Holly Williams

Holly Williams is an arts and features writer for The Independent, The Independent Magazine and The Independent on Sunday.

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After Me Comes The Flood, by Sarah Perry - book review

One day in an endlessly hot summer, John Cole heads to Norfolk to visit his brother; he gets lost, seeks help. At a nearby, grandly dilapidated house, he is mysteriously greeted by name: they were expecting him. There’s the ugly, maternal Hester; pale, piano-playing Eve; the former preacher Elijah, seemingly serene yet sent agoraphobic by loss of faith; red-haired twins, Alex and Clare, quivering with child-like giddiness and vulnerability; and Walker, chain-smoking, intimidating. John doesn’t know them, yet feels compelled to stay. But how do they know him? “What keeps them here, pleasure or punishment …” John – and the reader – wonders.

Holly not only perceives the months in colour, she also sees them as circular - starting with January, bottom left; the days of the week, she sees left to right, starting with that bold red of Monday

Inside the sensual world of the synaesthetes: 'I can smell a rainbow'

Holly Williams is a synaesthete, for whom letters and numbers, days of the week and months of the year conjure up a rainbow of colours. Here, she looks forward to a new project that might throw light on this extraordinary condition – and reveals how synaesthesia helps her plan her life...
Mathew Baynton (Gus) & Elizabeth Berrington (Marie)

Holes, Arcola Tent, review: Mathew Baynton in an ill-timed plane-crash comedy

Beautifully observed dialogue with nowhere to go

A Streetcar Named Desire: Benedict Andrews gives Blanche and Stanley a twist

As ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ gets a radical overhaul from director Benedict Andrews, Holly Williams climbs aboard

Dance of death: rehearsals for 'Medea'

Medea: How Goldfrapp scored the Greek tragedy

The National Theatre's production of the Greek tragedy 'Medea' addresses itself to the modern condition, helped by music from the art-pop duo. Holly Williams goes backstage

Need for speed: the V&A’s Rapid Response Unit

The museum will reflect our fast-changing times with a constantly updating gallery of modern objects

Women behaving badly at the RSC

Holly Williams talks to the writers making ‘Midsummer Mischief’ for a festival relaunching Stratford’s Other Place

Maggie Gyllenhaal: The actress on switching accents, Middle East politics and going blonde

There are never many excellent projects Every year there are a few and you just hope you can be lucky enough to be involved in them. I feel like I've had maybe two or three projects in my life that have been extraordinary. And then other times you're just trying to find a way through something that's slightly less than extraordinary… But that's OK. That's how we all live!

Hobson’s Choice, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, review

Although written in 1915, and set in 1880, Harold Brighouse’s social comedy is updated here to the Sixties by director Nadia Fall. But it keeps the story of the overbearing, drunken Hobson, who runs a shoe shop in Salford, and how the cleverest of his three daughters contrives to rescue them all from a life of drudging after him through a series of canny marriages and shrewd business decisions. 

Maggie Gee: 'My Manhattan Transfer with Virginia Woolf'

Maggie Gee’s novel drops the Bloomsburyite in today’s New York. Holly Williams met her

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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried