Monthly Archives: April 2014

Stewart Lee, Comedy Hero

How do you explain the evolutionary phenomenon of the stand-up comic? From the primitive music-hall smut of Max Mille, via the beautiful non-existent jokes of Frankie Howerd, to the surreal Pythons and fanciful Eddie Izzard, and finally, to sardonic Stewart Lee. Of course, after that it drops back down again to Leslie Crowther lookalike Michael […]

The End Of Bryant & May

This week, I reached the final chapter of Bryant & May’s twelfth adventure, ‘The Burning Man’. It was a lovely sunny evening , and a feeling of real satisfaction came over me. I didn’t open a bottle of whisky (never touch the stuff) or have a smoke, but I did have two cups of tea […]

Today’s Buzz-Phrase: ‘Buy-To-Leave’

It’s when you purchase a property as part of your investment portfolio and leave it empty to hide cash safely, and it’s happening all over London. The huge new blocks of ‘luxury loft living’ – or ‘futureslums’ as we call them – are sold exclusively in South East Asia and remain empty. Islington Council has […]

Re:View – ‘Urinetown’

The St James Theatre is a stunning new theatre just behind Buckingham Palace. In keeping with the classic West End theatres it has very steeply (some would say lethally) raked seats that take you very close indeed to the stage – but how close do you want to be when the set is a urinal? […]

London Turns Japanese

You don’t need to head to Japan to see spring blossoms; London is suddenly awash with petals of every hue this week. Mind you, the birds are still coughing (we have Saharan dust today) The shot of St James’ Park was shamelessly nicked from my pals at The Londonist.

Some People Will Read Anything

When you write your first novel, you have to be very careful deciding who you’re aiming it at, because it will probably become your best-remembered work. I can say this from examining the careers of hundreds of authors for my weekly ‘Invisible Ink’ column in the Independent on Sunday. If it’s a big hit and […]

Re:View – ‘The Witches of Zugarramurdi’

From satire to the supernatural, Alex De La Iglesias is a genre director who rarely puts a foot wrong. His one real disaster was his English language film, ‘The Oxford Murders’. Here he returns to his strengths, mixing elements of earlier hits including ‘Day of the Beast’ and ‘La Comunidad’, with several members of the […]