Issuu on Google+

FILM ART MUSIC THEATRE

ANIMAL FARM

TEMPLES

JAKE YAPP

C ULTUR ED

THE MONTHLY ARTS MAGAZINE REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEATURES NEWS


Contents

C ULTURED

6,7: This month at the theatre 8: A ta le of t wo ci t ies rev iew 10: An ima l fa r m rev iew 12,13: a revolut ion on stage 15: INSIDE LLEWYN DAV IS REV IEW 16,17: Her rev iew 18,19: Temples 22,25: ja ke ya p p

Don’t miss our exclusive interviews with psychedelic band Temples (left, pages 18-19) and comedian Jake Yapp (right, pages 22-25) from Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe. There’s also reviews from the latest films and plays in Cultured’s Cinema (pages 14-17) and Theatre (pages 8 and 10) sections. This edition’s theme is revolution, so get ready for your monthly dose of cultural references, classic novel adaptations, and some rather scary images of the future. Also this month: Cultured takes a close look at the contemporary artwork in Northampton’s new bus station. (28-31) We speak to acting students at the University of Northampton about their performance of Animal Farm. (11-13) Our straight-talking music bigot gets to meet Temples. (20-21)

Editor: Chris Edwards Head to page 4 to read about this month’s theme.


the theme

4


R E VO LU T IO N

i s t h e wo r d

I

n this month’s edition of Cultured we take a look at some of the newest names in entertainment that are changing the way we view the arts. There’s Temples – the leaders of a psychedelic revival in music, Comedian Jake Yapp from Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, and an intimate interaction with the cast of Animal Farm, the stage production. We also speak to the producer of The Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton about the stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities – to push our revolution theme home. However, despite our choice of plays depicting violent revolts, the most terrifying images come from Spike Jonze’s film Her and his tech-

dependent vision of the future. Could you start a relationship with your computer? Skip to page 8 to read our review. On the lighter side, we have news and views on the artwork in the new Northampton bus station, which we’re hoping won’t be revolutionary in the killing and overthrowing your country kind of way. So remember, it’s revolution, not evolution. We know it’s usually the other way round, but here at Cultured we think it’s time that we celebrate the rebels, the darers and innovative minds that are breaking the mould of the arts. Editor Chris Edwards


THEATRE

Joshua Silver as Charles Darnay in The Royal and Derngate’s A Tale of Two Cities. Picture by Robert Day

6


: h t n s ' o r m e c s i u h d T o r p e th r d wo

B

efore 1999 The Royal and Derngate theatres in Northampton were located on separate sites, it was only after the Arts Council of England suggested they should merge that the two started to prosper. Fifteen years on they are reaping the benefits of being a joint organisation. In fact the fusion of the two has been so successful that their competition has become solely internal. So, with the likes of Russell Brand and Jimmy Carr soon to be appearing at The Derngate, The Royal has had to pull something out of its sleeve to stimulate the healthy rivalry. Fortunately for them, they have come up trumps with a selfdevloped interpretation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. In keeping with our theme, we review Mike Poulton’s adaptation of the revolution based play, and as it is very much The Royal’s own, we thought we’d have a quick word with

the theatre’s producer John Manning too. “It’s a production we’re very proud of. To have that sense of authenticity coming from the props and costumes we provided feels like a great achievement,” says Manning. Like everyone else at The Royal, he is keen to increase its reputation, and with large-scale productions like A Tale of Two Cities that’s exactly what they’re doing. The competition doesn’t stop there however. There’s also the Errol Flynn Filmhouse, which Manning was keen to draw comparisons to. “It does very well for itself, so in a way we’re just glad our competition isn’t coming from something external.” In fact there’s far more to it, he emphasises, “we’re actually playing a film about the life of Dickens to compliment our stage production, so there’s more ways than one that we can use the different facilities to our advantage.” A Tale of Two Cities is showing at The Royal February 21 - March 15.


Court scene. Picture by Robert Day

a ta l e o f t wo c i t i e s : r e v i e w

I

n Mike Poulton’s immersive adaptation of Dickens’ novel, we are plunged into revolutionary Paris before we even have the chance to find our seats. Members of the cast start their performance behind a transparent screen, mournfully treading the stage to signify the dread of forthcoming events. The set’s large sliding walls and stunning vistas help to give the drama an air of authenticity. The effect of which is even more potent when scenes depict the agony and desperation of the French people. It is a brutally vivid imagining of Dickens’ classic, and there is barely a moment to rest as we are rushed from one gripping event to the

8

next. From the beginning we find ourselves in a nerve-wracking court scene, with French aristocrat Charles Darnay (Joshua Silver) being wrongly accused of spying for the American colonies. It is only due to the last-minute intervention of lookalike barrister Sydney Carton (Oliver Dimsdale) that Darnay’s life is spared. Anxious moments like this are aplenty, as the fates of two men collide. Somehow, this stage adaptation manages to squeeze all of the novel’s chaos into just two hours, and as a result, there is never a dull moment. Even dinner sequences keep you on the edge, as Darnay’s twisted uncle faces a home invasion

from the revolutionists. However, finding the time for all this action means the cast have to rush through their lines, and what we are left with is a set of fairly shallow characters. Sydney Carton is another matter. For all the drama and violence sweeping the streets of Paris, he still finds the time to give wallowing monologues and declarations of his admiration for Darnay’s wife to be, Lucie Manette (Yolanda Kettle). Mike Poulton’s adaptation is relentlessly punchy. He recognises the undying relevance of Dickens’ masterpiece by delivering scenes and images that naturally provoke thoughts of modern-day Kiev.


animal farm: THEATE REVIEW

After winning the Battle of the

Cow Shed, the animals celebrated by taking pictures of each other on their iPads.’ Imagine if George Orwell had written that. Well, as the third year acting students at the University of Northampton prove in their stage rendition of Animal Farm, the addition of modern technology makes no difference to the story’s strength, reiterating its timeless relevance. Set in the year 2024, this version of the classic is graced by the presence of smartphones and touchscreen tablets. They are the instruments of propaganda in a tale of communist corruption. Despite the futuristic setting and props, director James Farrell

10

stays true to the original story. The animals of Manor Farm overthrow their abusive owners, in hope of building an ‘equal’ society. Eventually, the pigs establish themselves as figures of authority, and form a dictatorship over the other animals, mirroring the events of the Russian Revolution. The most unusual – albeit – amusing additions to the stage production come in the form of milk-filled soap dispensers for the cows, and orthodontic headgear used to symbolise different animal shapes. Ironically, the most successful prop is a polystyrene box. An abundance of them act as the building blocks of society, with the literal purpose of forming a

windmill. For the remainder of the show, the cast struggle to lug them around, presumably because they are filled with apples, oats, or any other heavy farm produce. In addition to a 80s synth soundtrack, there are a number of strong performances to enjoy. Joe Derrington (Old Major) delivers a solid opening speech, while Kathryn Belmega (Clover) does well to emotionally earth the play. Bridgett Wellbelove (Squealer) also shines with an appropriately patronising tone as Napoleon’s spin-doctor. The futuristic concept is undoubtedly experimental, but if its sole purpose is to draw attention to Animal Farm’s everlasting cultural relevance, it has most certainly worked.


ANimal farm profiles

A N I N T E R V I E W W I T H k at h ry n b e l m e g a : C LO V E R T H E H O R S E

B

eing asked to reenact the events of a Russian Revolution immediately sounds like a tiring task, but if you’re expected to play the most emotionally grounded character then you can consider your workload doubled. That is the job in store for Kathryn Belmega, who is cast as Clover the

Horse in the University of Northampton’s production of Animal Farm. It’s no wonder then that the play was only scheduled for one performance a day at The Royal and Derngate. The performers may otherwise feel as drained and beaten down as the characters they portray. Seemingly relishing the prospect, Belmega talks of her fondness for the

character Clover, and even draws some comparisons between herself and the sensitive horse: “I was over the moon to be cast as her. I believe I was picked to play her because of my natural caring and mothering nature, which usually comes across in auditions.” “I think I’m generally more strong-minded than Clover, but towards the end of the play I love how empowered and opinionated she becomes,” Says Belmega. She also touched upon how some of the characters resemble significant figures in the Russian Revolution, “Napoleon is like Stalin and the farmer Mr Frederick could be seen as Hitler.” In addition to its historical references, Belmega says that the use of modern technology in their stage adaptation helps to prove the stories relevance today, particularly with the current events in Ukraine and Russia.

The use of modern technology isn’t the only unusual addition however. The cast were also equip with metal headgear that illustrated the shape of their respected animal. Considering that the initial costume plan involved corsets and leather straps, Belmega was pleased with the eventual outcome. “Our director and costume designer were very considerate to how comfortable we felt in our costumes and whether we wanted to alter them but generally, as an actor you have to be open to odd and experimental concepts,” she added. This is the first year that the university has broken the mould and opted for something different to their usual Shakespeare production, “thank God” and it may have been beneficial for the cast. “I think we all really gained from this experience as it took us out of our comfort zones.”


NORTHAMPTON STUDENTS BRING their revolution to the stage

H

ow does a revolution start? Is it through fear or anger? Need perhaps? All of these elements may actually be required, but there is still one thing that is essential in order to set it in motion. An idea: a vision of the future. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm this is exactly how it begins. The oldest and wisest pig on the farm steps up and delivers a speech, describing an image of a better tomorrow for his fellow animals. That pig’s name is Old Major and he is portrayed by Joe Derrington in the University of Northampton’s stage adaptation. Old Major’s speech at the

12

beginning of the story is one of the most significant parts, as it sets the tone for the rest of the narrative. “It was incredibly tricky,” Derrington emphasises. It is also largely relative to the events of the Russian Revolution, with Derrington’s character commonly compared to Karl Marx, one of the creators of communism. “I’d sit in a rehearsal room alone and play videos of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, and while it was playing I would mimic his posture and the cadences in his voice to see how you can trigger people into action with just words,” said Derrington, after being asked about the importance of the

opening speech. “Research into Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin helped me to mould the beliefs of Old Major.” And it was those belief systems that allowed Derrington to embody the mind of a true humanitarian, and deliver the thought-provoking speech in memorable style. He also touched upon the importance of the cast’s historical analysis, and how it helped their performance. “Research of what happened to millions of Ukrainians in 1932-33 and the atrocities caused by Joseph Stalin and his regime carved the thoughts and emotions for the whole of the second half of the play.”


A REVOLUTION ON STAGE "EVEN RUSSELL BRAND IS CALLING FOR a REVOLUTION!" Goerge Orwell’s classic is considered to be just as relative in modern times, and this evidently had a bearing on the stage adaptation’s concept. It’s set in the year 2024 with futuristic props and music, but Derrington holds that this just reiterates its relevance to a modern-day audience. “It just shows that this has happened in the past, it’s happening currently, and it will happen in the future. Look at Egypt revolting against their president recently and what is happening in the Ukraine now, people standing up and fighting back. Russell Brand is even calling for a revolution!”


cinema rEVIEW HER AND INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS This month’s cinema review section stays true to our revolution theme, but not in the manner you might expect. We take a look at Spike Jonze’s Her, which gives us a rather frightening image of the future where our reliance on technology is so strong that we can’t even be bothered to date real human beings anymore. The former scateboarder turned director gives us one of the year’s most inventive and touching love stories. Her sees lonely writer Theodore Twombly fall in love with his new operating system only to endure the

pains and complications of a real relationship. We also review The Coen Brother’s latest masterpiece Inside Llewyn Davis. With a totally unique (or if you like, revolutionary) structure to the film, the duo directors prove once again why they are the kings of alternative Hollywood. Llewyn Davis is a homesless folk song artist who roams from town to town sleeping on different people’s sofas. His selfdestructive behaviour is the biggest hinderance in his pursuit to become a professional musician.


INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: REVIEW

L

lewyn Davis is helpless. He roams around New York, sleeping on different sofas, constantly asking for money and having sex with people’s girlfriends. He is supposed to be getting his folk singing career off the ground, but his own cynicism remains the biggest obstacle. He frequently turns down the chance of prosperity in fear of conformity and the love of music, but in his genre he cannot gain the recognition he deserves. Unlike their new protagonist, The Coen Brothers have the creative freedom to produce something truly detached from the mainstream. Inside Llewyn Davis uses a cyclical structure, which sees the homeless artist repeat his self-destructive process over and over again. It starts in The Gaslight bar

15

in an early 1960s Greenwich Village, where Llewyn (Oscar Isaacs) sings hang me, oh hang me. It is performed live - like all of the songs - and makes for one of the most enthralling scenes in the film. “It never gets new, it never gets old. It’s a folk song,” says Llewyn as he steps off stage to a ripple of applause. Shortly after, he is beaten up in an alleyway for purportedly shouting abuse at another performer the night before. He wakes up on someone’s sofa to find a ginger cat perched upon his chest, which becomes one of the film’s main focuses when he accidentally lets it out of the owner’s flat. He is going nowhere fast. Everyone knows it, especially Jane (Carey Mulligan) who is one of Llewyn’s regular sofa stops and the likely, yet

reluctant carrier of his child. Despite hating his guts, she still sees potential in him, signified by an occasional wry smile. If it were not for his satirical outlook on life, he would probably be a success. The reasons for his attitude are never fully explained, although when Roland Turner (John Goodman) mocks the suicide of his former partner “You throw yourself of Brooklyn Bridge, traditionally. George Washington Bridge? Who does that?” he certainly hits a sore spot. Inside Llewyn Davis is arguably the most unique film delivered by the Coens and proves just why they are the Marmite of cinema. Compared to their previous titles it is virtually noneventful, but is their most captivating yet.


HER


S

pike Jonze’s futuristic romance sees a lonely writer fall in love with his operating system, only to endure the complications and pains of a real relationship. In this imagining of the future it is not clear how anyone hooks up their computer, or if there is even a need for cables and plug sockets. Everything is neatly tucked away and shines brightly – painting a postmodern America as one big stylishly minimalistic apartment. The only hooking up we do see is between Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and the artificial intelligence on his computer (Scarlett Johansson). Once you get over the idea that he is a divorced, middle-aged man, having phone sex with random women on the Internet, it finally stops being creepy. Even his relationship with his new operating system is fairly normal, until one latenight discussion leads to the subject of intercourse and Theodore’s computer libidinously asks, “how would you touch me?” The intelligence he affectionately names

Samantha, initially serves to organise his documents, appointments and emails, but as the chemistry between them grows, work seems to become less of an issue, and the more prominent concern is Theodore’s grasp on reality. His motives are presumably driven by a broken marriage and a complete incapability to date a real human being. Opting for a computer over some of the women available to him would also be questionable if it weren’t for the incredibly endearing voice of Johansson. There are times where you quite simply forget he is talking to a piece of software. They have arguments like a real couple. Phone calls are ignored, lies are told and there is even some unfaithfulness – all of which help to accurately portray a modern relationship bound by technology. Despite being set in a postmodern world, Her is timeless in its application. The emotion in this relationship is as hard-hitting as any other romance, and the sophisticated gadgetry is merely a catalyst for the drama.


music

Temples Lead Singer James Bagshaw perfoming in HMV Kettering.

18


AND AWAY THEY GO Psychedelic band Temples return to their hometown of Kettering to peform live instore at HMV

C

elebrations were in order for psychedelic band Temples, who had just seen their debut album Sun Structures (released February 10) enter the charts at seventh. Last Friday they performed a number of songs live in-store at HMV Kettering, in what turned out to be an intimate setting for the Kettering based artists. And although this small shop may have been unfitting for the occasion, the band members still looked at home. Speaking to the Lead Singer James Bagshaw, Bassist Thomas Warmsley, Keyboard Player Adam Smith, and Drummer Sam Toms, the band revealed that their current experience had been “humbling”. They’re considered to be one of the best new bands in the country, with the likes of Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr expressing their admiration. However, they’re not daunted by the amount of praise they’re receiving. “I guess they are judging you by the work you’ve already done, your recordings. If they came to see it live and said how much they love it then there’s more pressure to make the record really good. I suppose it worked

the other way around with us as they came to see us live and they happened to like it, so that was cool,” said Lead Singer Bagshaw. The band is also considered to be reviving the psychedelic genre, although they’re not claiming that responsibility, as Drummer Toms states: “we just make the music we like, you know?” They’d been given the HMV staffroom as a makeshift dressing room, which was even smaller than the area they had to perform, but they still managed to give off that a-list rockstar vibe, as they made the final touches to their decisively psychedelic outfits. After posing for a couple of photos and nipping out the back door for a quick cigarette, they were ready to entertain the sizeable crowd that had shown up in support. With the spectators – some of which being friends and family – gleefully singing along to their mellifluous music, it suddenly dawned that this was a momentous moment in their journey. It was a fitting homecoming for a band, who look to be revolutionising the psychedelic rock genre.


Cultured’s resident music bigot took to HMV Kettering to watch Temples perform live in-store. Accompanied by music blogger Jim, he somehow managed to meet the up and coming band.

UNCULTURED I

don’t claim to be an expert on music – because I’m not. In fact, I’m the complete opposite. I know nothing about it, and that’s exactly why my opinion is valuable to you. I won’t waste your time, convincing you what you should or shouldn’t be listening to. I just want to give you my view, free of fanboy bias. I’m only here to tell you what sounds please my ears, and if the orifices on the sides of your head are anything like mine, you might agree with one, maybe two of the things I say in this article – unless you like Calvin Harris. If you like Calvin Harris stop reading now. Actually, go and dive headfirst off a tall building. For those of you that aren’t now a bloody, headless mess on the pavement, I have something to share with you: a band called Temples. You must have heard of them by now. They’re number seven in the charts. The charts? You know. That thing that was once determined by Top of the Pops before it was killed by 50 Cent

and loads of other things that weren’t ‘pop’. I genuinely had no idea we still used a chart system. See what I mean about not knowing anything about music? Clueless. Anyway, this band, Temples – they’re alright. I went to see them in an in-store performance in picturesque Kettering. That was a first for me. An in-store performance? When I was told it would be in a HMV my jaw drooped in confusion. How can a band perform live in a sweatbox-sized shop like that? Well they did – causing my jaw to droop again. My gob wasn’t open in amazement – although they were amazing – it was because I was stood right next to the speaker, and I was doing that ‘corrr loud, innit?’ thing, while wiggling my finger in my ear, as if it might make any difference. After my brain had eventually tricked me into thinking the finger wiggle had worked, I was able to listen to them. In all honesty, I’ve never heard


James Bagshaw (left) and Keyboard player Adam Smith (right).

anything like it. They were brilliant. I’m still not entirely convinced they weren’t playing a CD on the shop’s speakers, because it sounded identical. If I were a little more passionate about music that would probably impress me even more – but I’m not. If I’d known they sound just as good live, I probably would have just listened to them at home. That’s another thing I don’t understand about music. People talk about how close the live performance was to the recorded one. Why would you pay to see them if it doesn’t sound as good as your iPod? Stay at home. I suppose from an enthusiast’s point of view, Temples were completely worthwhile – on the basis that they sounded just as good live. Jim (the person I was with) was practically catatonic. He stood in complete awe for about an hour – occasionally blinking. I could never be like that – unless I was watching Bruce Willis, chasing the bad guy in

a heavy armoured tank, presumably killing scores of innocent Russian civilians in the process. That’s practically pause and applaud worthy. But yeah, it was incredible to see what music does to some people. Everyone else in the shop (which was rammed by the way) loved it too. Using my musically analytical mind, I have decided they sound like The Beatles – only better. Yeah, I said it. I’m not a big fan of The Beatles. So what? I genuinely prefer Temples. Jim tells me they’re psychedelic rock, which if you know me, sounds like the last thing I’d be interested in – but I am. I would seriously buy their album. It’s called Sun Structures (I’m not working for them. I’m not on commission,) and there’s at least four or five songs I’d purposely listen to multiple times. Shelter Song is probably my favourite. They played it while I was there and people in the shop were singing along. I’ve got no idea how they knew the lyrics. They’d probably already downloaded

it or something. Personally, I don’t really listen the words the first time round, so all I heard was something extremely lucid and tranquil. Think of the 60s as a living entity, and then picture it swallowing a drugged up John Lennon, and throwing him back up in a colourful mess. That would be the best image to describe what I heard. Imagine that. In-between fingering my ear and realising how good Temples were, I found myself staring beyond the band. They’d set up in the gaming section of the shop, decisively ruling out the potential sale of the Xbox Ones and PlayStation 4s on the shelves behind them. At roughly £400 a console, I wondered if HMV could afford not to sell them for the entire duration of the performance. They didn’t even move them nearer the entrance! I’m aware this has nothing to do with music. I told you I don’t know anything about it. Sorry.


Picture from jakeyapp.co.uk

22


JAKE|YAPP from charlie brooker’s

weekly wipe

I

n this month’s edition Cultured talks to one of the newest comedy personalities appearing on your screen. Jake Yapp is a regular performer on the second series of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, offering his satirical sense of humour to the already cynical-natured show. So it’s safe to say he makes himself at home on the

BBC 2 programme. Yapp grabbed Brooker’s attention with his previous work on radio, where he developed a similar style of comedy. He spent much of his time working with BBC North and Jazz FM playing the character Dame Dora Dale. This led to the award-winning BBC 7 show Pleased to Meet You. In addtion to working for BBC 2

and creating a show for Comic Relief in 2011, Yapp also had a spell on Dave’s Breakfast Club “which is sort of like a grown-up broom cupboard.” He still performs on Dave Radio, but Weekly Wipe is his big TV break. We speak to him about his unique style and what it has been like to work with the massively successful Charlie Brooker.


Brunch when he spent the last 15 years of his professional life climbing up from the bottom of the industry.

CULTURED’S EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW JAKE YAPP

C

harlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe is back, and he has a new treat for his fans. Followers of the BBC2 show will be well aware of the satirical and quick-witted nature of his news-related rants, but Brooker may have outdone himself this time by bringing comedian Jake Yapp into the frame. Yapp has taken fondly to his role on the programme, supplying arguably the biggest laughs with his ’90 Second’ sketches. Fascinated by this new act, Cultured caught up with him to find out more about his style, and how he ended up on Weekly Wipe. “I’m the new Des Lynam when you think about it. I’m just so bloody laid back,” says Yapp in his uncanny Tim Lovejoy impression. It’s strange to think that he now makes a living out of mocking TV shows like Sunday

“I always wanted to work in comedy. More specifically, in broadcasting. As a child I loved The Goon Show and Round The Horne. Radio was always my first love.” “I always wanted to work in comedy. More specifically, in broadcasting. As a child I loved The Goon Show and Round The Horne. Radio was always my first love. I got my first sketch on Week Ending on Radio 4 when I was sixteen and it was pretty much downhill from there.” Yapp’s first real sign of progress came when he joined the BBC at the age of 19 as a writer and researcher for the old Radio 5’s Breakfast show. “It took about 15 years to slowly get to the other side of the microphone or camera,” he laughs. It was getting noticed that was the hard part, which is something you would find surprising if you watched his Barbie doll reenactment of Take Me Out. Let’s just say it’s not been done before. But if there was ever proof that the television industry was (and still is) one of the hardest to crack, Yapp serves as a perfect example. “I spent that 15 year period dancing on the periphery of what I really wanted to do. It could be terribly frustrating sometimes.” Having finally made it onto the performance side of broadcast, his satirical sense of humour soon started to show. With his inspiration coming from Spike Milligan, South Park and (you guessed it) Charlie Brooker, it was inevitable really. “My style evolved the most when I did sketches for the 6Music Breakfast Show for three years. I had to go with instinct and bypass any filtration because there simply wasn’t the time.” And that might just be the reasoning for the length and content of his sketches – punchy, no-


“Because I have a background in production, I feel qualified to criticise TV. I know it. I understand its machinations. And I really f***ing hate lazy TV making,” he says, making reference once again to ITV’s Take Me Out. “It’s such an amazing opportunity (for Take Me Out). Prime TV real estate. And to say it’s what people want is bollocks.”

nonsense imitations. This is where Brooker comes in. “I met him for the first time last year,” and he says that is about the extent of their relationship. “Apparently he’d seen quite a bit of my stuff, which was simultaneously brilliant and terrifying.” He really gives off the impression that he is in awe of his new boss. “He’s a lovely, lovely man, and I am so grateful for the exposure he’s given me – it’s unprecedented in twenty years of chipping away at all this.”

“Apparently he’d seen quite a bit of my stuff, which was simultaneously brilliant and terrifying.” His ’90-odd second’ pieces have become one of the main highlights of Weekly Wipe, and although each one is unique, there seems to be a fairly formulaic approach to his impersonations. Choose a ‘crappy’ TV show, highlight the host’s distinguishably annoying accent and then tear into every element that makes it unbearable to watch. “It’s usually a case of watching crappy TV and feeling a buzzing anger building inside me. Then I start shouting at the TV. My wonderful partner Kim actively encourages this.” It’s really no surprise that Brooker saw something in Yapp when they share so many similarities. There are few comedians that manage to communicate their cynical sensibilities without gaining the ‘outrageous’ status. It’s the subtlety and intelligence of Brooker and Yapp that makes their type comedy so refreshing.

“Because I have a background in production, I feel qualified to criticise TV. I know it. I understand its machinations. And I really f***ing hate lazy TV making.” With so much criticism to offer it seemed only natural to ask if he would like his own show. “I would love one! I’ve been really unfocused in what I’ve done for so long. But I am edging towards something that I think plays to my strengths,” Yapp enthuses, before adding that he would like to have a TV programme similar to Brooker’s. So if this becomes a reality we can expect even more characters and parodies, as well as authored pieces to camera. Yapp leans back and gives his own words some consideration. “But I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes…”


A NEW


look Northampton Town is in the process of an artisitc rejuvination, and the first port of call is a new bus station On March 1 Northampton opened their new North Gate bus station signalling the end of the previous Greyfairs facility situated opposite. The old station had recieved criticism for its appearance and overall safety, reportedly being ‘beyond repair’. In addition to a brighter and more welcoming design, the new station also features some contempory artwork, which references parts of the town’s history.


North gate bus station: The inner art

T

he regeneration of Northampton has begun. A new train station is set to be complete by 2014, a new university campus will open in 2018, and the new North Gate Bus Station has already been unveiled. While all of these changes aim to attract new jobs and investments into the town, they also share the purpose of being more modern, artistic buildings, as is the case with the new bus station. The new building is located opposite the old Greyfairs bus station and has a contemporary design. It features a variety of artwork that makes reference to the town’s history and progression. One of the most noticeable additions is the patterned glass on the windows and ceiling. They display a variety of shapes and images, such as a map of Northampton, and sea life to reference the site’s former use as a fish market.

There are also a series of significant words, names and places positioned on the ceiling that have their shadows shown on the floor during certain times of the day. The purpose is to highlight the history of the town, as Northampton Borough Council Leader David Mackintosh explains: “The artwork tells the story and history or Northampton.” “It relates to the history of the site as a fish market and also as a medieval synagogue,” added Mackintosh. At the focal point of the station is a stainless steel piece that is suspended from the ceiling. Its artist Fiona Heron says it is yet another reference to the fish market, and “picks up on theme of movement.” She named it ‘The North Gate Shoal’ and the use of mirrors causes light to reflect and flicker just like real fish underwater.



Cultured Magazine