Jo Caird: Freelance journalist
Jo Caird is a freelance journalist, based in London. She writes on a broad range of issues relating to the British arts scene, encompassing the worlds of theatre, cinema and literature. Her features, interviews and reviews appear regularly in publications including The Sunday Times Culture, Times Online, The Daily Telegraph, The Stage and The Big Issue. Jo is also a successful travel journalist, receiving regular commissions for the magazine Condé Nast Traveller, as well as a number of other travel publications, both print and web-based. Visit her website at www.jocaird.com.
The novel’s brilliance, and what makes The Great Perhaps stand out from other similar-sounding tales of everyday American life, is its eccentricity. Madeline finds herself following a drifting cloud figure in her car every night; Thisbe wanders the neighbourhood baptising local cats.
A 1988 essay entitled ‘The University and the Leadership Factor in Nigerian Politics’ perhaps surprisingly offers a message directly applicable to the current moment in British politics. ‘Leadership is a sacred trust, like the priesthood in civilised, humane religions’, Achebe writes. His writings should be on a list of required reading for all those thinking of taking up office; perhaps then we might end up with a political class ready to treat the electorate with the respect it is due.
Theroux fills his novel with inexplicably apoplectic hotel managers, moustachioed police chiefs and clandestine meetings in overgrown cemeteries. Rife with cliché in just the right way, A Dead Hand will please fans of the detective thriller. Its characters are two-dimensional, but with a rollicking story to follow, who cares?
Beyond the fact that he wrote some novels, was decorated for his part in the First World War and killed himself with a shotgun, Hemingway remains a mystery. Worse than that even, I now actively dislike him. God knows what the estate must think about this production.
It is in the transition between trivialities and moments of high emotion however where Ash really shines. Adam’s relationship with his grandfather and response to his grandmother’s death are presented with great sensitivity and power and the tears glistening in Ash’s eyes are immensely evocative.
This may be Curry’s first feature-length documentary, but his handling of this ugliness is just as it should be. No dogmatic, Michael Moore-style commentary here; his effective interview technique and subtle editing allow the Newark electorate to speak through the film with an analysis of the situation that is succinct and enlightened.
Ross’ energy is impressive as he races through the trilogy. Not much attention to paid to plot, the assumption being that we all know what happens already. The focus is on the one-liners, the bits from the films that everyone remembers and drunkenly quotes at parties.
This is a great children’s show because it doesn’t fall into the trap of patronising its audience. There are plenty of very silly jokes but also many aimed at an adult crowd, with particularly funny jibes at the world of theatre. Occasional over-the-top moments do not ruin this extremely fun show
The audience may have been mainly people over the age of 60 – the Dickens-reading demographic is not as broad as it could be, even after the success of recent BBC adaptations - but this show is fun and energetic enough to entertain Fringe-goers of all ages.
For some reason director and co-writer Milos Forman decided it would be a good idea for everyone to speak English with a vague Spanish accent; now this is all well and good for Javier Bardem who is, in fact, Spanish, but everyone else, particularly Natalie Portman, just sounds silly.