Author Archives: mkmswain

Jazz roots

Zak Nemorin discusses his enlightening new documentary, which explores the true origins of jazz dance. Read my full Dancing Times article here

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‘They’re making up the rules as they go along’: the theatre producer trapped between tiers

The reveal of which areas are in which tier is “bittersweet” news for theatre producer Kenny Wax. He’s had two companies – one touring, one West End – rehearsing the musical SIX in adjacent rooms. Yesterday, the former group learnt their production won’t be opening as … Continue reading

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Meet the doorstep carol singers determined to get the nation wassailing

As coronavirus restrictions threaten to steal Christmas cheer, carol singing has been at the forefront of people’s minds this week. An open letter sent to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, signed by heavyweights like composer John Rutter, singer Aled Jones, violinist … Continue reading

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‘Online gigs aren’t the same’: one comedian’s journey from stage to supermarket tills

“My first day working in the supermarket,” the comedian Lauren Pattison remembers, “was a year ago to the day that I’d been doing stand-up at Sydney Opera House.” Read my full Telegraph interview here

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‘To call arts freelancers “lazy” is dangerous’: the comedian packing Amazon boxes

It was meant to be a busy 2020 for comedian Will Duggan. “I was the tour support for Sofie Hagen, so I had all those gigs booked in, seven months of work, plus I was getting ready for the Edinburgh Festival. … Continue reading

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What the tier system means for your Christmas trip to the theatre

Theatre is back – or is it? Fuelling existential uncertainty akin to a Beckett play, Boris Johnson has announced a more draconian tier system post-lockdown – but without specific details of how it will apply to entertainment venues, or which tiers they will … Continue reading

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‘Inappropriate’, ‘grotesque’: why the outrage over Caroline Quentin’s Strictly arm-lick is justified

Strictly is no stranger to peculiar moves. There was John Sergeant dragging his partner across the floor like a wet towel in his paso doble. Russell Grant being fired out of a cannon. And who can forget Ed Balls’ infamous … Continue reading

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‘Diana was a cat – a pampered, domesticated cat’: how Emma Corrin learnt to move like a princess

Who links Freddie Mercury, Elvis, Princess Diana and Bond’s latest nemesis? The in-demand movement director Polly Bennett, who helped Rami Malek to an Oscar for Bohemian Rhapsody, and is a key member of The Crown’s creative team. Read my full Telegraph interview here

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Strictly Speaking: Week 5

Well. This was not one of Strictly’s better outings. Our Staycation Blackpool Week sadly took all the worst elements of that usual jaunt – judging hysteria, inconsistent scores – without actually giving us the pleasure of performances at the Tower Ballroom. … Continue reading

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Lucky escape for Clara Amfo after viewers’ votes correct injustice on Strictly’s Blackpool special

Normally, we can chalk up the judges’ erratic Blackpool Week scoring to over excitement at being at the Tower Ballroom. What, then, to make of their bizarre decision-making while still in the studio? Can you get staycation sunstroke? Read my … Continue reading

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