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...]

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...]

Pumpkins @Koko: Alt Rock’s Grandest Act Returns

Fan: “You play guitar really well!” Billy: “I was better when I was younger… but thank you.” He’d probably know lot better than us, but if the ravages of age are catching up with Billy Corgan, it wasn’t particularly obvious last Friday night. Springing on to the stage with his new touring line up, the singer-songwriter was tight, on form and apparently happy. We got playful Pumpkins… and my word we enjoyed them. … [Read more...]

Interactive Digital Theatre: Live Like a Refugee

“We worked in collaboration with a number of refugee groups, initially in Cardiff and subsequently in Newport too,” John McGrath, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Wales told Searchlight Magazine Arts. “[The show Director] formed strong links with some of these refugees, and one of the very first people he talked with – Fissha – has stayed with the show and become one of the professional actors in it.” … [Read more...]

Morrissey @O2: A Poignant Farewell to the Fans?

“All I ask, is remember me and forget my fate,” intoned Morrissey as he emerged on stage for his encore at the packed O2 Arena in London last night. This quote from “Dido’s Lament”, a staple of funerals seems poignant in the light of the star’s recent cancer treatment, especially as he immediately launched into a rare rendition of “Asleep”. “There is another world, there is a better world. Well, there must be…” … [Read more...]

The Room: Art Against the American Dream

“Bullshit! This is fucking bullshit!” he yelled, slurping from a Coke can and stomping up and down the line. “Front row. Front row. But no.” He rhymed aggressively. No response – unable to find anyone to engage with his mad ranting, the bonkers chap joined the queue directly behind us and continued his loud conversation with himself. We had all just been kicked out of the Prince Charles Cinema bar and told to go line up outside in Leicester Square. We felt like naughty school children. This made Coke can man, who had been queuing up in completely the wrong place, pretty angry. Normally, one would want to keep such oddball behaviour at arm’s length, but as we were here for a book reading, we felt reasonably safe. … [Read more...]

Mental Health & the Arts: Overcoming a Double Stigma

It is a widely established fact that the arts can help with a variety of mental health problems… it is also the case that both mental health issues and arts as therapy are still heavily derided throughout our society. In this series for Searchlight Arts, we take a look at some of the people working on the front line of arts therapy, as well as those who have experienced it in action. … [Read more...]

Birmingham: Forgotten Arts City?

In London-centric Britain most cities get mocked, derided or just plain forgotten. And poor old Birmingham manages to suffer from all three. Yet it is the second largest city in the country with an incredibly young, multicultural population and perhaps surprisingly to those not in the know, a blossoming arts scene. As part of our series on living arts on the ground, Searchlight Arts investigate some of the initiatives taking place… and how they are impacting the next generation of Brummies. … [Read more...]

Swarms of Bugs in Chelsea: Unrivalled Art Critics Since 2014

The room is long and white with a glass panelled ceiling that lets light flood down into the space. Inside there is a bizarre stillness though, because up all four walls in concentrated clusters, are swarms of giant bugs. “It is a bit odd,” says Kathryn uncertainly as we loiter in the doorway of the first room on the ground floor. She is, after all, responsible for this trip to the Saatchi Gallery, in the old barracks off the Kings Road. Sidling over to the left hand wall, Nick peers carefully and then pulls a face. Close up, each insect is made of two knobbly ends with twigs bound on from centre to make up weird spindly legs. Glancing round there appears to be no written information about the artist anywhere… and groups of tourists are merrily taking pictures. At the far end, two Chinese girls are taking turns to snap each other high-fiving the installation. … [Read more...]