Inside Pussy Riot is a powerful and relevant immersive production that needs to be experienced.
In all honesty, I was very nervous before going into the play. Having previously read about Pussy Riot and Nadya Tolokonnikova, I couldn’t imagine how this would be turned into an immersive production.
Naturally, when being led into the first room, I was nervous. Surprisingly, Inside Pussy Riot starts out light and funny, when the audience are led into a room and an ‘incapable’ tour guide welcomes everyone. This was great as this made all of us feel more relaxed and it was a nice ice breaker to the experience.
Then we are led into a cathedral and encouraged to take part in a short protest, to show what we believe in. We get caught and arrested, interrogated and sentenced to labour camp and experience things similar (but toned down) to what Nadya went through during her time in the penal colony.
However, having been to other Les Enfants Terribles productions, this one slightly dissapoints. Some things feel a bit forced and not as natural as in previous productions. There are also parts that slow down the story-telling.
Nonetheless, Inside Pussy Riot feels contemporary and right at the time, hinting at a Trump-led America and the Weinstein scandal that led to the uncovering of countless of other sexual abuse cases in the entertainment industry. It sets up the audience with just the right amount of anger before we are encouraged to vocalise our beliefs.
Another great thing is that it feels like a very millennial way of showing people social issues around the world. Instead of reading or hearing about those issues, we get to experience it, which has a much deeper impact. We walk away finding ourselves thinking: Would I stand up for my beliefs? How would I react in the same situation? Would I be brave enough to stand up for myself and for others?
It seems as though the intention was to raise awareness of oppression, the judicial system and injustice, what happened to Nadya and other members of Pussy Riot and how quickly basic human rights can be taken away from you. As well as adding that typical Les Enfants touch of quirkiness to it, this was completely achieved.
Inside Pussy riot is an immersive production that needs to be experienced. It raises attention to important issues and shocks the audience, so be prepared!
★★★★☆ The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Film4 & HanWay Films
Directed by Yargos Lanthimos, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is spine chilling and eerie right down to its very core. Both Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman create an unnerving experience never to be forgotten in this weird taboo thriller.
Colin Farrell plays Steven Murphy, a well-respected surgeon with a beautiful and loving wife (played by Nicole Kidman) and two children Bob and Kim (played by Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy). They play happy families until 16-year-old Martin (played by Barry Keoghan) finds his way into Steven’s life, hangs out with the surgeon as if they were best friends and inviting each other to their houses for dinner. Things soon change as Martin’s true colours and motives are shown as he threatens the surgeon and bodies get dragged up from the mud. Through a twisted game of playing God, Steven is forced to think about the past and what he’s done (or not done) and to make a decision that could affect his family forever.
Steven and his wife’s marriage is a particularly odd and intriguing one. They have a few kinks within the bedroom, especially one involving the phrase ‘general anaesthetic’. Steven has somnophilia which his wife submits to. She lies there pretending to be asleep whilst Steven has sex with her.
Farrell provides the audience with a sensational piece of acting, alongside Kidman and more specifically new kid on the block, Keoghan, who plays Martin. A lot happens in the film where you question everything. However, the nature of the film is about guilt and the repercussions and responsibilities of the life and death of human life.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is unnerving and sets your hair on edge, but it’s thrilling and will have you biting at your nails, ready and waiting for what’s to come next.
Sally Cookson directs Stick Man and enchants kids with delightful music, creativity and playful characters.
The best-selling adaptation by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler returns to the Leicester Square Theatre for the festive season.
When Stick Man accidently gets pushed into a misadventure and taken away from his family, he sets out on a long journey back to find his tree and family again. On the way he encounters people and animals that often confuse him with an ordinary stick and he gets lost even more. Will he ever find his way back home?
Children’s laughter echoes through the theatre ignited through the shows comedic value, that even leaves adults chuckling in their seats. The whimsical stage design thrills and engages everyone in the audience, keeping children captivated throughout the performance.
Sam Heron embodies Stick Man and gives the character a voice that young audiences can interact with, while Lara Cowin plays his wife and other endearing characters. Everything that happens to Stick Man, Cowin conveys with charm and comedy.
Alex Tosh (Musician) emphasises and compliments what’s happening in the play, with sounds and music. Many things are purely conveyed through music and choreography which sparks imagination and creativity in kids and adults alike.
The show is an hour long which is the perfect amount to keep the children entertained without them becoming bored of sitting still. Every time the young ones engage in the play, many of their faces light up with excitement. It also breaks up the show, so they [the kids] don’t get restless.
This Christmas production fires up children’s imagination with props and loavable characters. A perfect family show to see during the festive season.
The Secret Keeper promises mystical mystery but only delivers cringy songs and confusing themes.
In a fairytale village the daughter of the Dollhouse maker has a ‘gift’. She helps her father by keeping his deepest and darkest secret which changes him. He tells everyone to share their most intimate secrets with her to feel better. But what happens when one girlknows all the secrets in the village, including who killed her uncle?
Going into the theatre the atmosphere is eerie and promises a night of gothic and mysterious tales. However, that is only partly the case. The show switches between styles, which is confusing and lowers the quality of the production.
It starts out feeling like a fairytale and the audience expects to watch a gothic style play, but then the style suddenly switches to a much more modern tone. This ruins the illusion and rips the viewer out of the story. The constant switches make it difficult to get lost in the play.
Things happen that don’t need to happen as they don’t help to tell the story and move it along, such as spontaneous singing.
The spontaneous songs might be fun in a different, more modern setting, but with the fairtytale-like setting they seem silly and unnecessary.
Parts of the production were confusing, such as the gathering of the secrets. It wasn’t needed for the development of the story as the Good Daughter already showed that she was struggling to keep the secrets in.
Overall, the intentions of the production were good with a great storyline. The premise is intriguing but the execution of the production thoroughly disappoints.
Although in the US it was August 21, in the UK it’s actually today that marks the 30th anniversary of the musical hit that is Dirty Dancing. Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman made all the females jealous by her ability to win the heart of the most eligible bachelor going (and the most sought after pin-up of the 80s) Johnny Castle. Whilst Johnny on the other hand, flaunted his way into the 80’s with such style and sex appeal.
So what does make this classic film so loveable? Here are a few examples of why we love Dirty Dancing:
The award winning soundtrack has given its audience dance fever with some of the film’s hit favourites, such as (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, Hungry Eyes, Be My Baby and You Don’t Own Me. The film might be Dirty but this album is far from it. She’s Like the Wind is even written and sung by Mr Castle himself, Patrick Swayze. Who knew the guy could dance and sing like that?
The Dance Moves
Not only do both Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze make the cutest onscreen couple, but the dance pretty good too. The dance moves are exactly what it says on the tin, Dirty but thirty years ago this kind of dancing was a bit deal, controversial some might say. Now in the 21st century it’s seen as part of the norm (what other dance moves do you see in a club these days?) Perhaps this is where it originated from. The Dirty Dancing of the 21st century; night clubs in Soho.
The Cheesy Quotes
We all know the most iconic quote to have ever come from the lips of Mr Patrick Swayze to be “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”. But do you even know the rest? Some of the best quotes have come from this film. There’s even one relating to the title of this article, did you know that? (It’s watermelon related). Some of our favourite quotes are:
Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am. And most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you – Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman.
I’ll never be sorry – Johnny Castle.
You wanna hear something crazy? Last night I… I dreamed we were walking along and we met your father. He said, “Come on,” and he put his arm around me. Just like he did with Robbie – Johnny Castle.
I don’t know about you but Gene Wilder was one of those men who you instantly recognised just by the sound of his voice, and it was great. He reminded you of all those films you loved and it’s still shocking now to know he’s gone. August 29 marks the one year anniversary of actor, director, producer and writer Gene Wilder’s unexpected death. To celebrate his life, Millennial London has decided to honour him by taking a look back at some of his greatest acting moments.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
There’s no need for an introduction here. Wilder is Willy Wonka – the king of confectionary. Even a film made before our time is still loved now and will continue to be just as much loved by future generations. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a well loved classic and adored by every child and adult alike. We sing along and know all the words and even appreciate the great taste in fashion Mr Wonka had. Mr Wonka will never be the same. Although there was an adaptation which saw Johnny Depp take on the role as the Candyman, the original classic will always be our favourite.
Young Frankenstein (1975)
Wilder is Dr Frederick Frankenstein, the American grandson of that other Frankenstein. He tries to prove that he isn’t as insane as people make him out to be (like his infamous grandfather) and with that he is invited to Transylvania, where he discovers how to bring a dead body back to life. This spoof plays comedic homage to the original classic tale by Mary Shelley in which Wilder himself co-wrote along with Mel Brooks. Dr Frankenstein makes it obvious that he doesn’t want to be connected to his grandfather, (even with his distinguishable American accent) he tries everything he can to refuse that connection – even correcting the pronunciation of his last name so as to not be confused.
See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)
Wilder is Dave, a deaf man who meets a blind man called Wally (played by Richard Pryor) after accidentally witnessing the murder of a man. With the police laughing at them and with a target on their backs by the real killers, the duo try to work together to save themselves and bring the real killers to justice. Wilder and Pryor make the ultimate laugh-out-loud pair. With quotes like “Today I threatened to shoot a naked woman with my erection” from Dave and Wally’s “I hear prison isn’t so bad if you like it up the butt” – it’s hard to not laugh at those two on screen trouble makers.
Alice in Wonderland – TV Movie (2000)
Wilder is the Mock Turtle in this TV-film adaption of Alice in Wonderland. Although he makes only a small appearance in the film, his acting and singing is simply beautiful that it lasts throughout its entirety. Alongside the Gryphon (voiced by Donald Sinden), together they sing Will You Won’t Join The Dance and Beautiful Soup with Alice herself (played by Tina Majorino). It’s a memorable few minutes that make you sing along – blissfully unaware of the outside world of reality.
Attending University can be one of the pinnacle moments in a person’s life. You’ve gone through three or more years of hard work, dedication, sleepless nights and a shit load of alcohol. But here you are, at the final hurdle of student life: Graduation.
Millennial London spoke to several undergraduates who’ve recently graduated about what it was really like for them. From lining up for their cap and gowns to finally walking across that dreaded platform as your name was being read out, carefully trying not to fall over and look like a total idiot. Must be easy right?
You only really graduate once in a lifetime and it plays a huge part in our lives. We always have some sort of expectation when it comes to what really goes on at a graduation. What are the steps? And how can you picture it before it’s even happened?
“I thought it would be hot, stressful, long and I wouldn’t enjoy it that much” says Jack Leslie, who graduated with a BA in Journalism. “I had been to my sister’s graduation a few days prior, so I had a vague idea of what it’d be like”.
“I assumed it would be more traditional, with inspirational speeches and the whole cliché slow-motion cap toss after which I would feel like a liberated individual” says Laura Grable, a graduate in Public Relations and Advertising. “Although not far from the mark, the actual graduation experience did differ from the more glorified, poetic version I’d had in my head”.
When it comes to the term graduation, its meaning differs amongst people. “It was the conclusion of this period of my life and my time at university. It’s basically the closing ceremony of your time there” Says Jack. “So I was just thinking of getting it over with”.
Amy Kelly, a recent graduate in Radio Production says “When I thought of graduation, the stereotypical American graduation comes to mind. The massive crowd of people, the mass of students standing around outside posing for photos, and then the throwing of the graduation cap. But when it came to reality it’s quite different”.
“Graduation was like saying, “I was here”, making a marker, moving onwards. The fact of the matter is, life doesn’t stop after graduation and become a chore, life begins. You have all this knowledge and these skills behind you (hopefully) which you can now apply to everyday life” says Laura.
But what matters the most? After spending time thinking of what outfits to wear, how to get to the venue, what restaurants to eat in afterwards? It all boils down to experience and what would the graduates appreciate the most. After all, graduation is a right of passage for some people. So, what advice would they pass down to their fellow undergraduates who will be following in their footsteps?
Jack says to “Go in with a more upbeat attitude and make the most of seeing everyone”.
“Don’t panic” says Amy. “Don’t worry about what you or anyone else is wearing but feel comfortable in your own skin. Feel proud that you’ve finished university”.
Ioana Alazaroae, a recent graduate in Photography and Digital Imaging Technologies says “Don’t be so stressed over your guests being happy, it’s a day in which you’re celebrating something special so enjoy it”.
“Don’t get caught up in the context of the day” says Laura. “Graduation day is for you; it’s a celebration of your hard work. Breathe a sigh of relief and let yourself enjoy the moment. That moment goes by in a flash”.
Graduation takes a toll on anybody attending. The day is a whirlwind of friends, family and a lot (and we mean a lot) of clapping and concentration. But what one thing do these graduates love and appreciate the most? Jack says “Going up on the stage and hearing all my family cheering and shouting. I know it seems silly, but it was a little overwhelming after three years working so hard, to hear their cheers and support. Family is always going to be there for you”.
“When I had my cap and gown fitted beforehand, It felt like a very personal and symbolic moment, perhaps even more than the graduation itself” says Laura. “It’s not every day I have a stranger silently place a heavy cloth on my shoulders and an unusual hat on my head. It felt like I was being crowned, or getting into character before a play”.
Zynab Sandhu, another Journalism graduate says “The moment that I really loved was when we were taking pictures. It makes you feel proud that you’ve achieved something major in your life. Degrees are not easy to get. It marked the end of a chapter, moving on to the next one”.
So what can you expect from your university graduation? Happiness, feeling elevated and being proud of how far you’ve come. Or for it to all finally be over? No more exams, no more deadlines and no more 9am lectures which nobody ever turned up to.
So when it comes to that big day, don’t worry too much about the little things – what to wear, where you should eat afterwards or if your family are getting bored. None of that matters and it shouldn’t be part of the stress you’re already having to face.
Your graduation is exactly that, your graduation. Be proud that you’ve made it this far, all the hard work is out the way. You now have your whole life ahead but this is the part where you decide what to do next.
Graduation is your ticket into adulthood. A new chapter beings and the world is waiting, so what will you do?
It seems fitting that I meet the founders of the new theatre company Paper Creatures at the National Theatre.
It’s only morning but the National Theatre is already buzzing with people, guided tours, tourists and people who are desperately trying to get tickets to Angels in America. We find a quiet and cool space on a warm, sunny day and start talking about Flood, the debut production by Paper Creatures.
The themes were important, we wanted to look at grief within the millennial generation, humour and heart.
Flood is a new comedy drama by playwright Tom Hartwell, about Adam who is “forced to confront his future when those closest to him return after the death of his Mum. Upon their arrival, repressed truths and unsettling secrets are revealed. Flood is a complex and humane portrayal of a group of friends struggling to define themselves beyond the confines of their small town.”
Starting rehearsal on 17 July, the two talk about the first read through of the script.
The first read through was really special. It was so relatble, he [Tom Hartwell] managed to take an ancient idea of a village flooding and put it in such a modern light of 20 year olds, dealing with home and identity. We were fascinated with the idea, why is it that people want to leave their homes.
Jon and Nathan met when they were both working in an all-male Shakespeare troupe and travelled around the UK and Europe doing open air Shakespeare. “We became quite close on tour, got chatting and when we finished the tour we wanted to do something different after spending five months doing Shakespeare. We thought why don’t we put on a play?”
After seeing a lot of theatre once returned from their tour, they noticed that millennials need a “realistic and honest voice for our generation, the millennial generation, we sometimes felt we were painted a bit one dimensional.”
Also passionate about new plays, they decided to set up a theatre company.
The name paper creatures came from the paper representing the script, where it starts, the blank piece of paper. And then the creatures being the characters that come from that. We are the creatures that make the story and the theatre is the place where we perform, it’s the place where we can tell those stories.
Wanting to create a voice for not only this generation, Jon and Nathan also hope that in the future people will look back on these plays that are new writing now, but could be a potential classic in the future.
Talking about the importance of new writing, Paper Creatures explains why they’re happy to be part of London’s theatre community. “There is so much opportunity for fringe theatre, there are so many lovely pub theatres in London and around the UK. It’s thriving at the moment. It’s almost like a revolution, all these new playwrights emerging, coming out of every place you can imagine and then they get transferred to the West End.”
There is such a dynamic community of new writing on the fringe circuit in London that is dominated by the millennial generation in a very positive way and it’s so vibrant, so helpful and so supportive. It’s a really great community to be part of.
By setting up Paper Creatures, the actors want to create a “platform for young new writers, young creators from all different fields, lighting designers, sound designers, to come together and create stories which are simple, bold and compelling.”
Our long term goal is to create a really creative environment to tell these stories with our generation contributing to them, for our generation.
Flood runs as part of the Camden Fringe 2017 at the Tristan Bate Theatre from 31 July until 5 August. You can get tickets here.
For one night only, Imagine Dragons were back and this time they performed at London’s Roundhouse. The evening of 7 June came and things were getting intense. Time ticked on and it soon came to be 9pm, call time for the band yet there was nothing.
Finally, twenty minutes later, as the four-piece from Las Vegas were about to come on, the staging was set and things started to take its shape. A spectacular vision of pink smoke filled the stage as the music for Thunder started to play, taken from their new album Evolve which is due to be released 23 June.
The last time they toured the UK was back in 2015 with the release of their second album Smoke + Mirrors. Lead singer Dan Reynolds was his usual charismatic self, talking about how all music is simply made up of “peace and love”. He even dedicated their performance of It’s Time to the tragic horrors of the Manchester Attack.
With applauses and waves of cheering spreading throughout the venue, the band carried on through the night with tracks such as Gold, Whatever it Takes, On Top of the world, I Bet My Life, Amsterdam, Hear Me, Demons and even a cover of Creep and a snippet of Bleeding Out.
Some songs were unfortunately left out – favourites like Friction, The Fall, Roots and Thief. Each song built up the tension and excitement within the audience. They all went wild to each beat, each melody, each song.
Imagine Dragons’ next tour will be announced soon after the release of Evolve on 23 June.
It’s clear that the show Agent Carter has a unique fan base. People all over the world have become one massive community celebrating their love for Peggy (played by Hayley Atwell) and her universe. One thing that brought them together is cosplay.
In London there is a group called Stucky and Peg Legs, which is run by dance teacher Colbert and student Nicole, both 21, who through mutual love of the show, became really good friends.
They formed in October 2015 when Colbert bumped into Captain America and Bucky cosplayers, asking if they wanted to join her at a marvel meet. On the way, they also met more Peggy’s as well as a Howard Stark – this is where Colbert met Nicole. After spending three hours together, they decided they wanted to do it again.
The name of the group was created that same day through wordplay of the character’s names which starting as a joke at first, but because they loved it so much, they stuck with it. “We were like oh, we sound like a 40s jazz band” said Colbert and Nicole.
Since that first meet up, the numbers have expanded dramatically, and they hold each cosplay meet at every MCM Expo in London. “I don’t know what I would do without these guys, it’s really weird” says Nicole. The pair formed an almost sisterly bond from mutual love of the show and all things vintage.
During Comic Con, the group always aim to meet at a certain point for what Colbert described as “in character shenanigans”. By aiming it around a big Marvel meet, they see more photographers and potentially more cosplayers.
During their meet ups, they do a variety of photoshoots in different Peggt outfits. “Most of the time we take lots of silly photos. We will think what can we do with a lot of Peggys? I know, let’s chase Captain America or let’s pick up Howard and pretend to throw him in the water. You might as well have those funnier photos”.
Whilst some of her outfits and accessories are recreated by different companies, a lot of what she wears is not easily found. Nicole and Colbert have obtained various items she wears relying on sources such as eBay, vintage shops and social media, where fans work together in sharing sources and patterns. When it comes to sourcing the costumes, there’s a lot of work that goes into creating the perfect Agent Carter replica.
Colbert explained that she uses a lot of 80’s clothes because they are quite similar in style, they’re affordable and can be altered for accuracy. The community work together in getting companies on board in creating things they want. Glasses company Old Focals was able to create Peggy’s red sunglasses from high demand.
When talking about the show’s cancellation, both ladies expressed their sadness and how shocked and disappointed they were when they heard the announcement. It had a huge impact on their lives. Nicole says “it’s hard to put into words. I suppose i’ve always been the really shy one that didn’t have a lot of confidence and was kind of always the outsider of the friendship groups”.
Agent Carter has given her confidence to be the person that she is today. “It’s weird that a TV show has had such a positive impact on my life. I can’t just laugh it off as just a TV show, I can’t dismiss it as a silly thing because it’s really changed me”.
When someone brings up the show, Nicole gets excited about what it represents. It gives her the feeling of self worth. “That show was my self-conscious saying you need to cut the crap”.
Colbert fell in love with the character and everything the show represented straight away. “I really love old movies, but Katherine Hepburn never got to be the detective in any of those movies”. Her love for old movies started early on, “I saw Casablanca when I was seven, which is a hard thing to talk to your friends about the next day at school”.
That passion for old movies evolved from there, accept everyone around her didn’t understand the interest. “I used to think all adults knew what black and white movies were and it wasn’t until I got to secondary school that I found out that it was just my parents”.
Being a detective film enthusiast, it had inspired her own idea for a film involving a female lead detective beating men up to swing music. “It got to that scene in season one where she is beating up the guys in the diner to Peggy Lee and I started crying because for me, this is the happiest I will ever be”.
Agent Carter has become more than a TV show, it’s become a movement. It has given fans a strong female heroine to admire with the power of showing them they can do, and be who they want. It’s one of the first shows of its kind that is female led without being overly romanced. Instead, focusing mainly on issues of the time that still occur today, which include sexism and racism.
It carries a lot of empowering messages for women. Nicole emphasised that when watching the show, you can’t afford to miss anything. “If you miss a line you won’t understand what’s going on. If you miss the joke or you miss the statement that they’e making or miss a line, you miss the context completely”. Colbert highlighted that it addressed feminist issues in a non-aggressive way and showed a happier representation of the time, “a lot of vintage shows are afraid to be funny”.
It created a community of strong, kind and empowering young women with passion for the show running in their veins
Cosplayers around the world
Jessica, 26 from Italy – Angie Cosplayer
“The show is proof that women face many adversities because of men, yet they accomplish great things”.
Alana, 22 from New York – Peggy and Captain America Cosplayer
“Peggy Carter appeared at a time in my life where I was really low and going through a lot of personal things”.