Journalism and other writing
I specialise in arts, books, theatre, visual arts, photography, classical music/opera, travel and cultural policy, but in a decade-plus as a writer I've tackled topics as diverse as the cultural history of gender, the Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, the films of Nanni Moretti, and the Nazis’ curious penchant for jazz.
I've also interviewed people including Tom Stoppard, Svetlana Alexievich, Ian McEwan and Martin Parr, reported from countries including China, Russia, Germany, India, France, the US, Denmark and Taiwan, and contributed to outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times (London), and The New Yorker online. And I'm an experienced editor, both in print and online.
If you’d like to discuss a piece I could write – or commission me! – do get in touch.
Reporting, features, long reads
I love long-format storytelling, and have contributed long reads to The New Yorker online, The Guardian, The New Statesman and Prospect magazine, as well as doing a wealth of other feature-writing.
- A to Z: Inside the Oxford English Dictionary [Guardian]
- Cause and effect: Does the 'Bilbao effect' actually exist? [Prospect]
- On British TV and film’s diversity crisis [New Statesman]
Profile: Caryl Churchill’s prophetic drama [NewYorker.com]
Profiles and interviews
Subjects I've interviewed over the years include John Malkovich, Svetlana Alexievich, Peter Brook, Rachel Weisz, Martin Parr, Abi Morgan, Terry Gilliam, Ivo van Hove, Grayson Perry, Alistair Campbell and Sienna Miller.
- Atwood's Tale: How Margaret Atwood took on Trump [Prospect]
- Love and violence: The world of composer George Benjamin [New York Times]
- Poll Position: Cornelia Parker hits the campaign trail [New Yorker.com]
- 'I don't know whether I've always succeeded': Tom Stoppard looks back [Guardian]
- Hearing voices: A rare interview with Nobel-winner Svetlana Alexievich [Prospect]
Reviews, criticism, op-ed
I've reviewed photography for the New Yorker website, art for the New York Review of Books, theatre for the Guardian, and books for outlets including the Financial Times and The Times Literary Supplement. Recent articles include:
- Uzodinma Iweala's Speak No Evil [book review, FT]
- Picking up the thread: Bauhaus artist Anni Albers at the Guggenheim [art review, NYRB online]
- Peter Carey's A Long Way from Home [book review, FT]
- Paul Strand’s sense of things [photography review, NewYorker.com]
An experienced desk editor, I was on staff at The Guardian from 2005 to 2014. For three of those years, I was on the senior editorial team as overall theatre editor, commissioning theatre and dance coverage of all kinds (text, imagery, interactives, video) both in print and on the web. Before that, I was online arts editor, with a brief that also covered visual art, architecture, classical music and architecture.
A few (older) favourites
- Made in Manhattan: the magical mystery of Saul Leiter [art/photography essay, Guardian Review, 2016]
- How Banksy's policeman got his legs back: restoring contemporary art [reported feature, Guardian arts pages, 2015]
- 'My aim is the ultimate production': Ivo van Hove on theatre [profile interview, Guardian arts pages, 2014]
- Ibsen, our contemporary [Essay/interactive, Barbican, 2014]
- Ian McEwan on writing, retirement and music [profile interview, Guardian G2, 2014]
- My favourite film: Nanni Moretti's Caro Diario [critical essay, Guardian online, 2011]
- 'Hamlet? A mess': Thomas Ostermeier on tearing up Shakespeare [profile interview, Guardian arts pages, 2011]