Why Jennifer Lawrence was perfect to play Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games – they’re both feminists through and through

As lucky Kinder in London, we go to screenings of blockbusters – as well as our more favoured smaller, more independent, underground film releases. But there isn’t anything wrong with that – just because a film is Hollywood, doesn’t mean it’s automatically too mainstream, too product placement heavy, or too glamourous for us. Sometimes Hollywood films suck – but not always.

And we really like The Hunger Games.

Mostly it’s because we have a thing for Jennifer Lawrence.

silver-linings-playbook-image-1(Jennifer Lawrence at Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook)

We really, really started to get her when we saw Silver Linings Playbook – an unexpected gem of a film, right from the Stevie Wonder mentions, to Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of someone living with bipolar disorder, to Jennifer’s role as Tiffany – a brash, sexy, but vulnerable individual (and a role that Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for).

Now, The Hunger Games is totally different. Coming from Young Adult fiction, it could be mistaken as a Twilight-type affair – all lovey dovey – but it’s not. (Jennifer, as Katniss, does have love interests – but her biggest interest is to protect her family, friends and the world around her from the regime they’re living under).

20131004050534!Katniss_Everdeen

(Jennifer playing Katniss in The Hunger Games)

Katniss wields a bow. She volunteers to enter the Hunger Games to protect her little sister – and as we’ve seen in the latest instalment, she’s getting rebellious against the totalitarian rules her nation lives under.

Jennifer Lawrence, too, is a rebel. She spoke out on Newsnight about the pressure that girls feel to be thin. Which is a very, very rare move in Hollywood.

Check her out here.

Oh Jennifer, we love you.

Oh, and P.S. – she did this at the Oscars.

jennifer-lawrence1

Rosie x

Caravan Palace talk about their new album, going back in time and performing naked…

INTERVIEW

We had a chance to catch up backstage with Hugues Payen and Zoe Colotis after their amazing performance at Bestival last Friday. After touring around the world for the last few months, fans are now eagerly anticipating a third album. We chatted to the Parisian electro swing and gypsy jazz duo, and asked them some questions – with some very interesting results!

caravan p

How was the performance?

Zoe Colotis: Very warm!

Hugues Payen: It was very cool! Very early in the day, but very cool. It was the first time we have performed at Bestival. It is such a big festival to perform at in the UK.

You have also recently performed in London…

HP: Yes in Brixton. We had a British tour. But not much time to explore unfortunately. It was the hotel room mostly. We are trying to spend more time in the UK though.

ZC: We played a lot on tour last year so now we have to stop and complete our third album. Our priority is not to play anymore, it is to create new sound and then come back. And to kill it!

HP: Maybe we will have a chance to come back soon because the album will be re-released in the UK in December. We will see.

You’re influenced by swing and jazz. If you could live in the past, which decade would you choose to live in?

HP: I am not sure I would want to go back in time because we would not be able to do what we do musically, because of how times are at the moment. If not, we would not be able to make our music.

ZC: Let us just say that we like to live in this decade that we are in now but that we would like to take a vacation to the past – to say hi to Billie Holiday, but not necessarily live all our life there!

HP: Plus it is very good to have computers.

caravan lady

Are you working on the next (third) album? What is going to be different?

HP: We can’t tell! Not because I don’t want to tell you but because there is nothing to say – we are just at the beginning!

ZC: We have been on tour for months in Europe, the United States and Canada – then we go on to record the album. It is time to work now!

HP: Every day you have a different opinion about what you have to do. So it is hard to say what will happen.

How do you start the process of writing a new album?

HP: We have four good composers – she is not one of them [nudges Zoe playfully] – sorry! We all have our own opinions, then we send it to each other and if we don’t agree then your track must go in the garbage! That is how we work. It can take months to work on a song. To have the exact song we want. When just one of us does not agree with the artistic direction, we have to change it. That is part of the composing process.

What is the weirdest place you have ever performed?

ZC: We once played in a zoo in Portland with lots of giraffes around.

HP: Secret Garden Party was the craziest place we have been, people are very strange there.

ZC: But it was also about how we felt being there. Enjoying the festival… Oh yes, actually I remember the weirdest time. I remember! It was a cool concert in Germany: we had come back three times to do an encore and we didn’t have any more songs; so we started to get naked to have our showers but the crowd was still cheering outside “We want more!” We were like “Oh my god are they never going to stop?!” So we just put towels on and did another song naked on stage. Then people in the crowd took off their clothes too and came on stage, and everybody was naked – it was so funny! It was very special…

caravan both

Anne x

Photos: Ambra Vernuccio

http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/09/16/caravan-palace-talk-new-album-going-back-in-time-and-performing-naked/

20 Years of Wu Tang Clan

Interview

Last week, Wu Tang Clan played Bestival 2013, bounding around the stage clutching bottles of champagne. However only a few members managed to make it across to the Isle of Wight, with rumours surfacing that the others (Method Man and RZA) had issues with crossing the channel due to Customs Control. Undeterred, that did not stop mammoth crowds turning out to jump and fist pump to Wu Tang’s brand of old-school hip hop. The audience still got the chance to experience Gravel PitC.R.E.A.M and the deceased Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya, among others. There was even a version of The Beatles’ Come Together – something completely unexpected – along with expert mixing and scratching by Mathematics, who spun discs with his elbows and even his feet.

As soon as Wu Tang came off stage, we were there to catch up on what has been happening during their 20th anniversary year.

wu tang 2

So, you are at a festival, have you ever been camping before?

Ghostface Killah: Camping? What, in a tent? Hell no! Is it good? Are there TVs in there? No air conditioning?!

How do you feel about the performance?

Masta Killa: Well, my job is to make sure you feel good about the performance. Did you feel good about it? Right, so ifyou feel good I did my job. The crowd were happy. That’s my job to make sure the crowd and everybody enjoys themselves. If you said I did a good job, than I am very happy.

wu tang 3

Happy 20th birthday! Do you ever get nervous?

MK: No. Never ever. 20 years might have something to do with it! Thank you for the happy birthday wishes by the way! Thank you, it is the thought that counts.

Have you heard of the Isle of Wight?

MK: The Isle of Wight? I think so… Oh so Isle of Wight is like quiet… People here would be confused by Wu Tang and the festival, right?

How did you get here?

MK: The boat. We flew to London, then got the ferry. “The ferry?” is that the right name? It was cool. We got here today.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever had thrown on stage?

MK: Weirdest thing on stage? Probably panties. Some panties. Yeah.

And the weirdest place you have performed?

MK: That’s tough. I have been to so many places. I can’t really say where is weird because when you are out there on stage, the love that you are shown for hip hop is amazing wherever you go.

wu tang 5

You recently performed in Brixton. Did you get a chance to explore?

MK: Yes. But it is mostly just hotel straight to the venue. I mean I’m here, on the Isle of Wight, gonna kick it with you for a while and then head back on the road. It’s very rare that I get a day off and be shown around. I don’t know when I am leaving. I am on standby like a doctor. I do what I am told, like a good boy.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

MK: What?! What is that? Nah. Haha. I don’t think so. I ain’t got none of that!

Any idea about the new (sixth) album? Even the name?

MK: I have heard of a few different titles but it depends on the music. That is the most important thing.

Are you going to have a big party for the 20th anniversary in November?

MK: A few big parties! Not just in America – everywhere! Even on the Isle of Wight. You never know!

Can you explain the Wu Mansions?

MK: Let’s get a Wu Mansion on the Isle of Wight! For real. Maybe for when we retire. Aw no, we are gonna be around forever. No retiring. I never plan on being old.

Can you speak in some Wu slang for me and translate?

Cappadonna: “Cos you be rubbin it in. Styley beaning [sic].”Translate? I can’t. It’s just a feeling. What did it make you feel like? That’s the best feeling ‘cause Wu Tang stands for: Witty, Unpredictable, Talent And Natural Game.

This year Bestival is nautical themed. What would you dress up as?

U-God: Never a mermaid! If I’m gonna dress up, I’m Dracula. Oh ok, sorry, sea themed. I would be a pirate. A royal prince of the sea! There are a lot of Somalian pirates out there right now taking over the seas…

wu tang

Even on the Isle of Wight?

Cappadonna: Hell yeah. They take over the ships. We would be Wu Tang rap pirates of the game. We get what we wanna get then keep moving. There are German Shepherds out there waiting for us and they wanna get our secrets but you gotta get through the 36 chambers first, like the first album [Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers]. You have got to get through all them chambers before you can reach the first secret! The secret of the ocean!

Can you tell us a secret?

Cappadonna: I am gonna let you in on a secret because you are very curious and you are trying to learn the way of the Wu, so I’m gonna give you one of the first secrets: knowledge of the self.

Anne Higgins
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio

http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/09/13/ghostface-killah-cappadonna-and-u-god-on-20-years-of-wu-tang-clan/

Glenn Chandler discusses his love of theatre

Interview

Glenn Chandler is the creator and director of chilling new tale, The Lamplighters, being performed at the Tabard Theatre this month. Having spent years writing for television with his successful crime drama Taggart, he has now turned his hand to fringe theatre. Here he explains to us why he enjoys the freedom that the theatre allows him.

lamplight

Could you explain what The Lamplighters is about?

It’s an old fashioned murder mystery with a different edge to it. It’s largely about obsession. It is a story about three former detectives who failed to solve a rather sensational murder case, and how their obsession with the case has gradually taken its toll upon their lives and ends up destroying them.

What themes does the play explore?

It’s a tale of revenge, obsession and dark deeds in the wild Cumbrian hills. It’s not really a whodunit as such. It explores miscarriages of justice; it says a few things about the justice system in this country.

Why is the play called The Lamplighters?

It was originally called “The Lamplighter”, but I thought: no, it makes more sense if there are two of them. It is to do with the mysterious legend of two lights seen luring people to their deaths. There are strange tales of lights leading travellers to their deaths across moors. In the play one of the suspects was lured to his death in a dark, cold, mysterious tarn by two lamps that he saw hanging over the water – hence The Lamplighters.

You have focussed on crime fiction a lot in your previous work (Taggart). What are your inspirations?

I have never done anything on crime on the stage before, it was all television. I’ve always been fascinated by what happens to people after a murder case, especially when a murder goes unsolved for years and people start wrestling over who did it and whether the killer will ever be found. I was interested in exploring the obsessions people have with unsolved murders. That’s certainly the angle I wanted to explore with this play.

Do you find it difficult to maintain suspense in your work?

Yes it is always difficult! You find yourself looking back a little bit and thinking: was that too obvious? Even now there are bits that are very obvious to me. But people don’t guess it – I haven’t had anybody yet say they guessed it in the first act. It does play very fair with audiences because the clues are planted along the way if one cares to pick them up!

Do you get nervous watching the show for the first time with an audience?

Yes I do. I get less nervous as it goes along. I get very nervous on press nights, hoping that things go right! I think we had a very good night. The Book of Mormon opened on the same night and we were still packed to the gunnels!

I go to every show in the first week because it’s good to keep an eye on it but there comes a moment when you have to hand it over to the actors. You have to let go of it after a while and move on to other things, which I am doing!

Why did you choose the hills of Cumbria as the setting?

I had a holiday up there and I wandered around the hills and thought this was a good place. It was very misty. All of the places mentioned in the story actually exist!

Have you worked with any of the cast before?

No, the only person I had worked with was Will Hunter, my stage manager. He worked with me on The Custard Boys but the cast were all completely new. It’s nice to work with a new cast! Sometimes it’s too easy to work with old casts.

Do you have a favourite play that you have seen recently?

Yes, I was very impressed with Bully Boy, which was on at the St James Theatre. It had Anthony Andrews playing a soldier accused of crimes committed in Iraq and I was just blown away by it. It just goes to show what you can do in a theatre with two actors, two chairs and a table. It was an amazing production! I’m very impressed by stuff like that.

Do you prefer writing for television or theatre, and why?

I worked on television for many, many years and when you come up with new ideas for television now it takes so much time to get anything off the ground. Television doesn’t take as many risks anymore. It has to be risk-free, whereas with fringe theatre you can take big risks and try new things: that is why I love the theatre!

What do you have planned next?

I have two shows planned: Killers is a one act play about serial killers and has actors playing the parts of Ian Brady, Dennis Nilsen, and Peter Sutcliffe. It’s all to do with the letters that serial killers receive from people out in the world. The play is adapted from the correspondence of Brady, Sutcliffe and Nilsen. I am taking that to the Edinburgh festival this year. I’m also directing Sandel and taking it to Edinburgh. That was a beautiful novel published in 1968. It’s now completely out of print – it costs about £400 to buy a paperback version. It’s set in Oxford in the 60s and about the relationship between a 19 year-old Oxford undergraduate and a young choir boy. It’s a beautiful love story but it will create quite a bit of controversy in the climate of today!

Anne x

http://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2013/03/25/glenn-chandler-discusses-his-love-of-theatre-and-his-new-play-the-lamplighters/