ENO’s Tristan falls short of greatness

The English National Opera, London’s second opera company, is in crisis. Earlier this year, its Music Director, Mark Wigglesworth, quit his post after a tenure that lasted barely six months. This follows the 2015 resignation of the company’s Artistic Director in the wake of Arts Council demands for a 25% budget cut, the implementation of […]

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Preview: Splendour

Splendour is a play which delights in being enigmatic. Written by Abi Morgan, screenwriter of Suffragette and The Iron Lady, this claustrophobic character study manages to be disorientating, roundabout, and yet urgently compelling. Kathryn (Natalie Woodward), a photojournalist, is sent to the lavish house of a dictator and his wife, Micheline (Rosie Richards), in “a […]

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The Unenthusiastic Vegetarian

So I’m a vegetarian. Great! But that’s about it really: I don’t eat meat. I’m not particularly excited by the many opportunities cutting meat of all forms, out of my life possesses. I could revolutionise the way I eat. Venture into new and exciting dishes, with foods I’ve never tried before as compensation for the […]

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Jazz up your January

When I look back at my Hilary term last year, it was nothing short of dull. The excitement of freshers’ week had long since dissipated, aside from one glorious bout of snowfall in February, the weather remained damp at best and Arctic at worst, whilst my idealistic Michaelmas expectations of being enlightened by the written […]

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‘And Breathe…’ is a welcome breath of fresh air

Jayne Wilton has spent the last decade exploring the act of breathing, collaborating variously with particle physicists to capture the ephemeral phenomenon which we take, so often, for granted. ‘And Breathe…’ combines selections from ‘Drawing Breath’, ‘Expire’ and ‘Breathe’ – studies on “evocative records of moments in time” made tangible through novel methods of capture, […]

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Sherlock Holmes: has the great detective still got it?

Although I was asked to write on a fictional character I secretly wish was real, I unashamedly confess that not only do I publicly hope Sherlock Holmes existed, but I often convince myself that he did in fact walk the streets of Victorian London. No other character exhibits such charisma, presence of mind and incredible […]

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Emin’s bed returns to the Tate

Tracey Emin’s art has brought her notoriety in the form of violently divided opinion: she is regarded as provocative, attention-seeking, and unartistic, as well as powerful, visionary, and of great cultural and artistic significance. I would argue that she is all of the above, and these descriptors are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Her rise to […]

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Treasures from afar: Banana Yoshimoto

Kitchen, the English-language debut of Japanese writer Banana Yoshimoto, like the most of the books I buy these days (perpetually skint student that I am) was discovered in a charity shop. I picked it up because it looked to be a very interesting character study by a writer from a culture I was very interested […]

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Everything but the kitchen sink

Linda Nochlin, in her 1988 book Women, Art and Power and Other Essays, asks, “Why are there no great female artists?” The answer is that we are looking in the wrong places. Rather than unearthing unappreciated women artists from history, or rediscovering forgotten female painters, “ the question involves shifting the ground slightly and asserting, as some contemporary […]

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Review: HUG

A cappella is a genre that has been much in vogue recently, most notably with the success of the American musical comedy film Pitch Perfect in 2012. I have often unconsciously pigeonholed the genre as ‘light’ music, associating it with doo-wop bands, cheesy barbershop quartets, and groups like Fascinating Aida, who have used a cappella for vicious […]

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