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Theatre review: My Brilliant Friend

Elena Ferrante’s addictive Neapolitan Quartet novels have been adapted for the stage. The two part play at the Olivier Theatre takes its title from the first book in the series: My Brilliant Friend Part One covers the first two novels while Part Two looks at the last two. Together both parts run for five and half hours encompassing a timespan of sixty years. Sounds hectic? It is. But the story is…

Film review: Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s latest offering Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is a mixed bag of a film, with contradictory motivations. The film is his most self-indulgent to date, taking its title and some of its inspiration from the Sergio Leone classics ‘Once Upon A Time in the West’ and Once Upon A Time in America’ as well as highlighting his other obsessions: Hollywood and L.A. The film has been criticised…

Book review: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

‘The Testaments’, Margaret Atwood’s much anticipated sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale concludes the dystopian fable set in Gilead, a fictionalised United States. The book is an engaging read, continuing with the same themes, namely the subjugation of women in a patriarchal society, and some of the same characters as The Handmaid’s Tale. The 2019 Booker prize was controversially awarded jointly to The…

Open House 2019: Walthamstow Wetlands

On the approach to Engine House at Walthamstow Wetlands the stark outline of the structure with its chimney tower against a cloudy sky could be from a painting by Constable, if not for the Overground train running directly past the building. The Engine House is now a Visitor Centre at the heart of the Wetlands project which has seen nearly 705,000 visitors to its reservoirs and marshland since it…

Theatre review: Small Island

It is proof of Small Island’s popularity that the Olivier Theatre was filled to capacity, holding 1150 people all waiting to be entertained over three and a half hours on the evening after a blisteringly hot day. The play is adapted from Andrea Levy’s novel of the same name.

Why is Small Island so popular? It might be a favourite book for many people who come to see much loved characters…