ballou

CW: Pregnancy

Last October, I went to see Hannah Ballou’s critically-acclaimed show ‘hoo:ha’ at Camden People’s Theatre. A hilarious exploration of nudity, body image and feminism, Ballou also blurred the lines of performance and reality.

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HOOHA-75deb282ba57fb17e5766caea8e3f75d

CW: Pregnancy

Knowing a British theatre-goer fears nothing more than a show promising audience participation and nudity (“Please let those be separate things”), Hannah Ballou opens ‘hoo:ha’ with a run-through of her impressive academic and professional credentials. You can almost hear the sound of bum muscles relaxing. Worries safely set aside, the audience is ready for entertainment, and Ballou serves up entertainment by the bucket load.

guardians

Guardians of the Galaxy is a blockbuster action epic out this summer, and it’s the second this year from MARVEL Studios. MARVEL are the first to make films covering a truly cohesive, pre-planned, shared universe and although there have been intersecting crossovers in film history since at least the 1940’s (everyone should watch House of Frankenstein for good or ill), these were spur-of-the-moment ideas for easy marquee value. MARVEL, on the other hand, are planning theirs out with an almost The Riddler-esque glee and doing so to great effect. It’s actually genius; MARVEL can market their other films through easter eggs and references in each installment and audiences will love it. I know, because I’m a part of that audience. I remember back in 2008 when after the credits for Iron Man finished, there was a cameo with Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. I. Absolutely. Lost. My. Shit. I shouted, “ITH THURY! NICK THURY!” while spraying saliva over everyone in the rows in front of me like it was Seaworld, before leaping forward and chewing on the seat in front like a rabid shark. What an excellent day that was. I remember it fondly.

savages

Savages – Silence Yourself

Anger is a product. It can be packaged, marketed, sold and sanitised. From punk to grunge, once it broke the mainstream the major labels were only too happy to buy as much disaffection as possible. However, grunge retained a sense of irony and distance about anger, an awareness that it can be used to entertain and thrill. It’s a lot easier to be ironic about a feeling than it is to fully embrace it in all sincerity and seriousness. Savages are a serious band, made up of four women based in London and they are very, very angry.