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Review: Strange and Familiar

26th March 2016 | Theatre

Review: Strange and Familiar

Strange and Familiar is the title of the new exhibit (curated by Martin Parr) and is the perfect title for a show that is both strange and familiar to all those who visit it.

This show is about modern Britain. All of it. Parr has collected the work of non-British photographers who have done projects in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to give an almost anthropological look at the people of Britain. The locations will be familiar, as they are places that Britons have been to or lived in, but the perspective that we see it through is one that is both strange to us, and strange to those taking the photos.

One of the first thing that interested me about the show is who is mainly portrayed in these photographs. It is not the rich, or even the middle class who are the main subjects of this show, but it is instead the working classes. However, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. According to the 2013 British Social Attitude survey, 60% of Britons identify themselves as working class, a statistic the same level as when the survey was taken in 1983. It would seem then, that the choice to focus on the working classes is really just a reflection on the way that we are viewed by the outside world. We are, as a nation, a lot less Downton Abbey than we would like to think.

Although all of the work is really good, there were a few artists who really caught my eye. Bruce Gilden’s (American) collection of close up faces of members of the public, with such a detailed lens that you can see every contour, every line and blemish on their skin. These images have been blown up to…

Review: Welcome Home, Captain Fox

26th March 2016 | Theatre

Review: Welcome Home, Captain Fox

Welcome Home Captain Fox, the new play at the Donmar Warehouse, gives us an interesting and humorous view of what makes up a family. But is it a night to remember, or one easily forgotten?

Gene (Rory Keenan) has completely lost his memory and is taken to a US army psychiatric ward after being exchanged from a east german prison. He is then taken out of the ward by the society debutante Marcy DuPont DeFort (Katherine Kingsley) and her much older and much more cynical husband DeWitt DuPont DeFort (Danny Webb). Marcy wishes to use Gene, who she suspects, due to his accent, that he might be from Long Island, and so she decides that she will go around houses that have sons matching his description that went missing during the war. The first one he goes to are the Fox’s, who lost their son, Jack Fox, when he went to war, partially due to trouble within the family itself. The Fox’s take him in, believing him to be their Jack. Is this his family? Does he like his “family”? What will happen if he doesn't?

The first good thing to say about this production is it’s very strong sense of 50’s style. For fans of such movies as Some Like it Hot and Gentleman Prefer Blondes, this show is very much aimed at you. Everything from the french music in the scene changes to the writing that is both dramatic and witty throughout. This play is all about relationships of every kind, and knows that this will be a big draw of the show and so really focuses itself on these scene. The most compelling scenes of the play are results of characters such as Mrs Fox and George being left alone with what is (allegedly) their…

Live Blog: 16th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

21st February 2016 | Theatre

Live Blog: 16th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards

This LIVE BLOG will launch at 6.45pm from the Prince of Wales Theatre, London.

6.45pm We're here, live from the Prince of Wales Theatre in London at the WhatsOnStage Awards! We can hear Nicole Kidman talking downstairs... it's nice to have a different accent in the house.

6.51pm People are arriving in their droves... Sorry, we mean dresses! A little update on the KidmanCam - we can still hear her beautiful Aussie accent and it'd be ace if she came up to talk to us. Just sayin'.

7.00pm And the show has begun! The curtain has lifted, the lights are on, and I'm really trying to be funny/satirical but I'm finding it difficult amongst all of the excitement. Ask me in a couple of hours though, I'm sure it would have worn off.

7.10pm The show has kicked off with Steve Furst singing a lil piece and ending on (you guessed it) a chorus line. Also name dropping Dame Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton (both up for awards tonight)...

7.18pm The Furst song is over (see what we did there) and now onto tonight's proceedings (and the first of MANY Orange Juices).

7.19pm Alright, now time for serious business. It's time for the Equity Award for Servics to Theatre presented by Sarah Hadland (TV star).

7.23pm And the winner is Kenneth Branagh! What a way to kick off the night.

7.27pm And the winners are piling on! The award for Best New Play has gone to Photograph 51. We're expecting to hear Kidman's voice again very very soon...

7.28pm The award for Best Play Revival goes to Hamlet. (My fingers are starting to get tired)

7.33pm It's starting to get mega busy here - and just as Dame Judi Dench…