Friday, 31 December 2010


'I definitely like the mini trend — I’m a legs girl'

Describing her style as a ‘youthful reinvention’ of the sixties icon Jane Birkin, stylist Caroline Sieber has been cementing her place on best dressed lists since she was handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld as a Chanel ambassador. Credited as the woman who completely reinvented Emma Watson’s style, Caroline originally moved to London to become an accountant before abandoning her day job to work in fashion. After being spotted by Anna Wintour at a wedding and placed on the committee of that year’s Costume Institute Gala, (where she was the only person other than Selma Blair allowed to wear Chanel) Caroline emerged as a burgeoning icon.

Sieber’s personal style is never too trendy and she always juxtaposes feminine pieces with hard edged accents refusing to define herself as a ‘cocktail dress and slinky stiletto’s sort of girl.’ Her wardrobe consists of a covetable mixture of feminine dresses, tweed jackets, leather trousers and striking accessories, such as Christian Louboutin’s calfskin thigh high boots. Her ability to reinvent items is particularly admirable; she is always able to add a fresh twist to classic items e.g pairing a Chanel jacket with denim cut-offs. By staying away from trends (though she does favour sequins and leather), Sieber perfectly blends high fashion with edgier pieces, bringing the spirit of sixties Birkin into 2010. Mixing leather with Chanel boucle, the stylist’s doe-eyed features, endless legs and raven locks ensure she is consistently, perfectly polished.

Caroline Sieber exudes a precise put togetherness that many women lack, everything she wears mends itself together in an effortlessly perfect way and I for one cannot wait to see what she wears next.

An added note, a big good luck to my friends Priya and Rachel for their big move to Australia on January 1st!

Harriet Tisdall

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Top from Chloe

Necklace from All Saints

Big knickers from American Apparel

Shoes from Kurt Geiger

Top from Chloe

Necklace from All Saints

Big knickers from American Apparel

Shoes from Kurt Geiger

Dressing gown – Stylist’s own

Jacket – Stylist’s own

Dress by Richard Nicoll

Belt – Chanel

Shoes from Prada

Jumpsuit by Richard Nicoll

Pearls – Stylist’s own

Cardigan by Lina Osterman

Skirt – Stylist’s own

Necklace – Florencia Kozuch

Jacket by Florencia Kozuch

Big knickers by American Apparel

Cloak by Allegra Hicks

Big knickers from American Apparel

Dress by Versace

Shoes by Christian Louboutin

Dress by Florencia Kozuch

Photographer: Tommy Clarke

Stylist: Sacha Harrison

Creative assistant: Cecilia Seilern

Make-up: Lily Lindh using Mac

Model: Victorjia Skyte at Storm

Thursday, 23 December 2010


There is a certain romance about the English winter, in the depths of summer I often hear friends fantasising about new coats, knitwear and thick, wooly tights. However, everyone seems to conveniently forget the ‘cold spells’ of recent years, which require layer upon layer of knitwear, sensible shoes and a hooded coat simply to go outside. After weeks of wearing the same variation of a parka and sensible boots, even the most stylish outfit underneath makes me feel distinctly uninspired. With few signs of the snow and ice melting, I decided to research some stylish ways to keep warm (layering not included), meaning that even if my train gets delayed by three hours, at least I will be warm and cosy. Here are a few options I discovered, being stylish and warm suddenly doesn’t seem quite so impossible.

Cashmere Hats

The ultimate in luxury, a cashmere hat is not only warm but extremely soft and comfortable. This beauty by Chinti and Parker (£39.50) has been so popular that it currently has a waiting list, which is no surprise considering it comes in four colours with an of the moment bobble; certainly worth risking hat hair for.

Detachable Hoods

A number of coats available on the high street and beyond do not have the useful addition of a hood (perfect hair protector/ear warmer). ASOS have created the perfect solution for anyone having a coat dilemma, a detachable hood that can be matched with a variety of winter outfits. Wear this sheepskin hood with a furry collar to channel Doctor Zhivago or Burberry’s aviator chic in another alternative.


As someone with a fringe which is prone to disaster, a hat is unfortunately not always an option. Earmuffs keep you toasty and come in a variety of styles, from fake fur to knitted and even shaped like animals (Accessorize have even created some with owls on). Earmuffs are also an item of clothing that make people inexplicably happy, mostly as they are very cute and slightly ridiculous (though please remember cosy).

Warm Legwear

This may seem like the most obvious option, however, weather this cold calls for a thicker variety, step forward the humble slipper sock. Recently the slipper sock has thrown off its childish connotations, it is no longer covered in cartoon characters and comes above the knee in fashionable cable knit. The pair above from Topshop (£12) are similar to those seen on the D&G catwalk and for days when wellies are necessary, will look adorable peeking over the top.

As I write this, the snow has began again outside, meaning another exciting Uggs/Parka/Wellies dilemma is due to begin shortly. The thought of a cosy hat or some cute earmuffs for extra warmth will surely help to prevent cold induced hysteria? (a little?), if not please come back clear skies, you are very missed!

Harriet Tisdall

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


As the Arctic climes seem to be here to stay, there is nothing better than curling up inside with a good read. You may not have the roaring fire but an armchair and a cup of tea are all you need for an afternoon of getting lost in a good book. Here are my top five books to while away a chilly afternoon.

Love for Lydia by HE Bates

A wonderful story with interesting characters, this book is a fantastic evocation of rural English life in the early part of the twentieth century. The descriptions are so vivid and the story of first love, friendship and growing up will capture your heat.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson

This one of the sweetest books in the world. Miss Pettigrew is a timid woman who responds to an advert for a ‘help’ and finds herself taking charge of a vibrant young woman. In chasing away suitors and assisting her charge, Miss Pettigrew finds herself transformed. The unlikely friendship is heartwarming and the book is written so beautifully, you’ll fall in love with it and want your very own Miss Pettigrew.

The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Yes, you may have seen the film and it is technically a children’s book but this story is too well written and original to not be included. A sweeping tale of exotic lands and good versus evil with a love story thrown in for good measure. You will not want to put this book down.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miler

A wonderful story of a marriage, showing the good, the bad and the ugly. The characters are complex and while you may not like them all, they are a truthful mix of failings and successes, all shown in an uncompromising light. This book is an exploration of who we are, and why we become them.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

This may be an old-fashioned children’s classic but in my view it is one worth returning to. Follow the capers of flame-haired Anne as she struggles to control her temper, make friends and settle into a new life with Marilla and Matthew, her new adoptive parents. This is a great nostalgic read.

Amy Peck

Saturday, 18 December 2010


What is it about younger men? Even at the grand old age of 24 I have noticed that my girlfriends and I are starting to realise the dawn of age. You might be guffawing this statement but problems of late have just sunk in and are somehow all age related. For example, that period of time just after you finish Uni becomes the point to make decisions that determines the future of the relationships we formed over the past few years. Oh the pressure… and I hate to say it but a possible future, i.e marriage, becomes one of the deciding elements of whether you stay together or break up in order to see what else is out there. In the end, it all boils down to marriage and babies (the norm). I mean one of my friends was dumped on the basis that her boyfriend couldn’t marry someone who wasn’t his best friend… honestly! The average age that women marry in Britain is 28.2!! Bloody hell where does time fly? I failed on the beef wellington last night, flushing eighty pounds down the drain – how the hell am I supposed to turn into the nurturing home maker in just 4 years if I a) think it’s acceptable to spend sixty pounds on one meal and b) cock it up? For some reason, these very mature issues seem to be creeping up on us like lady gaga on heat and due to this pressure, some relationships are forced to be re-asessed and in panic, take a turn for the worse.

The movie ’17 again’ presents the exact trial and tribulation of this somewhat surprising issue that us youngsters have to deal with. However, I am very aware that any movie with Zac Efron tends to alter any of my logical perspective….he’s just so good looking and yes I’m completely ashamed of fancying such a perfect specimen of all stereotypical hotties.

Anyway my point is, Zac Efron is quite a few people’s guilty pleasure because movies like High School Musical take us all back to our innocent school years where we were pressure free youths being swept away by complete heart throbs like Zac. Oh the days where one look was enough to send us girls into fits of giggles. Nowadays we assume that a look from a guy is either derived from some perverted attraction – mainly a rude assumption that we are some piece of meat hanging in the butchers. Yes I know it’s a bit cynical but there you have it…

So how do we get that romance? The flutter in your stomach or magnetic attraction that bloody Kristen Stewart and R Patz have. I wish I had a vampire boyfriend – everything would be so much easier.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t teleport back in time and experience our youthful flings like Katie Perry did in her video for ‘Teenage Dream’… first of all I can’t fit into my skin tight jeans anymore and would never be able to spend a night in that flea ridden love shack. But… I’ve noticed that women are turning to a fake sense of reality which is much more practical…drooling over younger men- I mean just looking of course, maybe a little fantasy here and there. Well you can hardly blame a girl if bands like One Direction are flaunting their curly locks and chiseled features on Saturday night dominating shows like the X factor! And not just TV, movies as well! – does Jacob Black really not own a shirt?

The problem with younger men is that they are also a reality, gracing the streets with toned chests and stomachs, full of vibrancy instead of beer. What’s more, they are far more attentive than the usual grunting boys we usually hang around that have been and gone around the block eventually admitting that they’d rather spend a night playing on a PS3 than wining and dining the surrounding women. The other night whilst we were hanging out, just the boys and I, one of them had the audacity to say out loud, ‘we really need to start hanging out with girls’. I mean really? I don’t even count as a girl anymore? I’m also in that category where it’s ok if I get hit full force in a playfight because I’m like a bloke and it’s ok if I walk home on my own at night at 3am because I don’t count. God!

However, the chivalry lost in my guy mates has recently been restored in younger men. They are full to the brim with trendy bars and clubs and have that amount of stamina that is enough to wear me out just thinking about it. When you chat to a younger guy, they have that blue eyed, optimism that one tends to miss when entering the swing of life and are forced to grow up. I went out for a meeting with a group of mixed ages and to my pleasant surprise the younger men at the party were sitting there attentively, hanging onto every word. Whilst I was wallowing in the attention I caught the eye of my other, older guy friend who was sitting there grinning at my smitten behaviour and shook his head in shame. I quickly composed myself in embarrassment and tried to act demure again but it was a little too late. But what’s the harm in losing yourself for one night just to feel the same excitement of life that they feel?

I recently befriended a 19 year old boy who had impeccable manners and seemed extremely chivalrous and mature for a teenager. He was also meltingly handsome… so dismissing the fact that he had just come out of school, I let him take me out. To my surprise I was excited for once with my dull 9-5 life. Where was he going to take me? I hardly knew him, why was I being so reckless? It really took me back to my freedom days, wind in my hair, thirst for lots of fruity cocktails and a shameful amount of flirting! We reached a pub in the West End and the sight let alone the smell sent me crashing down to earth like a bat out of hell. It was one of those pubs that was packed of tourists and smelt like vomit, however, I tried not to be snobby so I entered the pub/dungeon with a smile. The night could still be fun, like when Serena Van de Woodson goes on a Dan Humphrey date… At least Dan Humphrey paid for drinks! Being young, usually means ‘strapped for cash’ but I didn’t know I would be buying all the drinks! I then had to listen to him drone on and on about how his work colleagues made jokes because he was young, something that only a 19 year old young man would find insulting – to most it is a compliment! Then came supper at….not a restaurant but a café. Apparently we had to go there because they had the best paninis. He also invited his friend because his friend would buy him some food because he felt too guilty taking money off me. So I listened to ‘banter’ about ski season and Mamilanji for the rest of our so-called date. What I really wanted to do was to curl up in my worn out slippers watching a documentary. Suddenly it was more of an effort than the beef wellington.

So how can we be satisfied with our lot? Is the grass always greener on the other side? After a certain age are we always going to yearn for the butterflies, the blushing, the faint fuzzy feeling we used to get in our teens? My concluded theory is that the only reason we had those feelings when we interacted with those boyfriends we went out with in our youth was because the certainty that we would be treated with a gratifying demeanour was always wavering. Will he or will he not text or call me? Is he going to show up at the agreed time? Is he having it off with the girl next door who’s got bigger boobs than me? Now that we’ve grown up a little, priorities change and just because the hoody has been replaced by a suit doesn’t mean you can’t achieve some sort of a warm, happy glow from a relationship. Just because he doesn’t know the hip bars and his idea of a Saturday night is playing on his new Fifa game to release his inner boy, he might do things that can be easily looked over and quite frankly, they shouldn’t: like buying the Sex and the City DVD even though he thinks Carrie Bradshaw is a succubus, making you breakfast with a kiss when you look, smell and feel like crap, picking you up from the airport at 3am because he knows you think Easy Bus smells like death, telling you you’re skinny when you’ve put on a stone…..much better than a stupid sugary drink in a trendy bar.

Emily Chang

Friday, 17 December 2010


Have you read or heard of any of those online blogs that cyclists in London keep? Well as of two days ago I can positively say I get it. I mean, I totally get it. Before getting a bike in London I didn’t really have the urge to do so. What with the danger and the expense of actually getting a bike, I didn’t really see the benefit. Recently, however, I purchased a nice little cycla’ and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I looked in many places for a good deal before I bought the bike (I’m a sensible man, I can do my research)…in the end however it transpired that the deal was done in a Bethnal Green underpass. I’m not going to pretend that this was ideal, but the goods were solid, and as far as I can determine, above board. My mate Matt met me to oversee this totally legit transaction and we immediately set off into the night. Now, I’ve had many bikes before, I’m no stranger, but the Bristol-Portishead cycle path will absolutely to no extent prepare you for Cambridge Heath Road. Have you got any idea how much Hackney Carridges hate cyclists? Well, you may well do, but as a pedestrian I had been happily going about my daily business unaware of the vehement scorn between these two opponents. A race, I may add, that taxi drivers are determined to win.

Now, taxi drivers might scare the shit out of you while your cycling, but in my own short experience I have to say that terror is an inherent part of why I am now a London cycla’ convert. Only a few short minutes into my cycling career I was faced with Old Street roundabout. The most important lesson I’ve learnt is that if you’re going to take on a roundabout, you have to go for it. You’ve got to get right in there and cycle right into the vortex, or else you’re going to find yourself clinging onto some barriers at the side of the road and eventually crossing this roundabout by going over every single zebra crossing. I have done both. However, I went into that roundabout screaming inside like a little girl; and I came out the other side a new man. Literally every five minutes whilst cycling I enter into a circumstance that could actually end in my demise. But you know what? Its fucking fantastic. Passing over Tower Bridge, illuminated and vast later that evening I thought ‘London, you are my bitch-boy.’ I know this isn’t a very noble, articulate sentiment, however the point here is that this thought did really pass through my mind and I’m proud to say that the sentiment still rings true. The cold air freezes your lungs, turns your hands into gnarled claws and as your legs begin to seize, you have never felt so liberated.

Morgan Hill-Murphy

Thursday, 16 December 2010


I was beyond excited to see the TBA, alias To Be Adored, Spring 2011 lookbook pictures emerge yesterday. Filled with rose and nude coloured chiffons embellished with the label’s signature peter pan collars, BinBin McNiven has designed exactly what I plan to wear next season. The lookbook, set in the bleak, chilly English countryside emphasises the delicate femininity of the pieces by contrasting them with the gloomy atmosphere and melting snow. Each piece is toughened up by chunky desert boots from Clarks (adding to the Englishness of this collection), though they are still teamed with frilly, white ankle socks (this label is designed by a woman for the shamelessly feminine). Highlights include ruffled polka dots and the beautiful ‘cibelle’ dress pictured above; a combination of a delicate lace bib, flowing sleeves, peter pan collar and midi length in apricot silk. Visitors to the press day have also reported a range of pieces inspired by art deco styling and (most exciting of all) a ‘sunny swan lake’ print, featuring ballerinas and swans dancing across trousers, blouses and dresses. The collection hits stores in February and these light, delicate pieces are perfect for this Spring’s relaxed vibe (though possibly teamed with a coat at first). It is hard to believe that the label has only been in production for just over a year, McNiven has consistently achieved the ideal balance between luxurious fabrics, beautiful colour palettes and elegant, individual details.

TBA, you have done it again for Spring, I absolutely adore you.

Harriet Tisdall

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


When at lunch with my lovely matey Cressida Meale (Riding on Buses with Bags), I picked her brains for any cool boutiques that I should know about and she came up with this….Hoxton Boutique is hidden away just off Old Street selling all sorts of young labels from around the world including Surface to Air, Dr Denim and Eley Kishimoto. Without meaning to sound too generic, this place is quirky with a homely feel where you can find something original but not scary alternative. There’s a real mixture of youthful vibrancy (like the huge treasure trove of costume jewellery) and clean cut, sassy pieces but somehow Hoxton Boutique seem to pull off the mish mash.

Whats more, we had Tessa Maye, the winner of Storm’s Gatwick Runway Models competition on her first ever shoot! Not too shabby for a rookie…

Top: BZR £59

Trousers: Sugarhill Boutique £49

Blazer: BZR £195

Dungarees: Gat Rimon £89

Tiger necklace £43

Gillet: HOBO £145

Chest ring: £80

Body: Gat Rimon £45

Trousers: £99

Photographer: Tommy Clarke

Stylist: Sacha Harrison

Make-up: Ruth Pease using Mac

Model: Tessa Maye from Storm Model Agency

So…we did a shoot and we decided to do something a bit different.

Rookie Creative teamed up with PR Photography and filmed behind the scenes footage of the shoot and this is what we came up with…

Video: Peter Rear and Christina Everington from PR Photography

Sunday, 12 December 2010


The French are slowly taking over London; after the launch of Sandro’s first store last month another brand from over the channel, The Kooples has just opened three stand alone stores in the capital. Injecting a much needed dose of French cool to the British high street; brothers Alexandre, Lauren and Raphael Elicha (sons of the creators of Comptoir des Cotonniers) have created a label which combines Savile Row tailoring with Parisian elegance. Sidestepping trends and seasons, The Kooples latest collection contains androgynous clothes with a rock edge. The designers have aimed to create basics with a twist, meaning each item has added quirks such as a coat of arms on a jacket. With stunning camel coats, leather-panelled dresses and lace t-shirts alongside perfectly tailored three piece suits; The Kooples has mixed femininity with ‘the steal it from your boyfriend ethos’ that is so hard to achieve. The brand’s ad campaigns are a particular highlight as they feature real life couples modeling the label’s wares (Kooples is actually French slang for ‘the couples’). Alongside shots of these ‘models’ looking effortlessly cool in the label; there are mini interviews with each couple revealing secrets such as where they first met. These beautifully shot interviews mean we get to snoop into the lives of a number of beautiful couples alongside viewing reasonably priced, high-end clothes (think Whistles or NW3). With twenty more stores to open in 2011, the brothers are planning to take over the British high street, bringing some much needed ‘je ne sais quoi‘ to our wardrobes.

The Kooples is currently stocked on, Selfridges London and in stores on Carnaby Street, the Kings Road and St Christophers Place.

Harriet Tisdall

Saturday, 11 December 2010


Facebook is the quintessential online accessory of the digital generation. Not only do we Facebook at our computers, we Facebook on the train, at work and even on holiday. It is therefore only inevitable that Facebook should pose a powerful influence upon our lives, as we live, sleep and breathe by the pulse of the ‘book’. Where we used to send invitations via post, we now create events requesting instant r.s.v.p's; where we used to develop photos in print, we now create archives of digital albums; where we used to pick up the phone, we now post on walls and where we once played with the potential to be the children of the revolution, we are now the children happy to accept the status quo.

We are told that the tools of social media have reinvented social activism. However, this revolution has been somewhat lost in translation. Despite Facebook's capacity to facilitate an impressive word of mouth effect, such as successfully kicking Simon Cowell’s X Factor hit from the Christmas Number one spot in 2009, in reality, Facebook does very little beyond powering idle chit-chat.

Whilst Facebook's ability to raise awareness with commendable speed and scale is undeniable, successfully spreading popular youtube videos, mocking groups or circulating important petitions worldwide, the awareness raised is somewhat of face value. We can all join a group and claim a part in the process of contributing towards the greater good, but revolution requires considerably more participation than the meagre click of a button. Revolution requires the strength of personal bonds.

As you jump aboard the most recent Facebook fad, changing your default picture to an image of your favourite childhood cartoon character in the name of stamping out child violence, stop and consider the influence of your actions. What real impact is the collaborative effort of millions of Facebook users adorning their digital profiles with Peter Pan or Postman Pat, truly having on the very real, very physical reality of child abuse?

So in the name of revolution, don’t just surf the net if you want to make waves in reality.

Rose Brownlow

Thursday, 9 December 2010


I am of course talking about England vs Australia, the old enemy or the convicts down under. To them we are the poms, the stuck up boring lot who live in a country with only rain. On whichever side you reside, the rivalry between these two countries has been ongoing for over a century. Once again we are in the middle of the Ashes, a cricket series that is battled out every two years in Australia and England.

Now I can understand why a lot of people are impartial to the obsession with a little red ball and 22 men in white running around a field for 5 days, with the chance that it could end in a draw!

However it doesn’t matter if the contest between these two nations is cricket or bowls, it is ferociously competitive and thoroughly engaging to the eye. Sport is what Australia is all about (and the weather!) and they pride themselves on winning everything. As an Englishman I have seen years of sporting disappointment, be it Rugby or football. There is nothing worse that walking past one of the walkabout pub’s dotted across London to hear a chorus of twangy Australians cheering another England defeat.

Though I may detest their smugness on these occasions, I like nothing better than when England reverse these situations and we get one over the Aussies, especially in their back yard. This may come across as incredibly hypocritical but that is what great rivalry is all about. From the agony to the ecstasy, long may this great sporting confrontation continue (as long as England win!).

George Jerram

Monday, 6 December 2010


Historic Greenwich Naval-College Brewery Revival after 100 Years of Closure: Success?

The Old Brewery, housed in the original brewery building that has been out of use for over 100 years, is a simply spectacular setting. Located on the Thames, squeezed between the majestic Royal Naval College site and the historic Cutty Sark, the revival of this naval college micro-brewery is designed to ‘recapture the glory of a fascinating age’.

The Royal Naval College site, now occupied by Greenwich University and Trinity College, was once the home to the Palace of Plancentia, built in 1447 and birthplace to Henry IIV, Mary I and Elizabeth I. The demise of the Palace over the following centuries lead to the decision to build the ‘Kings House’ to the South of the site. In 1694 the Royal Naval hospital was chartered and built in its’ place, ‘for the relief and support of seamen and their dependants’, and in 1717 the Brew-house was added to supply these pensioners with a strict 3-pint daily ration.

The exciting revival of this historic brewery is not for the faint-hearted: Mean-time ales are brewed on the site and are overseen by award winning Alistair Cook. It also offers a menu that comprises of almost 50 different ales and beers! By day the Old Brewery consists of two sides; the main hall serves as a café serving light snacks, and the barside serving more formal traditional English plates. By night the venue is transformed into a trendy bar and formal restaurant. The modern décor, including a visible brewery and a suspended collage of bottles, give it a 21st century feel, while the cast iron 'fish-bellied beams' restored from the 1830s and the timeline running through the building, give a more subtle reminder of its’ history.

My initial excitement at visiting the Old Brewery faded and I could not help feeling disappointed. The opulent design and lack ambience made me feel like I was in an art gallery tourist-trap, sterilized and characterless, rather than being in a historical brewery dating back to the eighteenth century. The selection of ales was impressive, and the menu was sophisticated (yet slightly over priced), however, its major selling point-‘its character and history’- was not up to scratch.

Worth visiting?

First, I think it is important to identify that the Old Brewery is far from the finished product and there are creases that need to be ironed out. The direction of this establishment needs to be focused on enticing the local punters rather than merely attracting the many hordes of tourists that descend on Greenwich every day. Second, the metallic materials choking the interior need to be replaced with something, enchanting , historic and maritime. However, the general concept of ‘old brewery’ is excellent, from the grand setting to its purpose ‘as a celebration’- this venue is definitely worth checking out. If not solely to enjoy one of the excellent ales at the brewery, as a great excuse to visit the historic, picturesque Greenwich and to explore some of its’ other impressive attractions.

Adam Ashworth

Thursday, 2 December 2010


Recently my appreciation for performance art has been enriched. During a journey through Hong Kong I had experience of a thriving world of performing arts. Wanting to know more, I recently started a dialogue with aka Director Sweet and Sour productions. CM graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2010. Born in Edinburgh she found inspiration from the Edinburgh festival and talk radio and now provides voice -overs for Fox and Star TV - you can hear her on Dexter Season 5 on Fox crime. CM arrived in Hong Kong in 2003 and since then has acted, directed and co-produced theatre! She has worked with some of the best theatre professionals in Hong Kong which include Sean Curran and Bonni Chan from Theatre du Pif and Lindsey McAlister, founder of The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF.)

I spoke to CM to increase my understanding of theatres. My curiosity had grown into a culmination of questions. How does theatre connect people? What does performance allow an individual to experience? Is the cultural diversity of Hong Kong's population represented in the public arts & entertainments? What's your opinion on lighting and set design? What performance show are you currently involved with? Where?

CM: The quality of English-language theatre production in Hong Kong is something that I am very passionate about. In my view, the standard and quality of productions here is mixed and it is my goal to raise the bar and produce theatre that is of a professional standard. It is my aim to give the actors a rewarding, creative journey and the audience an entertaining and satisfying night out that is value for money.

Theatre at its best should be entertaining, informative, enlightening, stimulating and exciting. It is the role of the director to work closely and compassionately with the actors and production team to foster a collaborative environment where artistic and creative progress is made. The director should also be mindful of the sensitivities and needs of the artists and the work so that a balance is achieved between the interpretative skills of the artists and the intention and meaning on the page. A director should also have a vision for the piece and while this may grow and mature as the process develops, the director should also keep an eye on the end product. Therefore, the role of the director is to guide and shape the performers and piece and he or she should have a widescreen and aerial view of the work!

In 2009, I directed the following shows for the Hong Kong Theatre Association: Agnes of God and Talk Radio. I am currently working with YAF as a director for the “Ms Directing” project for the Noel Croucher Shakespeare Fund, which will take place at the end of May. I recently set up my own company called Sweet and Sour Productions Limited and I directed and produced Sleuth, by Anthony Shaffer, at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in October 2010.

Candice is currently rehearsing a contemporary thriller produced by The Hong Kong players called ‘Orphans’ written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Ahmed El-Alfy. Orphans has been given a Fringe First award 2009. The show is on from 8th-11th December and tickets are available from URBTIX outlets or

Find more about sweet and sour productions at

Mairead Gillespie

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Imagine Crash bandicoot and Ace Ventura on a night out… South London Pacific is an exotic slice of fun bang in the heart of Kennington. Hidden away in Kennington Cross, in the middle of an invisible triangle between Oval, Vauxhall and Elephant and Castle, this fantastic venue is an absolute gem, unknown to many.

Décor: First instinct on stepping in to this amazingly outrageous hula bar setting was to pull an idiotic and immovable grin. The Giant blinking masks, bamboo shoots, wooden benches- You would never believe you were in South London.

Music: South London pacific is possibly the most eclectic music venue in the world, different from night to night. Ranging from 60s rock n roll and pop you can dance to, to Modern Motown, Latin funky house, Funk and Soul, Mash-ups, genre bursting Sunshine Jazz, Dance classics. You name it- if it’s loud and fun, they’ve got it!

Crowd: South London Pacific is immensely popular with the locals, so make sure you book or get there in good time. The punters generally reflect the overall atmosphere of the place- determined to fun, people are often friendly and enthusiastic.

Drinks: Great cocktails, reasonable prices, friendly bar staff.

Loads of different cocktails to choose from £5.45 and £3.45 during happy hour

Food: Great Vietnamese and Thai. The menu ranges from bar snacks- fish skewers, breaded prawns, spring rolls samosas from £4.50- Party platters for from £40 (10 people)

Worth a trip?

From the outlandish décor, music, drinks and food, to the table football tables, pinball machine, circular shape of the club, everything seems to be designed produce the maximum fun possible- a vast contrast to other, overly-serious venues you might find in London. I would highly recommend this place for a guaranteed good night out.

(340 Kennington Road, Oval nearest tube)

Adam Ashworth