100-Word Fiction: Flight Check

The new equipment had arrived. This time Harry was certain of success. Normally he would have filmed the unboxing for his YouTube channel, but he was far too excited for that. "Power: 98%." "Camera: secure; infrared on; record activated." "Monitor: picture and sound, affirmative." “Flaps: working.” “Rotors: activated.” “Go for flight…” Gingerly, the young pilot edged to the open window and carefully released the drone. Taking the controls with both hands he dodged the craft hard left through the darkness, around the side of his building, and sent it soaring five floors up… "Damn,” he spat, “her curtains are shut." First published on Searchlight Magazine Arts... … [Read more...]

Michelle Thomas: Tinder, Click-Bait & Stupid Fake Journalism

Nobody appears to care about fact checking anymore. We live in a world of appalling click-bait rubbish and now obvious nonsense is getting picked up by the UK nationals and run with all the way to Australia… Hey, sorry darling, been stupidly busy at work, Thanks for a fabulous evening last night. Your company was brilliant - you're witty, fun and just the sort of man I would love to go out with if only my woman’s body was up to it - but unfortunately it isn’t No crap here, you’re a gorgeous fellow: I love your style, dress sense and marvellous humour. But I just don’t get turned on by blonde men, however hard I try. It’s not your fault you’re blonde, or that it instantly makes me think of Nazi SS guards. But physical honesty is all about letting go… and I could never do that with a man who made me think of the Third Reich. I’d always want you brunette with less cold-blue (and only in my mind) Jew-murdering-eyes. … [Read more...]

Tabloid Bingo or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the News

We sifted through the papers for something to lampoon But this week was rather serious Lots of doom and gloom So with a deadline looming and nothing good to write We played our favourite tabloid game, of bingo… it’s alright A spot of prevarication rarely steers you wrong So we started out with Glastonbury as that’s an easy one We gathered up the stories, from the red tops and the black Certain of the most used words, that scourge the “hippy crack” … [Read more...]

Viewpoint: The Voice of Luke Concannon

The band Nizlopi may be best known for its hit single, JCB Song [YouTube video], but the duo behind the group, John Parker and Luke Concannon, are a serious musical outfit, influenced by poetry, trip hop, folk and an eclectic range of other styles. As Concannon tours his debut solo album, we caught up with him via Skype to learn more about his inner world, views on fame and belief in the Global Justice Movement. … [Read more...]

Down to Margate – Anti UKIP Music Video (feat. Stella)

  On the 28th of February 2015 hundreds of people from all over Britain descended on UKIPs Spring Margate Conference to let them know that their viewpoints were repugnant. So obviously... we had to make a music video. First Published on Searchlight Magazine Arts... … [Read more...]

The Nether: Opening Night at the Duke of York Theatre

“Did you ever fuck an elf?” asks Sims, successfully snapping the audience back into gallows humour mode and drawing titters of delight from across the darkened room… At first glance, you wouldn’t think that a play centred around a digitally enhanced paedophile paradise would draw too many laughs… but wryness had a big part to play in Jennifer Haley’s dark drama; and The Nether delivers 80 minutes of the tightest theatre we’ve seen in quite a while, along with one of the most impressive set designs ever to appear in the West End. … [Read more...]

The Ordinary British Women Who Stand Up to UKIP

Searchlight Magazine Arts has long been impressed by the tenacity of Women Against UKIP.  This is by far and away the most active group on social media and its Facebook community has soared since it launched last April, with current “likes” standing at 17,226.  We catch up with the leaders of this community to learn more about how this group began… and why they decided to put so much time, effort and dedication into making a stand. … [Read more...]

Brum Documentary from Kathryn & Nick

When we set out to make this documentary in the spring of 2014, we had a pretty good idea how it was going to go. But by the time we finished in autumn, it had turned into something completely different. Instead of making a thought provoking piece on the complex relationship between the arts and the political left… we accidentally made a documentary about Birmingham. This half hour documentary includes interviews with artists such as playwright, David Edgar and folk singer, Harvey Andrews, along with insight from the BBC, the Rep Theatre and cast of other individuals and organisations on the ground. It even features a rather bonkers new comic song, “Brum Brumany”, to the tune of the chimney sweep song from Mary Poppins… done in an appalling Brummie accent.   First published on Searchlight Magazine Arts... … [Read more...]

The Christmas Party That’s Never Won

Episode 5:   Song: What a Show It's a mighty fine Christmas shindig And it's packed with party bigwigs The message the Leader bellows: "Give more dough, give more dough, give more dough" And there's lots of festive sniping At the parties they've been imbibing Snooty laughter begins to flow: "Ho ho ho, ho ho ho, ho ho ho!" And they drank long into the night Till the beer it ran dangerously low As two councillors started a fight It really should have been time to go   … [Read more...]

Cream in the Soup: Greg Escapes the Chateau

Monday 13th October 2008 – 18.01 (CET) This afternoon I received an omen so abundantly clear I was almost hurled sideways, Victoria’s words still ringing in my ears, “The chateau is our home, Greg. I refuse to sanction a swarm of insects which could sting our kids to death in their beds.” The line was delivered with Olympian heartlessness. I was extremely shaken, and about to make my feelings clear, when I saw it; a magnificent bumblebee sailing in through the French windows. … [Read more...]