Review: The American Clock

The American Clock is a lavish production of a confusing and disjointed play. It reminded me of nothing so much as a stage version of The Big Short. Half drama, half documentary, fully fascinating but largely for the glimpses of the real story of the crash and less for any sense of being lost in the lives on stage.

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Theatre ReviewsEmma Burnell
The Independent Group Stands Against the Labour Party, But What Does it Stand For?

Like a lot of Labour members, I’m a tribalist. Being a member of the Labour Party is part of my identity. Sometimes that hurts – when the Jewish community marches against my party it leaves me feeling physically sick with upset at the hurt Labour is causing. When the leadership fails to lead on Brexit, it leaves me in pain at the hardship we will enable in future.

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PoliticsEmma Burnell
Who funds you? Think tanks are all being tarnished by secretive right-wingers

Journalists have started digging into what really goes on in think tank world. Many of the right-wing libertarian bodies working in London operate according to a shady funding mechanism. Now, anytime they pop up to speak, the standard response is: Who funds you? But it's not just the right's think tanks which are held in suspicion. Increasingly, the entire industry is being considered suspect. And if we let the whole sector be tarnished, we hand a victory to the dark populist voices in our national debate.

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Review: Counting Sheep

I am blown away.

Rarely does taking part in a piece of theatre speak so directly to the core of my being, but Counting Sheep is one of the most exciting, moving and provoking pieces of theatre I have ever seen.

Set in Ukraine around the 2014 revolution we are introduced to the action by Mark – a Canadian of Ukrainian heritage who is visiting the country as a travelling musician. He gets swept up in the revolution and through him so too does the audience.

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Review: Cuzco

Cuzco is a deceptively simple play about a couple on holiday in South America. Translated beautifully from the original Spanish, it touches on themes that are universal such as a love affair falling apart and the loneliness of not connecting with the one you once thought your soulmate. It also touches on the guilt of imperialism and the inevitable way this gets caught up in tourism – both understood and exploited by natives and understood as the price we rightly still must pay for the behaviour of our ancestors.

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emma@politicalhuman.com
Labour can't go on tabling no confidence motions forever.

Theresa May achieved something this week that had long been felt impossible. Both Remainers and Leavers passionately wanted the same thing – for her deal to fail.

And fail it did, spectacularly so. There will have been sore throats from all the chanting and sore heads from the celebrating that both sides were doing. The problem for everyone is that they woke up with that sense you get after a truly epic night out that you don’t quite know what happened, what exactly you did or what to do about it.

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PoliticsEmma Burnell
A new party may not be a threat to Corbyn—but his own membership could be

Corbyn’s strength has always been in his relationship with the Labour Party membership. The reason the 2016 “coup” attempt was always bound for failure was that he knew when asked the members would choose him over any other MP.

That campaign—even more than 2015—focused on Jeremy the man, making him indivisible from his political programme. This gave him the strength to put Labour on a path towards socialism it hadn’t been on in decades. And those like myself who worried about the electability of such a strategy were proved wrong. The 2017 manifesto offered policies that would transform our economy “for the many not the few” and added ten points to Labour’s performance as a result.

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Emma Burnell
After Amber Rudd’s admission, Buffy is finally being acknowledged for its influence – even in the most unlikely of places

Amber Rudd has described Buffy Summers as her feminist hero. Quite right too. While it’s hard to agree with Rudd that she’s an “early feminist” (Mary Wollstonecraft might have something to say about that) she’s definitely a fantastic role model for anyone who wants to look up not just to a hero but to a champion.

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Review: Sketching

Sketching has all the great hallmarks of a James Graham play. There are a lot of characters, and their stories interweave frenetically. Music is used – sparingly but to high dramatic effect. There is a little bit of everything for everyone. What you get out of a James Graham play often depends on what you take into it. My meditative and melancholic mood found perfect reflection in the stories of the people of the city of London, but those in a more celebratory frame of mind will find plenty to enjoy too.

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