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Film review: Tick, Tick… Boom!

A new musical film called Tick, Tick… Boom! streaming on Netflix tells the story of the life of playwright and composer Jonathan Larson (1960-1996). There has been much hype surrounding the film, starring Andrew Garfield as Larson and directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, but watching a musical can be a daunting prospect if you are not a fan of the genre. Unfortunately the music here (mostly written by…

Exhibition review: Life Between Islands at Tate Britain

Tate Britain’s new exhibition, Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s – Now, explores 70 years of British Art by more than 40 artists of Caribbean heritage. It has been several years in the planning and manages to seem both overdue but also of the zeitgeist.

The sprawling exhibition is divided into five areas beginning with Arrivals and followed in order by Pressure; Ghosts of…

Theatre review: Paradise

Paradise, a new adaptation by poet Kae Tempest, of one of Sophocles’ lesser-known plays opened in August after lockdown at the National Theatre. The play was first performed in 409 BCE.

When Tempest first workshopped the play in 2018, she updated several aspects from Sophocles’ original. Most notably her adaptation features an all-female cast. In rehearsals the three…

Book review: Motherwell: a Girlhood by Deborah Orr

Motherwell: a Girlhood (2020), a memoir by journalist Deborah Orr (1962-2019) begins with a vivid depiction of the Ravenscraig steelworks‘: “denatured, slightly hell-like, hyper-mechanised” ... High industrial Gothic,”  Ravenscraig once dominated the landscape and lives of the residents of Motherwell,  the working class, industrial town where she grew up in Scotland’s Clyde Valley. Her…

Film review: Soul

What is the meaning of life? Soul, a new animated film from the Pixar Animation Studios explores this hefty question through the journey and experiences of the central protagonist Joe Gardner, a jazz musician from an African American background. Soul is the first Pixar film to feature an African American lead character. The film is co-written and directed by Pete Docter (Up and Inside Out) and Kemp…