All posts filed under: arts journalism

Life With Three Little Letters

Today is World AIDS Day. We’ve come a long way in our society, reducing fear and stigma, advancements in medicine, and not only life expectancy but also quality of life for those suffering has improved drastically. Yet, there is still so much more that needs to be done – and the only way to do that is to raise awareness, and to share the stories of those still living with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. I had never directly known someone affected by HIV or AIDS until I was twenty. My life, for the most part, has been sheltered. I’ve written about my privilege before – I grew up in New York City and went to the U.N. school, both very rich and wonderful experiences. Yet, I will say in some ways I was sheltered. During my third year at college I was approached by the head of our theatre department, and asked to research and write an interview based play about our local AIDS Service Organisation, The Alliance For Living. I immediately said yes. Telling my story is my way …

Searching For Catharsis

I just finished Leslie Jamison’s collection of confessional essays, The Empathy Exams. It took me a while to get through the dense, informed, and emotionally exhausting essays but once I did I was glad i took the time to go through them slowly. I have a few clear favourites, and some I skipped because they didn’t grab me, but on the whole I thought The Empathy Exams was a well written and thoughtful collection that every girl and woman should read. One of the things I loved most about Jamison’s writing is its present tense narration. That definitely grabs you – it’s something that many a creative writing professor has discouraged my M.A. peers and I from using, but I found it brought the reader very close to the moments Jamison was recounting. It is this closeness she both evokes and writes about. In her final essay, undoubtedly the strongest and most meaningful, she discusses feminine pain at great length, but never once (in my recollection) talks about catharsis. I see catharsis as a mirror of empathy, a selfish …

A Utopian Dystopia – Real Life and Every Secret Thing

I spent yesterday hanging out with my girl Genna – a fellow American in London, we decided to ‘celebrate’ by drinking in Hampstead Heath. And what beautiful weather we had! Two bottles of prosecco + strawberries + crisps & hummus = a perfect Saturday. But what I love most about hanging out with Genna is how easy it is to talk to her. We’ve got similar tastes and political leanings, but are different enough to balance each other out, and honest enough with each other to keep our friendship in check. We talk about a lot of things, but one thing we talked about was girl-girl friendships; what they need to for longevity, and to remain healthy and happy! This morning I watched a film called Every Secret Thing based on a novel by Laura Lippman. The film doesn’t get great reviews, but I loved it. I watched it with my flatmate and friend, and we remarked on something really interesting – the film is pretty diverse, and pretty feminist. The two (arguably three) main couples are all interracial. …

Girl Crush: Emma Morley – Black Heart Magazine

While meandering through Spitalfields market one afternoon, I saw a copy of David Nicholls’One Day sat on a table full of £3 novels. Its cover caught my eye, but instead I purchased a copy of Dorian Grey. All the way home my boyfriend insisted I read One Day, and reminded me that he had in fact leant me the book several weeks ago. A week later I cracked open the cover; in two days I had devoured the whole thing. And I had fallen in love with Emma Morley. Read more… Originally published at Black Heart Magazine  

Under Milk Wood @ Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia Festival – The Metropolist

The final night of the Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia Festival culminated in a collage of Welsh voices, brought to life by a powerhouse cast, led fantastically by the inimitable Owen Teale. It’s no surprise Terry Hands’ Under Milk Wood on Sunday night played to a sold out crowd. From fresh-faced youngsters to venerated artists like Sir Ian McKellen, many gathered in order to see and hear the many stories of Llareggub’s inhabitants brought to life. Read more…

Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia Festival Preview – The Metropolist

If there’s one thing Dylan Thomas would get behind, it’s “Poetry on the streets, poetry in pubs, poetry shouted, sung and celebrated with music, food, film, exhibitions, performances and live events”. And that’s exactly what the week long Dylan Thomas in Fitzrovia festival promises it’s guests. From the 20th – 26th of October the already bustling area of Fitzrovia, London will be full of Thomas-related events to partake in. Read more…

A Fine Beginning: Falling in Love with Samuel Benett from Adventures in the Skin Trade

There is something undeniably enticing about the narrator (“call him Samuel Bennet”) of Dylan Thomas’ unfinished novel Adventures in the Skin Trade. Published as part of a collection in 1953, the eponymous piece of prose details Bennet’s migration from his home in Wales (Thomas’ own home) to London. What the young Samuel Bennet encounters, however, is far from his expectations. It is the shattering of this dream, and Bennet’s own strangely artistic nihilism, that makes him so enthralling. Read more…

Richard II @ The Barbican

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II has, amongst its arsenal of powerhouse actors, one particularly massive draw: David Tennant. The billboards that plaster the underground feature not Richard II on his throne, but David Tennant converse clad with sceptre in hand. RSC made the most of their star performer’s clout and immeasurable popularity for marketing’s sake. It is no surprise that David Tennant lived up to the hype and delivered a shiver enduing performance as deposed monarch Richard II. Read more…