Theatre review: “Chavs” at the Lyric, Hammersmith

The dramatisation of Owen Jones’ Chavs explores the British class system through stereotypes.

Owen Jones was inspired to write Chavs: the demonization of the working class, his polemic on class hatred in the UK, when friends at a dinner party jokingly lamented the demise of Woolworths, asking “where would all the chavs get their Christmas presents.”

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Mentioned in The Week…

Photo: Charlotte Henley

The Week quotes from my Wild Swans review for its drama section…

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The Hunter S – a new pub in Dalston

An artist's impression of Hunter S Thompson. Photo by Abode of Chaos

Just when people were advised not to start up a business during a recession, one company has proved them wrong.

Two years ago Seven-Eighths Ltd opened The Hemingway in London Fields – and last month the organisation opened The Hunter S on the edge of Dalston.

Tucked into a corner just south of Ball’s Pond Road, the Hunter S is named, like the Hemingway, after the literary great. Ruairi Gilles, Director of Seven-Eighths Limited and an owner of both pubs, says that the two men are examples of “great writers and great drinkers.”


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Speed Dating: it’s that time of year

Valentine’s Day is never easy when you’re perennially single. Scrap that: no time is easy, especially when you fall for people who barely notice your existence and have a mother who, despite being atheist, might well pray daily for your romantic success.

I am the Bridget Jones of 2012. And what do I do? I take up speed dating.

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Interview with Eve Myles


Eve Myles c. Starz Entertainment

Eve Myles is excited. I can tell this because her raspy Welsh tones which caress my ears are punctuated with throaty laughter. Though I know she’s had a string of interviewers this morning, the sweet sing-song accent asking, “How are you today?” seduces me into thinking I’m special.

Myles has every reason to be full of life. Fresh out of the rite of passage that is the successful BBC series – in this case Torchwood – she will be returning to the stage in February to star as Emma in Zach Braff’s Broadway hit All New People at the Duke of York Theatre.

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Shame – Review

Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan c. Queenie & the dew

So dominant has the hype been for Shame that part of me thought I knew what I was in for. But even if every review I devoured had indulged in laying bare each character and giving away the entire plot, there is something about the power of brilliant cinema that stirs the soul. Steve McQueen’s second feature film presents a brave and uninhibited portrayal of sex addiction – a condition that has rarely been tackled seriously by mainstream media – and, as with any addiction, its threat to destabilise relationships and life itself.

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The Deep Blue Sea: can the issues stay afloat in the 21st century?

Rachel Weisz stars as Hester in Davies' film (c.aclu.socal)

The Deep Blue Sea producer Sean O’Connor is the first to admit that his new film is difficult to relate to. “Some people will find it inaccessible”, he tells me when I meet him in the week following the film’s release. “It’s deliberately highbrow.”

Both O’Connor and director Terence Davies were impatient to adapt Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play for screen, and 2011, the centenary of Rattigan’s birth, seemed like the perfect opportunity. This year has borne witness to a Rattigan revival in theatres across the UK: Flare Path at the Theatre Royal; Cause Célèbre at the Old Vic; The Deep Blue Sea at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. But how relevant is The Deep Blue Sea, and its tale of a repressed upper-class woman, today?

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