'DESTINY' Expertly, Sadly Explores What It Means to be a Teenage Girl: Review

In this digital play, writer Florence Espeut-Nickless shares the experiences of the eponymous Destiny, a 16-year-old growing up in rural Wiltshire. Sporting a candy pink velour tracksuit and coordinated make up, the fearless teen has big hoops and even bigger dreams. With references to MTV Base, shell toe trainers, and EastEnders’ Stacey and Bradley (RIP), Destiny is a painfully Noughties play. A ferocious and confident storyteller—with plenty of life experience to share—Chippenham girl Destin

Ballywalter (Film Review)

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movies being covered here wouldn't exist. Affectionately referred to as “the arse end of nowhere” by Ballywalter's caustic cab driver Eileen (Seana Kerslake, A Date for Mad Mary, Can't Cope Won't Cope), the titular Northern Irish village is more humdrum than happening. It may not boast the bright lights of nearby Belfast, but this sleepy townland is home to so

Seriously Red (Film Review)

Beloved for her big hair and even bigger heart, Dolly Parton has carved a career as a singer, actress, philanthropist, and all-round icon. She is an inspiration to millions, including the protagonist of Krew Boylan's new romantic comedy, Seriously Red. Screenwriter and main character, Krew Boylan is naïve Australian realtor Raylene “Red” Delaney. Red is named for her fire-coloured hair and leads a humdrum existence of property valuation and pen-pushing. That is until she slips into a bleach blo

'Blue Jean' Review: A Quietly Powerful Portrayal of Section 28's Cruelty

In this debut from Georgia Oakley, we are plunged into the decade of Gremlins, punk rock, and Margaret Thatcher. Blue Jean sees the denim-clad titular character navigate life as a gay teacher against the backdrop of Section 28. Between the plummy accents on the radio and smoking in nightclubs, you would be forgiven for thinking this exploration of Section 28 was filmed and released in the dark and distant 1980s. The evil ruling was enacted in May 1988 and was brought in to “prohibit the promoti

Boiling Point (Film Review)

A tense Stephen Graham is a familiar appearance on our screens, and his raw talent is pitch perfect as Boiling Point's moody and volatile Andy Jones. The culinary creation of director Philip Barantini, the genius of Boiling Point (2021) far exceeds its modest budget. Originally a 2019 short film, it was adapted for the big screen against the backdrop of COVID-19. Following critical acclaim, the one-shot film is being released as a limited-edition box set. Bursting with special features, this ne

'Mulan Rouge' Is A Riotous Rollercoaster Of Self-Exploration

Found by snaking through Banksy’s Leake Street graffiti tunnel, The Vaults is home to a roster of immersive theatre and alternative arts. It is the perfect location for Mulan Rouge. This is a new ground-breaking show by artist ShayShay, visionary behind The Bitten Peach and Good Judy. ShayShay has merged the Disney classic Mulan with Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge for a riotous rollercoaster of self-exploration.

‘Rainer’ Is A Love Letter To Grimy, Glorious London: Review

Key worker. It’s a phrase we’ve heard a lot of over the last twenty months. Peaking in search results in early March 2020, it took the eruption of a global pandemic for Great Britain to acknowledge the underpaid and undervalued angels on the front line. Rainer is a love letter to these essential operators—who stitch us up, ferry us around, and bring us reinforcements when we’re too hungover to move. In this 70-minute play, powerhouse Sorcha Kennedy is the titular Rainer.

'CANDY' Is A Raw Exploration Of Love And Identity: Review

It is a question that has divided opinion since the age of Ancient Greece: do you believe in love at first sight? Those amorous civilians fell head over heels with the notion that one glance is enough to be beguiled by one another. It is a well-known phenomenon that has been explored throughout popular culture, from Shakespeare’s plays to reality television shows. As told in Tim Fraser’s short play CANDY, Will (Michael Waller) has never believed in love at first sight...

Wild Rose: the importance of belief...

As jailbird Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) bursts onto the screen, teasing prison officers and joshing with her fellow inmates, her quick wit, wild hair and thick Glaswegian accent precede her. The aspiring country (and not Western) singer is being released from Her Majesty’s pleasure and is determined to make a name for herself in the ~definitive~ music capital of the world that launched the careers of Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and, erm… Billy Ray Cyrus.