Mini Reviews

Theatre review: The Crucible by Arthur Miller

There was a full house at the Oliver Theatre to watch The Crucible (1953) a play by Arthur Miller. The Crucible is set in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 and based on the witch hunt and trials that took place in Salem’s puritan community, a theocracy governed by a few men. The play was written in the McCarthy era in the US when people, including Miller were subject to coercive methods of interrogation…

Film review: All that Breathes directed by Shaunak Sen

A new documentary, ‘All that Breathes’ (2022) by Shaunak Sen focuses on two brothers Nadeem Shehzad and Mohammed Saud in their efforts of to promote wildlife conservation in densely populated North East Delhi. Shehzad and Saud, assisted by volunteer Salik Rehman, care for kites (birds of prey), which have fallen from the sky due to pollution, in a makeshift avian hospital built in their leaky basement.


Althea McNish: Colour is Mine

‘Everything I did, I saw through a tropical eye:’ the words of fabric designer Althea McNish whose vibrant, botanical, printed fabrics echo the warm colours of her homeland Caribbean island of Trinidad, were a highlight at the recent Life between Islands display at Tate Britain.

Now McNish has her own exhibition entitled Colour is Mine at the William Morris Gallery and…

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…

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.

Click on the tabs to see what we’ve been doing lately. 

We hope you like it. Let us know.

The 5th Plinthers

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. 

Theatre review: The Collaboration

Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn fetched £158 million in May at Christie’s New York to become the most expensive 20th century artwork sold at auction, overtaking Jean Michel Basquiat’s Untitled which sold for £90 million in 2017. In fact Warhol and Basquiat knew each other and they even worked together. The artists were introduced by art dealer Bruno Bischofberger who persuaded them…

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.

The Power of the Still Image: Inspiration for Photo series during Covid-19 Pandemic

Four award-winning photographers who each chose to document the Covid-19 Pandemic and the ensuing lockdown discussed their work at an online event hosted by the Frontline Club on 4 February 2021. The photographs reveal their individual styles but they all share the same aspiration: to use their pictures to build empathy.

Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia Fullerton-Batten’s…