These are mainly reviews I've done for theatre, exhibitions, art and books with some arts and culture related interviews. 

Book Review: The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

First published in 1846, The Double tells the story of Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a Saint Petersburg bearcat. Golyadkin’s behaviour is rather antisocial and his doctor encourages him to put himself about more. After leaving a party in rather acrimonious circumstances, he finds himself in a snowstorm and meets a man who looks just like him. They also share the same name. The two figures referred to by Dostoyevsky as Golyadin Sr, the original and Golyadkin Jr, the titular double, start off as cl

Book Review: The Fall by Albert Camus – Gursimran Hans –

Albert Camus’s The Fall tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Clamance, a former Parisian lawyer staying in Amsterdam, who is very similar to the characters of Meursault in prior Camus novels, only he is on a nuclear scale. Clamance bumps into someone in the bar one night, the reader and recounts his story. First published in 1956 and totalling under 100 pages, Clamance has lived the high-life and tasted all sorts of physical pleasure but metaphysically it’s a different story. Feeling empty and ful

Book Review: The Plague by Albert Camus – Gursimran Hans –

Albert Camus, one of the world’s greatest philosophers began writing The Plague sometime in 1941. His time in the French Resistance meant it was not completed until after the Second World War. The book can work as an allegory to life in France under the Third Reich. It is set in Oran, a town on the Algerian coast, in the midst of a devastating plague. Through this, Camus works an allegory of life under the German occupation, without any political leanings getting in the way of the interpretatio

Humber Bridge to see broadcast of poems and positive mental health messages

The project called You Are Not Alone is being organised by Headstart Hull and has been created by 12-20-year olds in the city. The Humber Bridge Board are supportive of the plan. The aim of the campaign is to break the stigma around mental health and show young people that they are not alone and there is help available. to see a video including some of them being recited. Headstart plan to install the soundscape throughout other parts of the city. The poems were written by the young people b

Theatre Review: Orpheus The Mythical @ The Other Place

The performance tells the story of Orpheus (Angus Morton), son of Apollo (Luke Tye) who has the ability to make everyone agree with him using the power of his singing. He accompanies Jason (Simon Anthony) and his Argonauts (Hampus Lee Strand, Alex Wheeler, Benjamin Mundy, Ben Stacey) as they attempt to retrieve The Golden Fleece. There's also the story of Euridice (Charlotte Rowling), Orpheus's wife who is trapped in hell. The show begins with an introduction from Richard Stilgoe, before a c

Theatre Review: You Can't Polish A Nerd @ Soho Theatre

Stand-up comedian Matt Parker, TV scientist Steve Mould and singing scientist Helen Arney are on tour as part of Festival Of The Spoken Nerd. A fantastic night of comedy mixed in with science awaits you. Mould and Parker both have wives who are "enablers" apparently and that is shown with some fascinating, quirky experiments. Want to know what happens when you put certain everyday items a microwave? Want to see experiments involving π and actual pie? Well, this is the show for you. Arney meanw

Theatre Review: Cirque Berserk @ The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

The show wastes no time in getting started. The Timbuktu Tumblers rush on stage, performing amazing somersaults and pyramids. There's also some dramatic limboing underneath fire and the transition well into the Bolas Argentinas. Gabriel and Germaine from Argentina juggle the bolas and dance to the rhythm, the beat, and the speed really is something else and the two certainly played up to the crowd. South America also provides Jose and Gaby, two Colombian dancers who are quite simply excellen

Talking tingles with ASMRtists

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is taking the internet by storm. YouTubers producing ASMR visitors are enjoying massive success in terms of both subscriptions and views. This summer, GentleWhispering became the first channel to hit one million subscribers. W Magazine meanwhile, began a series where they invited celebrities to try and make their own ideas. So, what exactly is ASMR? Simply put, ASMR is a way of making, usually through videos, soft, relaxing sounds to trigger somethin

Theatre Review: Amadeus @ The National Theatre

The play begins with Salieri declaring it "the last hour of my life" before summoning "the ghosts of the future" to tell them of his tale. Salieri had made a deal with God to serve him in return for his talents and grew on to become a legend in Vienna, the city of music, where at the time the music scene was dominated by Italians and everyone important knew each other. The former child prodigy, Mozart resigns his position as Konzertmeister in Salzburg and journeys to the Austrian capital. This

Review – Flight Club Shoreditch

Get in the zone, mind focused, elbows straight, ready to let go – and explode on the dartboard with style. Yes, this isn’t your average bar. This is Flight Club, Shoreditch, one of two locations in London where guests can book a session to throw darts in an ‘oche’ – a small private booth – taking part in a series of games,  while enjoying a  selection of food and drink. Situated a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Old Street roundabout, Flight Club is on a quiet, unassuming street co

Review: La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca

The last play to be penned by Federico García Lorca, just a few short weeks before his execution in 1936 as part of Franco’s purge of Spanish intellectuals, La Casa de Bernarda Alba was first premiered in Buenos Aires in 1945. It is sometimes grouped with Blood Wedding and Yerma as part of Lorca’s rural trilogy, though, it was incomplete at the time of his death, at the age of just 38. I must admit to being unaware of this piece, however, a friend of mine is starring in a production of it, so

Book Review: Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli

This summer, I found a copy of Sybil, sometimes referred to as Two Nations by Benjamin Disareli, who was British Prime Minister in 1868 and again from 1874–1880 in a charity shop. The book was in a far better condition then it looks in the scanned picture, it didn’t survive spending months in my bag. In the story Disraeli examines the living conditions of Britain’s working poor, a by-product of the nation’s growth during the Industrial Revolution. Charles Egremont, Lord Marney’s younger broth

Theatre Review: The Slightly Fat Show @ Leicester Square Theatre

performed in two parts by the touring troupe Slightly Fat Features is a throwback to a good old-fashioned British variety show. You could imagine a grandparent of yours walking down a promenade to see it in the 1940s or 50s. It has everything you could want - slapstick humour, magic, escapology and does everything really well. The humour isn't overly complicated, it's quite simple, basic, sometimes even crude and therein lies it's beauty. It's a relaxed, easy-to-follow show with a feel-good v

Theatre Review: Thirty Christmases @ New Diorama Theatre

A play within a play, Rachel, and Jonny take you through a story of a selection of the Christmases from 1986 till the present day. This is because Jonny went to a therapy session and thought making a play would be cheaper. They are joined by Paddy (Paddy Gervers) who in the play within the play plays a variety of different roles - from Jonny and Rachel's socialist Jewish agnostic father to their Polish mother. Scene by scene you get a calamitous tale of a family that was barely functioning wit

Theatre Review: Sex Workers' Opera @ Ovalhouse

There's also a sex worker with an invisible disability, who has chosen the profession due to the ability to take days off and work on her own hours. Emy Fem, a transgender German sex worker is part of the cast, as is Jordan Busson - whose bios on social media describe him as a "basic low femme". Siobhan Knox, director of  , appears in many scenes and the choreography she's produced is quite stunning. Cast member Chiqui Love appears to defy the laws of gravity as she dances on a poll on a set t

Interview: Talking ASMR with Lily Whispers

You might at this point be wondering what Lily has done to warrant this response. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and YouTube is awash by a growing community of artists and watchers. These videos feature a variety of sounds that are intended to be relaxing and to cause tingles in the brain.  Lily describes it as “a wave of relaxation, ‘tingles’ we call it, although I like to describe it as a warm shiver.” As for dropping out? “No one really knew that I dropped out. My p

Theatre Review: Venus in Fur @ Theatre Royal Haymarket

A two-act play within a play, not dissimilar to Woman in Black, Venus in Fur stars David Oakes (Shakespeare in Love) as Thomas Novachek, a writer-director, who is casting for a play based on the 1870 novel Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The novel, controversial for its time, was the root of the term masochism. In the novel, Severin von Kusiemski becomes so infatuated with Wanda von Dunajew that he submits to being her slave. Wanda is initially bemused by the whole idea but eventuall

Interview: Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho has become known for her dark sense of . Now 48, the Drop Dead Diva star has embarked on a tour with what she has described as her "sickest show to date", with it dealing with "a lot of hard stuff about addiction, about weight." Cho notes she can be "very, very self-destructive" before adding: "I really wanted to make an effort to show how this is like so scary and this is real and this can happen. And so, that’s a big part of the show too." She cites the late Richard Pryor as an

Talking Tories, Brexit, and magic money trees with Geoff Norcott

"Growing up, I was like a political Billy Elliot." These are the words of Geoff Norcott, a comedian in the middle of a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe. His show is a little different to most at the festival: he's an open Conservative and voted Leave in the EU referendum. His show builds on this. Norcott says Right Leaning with Well Meaning is opposed to "the kind of confrontational politics of the last year", before adding he wants to "ask myself whether I am guilty of the things the left typica
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