Review: More Than a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Published in The Observer September 7, 2020

It’s hard to overstate just how influential Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman was when published in 2011 – and how far we’ve come since. Nine years on and the feminism she had to advocate for has become thoroughly, totally mainstream, while perky books by clever journalists about every conceivable aspect of being a woman have proliferated in the ground Moran tilled.

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Review: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre

Published in Time Out on August 31, 2018

‘Remember us from your GCSEs?’

It’s Henry VIII’s six wives – and they’re back, bitch, to re-tell ‘her-story’ as a slick, sassy girl band. Think Euro-pop remixes of ‘Greensleeves’, Anne Boleyn spouting tweenage text-speak (‘everybody chill/it’s totes God’s will’), and K-Howard warbling #MeToo tales of gropey employers. Continue reading “Review: Six the Musical, Arts Theatre”

Meg Wolitzer’s #metoo novel sets the stage for a generational clash of feminism styles

Published in The i on June 30, 2018

The Female Persuasion begins with an event that might have gone unremarked on a few years ago, but in 2018, seems almost absurdly topical: a young student, Greer, is groped at a party. Several girls come forward with similar allegations, but the offender gets off with an apology. Greer is appalled; an activist spark is ignited. Continue reading “Meg Wolitzer’s #metoo novel sets the stage for a generational clash of feminism styles”

Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering

Published in The Independent on March 22, 2017

Fourteen years after it first schmaltzed up our cinema screens, Love Actually is back. Richard Curtis has filmed a short reunion for Comic Relief. Obviously, that’s a marvellous cause and everyone please give generously to charity. But if there’s one film which does not deserved to be looked on charitably, it’s surely Love Actually. Continue reading “Why Love Actually is not the heartwarming rom-com you’re remembering”

The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies

Published in Vice on October 25, 2016

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.” So claimed French film director Jean-Luc Godard back in the 1960s. This quote that hit home for performance artist Louise Orwin, partly because the 29-year-old recognized the uneasy truth in it: She’s long loved the smoulder of the femme fatale, and grew up on a diet of Westerns, road movies, and Tarantino. Continue reading “The artist getting men to act out their girls with guns fantasies”

Review: The Homecoming, Trafalgar Studios

Published in Exeunt on November 14, 2015

This is as much a birthday party as a homecoming: Harold Pinter’s play premiered in London 50 years ago. Jamie Lloyd’s production proves that, unlike many texts that become revered modern classics, half a century on The Homecoming has lost none of its power to shock. Continue reading “Review: The Homecoming, Trafalgar Studios”

Review: I Call Myself a Feminist, Letter to a Young Generation

Published in The Independent on Sunday on November 21, 2015

In 2013, Fifty Shades of Feminism provided a platform for a multitude of feminist voices. I Call Myself a Feminist halves the number – and slashes the age range, to offer “the view from twenty-five women under thirty” (alongside lots of inspirational quotes from feminists from Mary Wollstonecraft to Tina Fey). It’s a sound endeavour: fourth-wave feminism has galvanised an internet-savvy, internationally-interacting, next-generation of young women. That they deserve a platform is irrefutable. Continue reading “Review: I Call Myself a Feminist, Letter to a Young Generation”

Giving female Pop artists their due

Published in The Independent on Sunday on September 4, 2015

Marilyn Monroe’s face, printed over and over again. Cartoon-strip women, embraced by lovers or crying on the phone. Some of the most famous works of Pop Art certainly make use of the female image – but they were made by the big poster boys of the mid-20th century movement, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. They formed a colourful contingent along with, er, other white, Western men – Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, David Hockney, Allen Jones. Because Pop Art had XY chromosomes, and only spawned in New York, LA and London, right? Continue reading “Giving female Pop artists their due”

Sexual performance: theatre works tackle internet porn

Published in BBC Culture on June 17, 2015

For theatre to be relevant, it can’t ignore technological developments and their impact on our lives. Yet staging technology is famously hard to do well – people staring at computer screens is theatrically inert, but go too hard on the techno-wizardry and you risk no longer feeling theatrical at all. The problem, you might imagine, would only be compounded when dealing with one of the most vexed aspects of online culture: internet porn. Continue reading “Sexual performance: theatre works tackle internet porn”