review


A War of Flowers – Jane Thynne

I’ve already reviewed the first two brilliant books in Jane Thynne’s Clara Vine series and had to come back and let you all know how much I absolutely loved A War of Flowers, the third instalment in this gripping and darkly evocative series of books set in the glittering but dangerous world of pre-war Berlin, where people are already scared to death, food is already scarce and Hitler and his revolting cronies are treated like demo-gods by their fanatical followers as Europe trembles on the very brink of war. I absolutely love Clara Vine, the half German, half English heroine […]


Stormbird – Conn Iggulden

‘King Henry V – the great Lion of England – is long dead. In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king -Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom. Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England’s territories in […]


The Winter Crown – Elizabeth Chadwick

It is the winter of 1154 and Eleanor, Queen of England, is biding her time. While her husband King Henry II battles for land across the channel, Eleanor fulfils her duty as acting ruler and bearer of royal children. But she wants to be more than this – if only Henry would let her. Instead, Henry belittles and excludes her, falling for a young mistress and leaving Eleanor side-lined and angry. And as her sons become young men, frustrated at Henry’s hoarding of power, Eleanor is forced into a rebellion of devastating consequences. She knows how much Henry needs her, […]


The Marriage of Figaro at the ENO

Despite having been dragged up by massive opera buffs, I’d never actually managed to see an actual real life opera. UNTIL NOW. Yes, that’s right, I can strike yet another thing off my frankly dispiriting and dolphin free bucket list. And it was probably the one thing on there that my poor long suffering husband was looking forward to the least as he’s not a fan of musical theatre, shall we say. Apparently the media studies students that he lived with at university made him watch Moulin Rouge on repeat and the experience traumatised him forever. So bad is his […]


Mark Bruce’s Dracula at Bristol Old Vic

Photo: Farrows Creative. Being a bit of a goth, you can imagine how delighted I was to be asked along to the press night for Mark Bruce’s superlative and erotic reimagining of Dracula at the Bristol Old Vic. I usually write reviews within a day or so of the performance but my illness means that I’ve fallen a bit behind. Sorry! However, although this show has now moved on from Bristol – it’s currently on tour though (it’s in Manchester on Friday and Saturday this week before moving on to Birmingham next Wednesday) so you should be able to see […]


Juno and the Paycock, Bristol Old Vic

Juno and the Paycock, Des McAleer (Captain Boyle) and Niamh Cusack (Juno). Photo: Stephen Vaughan. ‘The world’s in the grip of change for Juno and her peacock of a husband – a daughter flirting with marriage and politics, a civil war outside the door, a son wounded and hiding from the conflict. Could the reading of a will bring stability and status to the Boyle household? Hilarity and tragedy rub shoulders in Sean O’Casey’s classic Irish drama set in Dublin 1922, featuring his trademark mix of comic double acts, political upheavals, domestic longings, and characters who are never far away […]