Farber’s The Tragedy Of Macbeth, writes Holly Williams, is that it’s taken her so long to tackle the play – it is perfect for the director’s moody aesthetic.
Continue reading “Review: Macbeth, Almeida”
Published in the Evening Standard August 16, 2021
There’s a new pop-up coming to Brixton – and it’s not a trend-setting bar or foodie destination, but a theatre. Roundabout, an in-the-round venue run by theatre company Paines Plough, will sprout in Slade Gardens this month, offering ten days of live performance: four new plays performed in rep, plus cabaret, comedy and community workshops.
Continue reading “Theatre goes hyper-local: Paines Plough brings its pop-up stage to Brixton”
Published in The Mail on Sunday August 21, 2021
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella has finally made it to opening night – but while no pumpkin, it’s a little short on theatrical fairy dust.
Continue reading “Review: Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre”
Published in Elephant August 17, 2021
I was small enough to be picked up to see the painting, held comfortably in my father’s arms. It was a good print, in a good frame, hanging on the wall in my grandmother’s dining room. It is the first artwork I can remember really being aware of, and I loved it.
Continue reading “How I learned not to worry about being cool and fell in love with Renoir again”
Published in BBC Culture July 20, 2021
You know Frida Kahlo – of course you do. She is the most famous female artist of all time, and her image is instantly recognisable, and unavoidable. Kahlo can be found everywhere, on T-shirts and notebooks and mugs.
Continue reading “The unseen masterpieces of Frida Kahlo”