To this day I remember taking this photograph. I was so stunned by the beauty of the sunset that I had to make it timeless. It was this moment when I realised just how passionate I am about photography, and how happy and relaxed it makes me. If you’re anything like me and enjoy translating the world’s beauty into a form of art, read on and I’ll share some tips for developing your talent.
The Art School, 7th March 2017
This performance is one of paradoxes so stark I am left speechless and puzzling. Both intimate and public, grotesque and beautiful, painful and inspiring. Nando Messias manages to effectively erase the boundaries of gender, performativity and agency.
Dir. Douglas Rintoul, Theatre Royal, 12th – 17th June
It’s common knowledge that Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was intended to draw obvious parallels between the mania of the 1692 Salem witch hunt featured in the play and the paranoia of McCarthy-era America. Hunting for fictional witches and hunting for would-be Communists amounts to pretty much the same thing: displaced terror and unnecessary disruption. But politicised theatre has a habit of remaining relevant for long after its envisioned lifespan, and as director Douglas Rintoul states, ‘there’s a palpable sense that this 1950s play is for now’. It’s clear that in their recent performance of The Crucible, Selladoor Productions are intent on creating another analogy: between the terrified, socially anxious, misogynistic society of colonial America and today’s skewed political climate. Reassuring, eh?
On our right side are big bushes of bright yellow gore with grass behind them, running right up to the shoreline; there the sea begins. A sheet of blue, changing in colour and depth as far as the eye can see. On our left side lie mountains, an occasional glen with a path running through it, fields with horses, a row of white houses form a tiny village. We are walking on the road that goes all the way around the island. It’s an exciting thought – if we just kept walking we would come full circle right back to the spot we are standing at now. It would take a while – the circumnavigating coast road is 56 miles – but still. Our feet can take us anywhere.
Dir. Matthew Bourne, King’s Theatre, 8th – 10th June
Matthew Bourne’s latest offering, The Red Shoes, is a real visual and imaginative treat. Based on the acclaimed 1948 British film starring Moira Shearer, which itself draws heavily upon and features a ballet adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s ominous fairy tale ‘The Red Shoes’, it’s certainly a ballet with a lot of intertextual influences.
Dir. Julia Midtgard, The Old Hairdressers, 1st-2nd June
If in-yer-face theatre is ‘the kind of theatre which grabs the audience by the scruff of the neck and shakes it until it gets the message’, then Anthony Neilson’s Penetrator performed by Fear No Colours Theatre leaves the audience and their neck scruffs well and truly shook. However, as for the translation of a message, the play explores the hypermasculinity and aggressive sexuality masking subdued desire which penetrates the lives of the play’s three characters: Max, Alan, and Tadge. Yet despite this expedition into masculinity, the writing at times collapses into what feels like one elongated, homophobic rape joke.
Like queers, suffragettes and impressionist painters have shown us, using an insult as a way to identify yourself and the group you belong to can diminish the power of the pejorative. This is exactly what happened to the term ‘Nasty Women’, proudly reclaimed by women all over the US and the rest of the world after Trump used it to refer to Hillary Clinton. This collection of essays celebrates women standing up to Trump, the far-right, sexism, and racism, but mainly just standing up for themselves.