Mini Reviews

Exhibition review: Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile 1870-1904 at Tate Britain

Winter is here. What better way to beat the grey skies and daylight saving than a display of sun-drenched Impressionist paintings. The arrival of 'Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile 1870-1904' at Tate Britain would seem perfectly timed, right? Well, sort of.

The exhibition has stirred up art critics because there are only three actual Impressionists artists represented here.…

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…

We studied journalism at Birkbeck and meet regularly to share our writing and ideas. Inspired by London’s 4th Plinth we set up our blog as a cultural exchange with reviews, stories, analysis and viewpoints.

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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. 

Book review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Hurtling along, 'the Underground Railroad' is a novel by African American writer Colson Whitehead. The underground railroad is a metaphor for a secret network involving safe houses carrying slaves from the South to the Free States. Whitehead takes this idea to another level here. His book features a subterranean tunnel, like the tube, through which people are taken to safety on a steam locomotive.


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.

Trump’s First Year and the Foreign Media

Has the foreign press done enough in terms of holding Donald Trump to account in his first year as US president? Trump’s approval ratings have remained static despite the FBI investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, sleaze allegations and his generally unpresidential conduct. Even the publication of Michael Wolff’s book ‘Fire and Fury’ hasn’t fazed him. This topic was central to…