Sunday, 31 October 2010

Journalism: What's On

Written for Venue, July 2010

Music Cheltenham Music Festival
Classical Brit award winner and Cheltenham Music Festival regular Alina Ibragimova returns with the likes of Gunilla Sussman, Milos Karadaglic and Steven Isserlis to provide Cheltenham’s classical summer soundtrack. The eco-friendly organisers ensure all proceeds go to the local community, so if you fancy a bit of charitable culture, order your tickets now.

Event Simon Schama
Having conquered the history of Britain and the future of America, award-winning Simon Schama turns his hand to the now of America. The New Yorker’s art and culture critic brings his views and speculations on the state of the nation at present and impending threats to its future. Barak Obama, the capitalist system, power, war, race and immigration are some of the themes to be expected from Schama’s latest discussion.

Food and Drink Bath Food and Drink Festival
Bakers, cheesemongers, baristas and winemakers are set to hoard to Bath for a weekend of gluttony and enlightenment: which one you opt for is your choice. Celebrity chefs, Michelin Star earners and local specialists are all billed to bring visitors a taste of the Med, the East and our very own homeland. With frequent talks and demonstrations, live music and street theatre, there will be no excuse for boredom.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Journalism: On the Job interview

Written for Venue, July 2010

On the job…

Elaine Simmons
Prison Custody Officer

What does a PCO do?
I escort people in custody to court from prisons and police stations, and work within the court.

Why did you apply for the job?
I was looking for a change from sitting in an office all day!

What’s the pay like?
Depends on the hours.

What are the hours like?
It varies, but it can be a long day. Mainly I travel in the South West and South Wales, but I have been known to go to Carlisle!

Best bits?
Every day is different. I don’t know where I’ll be going until that morning.

Getting up for a 5:45 start; not good in the winter.

What did you want to be as a child?
It changed every week - a vet, a mechanic…

If you could do any other job, what would it be?
I’d like to work with animals on a game reserve.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Events listing

Written for Venue June 2010.

Stop Press

Sat 26: Beauty and the Beast Children’s Auditions Bristol Hippodrome, Saint Augustine Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ, 10am, free. Ffi:, Bristol Light Opera Club are running auditions for boys aged 8-12 to play Chip. Auditionees should be no taller than 4’ and able to sing, dance and act, but no experience necessary. No need to prepare material.

Wed 30: Folk Tales Music and Storytelling Scout Hut, Redcliffe Backs, Bristol, BS1, 8pm, £4. Ffi: Wig Smith returns from a month in Gambia with Chris Brown to share stories and music. BYO policy, tea and biscuits provided.

Sun 27: Alternatives to Capitalism Reading Group Café Kino, Ninetree Hill, Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3SB, 6pm, free. Ffi: 0117 924 9200, café Monthly workshop discussing alternatives to capitalist thought.

Fri 2 July: Summer Songs and Music St Mary’s Church, Church Lane, Marshfield, Chippenham, SN14 8NT, 7:30pm, £7.50 adult, £5 concession, children free. Ffi: 01225 891819 Professionals and students bring Bach, Chopin and Cole Porter to this summer classical concert.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Turning Japanese: Interview with Jonathan Lee

Conducted and written for Venue July 2010

Turning Japanese 

Robyn Simmons catches up with the newest writer on the block to find out what happens when you plonk a Western hermit in the heaving East.

A first class honours degree, a lucrative career and stints working abroad. At the tender age of 29, Jonathan Lee is well on his way to completing most people’s to-do list of life, but the Bristol graduate is just whetting his appetite. This month sees the release of his first novel, ‘Who is Mr Satoshi?’ [William Heinemann, £12.99], marking a dramatic shift from law – his chosen vocation of seven years – to literature.

The novel’s protagonist Rob, a ‘slightly agoraphobic’ photographer, takes on the role of reluctant detective when his mother suddenly dies, leaving a mysterious package undelivered to the enigmatic Mr Satoshi. In his quest to answer the riddle of the book’s title, he finds himself plunged into the chrome and concrete of Tokyo where he unearths much more than the truth he originally sought.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Film journalism: An Overview of 2010's Family Films

Written for Primary Times July 2010

2010 has been a big year for kids’ films. With the release of Alice in Wonderland, Shrek Forever After and the long awaited Toy Story 3, piggy banks all over will have been raided, drained and destroyed. But don’t start taping the splinters together just yet; in a few short weeks the new Harry Potter saga hits the cinema and, for those forward-thinkers amongst you, Gulliver’s Travels is due just in time for Christmas. So put that sellotape down and start counting your pennies if you want to catch up with your kids’ favourite films.

Promo journalism: The Wooden Blind Company for Folio

Written for Folio June 2010

The Wooden Blind Company
These classic blinds have been fashion and fitted by Steve Sharp’s very own hand. Owner of the family-run Wooden Blind Company, Steve is dedicated to tailoring each order to perfection, making each set of blinds or shutters as unique as their owner.

With their limitless appeal, shutters “suit Edwardian Georgian properties right up to harbourside apartments and give a contemporary feel,” he explains. “There’s a selection of louvre sizes and colours – larger louvers allow light to flood in whilst giving you privacy.

“If someone phones up about shutters I will visit them in their own premises and discuss options,” he says. “Everything we do is bespoke – nothing is off the peg.” Collaborating with S-Craft, The Wooden Blind Company offers a design and consultation service that multinational companies are unable to provide. Using CAD technology and their own experience, Steve and his craftsmen deliver flawlessly fitting blinds that not only look great, but protect the rest of the furniture from fading.

The Wooden Blind Company
25 Glanville Gardens, Kingswood, Bristol. Ffi: 0117 9606 289,