Character assassination? The theatre takes on Trump

Posted on Jun 16, 2017 | 0 comments

written for the Financial Times, 16 June 2017 “Who is it in the press that calls on me?” Amid the roar of spectators a blond, coiffed demagogue picks out a heckler in the crowd, his overlong red tie swinging below his waist as he bestrides the stage. This is Julius Caesar, Roman general and title...

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Theresa May rejected the Tory detoxification project. That’s what’s behind this mess.

Posted on Jun 9, 2017 | 0 comments

an edited version of this column appeared in The Guardian, 9 June 2017, the day after the 2017 General Election. Most people have heard of the term “detoxification”; it’s a familiar entry in the lexicon of food fads. Detoxing your body isn’t a pleasant process. Like Michael Gove, I recently went...

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The future of the monarchy has potential to be our next crisis

Posted on Nov 25, 2016 | 0 comments

an edited version of this column appeared in the Financial Times, 25 November 2016 It is November 2018. President Trump arrives for a state dinner at Buckingham Palace, his arm around the de facto first lady, Ivanka. An official photograph from the White Drawing Room is flashed around the world: the...

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King Lear with Glenda Jackson, Old Vic Theatre SE1

Posted on Nov 9, 2016 | 0 comments

reviewed for The Wall Street Journal, 9 November 2016 In 1971, in a Chicago Tribune interview, Glenda Jackson summed up her career. In Ken Russell’s “The Music Lovers,” she had recently played Tchaikovsky’s hyper-sexed, institutionalized wife; her first hit on Broadway had been Peter Weiss’s...

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Theresa May is more of a young Victoria than Queen Elizabeth I

Posted on Sep 4, 2016 | 0 comments

written for The Telegraph, 30 August 2016 Ever since Theresa May arrived in Downing Street, friends and enemies have sought to find another woman to whom we can compare her – and each time come up with Margaret Thatcher. Now the PM has caused a stir by citing Elizabeth I as a role model in a carefully...

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Yerma at the Young Vic, SE1

Posted on Aug 5, 2016 | 0 comments

reviewed for The Times,  5 August 2016 Remember when Billie Piper was a toothy teen? No, me neither. But if any ghosts still lingered of Piper’s pop tart youth — synthetic disco anthems and that wedding to Chris Evans — they vanished for good last night in an extraordinary theatrical triumph at...

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