My daughter wants to be an actress. Words that should strike fear into the heart of any right thinking parent. I've gently tried to discourage her from what I perceive as a harsh life, but she comes alive on stage and has held on to this ambition to the exclusion of other childhood dreams. Luckily my daughter is only seven and there is plenty of time for sense to prevail, but were she to continue on her path, what should she know?
Conversely, whether in print or online, critics with experience, expertise and a sense of responsibility should be championed. Those guiding voices make an essential contribution, with respected critical approbation translating into financial backing for many institutions and projects, and new voices handed a megaphone.
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.
As our audiences arrive at Shoreditch Town Hall, they're divided into two teams. Their objective is simple: to beat the other side. As the show goes on, the actions become more extreme, the morality more blurred. The choice between A and B becomes harder to make as the pressure on you to make it becomes higher. If the game is violence and the goal is victory, will you win at all cost or will you play to lose?
Earlier this month I got to sit down with master illusionist, his words not mine, Hans Klok for a little chat about his new show The Houdini Experience. I am an award winning (and highly modest) mind-reader who can't read minds, whose always loved magic, but illusions, just haven't excited me. Has Hans managed to change that with his first London show. You know what? I think he has.
Go to any amateur comedy night next month and you’ll almost certainly hear the following phrase: “When I was in Edinburgh recently…” W...