Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye

The brilliant, gifted ventriloquist Nina Conti may be better known these days for the ritual humiliation of audience members, as she gets people up onstage, slaps weird masks on them and makes them say ridiculous or filthy things, but back in the day, her act was much, much darker: a kind of psychological cleansing thatContinue reading “Her Master’s Voice: Nina Conti Says Goodbye”

Theatre Isn’t Yer Living Room!

If, as Dr Ramani Durvasala posits, we’re living in an age of massive entitlement and incivility, this could explain the rise in theatre bad behaviour. According to an article in The Guardian (published yesterday) there’s been a huge rise in violence, disruption, loud food consumption, etc. across the UK. Several actors and members of theatreContinue reading “Theatre Isn’t Yer Living Room!”

Actually, You Can Judge A Book…

…By looking at the cover, sometimes. Artwork on books is increasingly becoming more important, as it can illustrate the contents beautifully. Some are so gorgeous as to be collectible. One such case is with Angela Carter and her dazzling novel, Nights At The Circus. Her main character, Fevvers, is a stunning, buxom trapeze artist showgirlContinue reading “Actually, You Can Judge A Book…”

A Drop Of The Dark Stuff

Clout Theatre: How A Man Crumbled I’ve got a real love of Bouffon. For those of you who have never had the pleasure to witness it, Bouffon is the grotesque side of clowning. It’s European generally, although there’s definitely an overlap in physical performance terms with dance and theatre from the Far East, a laContinue reading “A Drop Of The Dark Stuff”

Overlooked Classics: Stage Beauty

Richard Eyre ”s 2004 film, with a wonderful screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, is a gem which still never seems to get the acclaim it deserves. I’ve never been quite sure why. The 17th century has often been mined for parody (think Blackadder, Monty Python etc) but this film, while often bawdy and hilarious, is exploratoryContinue reading “Overlooked Classics: Stage Beauty”

Watch With Mother?

I recently reviewed a gorgeous show at Tramway for Fjord Review, a lovely dance website I’ve been writing for since 2015. The show carried a trigger warning, which is fine by me. People have different sensitivities, and if you have kids, some material could be inappropriate or even offensive. Now, I’m not a pearl clutcherContinue reading “Watch With Mother?”

Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde

When Oscar Wilde wrote his play Salome in 1894, there was only one artist suitable in his mind, worthy of depicting both the ghoulishness and dark eroticism of his script – Aubrey Beardsley. The pair shared a similar aesthetic sensibility and had no time for the moralising hypocrisy of the times. It seems cancel cultureContinue reading “Aubrey Beardsley and Oscar Wilde”

Edinburgh Festival Preview: Americana- A Murder Ballad

This show, premiering at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, couldn’t have captured the zeitgeist more, as headlines about yet more mass shootings and the new firearms law in New York remain fresh in our minds . Written by leading Scottish playwright Morna Young and featuring music composed by Davey Anderson, the production from Pepperdine Scotland isContinue reading “Edinburgh Festival Preview: Americana- A Murder Ballad”

Everyone Is (Not) A Critic

M’ colleague and friend Gareth K Vile once wrote a brilliant article on the role of the critic, citing the lack of quality, and waspishly gave tips such as “write in full sentences”. You would think that this would be a prerequisite, but as I wrote in our previous blog The Tempo House, the riseContinue reading “Everyone Is (Not) A Critic”