Mini Reviews

Film review: Tick, Tick… Boom!

A new musical film called Tick, Tick… Boom! streaming on Netflix tells the story of the life of playwright and composer Jonathan Larson (1960-1996). There has been much hype surrounding the film, starring Andrew Garfield as Larson and directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, but watching a musical can be a daunting prospect if you are not a fan of the genre. Unfortunately the music here (mostly written by…

Exhibition review: Life Between Islands at Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s new exhibition, Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s – Now, explores 70 years of British Art by more than 40 artists of Caribbean heritage. It has been several years in the planning and manages to seem both overdue but also of the zeitgeist.

The sprawling exhibition is divided into five areas beginning with Arrivals and followed in order by Pressure; Ghosts of…

Theatre review: Paradise

Paradise, a new adaptation by poet Kae Tempest, of one of Sophocles’ lesser-known plays opened in August after lockdown at the National Theatre. The play was first performed in 409 BCE.

When Tempest first workshopped the play in 2018, she updated several aspects from Sophocles’ original. Most notably her adaptation features an all-female cast. In rehearsals the three…

Book review: Motherwell: a Girlhood by Deborah Orr

Motherwell: a Girlhood (2020), a memoir by journalist Deborah Orr (1962-2019) begins with a vivid depiction of the Ravenscraig steelworks‘: “denatured, slightly hell-like, hyper-mechanised” ... High industrial Gothic,”  Ravenscraig once dominated the landscape and lives of the residents of Motherwell,  the working class, industrial town where she grew up in Scotland’s Clyde Valley. Her…

Film review: Soul

What is the meaning of life? Soul, a new animated film from the Pixar Animation Studios explores this hefty question through the journey and experiences of the central protagonist Joe Gardner, a jazz musician from an African American background. Soul is the first Pixar film to feature an African American lead character. The film is co-written and directed by Pete Docter (Up and Inside Out) and Kemp…

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Janet Murray. An obituary for my friend and tutor

An obituary of the journalist and lecturer Janet (Jan) Murray who dies at the Marie Curie Hospice in London on the 1st of July 2016

Review: The Trouble with Scott Capurro at The Bill Murray @CamdenFringe

“They’re just jokes – I’m not even gay!”

Scott Capurro greets “all my imaginary friends in the front row” as he skips onstage at The Bill Murray. The front row is conspicuously empty – who after all would be so foolish as to sit there? But there’s no escape later in the set when he begins to interact with members of the audience. Before long a man who came out at the age of 30 is describing…

Committee a Musical at the Donmar Theatre

Committee A Musical is the Donmar’s new play based on a Parliamentary Inquiry into the high profile childrens charity Kids Company. 

Theatre review: The Collaboration

Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn fetched £158 million in May at Christie’s New York to become the most expensive 20th century artwork sold at auction, overtaking Jean Michel Basquiat’s Untitled which sold for £90 million in 2017. In fact Warhol and Basquiat knew each other and they even worked together. The artists were introduced by art dealer Bruno Bischofberger who persuaded them…

Book review: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Pacey and fizzily plotted, Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill is a breathless romp of a novel. The year is 1746, and Mr Smith, a glib tongued and amiable English charmer, is newly pitched up in Manhattan with an order for one thousand pounds in his pocket.

The Power of the Still Image: Inspiration for Photo series during Covid-19 Pandemic

Four award-winning photographers who each chose to document the Covid-19 Pandemic and the ensuing lockdown discussed their work at an online event hosted by the Frontline Club on 4 February 2021. The photographs reveal their individual styles but they all share the same aspiration: to use their pictures to build empathy.

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia Fullerton-Batten’s…