Posts in Culture
The Importance of Being Rehearsed

I was recently lucky enough to attend an open rehearsal for Say It Again, SorryCompany’s new production. It’s a sort of meta take on Wilde called The Importance of Being…Earnest?, where the audience not only get to see the behind the scenes drama – every bit as hilarious and farcical as the play itself – but also, through a range of devices, take part.

Read More
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.

Read More
It’s not just poor organisation—Labour Live was always going to fail

Tens of thousands of people hanging on your every word and singing your name to the heavens. Who wouldn’t want to experience that? More pertinently, who—having experienced it once—wouldn’t want to recreate it?

It is very easy to see how, after the high of Corbyn’s post-election appearance at Glastonbury, the temptation to go big on Labour Live was as difficult to resist as it has proved impossible to deliver. According to reports, ticket sales are rather low and my younger, cooler friends tell me the line up isn’t up to much. Even I can see that there’s no Stormzy there—an oversight apparently caused by him already being booked to do something else. Which begs the question why that wasn’t checked before the date was set.

Read More
Review: Strictly Ballroom

Strictly Ballroom the musical was everything I hoped it would be and worried it wouldn’t deliver. Bringing this classic that I’ve loved for 26 years to the West End stage is an audacious move, but it works. That’s the key. It would work for someone who’s never seen the film, and it works for those of us whose videos wore out at that moment Scott moved his hips just so….

Read More
Hateful and Hollow: Morrissey's lifelong mission to piss off his fanbase.

In the bleak mid-80s, life was tough for young people in general, and in particular for those of a more sensitive disposition. Sensitivity wasn't cool. Cool was brash, buccaneering, blokey. 

So when The Smiths came along, they spoke to a generation of (mostly white) dispossessed young people of a sensitive and mostly left wing bent. Their anthems to loneliness, quirkiness and being different struck a chord in many in a such a profound way that it is still ringing in their ears decades later. Their music was wonderfully refreshing (and Johnny Marr remains an untroubling hero) but it was the lyrics of Stephen Patrick Morrissey that made a lot of lonely vulnerable people going through a difficult time feel less alone. 

Read More