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Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

Iqbal Khan’s Othello is a haunting rendition of psychological unravelling. With a stage bathed in blue light, a set reminiscent of a gothic church, and songs performed like elegies, Shakespeare’s controversial tragedy undergoes a thematic dismantling. Khan’s Othello recontextualises the play’s depictions of brutality and injustice. Costumes wander in a realm between modern and timeless, and additional dialogue involves the multi-racial community exchanging racist insults using current language. Most notably, the dynamic between Othello and the manipulative Iago shifts, with the compelling casting choice of a black actor as Iago. Continue reading Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

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Review: I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel’s masterpiece deserves your attention.
Social media has been ablaze with rave reviews of Michaela Coel’s latest work for weeks. From the moment the first episode aired in early June, my Twitter feed was awash with people declaring it a masterpiece, and its creator ‘the new Phoebe Waller-Bridge’. My interest was piqued. Still, I was hesitant as I hit play, not quite sure whether the show would live up to my expectations. Fast-forward a couple of weeks and you’d find me lying on my floor, trying my best to contemplate what I’d just seen in the show’s finale. Subversive is too soft a word for the twisted, confusing, uncomfortable, incredible half hour I’d just experienced. I was fully ready to declare I May Destroy You a work of genius. Continue reading Review: I May Destroy You

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Review: Mrs America

When I first learned about Phyllis Schlafly and her battle against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) during my history lessons at school, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend why somebody would be in opposition to the legal affirmation of their own rights. Mrs America (BBC 2/FX on Hulu) offered me a more in-depth insight into the historical narrative of the motivations behind her activism. This … Continue reading Review: Mrs America

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Review: folklore by Taylor Swift

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Over the last three months of lockdown, everybody seems to have had their own quarantine project, and ten-time Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift, is no different. However, whilst we, the common people, baked bread and ran 5Ks, Swift was writing and producing her eighth Studio Album, folklore, which she announced and dropped within 24 hours, complete with a music video she directed. Continue reading Review: folklore by Taylor Swift

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Review: Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods (2020) is Spike Lee’s latest release after his critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansman (2018), which won him his first Academy award. Lee’s constant stream of provocative and profound pieces has proven time and time again that he has “his finger on the pulse of modern America” (Mark Kermode). The plot follows four ex-GIs who return to Vietnam to recover the remains of their fallen comrade, the almost mythical, Black Panther-esque Stormin’ Norman. At least that’s their cover. In reality, they return to retrieve bars of gold that the American army stole from the North Vietnamese all those years ago. Continue reading Review: Da 5 Bloods

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Review: NT Live: Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is, to most, synonymous with classical music. The composer is widely adored, and his music is often played by students to help them concentrate when pulling an all-nighter or cramming some revision. The play Amadeus, perhaps contrary to what the title may suggest,does not focus entirely on this complicated individual, but rather on Antonio Salieri, the composer creating at the same time as Mozart. This heavily dramatised account acts as part confession and part swan song of the dying artist in his last few hours on earth. The plot is full of activity, though rather simple to follow, as Salieri invites the audience to listen to his tale, the character imagining us as ghosts of the future judging his supposed actions. What we witness is a hard-working and deeply religious man making a name for himself on the Viennese court and whose outputs are minimised when compared with the works of Mozart. Continue reading Review: NT Live: Amadeus

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Review: Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan

From familiar folk-rock instrumentals spring songs of the self. Bob Dylan’s 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways ​was released on June 19th, to high praise from critics and fans alike. Listeners have found in these songs a window to escape lockdown through —​ ​and yet, like all of Dylan’s greatest albums, this one refuses to turn away from reality. Continue reading Review: Rough and Rowdy Ways by Bob Dylan

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Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

When it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest, I would not class myself as the ‘average viewer’. If anything, I am a huge fan of the wonderfully wacky contest. So I, along with tens of thousands of people from all over Europe and around the world, was ready to head to Rotterdam this May to enjoy its week of spectacular weirdness. However, COVID-19 has put these plans on hold. I do not want to in any way diminish the awful effects the current crisis has had on every aspect of life. I just find that it is unfortunate, but understandable, that the contest had to be postponed. Continue reading Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga