May 2016

And just like that it’s June. And my cultural highlights for May are easy:

1. Cannes film festival. I went. I didn’t see any films. But I pitched one and heard some interesting talks. It was a culture shock let’s say – you can read all about my experience here. Oh and a shout out to Pinar Ogun and Ustun Canga of Be Aware productions who saved me from sleeping on the beach when my train was cancelled because of a strike!

2. Mum: not mine (pictured) – though she is a legend. Instead the new Lesley Manville comedy from Stefan Golaszewski, the writer of Him and Her (which I’m afraid to say I never watched, but on the basis of this I may revisit). Despite being billed as a sitcom, this is drama and comedy in equal measure. Beautiful performances, wonderfully loathsome characters. LM is a brilliant actress and this a marvellous role for her to shine in.


3. King Lear: of all Shakespeare’s plays this is the one I’ve done to death: A-level, Uni, I’ve seen half a dozen productions over the years. In fact the first ever Shakespeare I saw was Talawa’s previous King Lear at the Cochrane Theatre a million years ago. So why go to Birmingham to see another Lear? Two words: Debbie Korley. Debbie is a fantastic actress I’ve had the pleasure of working with and she was playing Reagan in Talawa’s new production with Don Warrington. That seemed oddly serendipitical too. And so I went. And It was worth the trip: Mr W was as Kingly, strong a Lear as I’ve seen, and there were some other great performances – Debs as Reagan (of course), Norman Bowman as Cornwall, Rakie Ayola as Goneril I could go on. I was also reminded how much I love Birmingham Rep and how easy it is to get there. I see more Midlands trips in my future.

June brings … A lot of telly as my other half is abroad working. But there’s also a visit to Chichester to see a Rattigan with a Fiennes and a Polycarpou and that’s very exciting…

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