What Do You Mean: Louisa Johnson – So Good

After the misadventures to the noughties over the past few weeks, I’m rolling the clock forward all the way to the present day. This week’s offering comes courtesy of our glorious leader Simon Cowell by way of his latest reality show progeny Louisa Johnson and her single So Good. Currently setting the charts aflame at number 18, this track explores an issue close to my heart: the repercussions of accidentally going out.

 

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What Do You Mean: S Club 7 – Reach

Much like the renegade master, I am back once again after a week off (last weekend involved a little too much ill behaviour). Keeping it within the early noughties, I am delving deep into the best seven piece band ever manufactured by record label hotshots, cos hey, there really ain’t no party like an S Club party.

S Club 7 were an aspirational tour de force. When they said don’t stop movin’ you realised you didn’t particularly enjoy being stationary anyway. When they lamented that they’d never had a dream true, your young brain mourned the fact that that dream you had about your cat learning to fly never came to fruition (oh Tiddles, if only). And when they told you to reach for the stars… Well…

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What Do You Mean: Sugababes – Push The Button

This week I’m rolling back the clock to the heady days of 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Youtube was created and MG Rover went bust. That’s right kids, this time round I’m tackling Sugababes’ number 1 smash hit Push The Button.

The Sugababes have a reputation as a pop hydra, chop off one head and they grow another. Their final incarnation may have contained none of the original members, yet the group is so much more than an interchangeable selection of individuals. In a grand tradition stretching back to the three witches in Macbeth, when these three young women come together as The Sugababes, regardless of who the three women may be, a special kind of magical pop foresight occurs.

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Meet the next generation of male playwrights writing women without writing an agenda

The continuing under-representation of women across many levels of society is well-documented. Theatre specifically has notoriously poor roles for women compared to those for men, usually taking supporting roles and often as a love interest for the male lead. Even “strong female leads” across the mediums of theatre, film and television have their independence thwarted by what can be an at best secondary and at worst unnecessary love story plot.

A study conducted by WomenArts found that the tendency for women playwrights to write more female parts was largely counteracted by the fact that they are outnumbered 3 to 1 by male writers. Gender inequality is clearly a deep seated issue in theatre, however no one quite knows the best way to resolve it. Fortunately, modern playwrights are a fairly liberal bunch, with self-identified feminists of both genders taking on the task of crafting female characters worth putting on stage. Male writers seem to be becoming more aware of the importance of complex depictions of women in their plays, yet it’s rarely attributed to a pursuit of an overtly feminist ideology. Simon Longman and Daniel Dingsdale, two exciting new voices in theatre, both offer up an example of men’s writing challenging the dominance of male roles for the stage, with the most egalitarian motivation of all –  that of writing a good character.

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