Review | Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš

On the face of it, Flesh-Coloured Dominoes is a book of two novels spliced together: its chapters alternate between two wildly different narratives. One is a bildungsroman of sorts that sees the Second World War through the eyes of an unnamed first-person narrator, a young orphan growing up in Riga; the other is set in the 18th century in Vidzeme – part of modern-day Latvia – and aptly centres on a very literal, very macabre case of conjoining two odd halves to make a whole [...]

Review | Three Women at The Trafalgar Studios

Katy Brand’s Three Women at the Trafalgar Studios offers a representation of the title across respective and somewhat stereotypical generations. Suzanne, a crystal-loving 40-year old played by...

Review | Jellyfish at the National Theatre

Ben Weatherhill wrote Jellyfish specifically for the actress Sarah Gordy, and after seeing her incredible performance at The National Theatre, you can see why....

Review | The Dressing-Up Box and Other Stories by David Constantine

David Constantine’s fifth collection of short stories, The Dressing-Up Box and Other Stories, is ostensibly about loss, conflict and loneliness. His characters are driven to the edge as they struggle to engage with the world and must deal with their suffering. Yet, throughout the collection, the author clings to the promise of hope during turbulent times [...]

Review | Killed Negatives at Whitechapel Gallery

A woman slumps at a table, one eye guarded and watchful, the other replaced by a perfect circle of blackness. In the frame next...

Review | Fragmented Dialogues – Art and Identity in 1980s Chile

Fragmented Dialogues: Mario Fonseca & Mauricio Valenzuela, Art & Identity in 1980s Chile is currently on display at the Austin Desmond Fine Art Gallery,...

Review | Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

Orange World and Other Stories, Karen Russell, Penguin, pp. 288, £14.99 (hardcover)Karen Russell’s third short story collection Orange World is every bit as inventive...

Review | The Magic Flute at the Royal Opera House

Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte returns to the Royal Opera House in the seventh revival of David McVicar’s incredible production. There is good reason that this...

Review | End of the Pier at the Park Theatre

Review | End of the Pier by Danny RobinsBy Francis BeckettMike is a successful stand-up comic with his own television show.  His father Bobby...

Review | Absolute Hell – Pissed In Purgatory

Rodney Ackland’s play ‘Absolute Hell’ (at the National Theatre until 16 June) is like spying on a drunken party through a club door. The...

Review | Not Like Their Mothers: Ambai & Uhart

This autumn, Archipelago Books published two short story collections in translation: A. Ambai’s A Kitchen in the Corner of the House, translated by the late Lakshmi Holmström, and Hebe Uhart’s The Scent of Buenos Aires, translated by Maureen Shaughnessy. Ambai’s and Uhart’s collections reveal each author’s range as a storyteller [...]

Review | A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wilton’s Music Hall

Sitting in Wilton’s Music Hall on a sticky summer evening during a heatwave, it is not hard to find yourself lulled into the tale...

Review | Circa at Old Red Lion Theatre

Circa, written by Tom Ratcliffe and directed by Andy Twyman is meant to be a story about modern gay life. I say meant to,...

Review | Parsifal at Bayreuth Festspiele

Uwe Eric Laufenberg's thought-provoking, sometimes flawed production of Parsifal is revived for audiences at the Bayreuth Festspiele. The Bayreuth Festspiele is a type of pilgrimage...

Review | Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2019 at The Photographers’...

Each room immerses the viewer in the artist’s expert documentation. We are encouraged to do more than just observe the photographs; the emphasis seems...

Review | Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die by Amber...

“You can take an empty space and call it a bare stage”, Amber Massie-Blomfield opens her book with this evocative statement and thus begins...

Review | Billy Budd at Royal Opera House

For the first time in almost twenty years, Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd returns home to the Royal Opera House in this co-production with Rome...

Review | In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

People, generally speaking, do not want to read a memoir on abuse. It’s not that readers do not care for the subject; in fact, caring is what makes it hard. Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House is noteworthy for many reasons, but for this most of all: Machado will keep you reading when you most want to turn away. Three hundred or so pages packed with emotional manipulation and physical terror is, unsurprisingly, a challenge for readers [...]

Review | Love, Rage – and Laughter by Alex Diggins

It is hard to smile at the apocalypse. Extinction Rebellion, the global climate crisis movement occupying cities and social media feeds from Cairo to Melbourne, signs its newsletters: ‘In love and rage’. The climate-induced societal breakdown is, this sign off implies, no laughing matter. Higher ideals and deeper, more searching emotions [...]

Review | La Fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House

Donizetti’s familial, romantic French comedy has its fourth revival in Laurent Pelly’s fabulous production at the Royal Opera House. The opera is about Marie, who...

Review | The Inheritance at The Young Vic

The Inheritance stands at almost seven hours long: Matthew Lopez’s two-part, self-aware epic on the legacy of gay men past-and present. Treating everything from...

Review | September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem by...

September 1, 1939: A Biography of a Poem, Ian Sansom, Harper Collins Publishers, 2019, 352 pp, £16.99 (hardback) W.H. Auden’s image in the popular imagination...

Review | The Nowhere Man by Kamala Markandaya

"Real danger is never born of anything concrete. There are only words in the beginning," writes Kamala Markandaya. There were 71,251 race-related hate crimes recorded in 2017/18, according to a Home Office report. That’s an average of 195 racist incidents every day [...]

Review | Florida by Lauren Groff

A recurring character binds the eleven stories in Lauren Groff’s Florida. Sometimes she is narrator and protagonist. Some of the stories never mention her—...

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