'Northern Flight' has seldom left my mind since it finished. It provides an emotive exploration of the issues that lie at the heart of the city's identity. Patrick's words to me at the end of our interview have filled my thoughts and followed me through the streets of this beautiful city: "Liverpool is a city that tells you that you can do something, rather than that you can't."
Nicholas Hytner's Othello was so good I saw it twice. It's not the first time Sir Nick has wowed the critics. And I somehow doubt it will be the last. I perch comfortably outside his office, staring at black-and-white action shots of hit after hit: Adrian Lester in Henry V, Simon Russell Beale in Much Ado About Nothing, James Corden in One Man, Two Guv'nors. If there's such thing as a grammar of theatre, Hytner is fluent in it.
One soggy afternoon in January when I had nothing to do, an unfortunately usual occurrence, I started to trawl the Internet for something to busy myself with. A few half-witted articles and a lot of porn later, I very much stumbled upon a web series entitled 'The Outs'. It was free. And I began to watch.
Vengeance is the darkest of human emotions. It is the belief that any injury that a person deals to you must be returned in kind. At its worst, it leads to feuds and atrocities; reprisals on top of reprisals. The Troubles in Northern Ireland could have ended so much sooner had it not been on for the desperation of either side to let no slight go unpunished. Yet for all this, it is surprisingly common for it to be glorified in the most unlikely of places.
In the olden days before catch up TV the annual Labour and Tory party conferences were guaranteed political barn fests. Revolts amongst the delegates, errant trade union bosses, and pro-hanging would-be Tory MPs were as commonplace as bare breasted women in HBO's Games of Thrones. Passion and politics mattered.