Mini Reviews

Film review - Mademoiselle Paradis, London Film Festival 2017

A young woman, prodigiously talented but disabled, Maria Theresia von Paradis was an eighteenth century musician, composer and a contemporary of Mozart. There’s even a street named after her in Vienna. Von Paradis’s achievement as a piano player is more remarkable because she was blind from the age of 3.

‘Mademoiselle Paradis’, a film screened at this year’s London Film Festival sheds light…

Book review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies (2014) is a novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty. The book is actually set in Sydney, in a scenic beachside town called ‘Perriwee Peninsula’. The story centres on Perriwee Primary School and its community of children, teachers and parents. The school has an ocean view. Despite the affluent, idyllic and sunny environment there is a disquieting undercurrent with people…

Review: Hastings Pier

Hastings, a seaside town on the Sussex coastline, has a newly restored pier, adding to its many tourist attractions (including a pebble beach and Hastings Castle dating back to the time of William the Conqueror). What’s more, this new structure has been voted 'Pier of the Year 2017' by the National Pier Society.

From far away it might not seem particularly noteworthy. Once you reach the…

Documentary review: Angry Inuk

Set in the remote hamlet of Kimmirut, Canada, in the icy Arctic Circle, the film Angry Inuk (2016) looks at the lives of the Inuit people, following the trade ban on harp seal skin products (campaigned for by animal rights activists in 1987).

The film controversially opposes this ban because its had a negative effect on the Inuit's livelihood. The documentary is part of the Origins Festival…

Birkbeck Arts Week 2017 - Landscape and Power

Those of us who signed up to the Landscape and Power lecture during Birkbeck Arts Week 2017 would have seen an arresting image posted on the event flyer. In the talk in Room B03 of 43 Gordon Square we learn that this image is computer generated.

 

It is of a proposed memorial, entitled ‘Memory Wound’, to the victims…

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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. 

Exhibition review: ‘Basquiat: Boom for Real' at the Barbican

A painting of a skull by African American artist Jean Michel Basquiat sold for US $110.5 million at Sotheby’s New York in May 2017. His work is highly sought after on the contemporary art market. ‘Basquiat: Boom for Real’ at the Barbican is an opportunity for us to find out what all the fuss is about.

This is the first major UK retrospective of his work. Spread over 2 floors the overall…

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.

Open letter to tinnitus

Dear Tinnitus

I know you will be surprised to be addressed full on, as it were, when I spend so much time ignoring you.  But I felt, for once, like charting our relationship.

I caught you from my friend Harriet.  When you first arrived in her head she became very distressed.  She told me you were ruining her life and depriving her of all feelings of well being.  Particularly she…