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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In Conversation with Blair Dunlop

Singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop has been making waves in the folk scene for a while now and is releasing his third album Gilded this year. He’s heading out on tour shortly, with a London date at The Lexington in late April as well as various festival appearances. I caught up with Blair over the phone to discuss the importance of his musical family heritage and why folk music still matters.

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QMTC is the best society you could ever possibly join

What could be more fun than Queen Mary Theatre company? Nothing.

We have so much fun. Look up fun in the Oxford English Dictionary and you’ll find a picture of us wearing silly hats.

Here are just some of the reasons we are the best society at QM:

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