Archive for December, 2007

Khalid Sharif – halal chocolate manufacturer

December 30, 2007

Interview with Carey Mulligan

December 30, 2007

When Carey Mulligan asks, she usually gets. The 22-year-old actress made her first lucky strike, having never been to drama school or university, when she wrote to Julian Fellowes with a request for advice and support. He introduced her to friends who offered her an audition, leading to her role as Kitty in Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice at the age of 19. Next came the BBC’s acclaimed adaptation of Bleak House

Landing the role of Nina in the Royal Court’s Seagull this year was another piece of wish-fulfilment. No sooner had she told her boyfriend she would love to play the part than her agent rang. At first, Mulligan thought she had taken on too much: ‘I would come away at the end of every evening in the first week of rehearsals crying. I felt like the smallest, tiniest person in the room’ but it soon became one of the happiest times of her life and garnered glowing reviews.

Mulligan is now rehearsing for a small part in the Jim Sheridan film Brothers and will start on an independent British film in March. Next on the wishlist is a move away from costume drama. ‘I want a gun and a car chase,’ she says with a laugh, although she would make an exception to play Ophelia to Jude Law’s Hamlet in the 2009 Kenneth Branagh production. In true Mulligan style, she has ‘told everyone I know just in case they happen to know Kenneth Branagh’.

This interview first appeared in Observer Review’s New Faces of 2008 piece

Justin Chadwick

December 30, 2007

Photo: Suki Dhanda

Portishead ATP, 7-9 December, Butlins, Minehead

December 16, 2007


A Nightmare Before Christmas

After a decade in hiding, Portishead chose a music festival at a holiday camp for (almost) the most hotly anticipated reunion of the week. Organised by All Tomorrow’s Parties, the fourth Nightmare, with its winning formula of chalets, intimate gigs and no corporate involvement, offered the perfect backdrop for the reclusive band, who curated the weekend and gave two performances.

Hearing Dummy live after 10 years devoid of Portishead gigs and new material was delicious closure for fans as Beth Gibbons’s clear, emotive voice sang out mercifully undiminished. Five new numbers were trialled, with hip hop now replaced by trance and jazzy influences, but how relevant a third Portishead album can be in 2008 is unclear. The crowd were ecstatic, the band revelled in the adulation, but would anyone have cared if Portishead had been as ubiquitous as Massive Attack over the past 10 years?

But this was Portishead’s moment, which was just as well because behind the trip hop glitter much of the rest of the festival line-up was disappointing. Mark Linkous played solo as Sparklehorse in an underwhelming set, Julian Cope bored with Eighties rock pomp, Rosie Red Rash – an all-girl teen punk band from Bristol – flicked their hair self-consciously, while a room of ageing white people excruciatingly threw Ws at Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA.

Elsewhere, the Horrors lived up to the NME hype with a spectacular performance, while Brooklynites Oneida shone with their energetic nu-rave rock and awesome drumming. How many of these acts were chosen by Portishead? Hopefully not Glaswegian so-called comedian Jerry Sadowitz, who tainted the whole weekend with an hour of hatred and tired jokes at the expense of every minority imaginable.

Thankfully, as the cold sea wind whipped around Butlins’ dome, Aphex Twin restored the glow of Nineties nostalgia with his two-hour DJ set of feel-good beats and bleeps.

This piece first appeared in Observer Review

Set list:
Wicca NEW
Hunter NEW
Mysterons Dummy
Mystic NEW
Glory Box Dummy
Numb Dummy
Wandering Star Dummy
Machine Gun NEW
Over Portishead
Sour Times Dummy
Only You Portishead
Cowboys Portishead
Roads Dummy
Peaches NEW