Review: The Lady Vanishes @ Exeter Northcott

Producing giant Bill Kenwright, through the aptly named Thriller Theatre Company, brings us a tour of the stage version of this 1938 classic film by Hitchcock. Roy Marsden directs this cast of big names (lots of people from telly, apparently) who navigate a grey and textured stage designed by Morgan Large.

The story concerns the socialite Iris, a sweet and wide-eyed woman travelling back to England to get married, who befriends Ms Froy, a former governess and music teacher. Ms Froy is the lady who vanishes during the journey and the other passengers all seem to be conspiring against Iris, claiming that the woman was never there. All but Max, a charmer who chooses to believe Iris and helps her uncover the mystery. There is the touch of the international and the historical: Charters and Caldicott discuss the cricket in a quintessentially British manner, Sinor Doppo is an Italian magician, and Nazi soldiers patrol the train. With promises of thriller, espionage, coded messages through song, and a train filled with characters and mystery, I was excited to be taken on this journey. Unfortunately, almost everything fell flat. Continue reading Review: The Lady Vanishes @ Exeter Northcott

Apathetic Environmentalism: An Epidemic

In recent years, it has become more apparent that society is fatally harming the environment. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) we must cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 to avoid a climate catastrophe. Despite the mounting evidence, changes in environmental policy and consumerist habits seem reluctant and tentative. Roughly three-quarters of Europeans say they see climate change as a threat, yet less than a third would accept higher taxes on fossil fuels to cut emissions. This inconsistency of rhetoric versus action is apathetic environmentalism; when someone exhibits genuine concern for the environment but makes little to no effort to make any real, fundamental change. The epitome of this was a photo of an overflowing bin uploaded to ExeHonestly after the recent climate strikes. The discrepancy between protesting the government’s handling of the climate crisis and literally littering on the street highlights an inconsistency between rhetoric and action that is becoming increasingly prevalent. So, where does this apathy come from? Continue reading Apathetic Environmentalism: An Epidemic

Halloween Culture Favourites: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Halloween specials

I love How I Met Your Mother. I love it so much that I have seen every episode nine times, which means I know pretty much everything about it. Specifically, I know that if there’s one thing How I Met Your Mother does well, it’s holiday episodes. From ‘Slapsgiving’ to ‘How Lily Stole Christmas’, the sitcom is guaranteed to keep its audience entertained at any time of year. At Halloween, the two episodes that stand out are ‘The Slutty Pumpkin’ (season 1, episode 6) and ‘The Slutty Pumpkin Returns’ (season 7, episode 8). Continue reading Halloween Culture Favourites: ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Halloween specials

Halloween Culture Favourites: ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’

When the leaves begin to turn brown and crunch under my feet, I know that it is soon pumpkin time. No, not pumpkin carving, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin pales. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown time. If all the best aspects of Fall were condensed into one 25-minute television special, it would be the Great Pumpkin. The Halloween classic, since its release in 1966, has become synonymous with Halloween, and it’s no wonder why. Based on the comic strips of Charles M. Schulz, Linus spends all of Halloween night sitting in the pumpkin patch with Sally waiting for the Great Pumpkin, the number #2 below Santa, to appear. The rest of the Peanuts gang spends the night trick-or-treating and having fun at a Halloween party, with Lucy asking for extra candy for her “blockhead brother”, and Charlie Brown stating at each door that he “got a rock.” Of course, you can’t forget about Snoopy as the WWI Flying Ace, scouring through the hills of suburbia as if they were the war-torn countryside. Good luck to you if you spend your Halloween night like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, and if you do go trick-or-treating, here’s sending you my best wishes that you yourself don’t get a rock. Continue reading Halloween Culture Favourites: ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’

Interview: Joshua “Joe” Keogh from Amber Run

Before Amber Run’s gig at The Lemon Grove, I chatted to the band’s lead singer Joshua “Joe” Keogh. With the support act’s sound check playing faintly in the background, we discussed everything from their new album Philophobia, to their inspiration, and the sometimes crazy responses of their fans.

So, the new album’s just come out, I thought I’d start by asking you a couple questions about that. How are you finding the initial response to it?

I think it’s been good. [Although] I don’t actually read reviews because, for the first record and the second record, I definitely did and I fell into that trap of [seeing that] they’re all great and then you see the one that says you’re terrible and [that affects you]. I’ve started to realise, for my own sanity, just not to read any and to know that what you did was the best you could do in that moment. So, I believe it’s going well but I couldn’t tell you for certain. Continue reading Interview: Joshua “Joe” Keogh from Amber Run

Review: Amber Run @ The Lemon Grove

Arriving at the Lemon Grove just before the doors opened, I was a little surprised to see a relatively large queue. Whilst Amber Run’s lively sounds have, undeniably, brought them success, they are perhaps still on the fringes of mainstream indie and are yet to enter the realm of such names as The Arctic Monkeys or The 1975. But it seems Amber Run have some particularly devoted fans, as would become more apparent as the evening went on. Continue reading Review: Amber Run @ The Lemon Grove

Review: Olafur Eliasson’s ‘In Real Life’ @ Tate Modern

The Tate Modern’s exhibition, In Real Life showcases Olafur Eliasson’s work at a scale that is truly breath-taking. This particularly immersive exhibition places the spectator at the centre of the art itself. Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist and this exhibition offers 40 of his works from 1990 to today. In Real Life features his sculptures, immersive installations, photography, and painting. Eliasson’s art is often inspired by his time spent in Iceland and is predisposed to concern elemental forces of nature and investigate human perception and our collective ability to sense the world around us. His installation pieces are abstract and the message behind his art can seem ambiguous. Therefore, the reception of his work is highly subjective. Continue reading Review: Olafur Eliasson’s ‘In Real Life’ @ Tate Modern

Review: Judy

For a film about a performer, Judy starts with a brilliant apparent break of the fourth wall. I struggle to remember a film with a more apt beginning. The structure of the film is further used to great effect by balancing the enrapturing beginning with an emotive end; it would not surprise me to see the odd tear shed as the lights come up. Continue reading Review: Judy

The Bar Review: Pursuit of Hoppiness

At a first glance Pursuit of Hoppiness could seem a little sterile and cold, with simple wooden high tables and industrially designed barstools. Yet this cool simplicity is warmed into more of a pub vibe by the plethora of beer mats edging the walls as if in place of moulded plaster cornicing. The décor encapsulates the intersection present in the drinks – at once a trendy craft beer and wine bar, yet also a relaxing pub space with cushioned benches and time to chat. Continue reading The Bar Review: Pursuit of Hoppiness