TV Review: Decline and Fall (Series 1, Episode 1)

has been a solid addition to the satirical canon since its publication in 1928. Now, for the first time, it will hit screens as the BBC launch the first televisual adaptation of the classic. The plot follows the trials and tribulations of Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall) as he is dismissed from Oxford University for indecent exposure, after becoming the victim of a prank by the Bullingdon Club. At a loose end, he finds himself off to a rainy corner of Wales to teach at a run-down public boar

Star Jack Whitehall and writer James Wood discuss the BBC's adaptation of Waugh's Decline and Fall

The plot follows the trials and tribulations of Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall) as he is dismissed from Oxford University after falling prey to the Bullingdon Club. “One day I’ll do something where I’m dressed for the whole thing”, Whitehall joked. “Unlikely though”. Whitehall, although a staple of the UK stand-up circuit and known for his roles in (in which he also plays a hapless educator out of his depth), lacks the acting credentials and experience of those around him - a fact evident in

EXHIBITION REVIEW: Movement @ Discovery Museum, Newcastle : /

For more information, click here. Now, more than ever, the work done by BAM! Sistahood! is massively important. An off-shoot of community project, The Angelou Centre, the Sistahood project brings together the experiences of many of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women that are involved in the community centre in some way. Since its inception, the project has developed numerous methods for engaging communities and representing the experience of BME heritage within the North East. Their late

BOOK REVIEW: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

For more information, click here. Lara Avery’s The Memory Book tells the story of valedictorian, straight A student Sam McCoy as she approaches her high school graduation. Like many students nearing the end of their high school careers, McCoy falls in love for the first time and begins to prepare for life at her dream college. Unlike many of her peers, she balances these life-experiences with having to emotionally overcome a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Avery takes a new angle on a tried a

New music premiere: FELIN - Gossip

Duo FELIN dropped their latest track, 'Gossip', a couple of weeks ago. We have the first look at the accompanying visuals. They're unusual in a sense - Fredrik (the F) provides the visuals for the band, whilst frontwoman Elin is the singer-songwriter. It's unconventional, but makes for a great music video. It's a video that grabs you from the first tolls of the church bells that open it. The shots look as though they could have been lifted from a short film, and there's a definite air of surre

TV Review: The Crown

Blood splattering into a toilet bowl. It’s a graphic and unexpected opening to Netflix's latest original series The Crown, but it sets the tone for a ten-episode experience that breaks taboos and offers a seemingly unfiltered, raw look into the lives of our royal family. Peter Morgan’s The Crown has been pretty unavoidable over the last couple of weeks, with adverts adorning cities across the country. It’s been a big gamble for Netflix; rumoured to have cost over £100 million to make, it was an

BOOK REVIEW: Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov : /

Published by Orenda Books. For more information click here. The Arabic word for ‘struggle’, ‘Jihad’, is a word currently heavily associated with terrorism. It is the pure form of the word that Yusuf Toropov has attempted to recapture and reconcile with its contemporary associations in his debut novel, Jihadi: A Love Story. It is, beyond doubt, a story of struggle. Various struggles permeate the narrative, and range from marital disputes to ideological conflicts between the USA and the fictional

EXHIBITION REVIEW: Graham Dolphin @ Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art : /

Please click here for more information. When I entered Sunderland’s Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art’s summer exhibition, I was struck by the seeming randomness of the works present. To the left, a row of ‘self-portraits by others’ gleamed down at me, next to a wall full of drawings of Kurt Cobain. A large metal container stood next to three busts of a beautiful woman – although closer inspection revealed her to be American singer Jim Morrison. A screen on the floor played footage of a man

Fall Out Boy – Save Rock and Roll : /

Rock and roll was well and truly alive when Fall Out Boy took to the Metro Radio Arena’s stage last Friday night. Since the band first formed 13 years ago, they’ve held a steady place in the pop-punk scene, and the size of the crowd in Newcastle proved that the band’s popularity is still on the rise. The American pop-punk band proved that their reunion was not, as so many are, merely a publicity stunt. Although the band played a few of their older songs, they did so with a newer maturity and gr

Hyde and Beast @ Cluny 2 : /

Just ahead of the launch of their second album, Hyde and Beast took to the stage at The Cluny 2 in order to debut some of their new tracks. Following a debut performance on the piano by the Futurehead’s Barry Hyde, his older brother Dave and Neil Bassett, along with a large group of musicians, they managed to completely fill the Cluny 2. The packed room really made the setting feel intimate – no matter where you were, you were able to see the band quite clearly, especially from the balcony. Alt

Step into the Polaroid of Smoke and Mirrors

Following the unprecedented global success of Imagine Dragon’s debut studio album Night Visions almost three years ago, the Las Vegas group’s latest release had a lot to live up to. Released in the middle of February, Smoke + Mirrors rocketed straight to the top of the UK Album charts. It’s easy to see, given the band’s reputation. Night Visions was somewhat revolutionary, as far as arena rock albums go.  Smoke + Mirrors follows this tradition but overall appears more stripped back without ...

Review: The Hobbit, The Battle of the Five Armies

We return to Middle Earth one last time for the finale of Peter Jackson’s second epic trilogy. December 12th saw the nationwide release of the final instalment of The Hobbit, and it has proven the impossible possible – that a prequel to Lord of the Rings could not only work, but could also defy critics who attacked the venture pre-production by claiming that the trilogy would ruin the story. Over 500 minutes of screen time later, and the ending of The Battle of the Five Armies has concluded ...

Idina Menzel is here to wish you a very merry Christmas

Perhaps more famous now amongst the general populace for her role as Queen Elsa in Frozen, Idina Menzel reminds us all why we shouldn’t forget her extensive pre-Disney career with her latest album, Christmas Wishes. The 12 tracks maintain a somewhat conservative choice of Christmas songs, straying away from most traditional carols found in formal settings at this time of year, and focusing instead on the newer Christmas classics – ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’, ‘White Christmas’ and ‘All I Want For

REVIEW: Here’s Looking At You by Helen Burke

Helen Burke has not yet become a household name but Here’s Looking at You Kid definitely suggests that she should be. Doncaster born and bred, Burke’s life has seen success in numerous competitions, as well as the release of multiple pamphlets and a debut collection, The Ruby Slippers. Here’s Looking at You Kid is Burke’s latest collection of poetry, more specifically containing works that Burke is most often asked to perform. Some of these have been published previously but the collection also

Bottling success - Catfish and the Bottlemen wow with 'The Balcony'

2014 has definitely been the breakout year for now-four piece Catfish and the Bottlemen. Between their 30-odd festival appearances, multiple video releases, earlier and upcoming tours and the impending release of debut album The Balcony, the Llandudno based group have seen their popularity and presence on the music scene eventually rocket. Long standing fans have been awaiting the release of The Balcony for some time now, but after a listen to the record, it seems that the wait was definitely ...

Split Festival

Following a year long hiatus, Split Festival made a triumphant return to Wearside this August. The two-day event was held right in the heart of a city fiercely proud of its music talent, taking over half of Mowbray Park with three stages, food stalls, and a staple of the festival world – complete with faux flower headbands. Saturday saw the better weather of the two days, with blistering sunshine undeterred by the wind. Certainly, festival goers were taking advantage of the rays, with camping c
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