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Ah, the obligatory end-of-year ‘best of’. Yes, it’s reductive. And, of course, very personal. And this year it has not been easy. Shows that I just ‘knew’ would be amazing didn’t turn out that way, and unexpected delights coming in from leftfield means this list isn’t, possibly, what I thought[…]

Top Ten London Art Shows 2016

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The Courtauld Gallery has curated a wonderfully intimate and intriguing display on a private passion that occupied Auguste Rodin during the last two decades of his life. From the end of the nineteenth century, Rodin became fascinated with avant-garde dance forms. He was intrigued by the flexibility of acrobats he[…]

Review: Rodin & Dance, The Courtauld Gallery ‘A Rare Glimpse into a Private Passion’

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Hello everybody So, November’s list is a mix of new shows and those shows that are so impressive I’m listing them again. There’s such a diversity of styles and genres that I’m sure there is something for everybody here (or, at least I hope that there is). And budgets too.[…]

Top Ten London Art November 2016

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OK, so I wanted to write about book covers. And, specifically, my book covers. Largely because I’m not really in a position to comment on how other book covers get chosen (obviously). But also because I’m hoping that insight into issues I had with my cover images may bring into[…]

The Politics of a Book Cover…

Rokeby Venus after being slashed by suffragette Mary Richardson

I’ve wanted to write about anger for a long time. And I mean that both in terms of wanting to have that as a central theme in my books and plays, but also to write a piece about why this is important to me. And why exonerating female anger from[…]

I Want to Write About Anger…

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Hello everybody So, here are my suggestions for those ten art shows around the capital that are thought-provoking, challenging, inspiring, provocative, and all the other descriptive words you can think of. Plenty to see, especially with so many new shows opening. And I’m pleased to say that about half of[…]

Top Ten London Art September 2016

Billie Piper (Her) in Yerma at the Young Vic, photo by Johan Persson (2)

Hello everybody Another month, another list of those shows around London that are worth putting to the top of your list. From big productions in the West End, to new writing at places such as Royal Court, Soho Theatre and the Almeida. We’ve headline-grabbing star turns and terrific ensemble productions.[…]

Top Ten London Theatre September 2016

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There’s a hazy mist of nostalgia to the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibition of the work of celebrated American photographer, William Eggleston. Whether it’s his images of Marcia Hare, basking in the sun on some grassy field, her pale skin and auburn hair glowing like some hippie version of a[…]

William Eggleston Portraits, National Portrait Gallery ‘Beautiful, Evocative Photographs’

Funny Girl - Sheridan Smith (Fanny Brice) by Marc Brenner (1280x854)

The diversity of shows and subjects across the London stages right now is very exciting. We’ve musicals that include everything from erstwhile classics to adaptations of childhood stories, and dramatic theatre that includes revivals of plays from the most famous of writers to works from new faces. Whether you want[…]

Top Ten London Theatre to See in August

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Hello Everybody I hope you’re all OK. It’s been a bruising couple of weeks, huh? So, for those of you looking for a show to either indulge the pain or distract you completely, here’s my top ten list of shows to see in London in July. A Midsummer Night’s Dream,[…]

Top Ten London Theatre July 2016

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So it has come to this… My first foray into reviewing ‘lifestyle.’ Now, to be honest, I’m not 100% sure what ‘lifestyle’ means for everyone else but I’ve always assumed it’s some kind of catch-all for, you know, lifestyle. Like, restaurants, places, things, and so on. Is that right? Who[…]

Sexy Fish, London W1 Review: Passé

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Given its location in Hyde Park, it’s a smart move by Serpentine Gallery to open a show on Alex Katz’s landscapes. Alex’s huge paintings brim with vibrant greens and fields of yellow in brightly lit scenes. And these are offset against other night time scenes where trees are shrouded in[…]

Review: Alex Katz, Serpentine Gallery

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1. Wear Comfortable Shoes And a pedometer. Because, I warn you now, there’s a lot of walking to be done! The extension, known as the Switch House (the original building is known as the Boiler House), is ten floors. Ten whole floors. And with art from the ground floor up,[…]

Top Tips on the New Tate Modern

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So, having just returned from a weekend break in Amsterdam that was, pretty much, solely for the purpose of seeing as much of the city’s impressive art treasures as I could, I thought I would do a quick write up of what I saw, and where, to help guide any[…]

Art in Amsterdam

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Cross-dressing, gunshots, strippers in booths, electrocution, masturbation, rape, drugs in eyeballs, violent assault, forced feeding, straight sex, gay sex, incest with a dead brother, ripping out of tongues, sex reassignment surgery, electro-shock therapy, murder, suicide, war, Blondie and sunflowers. That, people, is Cleansed. This is a tough play. Graphic and[…]

Review: Cleansed, National Theatre ‘You’ll Either Walk Out or Give It a Standing Ovation’

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2015 was a great year for art shows in the capital, with high-profile solo artist shows, such as Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy, John Singer Sargent at the National Portrait Gallery and Goya at the National Gallery, sitting perfectly alongside genre and subject-focused exhibitions, such as post-war British cultural history[…]

Top 15 London Art Shows to See in 2016

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Art matters. And it’s hard to think of a theatre company that has proved that more than Belarus Free Theatre (BFT). Now about to celebrate their tenth anniversary, BFT has persisted against the most extraordinary odds to not just confront oppression, but to create challenging and vital theatre. Belarus Free[…]

Belarus Free Theatre: “The Soviet Union is Still With Us; It’s Just Shifted Shape.”

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June sees Tate Britain opening its two exhibitions for the summer season. Barbara Hepworth opens later this month but Fighting History has just opened and it has taken on a challenging but fascinating subject matter. Its premise is the examination of how wars and political upheavals have been translated into[…]

Fighting History Opens at Tate Britain

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The Harvest is a wonderfully intriguing play. Who would have thought that the simple premise of four workers harvesting apples in an orchard could produce such a warm, witty but dramatic and politically unnerving play? The apples are strung up all over the stage at Soho Theatre. All ripe and[…]

Review: The Harvest, Soho Theatre

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Set in contemporary London, Closer is about four adults and the web of sex, lies and self-deception that connects them. But these are not old school friends or work colleagues but four adults from wildly different backgrounds whose lives collide in dramatic fashion. Their association begins, as all good stories[…]

Review: Closer, Donmar Warehouse

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Li Yuan-chia was an abstract artist who drew inspiration from Western modernism as well as Zen Buddhist and Daoist thinking. He was part of the Ton Fan group of pioneering artists that emerged from Taiwan in the 1950s. However Li would eventually move and settle in the United Kingdom. His[…]

Li Yuan-chia, Tate Modern