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Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

Gatsby: the name is synonymous with glamour, the roaring ‘20s, extravagant excess, wealth, parties, hedonism, flowing alcohol, the power to turn dreams into reality, and the sense of a lost time. It also signifies a story of dashed ambition and tragedy. EUTCO’s production of The Great Gatsby at the Northcott, adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, drew out these tensions thoughtfully and impressively. Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s novel has undergone a whole new revival with the onset of the 2020s. Mimi Templar Gay’s direction produced a play which encouraged its audience to reflect on its relevance to our present time, particularly in light of its pervasive concerns with money, success and what it means to be fortunate. Continue reading Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

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Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Sweeney Todd

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The tale of Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett carries a loaded reputation; from Broadway to Burton, the tale of the “Demon barber of Fleet Street” and his pie-making partner-in-crime has become a household horror story, making it often difficult to revitalise. Shotgun Theatre’s production, however, did not disappoint in its thrilling and refreshing adaptation, boasting an extraordinarily talented band, an impressively crafted set, and a cast that could be straight from the West End. Directed by Jessa Thompson, the murderous tale has been modified with exciting twists, and her feminist reworkings of certain characters are invigorating to an otherwise predictable plot. Continue reading Review: Shotgun Theatre’s Sweeney Todd

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Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

This winter the Royal Academy of Arts has exhibited Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits. The collection of portraits ranges from his early career in 1940, to his most recent work in 2001. This masterfully curated exhibition focuses on the self and demonstrates how Freud’s painting style has changed and matured over time. The exhibition progresses from his early surrealist painting, to his later brutally realist work, exposing the frailty of his aged body. The style of his portraits is striking and contradictory as Freud resists being exposed and “known”, he hides in his paintings, yet also maintains intrigue as the subject of the portrait. Continue reading Review: Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits @ The Royal Academy of Arts

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The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

Build it. Break it. Build it, break it.

I exercise control in the small mannerisms I have adopted over the years. The minor, domestic cogs of my life, turning in perfect succession. Succinct, and ritually executed. These are the private domains of my psyche, the charts and the crosses, the changing of bed linen and the calculated hoovering of square spaces. Each chart is built of boxes, and each room possesses borders. The hoover head stops at skirting boards. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: Charge and Control

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The Power of TV at Christmas

Movie entertainment was initially designed to be watched together as an audience – the first Hollywood movies were shown exclusively at movie theatres or Vaudevilles in the US as a mass culture and had the ability to bring together a nation. From the awe and attraction of ‘It Girl’ Clara Bow to Charlie Chaplin’s hilarity, Early Cinema appealed to everyone from American families to immigrants who could understand the silent films. Continue reading The Power of TV at Christmas

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New Year, Same Me: The Risk of Resolutions

Like many, I too feel the impulse to submit to the cultural convention of a New Year’s resolution (or multiple, if you’re like me). It is in recognition that I must need annual modification or improvement; I am like an appliance that needs to be vetted or a computer which needs a virus check and at the end of every year that check proves problematic. The duration of the next year is all about ironing out the edges, papering over the cracks, concealing the imperfections and trying to maintain a stable level of maturity (no wonder this is a yearly task). New Year’s resolutions are a testament to us never being satisfied with ourselves; it’s an annual self-intervention, and, more importantly, it seems ridiculous to set all our hopes, ambitions, modifications and adjustments within the time slot of a year. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I truly know that I cannot alter all my habits and questionable behaviour in a year – I need the whole decade for that. Continue reading New Year, Same Me: The Risk of Resolutions