Last week, my first novel was published. I didn't, in all honesty, have any clue what to expect: it's not as though there's a training course called 'How To Be A First-Time Novelist' which lays out what's going to happen... I thought I'd share my top ten things every author needs to know before their first time.
A Taste of Honey was one of the few plays I studied at school where my love for the piece wasn't ruined by lacklustre teaching. And in this passionate and dramatic revival at the National Theatre, all those ingredients that made the play so revolutionary when it debuted remain.
London College of Music, final year Musical Theatre students, attempt their biggest feat yet; staging a brand new musical in the heart of the West-End. 'Bel-Ami, by Alex Loveless, opens this evening at the Charing Cross Theatre. I can already sense the growing nerves as the Dress-run ends and the performers begin to prepare for their world premiere.
The rise of 'resale' sites - on-line companies which hoover up large swathes of tickets before selling them on at grossly inflated prices - has helped create a price-hike which has seen the average ticket in London's West End driven from £28.84 in 2001 - to £45.12 at the end of the decade.
Since Sochi was selected as host for the Winter Olympics, there has been a general sense of dismay among the Russian intellectual elites and public figures. Boris Nemtsov, one of the members of the opposition, famously said "You'd have to spend a long time searching the map of this huge country to find someplace with no snow"
On this day, 20 years ago, the film-maker, painter, sculptor, gardener, author and queer rights activist Derek Jarman died of HIV. One of Britain's leading post-1945 avant garde artists, he is best remembered for his dazzling array of ground-breaking films. But it was as a HIV and queer rights campaigner that I knew him best.
In the process from script to screen sacrifices have to be made. One of the scenes we were all delighted with was a ménage a trois where a woman ends up in bed with one man dressed as the Bristol Rovers pirate and the other as Bristol City's confusingly-named mascot Scrumpy the Robin. Unfortunately neither football club would give us permission to desecrate their poor mascots.
George Condo's work is instantly recognisable, his subjects, manically grinning, bug eyed and brimming with insanity.
This month however, I attended one such event that seemed to have ticked all the right boxes to actually make a difference. Fusing the mediums of spoken word and poetry set against a backdrop of Turner paintings, Late at Tate Britain, housed a captivating poetry event as part of National Storytelling Week 14th anniversary.
Last week I worked a 'gentlemen's evening'. Pause for a second. Appreciate that phrase from a purely literal perspective. Now, forget the literal meaning because there is nothing gentlemanly about gentleman's evenings.
Allegedly the original Martini was made from Plymouth gin, and the cocktail is basically a way of drinking ice cold neat gin with a dash of something to soften the intensity. But that celebratory post-prohibition alcohol-fest belies the sophistication of a well-mixed Martini.
How do you make programmes about books that people actually want to watch? And who - or what - should fill the gap left by the absence of books on mainstream TV? Macmillan clearly hope they've found the answer
Many people disregard the allure of the classic writers, seeing them as old, established, and jaded. Yet, in their day, these writers were the revolutionaries, cutting edge writing with cutting edge messages, and I challenge anyone looking at them anew to place themselves in the mindset of the reader of the time - even swap mental genders if you like - and see them as they were intended.
In this post-Snowden age, where privacy it seems is all but dead, a reinterpretation of Orwell's Big Brother and the omnipresent surveillance state certainly has a lot to offer. But this production at the Almeida is over-engineered, with high concept overwhelming the text, creating an inconsistent, uneven show.
Just recovering from painful times, uncertain about the future and with a clear understanding that a new Socio-economical system need to be created to avoid making the same mistake? No, I am not talking about the current times, I am describing how the World felt after the Second World War and how the artists responded to it in the 50's and 60's
Our growing insistence on giving each other prizes is creating a culture that's beginning to seem like Sports Day at a progressive kindergarten, where no child goes home empty-handed, even if they fell over before their race began.