Mary Harron: directing the undirectable

It’s hard not to feel depressingly boring when you interview Mary Harron. She’s incredibly rock’n’roll, wearing leather trousers at 50 which I can’t pull off at 20, and confidently moves from talking about her childhood spent on film sets (her first step-mother was scouted by Stanley Kubrick) to Christian Bale’s “bionic” ability to sweat on command. 

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Director Vicky Jewson: ‘How often do you see a real female action hero?’

Oxford is in Vicky Jewson’s blood. Born in the John Radcliffe Hospital, she has lived in or around the city for most of her life. For her first film, Lady Godiva, the streets of Oxford doubled for Coventry. Her second, Born of War, uses Oxford more explicitly. A local girl, who struggles to fit in […]

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Interview Ramin Gray: “There is some delicious irony in turning up without any actors”

After a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ramin Gray’s production of Blind Hamlet is now touring around Europe. The play that uses audience participation, no actors and audio recordings of the writer, Nassim Soleimanpour, has been called a “ground-breaking” piece of theatre. As a linguist yourself, having read Arabic and Persian at Oxford, and, of […]

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From ‘First Kiss’ to ‘Undress Me’ – awkwardly juggling science and Cyrus

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKZa-Kb4Nng]   Perhaps I am revealing myself as a cynic, but Tatia Pilieva’s ‘First Kiss’ (a video of ten pairs of strangers sharing a kiss) was, as the tender examination of romance it was purported to be, pretty excruciating. The “beautiful moments [that] took place when nothing was happening”, in the words of Pilieva, […]

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Easy Access: Chatting to Claire Dowie

Claire Dowie has beef with theatre. A veteran director, writer and performer, she is renowned for her gut-punching plays: funny, visceral and intense, usually for solo performance, and always political. And yet she cannot stand the world of which she is usually considered a part. “You sit there in the audience and you’re watching these […]

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The Shrew Must Go On: Kiss Me Kate at The Old Vic

Brando meets Shakespeare: always a winning combination, surely.  Rebecca Hazel Roughan lets us know if Trevor Nunn’s 1940’s musical take on The Taming of the Shrew toes the line.      As an English undergrad, any excuse to watch reworked Shakespeare is greeted gladly. This season, the all-female Julius Caesar seems to be the pinnacle of sophistication, […]

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