Jane Shallice

Bright Lights, Big Cities

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Review of 'Dead Cities', Mike Davis, New Press, £16.95

Mike Davis brings to each subject a completely idiosyncratic vision, with a huge passion to tell stories, explain and reveal. Dead Cities is a brilliant kaleidoscope of essays. Each section revolves around a different theme, together revealing the power and arrogance of political leaders in cahoots with corporate capital. In the preface, 'Flames of New York', he cites Ernst Bloch's comparison of pre-bourgeois towns with modern cities. It is the Americanised, 'big city' ideology that believes all problems can be technologically solved.

Joan Littlewood - Worker's Playtime

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Jane Shallice pays tribute to Joan Littlewood whose recent death robs us of one of the greatest and most left wing architects of modern British theatre.

For many of us the death of Joan Littlewood was the death of the woman of theatre, one whose reputation still carried a resonance of the 1930s through to the present. We can still see that figure from photographs, cigarette in mouth or hand, short dark hair sometimes hidden under a hat, a rather puffy face, talking or listening with an immensely intense gaze. Why was it that this woman became so influential, was so revered?

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