Journalism and other writing
I specialise in arts, books, theatre, visual arts, photography, classical music/opera, travel and cultural policy, but in 15 years of journalism 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 John Malkovich, Tom Stoppard, Svetlana Alexievich, Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, 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 in-depth reported pieces to The New Yorker online, The Guardian, FT Weekend magazine, The New York Times and Prospect magazine, as well as doing a wealth of other feature-writing.
The Meaning of the Moon [NYT)
Reported feature from Copenhagen, responding to a new exhibition of artistic responses to the Moon – from the Incas to Laurie Anderson
A to Z: Inside the OED [Guardian]
Long read delving into the curious world of the Oxford English Dictionary. Will it ever be finished? And can it survive the digital age?
Profiles and interviews
In 15 years of journalism I’ve interviewed scores of major names, and from all walks of artistic life – among them John Malkovich, Peter Brook, Rachel Weisz, Svetlana Alexievich, Martin Parr, Abi Morgan, Terry Gilliam, Ivo van Hove, Grayson Perry, Alistair Campbell and Sienna Miller.
All Hail, Queen Margaret [Prospect]
How did a Canadian science fiction novelist become the darling of the anti-Trump resistance? And what does it say about politics in 2018?
Love and Violence [NYT]
A portrait of the remarkable musician George Benjamin, who battled against years of creative block to become one of the greatest living opera composers
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]
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]