sun 17/11/2019

new writing

Irenosen Okojie: Nudibranch review - twisted and funny

Visceral, gaudy, alien, otherworldly to the point of being almost improbably imaginative, the nudibranch serves as an appropriate figure for Nigerian-British writer Irenosen Okojie’s muscularly surrealist prose. Look up a picture of one if you haven...

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Sydney & the Old Girl, Park Theatre review - black comedy too melodramatic

Actor Miriam Margolyes is a phenomenon. Not only has this Dickensian starred in high-profile shows both here and in Australia, a country whose citizenship she took up in 2013, but she is also Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter films. And a...

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On Bear Ridge, Royal Court review - Rhys Ifans's tragicomic masterclass

Memory involves places, people, things and words, especially words. This abstract proposition is given knotty life in Welsh playwright Ed Thomas's extraordinary new play, On Bear Ridge, which comes to the Royal Court after opening at the Sherman...

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Sarah Hall: Sudden Traveller review - lyrical and luminous

Movement, flight, searching, the quest for a destination: as its title might suggest, Sarah Hall’s latest story collection Sudden Traveller is preoccupied with journeys of one kind or another. From the Cumbrian moors to a city in the near East, a...

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Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

She has more armed guards than she has luggage. She has a sense of purpose even Magsalin admires. She rides along the coast toward a historic place and, by simply stepping on its soil, she will accomplish her duty. An homage to the dead, but not...

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Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

She had clutched the envelope given by the shy messenger, but she had never opened it. The Intended.True. The message from the director was for her.A joke between them—a bond.Though in her view he was no Kurtz: all he wanted was to finish his film....

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Shuck 'n' Jive, Soho Theatre review - a mixed bag, lots of promise

Shuck 'n' Jive is an hour-long two-hander about writing a play about being black in a white industry. The industry? Theatre. Performance. The stage.Simone (played by Olivia Onyehara), an opera singer, is from Lincolnshire. Cassi (played by Tanisha...

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Book extract: Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

At first, what puts Magsalin off at the pastry shop is Chiara’s voice. It is nasal, and her monotone, a bored flatness, even in the most interesting parts, keeps Magsalin, or the pastry shop waitress, or anyone else willing to listen amid the humid...

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Zadie Smith: Grand Union review – a roller coaster collection

“Adorable cock, nothing too dramatic, suitable for many situations,” remarks Monica on the penis of her university boyfriend. She is the candid protagonist of ‘Sentimental Education’, the second of 19 short stories that form Grand Union, an eclectic...

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Our Lady of Kibeho, Theatre Royal Stratford East review - heaven and hell in Rwandan visions

The American dramatist Katori Hall has created a work of rare accomplishment in Our Lady of Kibeho, a play that combines a beautifully established picture of a particular world – a church school in rural Rwanda, in the early 1980s – with profound...

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Mother of Him, Park Theatre review – lean domestic drama unsure where it stands

Mother of Him was written a decade ago, but its most prescient moment happens in the first five minutes of Max Lindsay's production at the Park Theatre. Brenda Kapowitz (Tracy-Ann Oberman) presents a sheaf of papers to Robert (Simon Hepworth, ...

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Faith, Hope & Charity, National Theatre review - a grim compassion

Alexander Zeldin continues his devastating analysis of modern Britain in this culminating play of a (very loose) trilogy that started with 2014’s Beyond Caring, followed by LOVE two years after that. These are bleak dramas that show human...

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