Fiona Sturges - The Independent

Fiona Sturges

Fiona Sturges is an arts columnist, interviewer, reviewer and associate Lecturer at Southampton Solent University

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Theatre review: How to Host a Dinner Party, Brighton Fringe

The Sussex company Park Bench Dance Theatre’s show opens with two barefoot, smartly dressed women shuffling on to a empty stage with a dining table. They disappear again and return with some chairs. A long and wordless tussle ensues in which identical dining chairs are shifted and swapped, shunted and dragged, and swapped and shifted again.

'If you want to know about me and Morrissey, Google it': Ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr talks relationships and reunions

He's worked with Modest Mouse, the Pet Shop Boys and Beck, to name a few, and recently released his first solo album. So why, wonders Johnny Marr, do people still hark on about The Smiths?

Theatre review: The Kite Runner, Theatre Royal, Brighton Festival

It was always going to be a tall order bringing Khaled Hosseini’s mega-selling 2003 novel about friendship, betrayal and exile to the stage.

Night Engine, a four-piece from London fronted by Phil McDonnell

Music review: The Great Escape, Various venues, Brighton

It’s hard to shake the feeling that The Great Escape, the annual three-day gigathon for new bands and Brighton’s answer to Texas’s South-By-South-West, has grown too unwieldy for its own good. Certainly, the queues outside venues that snake all the way to Eastbourne offer little hope to the majority of seeing the year’s buzz bands such as The Strypes, Swim Deep or Parquet Courts.

Daniel Kitson

Comedy review: Daniel Kitson: After The Beginning, Before The End Theatre Royal Brighton Festival

Daniel Kitson’s new show is a reflection on reality, memory and our sense of self. Hardly wall-to-wall giggles, you might think, but this publicity-shy, TV-shunning, Perrier Award-winning comic’s talent lies in burrowing into the human psyche and dispensing profound nuggets through tales in which, more often than not, he is the hapless protagonist. After The Beginning, Before The End is like a TED talk with added LOLs.

The Week in Radio: Early-bird David Attenborough goes down a tweet

Did I awake at two minutes to six on Monday morning – a Bank Holiday, no less – to hear David Attenborough's inaugural Tweet of the Day on Radio 4, so as to bring you a wholly authentic report of the listening experience? Did I heck.

Canada wry: ‘WireTap’ host Jonathan Goldstein

The Week in Radio: WireTap is a classy comedy that doesn't need canned laughter

I might, in the past, have mentioned my struggles with radio comedy. In writing this column, I have put myself through immeasurable torture – that is, listening to a parade of stand-ups bleating about traffic wardens, missing socks and sagging genitalia in the late-night slot – in the hope that somebody might cajole my face into something approximating a smile.

It all adds up: Miranda Sawyer of BBC6 Music

The Week in Radio: When music and maths make for a magic formula

Can pop music be reduced to a mathematical equation? I'd prefer to think not. In my wistful moments, while listening to The Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make?", or Eels' "A Daisy Through Concrete", or Laura Veirs' "Galaxies", I'd rather not imagine smart alec songwriters using X's and Y's to send these wondrous sonic shards tearing through my vital organs. I need to know that tears have been shed, that souls have been broken and blood has been spilt to create these songs that can reduce me to weeping, snot-smothered fool in seconds.

Pussy riot: ‘Noise: a Human History’ told the story of the cull of hundreds of yowling cats in 18th-century Paris

The Week in Radio: From felines to farts - an epic survey of sound

"Now you're talking," I thought as I checked out the blurb for Radio 4's Noise: a Human History, a mega-series told in 30 parts. If the likes of The Listening Project and The People's Songs – both hugely ambitious and beautifully made socio-historical documents – are anything to go by, size really does matter in radio.

Maya Angelou: Filling in the final blanks of her life story

Review: Mom & Me & Mom, By Maya Angelou

The latest typically clear-sighted instalment of Maya Angelou's memoirs includes beatings, guns and a celebration of the maternal bond

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