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It’s back: Strictly Come Dancing 2016 Strictly Come Dancing, 2016, TV, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Yes, that’s right, our Saturday nights will no longer be boring. Not when our favourite dance television programme is back on the box. I am, of course talking about BBC Strictly Come Dancing and if you have no idea what I am talking about, then where have you been? [video:https://youtu.be/sCkhc2L8uIY] How does it all work?...
Launch for a new initiative in North East arts
Performance artists are coming together to explore new ideas through The New Space Movement Intensive. Freelance dance artist and pilates instructor, Catherine Muckle, created this project last year. It allows artists to collaborate through a series of workshops. Fundraising event Wanting to progress and continue this project into this year, she is creating a fundraising...
6 ways to stay safe in the sun
  Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2007, wear sunscreen If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen Baz Luhrmann  And how right Baz Luhrmann is, with the hot hot hot weather we have been having these past days. It is important to keep safe and look after yourself under...
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe: A survival guide
As the festival season starts to emerge, we start to check our bank balances and diaries and start to select which festivals we will be attending. For us arty farty theatre-loving people, one of the main festivals in our calendars is The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Brace yourself  Now, if you have never been before and this...
Review: Shonen Knife at Sage Gateshead
You know when you have an outer body experience and the whole thing is a blur? I had a similar feeling when I went to see Shonen Knife, although I can still remember it.   Shonen who? Formed in Osaka they are named after a pencil sharpener knife brand (yes I did just say pencil...
Preview: Silent Uproar – A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)
It's funny, those two words - happy and sad - are totally the opposite of each other. So how can we have a happy story about feeling sad? Jon Brittain's (Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho, Rotterdam, What Would Spock Do?) new production, A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is about a happy person dealing with depression. Silent...
A day in the life of a burlesque dancer
Hello, Scarlet Rose. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into burlesque? It all started when I watched La Maison Derrièr episode of the Simpsons, and after my GCSEs I decided I wanted to run away to Vegas and be a showgirl. I remember watching Immodesty Blaize do a burlesque special...
Kettle Playlist: Top 10 songs from musicals
It's funny what you can come up with after a Twitter conversation with deputy and music editor Lorna Holland and our frivolity editor Naomi Duffree. From reading Naomi's My Life in Music piece, I was so pleased to hear that she (like me) is a fan of Wicked. So that got us thinking, what are our favourite songs from the...
Getting to Know You: Theatre studies student Phoebe Elliott
Welcome to 'Getting to Know You.' This will be a regular feature at Kettle Mag, where we will be interviewing students with degrees in the arts to find out why they chose that subject and what their plans are for the future. If you missed our last interview, with performing arts graduate Alex Harden, you can catch up here. But...
Theatre etiquette: How not to act at the theatre
We all know what it’s like when we go to the theatre. When we arrive at the venue we collect our tickets at the box office (if you haven’t already had them posted to you) grab a drink (perhaps a gin and tonic) buy an overpriced programme or picture book (seriously, what's the difference?) and go to...
Introducing Jeffri Ramli Jeffri Ramli, The Voice UK, Interview, Music, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Malaysian born Jeffri Ramli is used to busking on the streets of Newcastle, yet after his audition on The Voice UK, culture editor Gemma Hirst talks to Jeffri about his experience in music. Where did your interest in music come from? Since I was a little boy, I was always a fond of Disney's animation movies...
Dear Valentine’s Day writing a letter, Valentine's day, Kettle Mag, Gemma Hirst, Sex and Relationships,
Dear Valentine’s Day, I hope you are feeling good about yourself? I'm glad you are, because guess what, I'm not. How can you sit there on the 14th February and be all smug and celebrate the joy of love with human beings? Whenever I hear your name or even think about you, I simply want...
Live Review: Cattle & Cane at Think Tank, Newcastle
Joe Hammill from Cattle & Cane certainly didn't disappoint in his interview with us. He said the band's upcoming Newcastle gig was going to be a mix of new songs and brilliant older songs from their recent album, as Cattle & Cane launch their new album Home at home (see what we did there) at Newcastle's Think Tank.  We are family ...
Wet weather picnics – More fun than you think!
With all this miserable weather we've been having over the past few weeks, I think it's about time we start to cheer ourselves up with something brighter. Remember the time we actually used to enjoy the wet weather? I know I do, and I still enjoy the occasional rainy day once in a while.  Supper in...
You are what you wear
You are what you wear; at least, that's what I say. I'm talking about your fashion choices and the way they can reflect your personality. I have found that fashion has enabled me to express who I am and has helped me grow as a person. I used to wear really dull and dark colours. I...
Review: Soap and Glory Christmas box set review, Soap and Glory, gift set, beauty, Christmas, box set, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Hands up - who got bubble and beauty bits for Christmas? It’s not Christmas if you didn’t get the classic soap and body wash set. I definitely did. I got the Soap and Glory gift box set and when I first saw it, from the box I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had never even...
Artist of the Week: Jordan Herbert
Northampton artist, Jordan Herbert, has come a long way since singing at weddings and now in the New Year of 2016 his music career is on the rise. Jordan Herbert It all started in 2011, when Jordan and his producer/guitarist, Harley-Joe “Harlz” Arnold, worked on a demo for a wedding that he was going to perform...
Where are all the male role models in music?
Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Taylor Swift. Those are the names I think of when it comes to female role models in the music industry. But when it comes to male role models in music, I struggle to think of any. I mean, you can hardly call the likes of Justin Bieber or One Direction role models. Perhaps young...
Kettle Mag interview Cattle & Cane
Recently, I have been educating myself in all things North-East Music. So accordingly, I chatted with Joe Hammill from the five-piece band Cattle & Cane. Alongside Joe, the band also consists of his sister Helen alongside brothers Fran and Vin, plus non-family member Tom. The band are in high spirits, as they prepare to tour their new album Home next month. What...
2016: The year we challenge ourselves in theatre 2016, New Year, Challenge, Theatre, Culture, Kettle Mag, Gemma Hirst
So as the New Year begins and everyone starts to think about their New Year's resolutions or 2016 goals, I start to think about what my theatre plans are for 2016. After reading Mark Shenton's piece about wanting to see shows in 2016 from theatre venues he hasn’t previously attended (can I get a "whoop whoop" for a mention of Newcastle's Live...
Review: Jools’ Annual Hootenanny 2015 Review, Jools Holland, Jools' Annual Hootenanny, 2015, New Year's Eve, TV, Music, Kettle Mag, Gemma Hirst
You know you haven’t celebrated the New Year properly when you miss Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny. I caught up with the show and relived the best music of 2015, and saw the future of music into the New Year. You have to love Holland’s spirit and charisma for music as he certainly loves to put on a show....
What trend of an X Factor Christmas number 1?
Ah, X Factor, that trashy, sorry.. talent show that fixes, I mean finds, artists who think they can sing, and hope to win the show with a Christmas number one and a long future ahead of them in music. That was the plan for this year’s X Factor winner Louisa Johnson. But thankfully, I mean unfortunately,...
Why we need to be supporting youth theatre
As a student who once studied Performance Arts as GCSE and A Levels, I thought my future was in the world of theatre. Alas, that flew out the window and I decided to sit at this side of the stage and review theatre. It's because of this that I've decided to take the opportunity to go and...
Album Review: Siren by Lili La Scala
The problem with these multitalented cabaret artists is that I can never find any faults in their performances. This is how I feel when it comes to diva Lili La Scala. The cabaret hostess and singer of vintage songs enchants us with her new album Siren. Enticing you in with her angelic voice, La Scala uses her finesse as...
Strictly Come Dancing: The final Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly, final, TV, BBC, Jay McGuiness, Kettle Mag, Gemma Hirst
Saturday night saw the final of the much loved BBC dance programme, Strictly Come Dancing, and what a final it was. [video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--yGW9FoB-o&feature=youtu.be] #Strictly Come Dancing stars are "emotional" about tonight's final on @BBCOne https://t.co/KjjD4lwaCQ pic.twitter.com/T7OXb69mzv — BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) December 19, 2015 *There will be spoilers ahead in this article* Being the final the...
BBC Music Awards 2015
We know the BBC is very passionate about the music industry. With a variety of BBC radio stations, there's something for every listener. And on Thursday 10th December, that was proved at the BBC Music Awards, held in Birmingham's Genting Arena. Celebrating everything music at the BBC, hosting the awards were former BBC Radio 1 DJ, Fearne Cotton,...
Strictly Come Dancing update TV, Strictly Come Dancing
So far our Saturday night TV entertainment has been filled with dynamics, passion, drama and, of course, lots and lots of glitter. Well, would we expect anything more from Strictly Come Dancing? Since my last review of the show, which you can read here, a lot has happened. We are now down to the final five celebrities and...
Should we putting a number on our bodies? Kettlemag, Style, Fashion, Size, Gemma Hirst
After hearing that Australian starlet Rebel Wilson is promoting her new plus size clothing, (sizes 12-28), collection for Torrid, the Kettle team and I were appalled to hear that a size 12 was even considered to be a plus size. To all the curvy girls out there representing(!), check out my new clothing collection at https://t.co/ZTrSGlAqcy...
Exclusive interview with Sam Dickinson
KettleMag interview North East’s answer to soul music, Sam Dickinson. After being away from the music scene, Sam is back to make more great music and take it on tour for the eagerly awaiting fans to hear. Hey Sam, long time no see. The North East has missed you - are you glad to be back? Hey!...
Gemma: What’s in my makeup bag?
Your makeup bag is your trusty companion. Whether you adapt it for a travel version, it’s all over your bedside table or you’re seriously organised and have it colour co-ordinated blogger style - we all have one. If you’re anything like me, you take it everywhere, you re-stock it constantly and there’s always some hidden...
My guilty pleasures in music
Justin Bieber, Little Mix and One Direction are not words that usually appear in my musical vocabulary but in the season of hyped-up pop promo I've found myself willingly downloading tunes from those very artists. Yes, it seems that their marketing techniques are working and on the rise to the festive period, God knows what...
Dance and performance art as an outlet
As someone who used to eat, sleep and breathe dance 24/7 I find myself missing the art form as it was a way of relaxation. If I had a stressful day then dance was a way that I could let that go. After watching a documentary on BBC Arts I realise now that dance can...
Review: BBC Strictly Come Dancing
Glitter, sequins, sparkle and SEVEN! – When you hear these words that can only mean one thing - you’re stuck in the costume cupboard. Only kidding. Of course, it is simply that time of year again when Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens. Friday 25th September saw the official start the show, and...
Shakespeare at the Movies
To see or not to see, or at least that is the question William Shakespeare would be asking if he were still alive today. As the world of modern entertainment is growing faster and faster, Macbeth isn't just a play to be seen on the stage any more. I am not talking about a live...
The Importance Of Regional Theatre
As a theatre reviewer, I am always on the lookout to review the next performance and as I start to fill up my theatre calendar for the rest of this year, I find myself contemplating over the theatre opportunities here in my region. There are many theatre productions out there that I want to review...
Inspirational theatre can change the way you think Kettlemag, Culture, Theatre, Gemma Hirst,
Nicole Kidman is back on the London stage, to play the British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who suffers with ovarian cancer, sexism and discovers the makings of DNA in the performance of Photograph 51. Sounds like quite a challenge that Kidman has on her hands, the audience may look forward to an interesting yet inspiring piece...
Kettle Mag interviews Nikki Patel
Kettle Mag's theatre editor Gemma  Hirst got the chance to sit down and talk to Coronation Street actress Nikki Patel about her lead role in Future Conditional at The Old Vic and talks about gender and ethnic equality in the arts. You have quite an experience of on screen acting, how are you finding life on stage as to being...
Reflections on New Adventures’ Jonathan Ollivier
Last week I was talking about Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man and being able to watch these amazing New Adventures dancer’s dance on screen. Now the world of theatre is paying their respects to a New Adventures dancer who sadly died in an accident. On the 9th August, dancer Jonathan Ollivier died in a motorbike...
How to watch quality theatre from your sofa
Regrettably I have not seen as much theatre this summer as I had hoped. So to make up for this, I have been watching live performances in the comfort of my own home. Sky Arts has been my saving grace this week, as I have been taking advantage of Hot Ticket Mondays. Hot Ticket Mondays...
How to watch quality theatre from your sofa home, theatre, entertainment, culture, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Regrettably I have not seen as much theatre this summer as I had hoped. So to make up for this, I have been watching live performances in the comfort of my own home. Sky Arts has been my saving grace this week, as I have been taking advantage of Hot Ticket Mondays. Hot Ticket Mondays...
Theatre: Should it educate or entertain?
Throughout my experience I have seen some extraordinary pieces of theatre. Some performances have resonated with me because of the message that they have emulated and some plays that I have seen, I remember because of their entertainment value.   This led to me thinking about the true purpose of theatre, that being is it simply...
It’s a Hair raising experience on the BBC Kettlemag, TV, BBC, Hair, Gemma Hirst
Hair (or The Great British Cut Off as I like to call it is) back for a new series. The standards are higher this year. The competition has become arguably classier as it is now broadcast on BBC2. The personalities are bigger and bubblier and there are more elastic bands than you could shake a...
Theatre and audience meet in the middle
From reading about a trial called Pay What You Decide that was launched by Stockton’s ARC theatre; they offered all tickets for theatre, spoken word and dance at a pay what you decided basis. I wondered if theatre is accessible enough and if this trial was another desperate way to encourage the general public to...
How to keep your skin clear during exams
It's exam time for us students, which means a lack of sleep, routines turned upside down and a lot of stress. This can cause your skin to turn into spot central. So here are a few of my top tips to make sure your skin is A+ ready. Obviously as students, we have to be careful with our...
Looking good in sports wear kettle mag, gemma hirst
Deciding to take up the sport of cycling and going to the gym, I had been wearing jogger bottoms, baggy t-shirts with the classic thermals, florescent jacket and of course a bike helmet.   After taking a cycling selfie I realised what a state I was in, fashion wise I was not looking cool in my...
BAFTA Television Awards 2015
Sunday saw the 2015 House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards, at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Usually a much anticipated event, this year's show was a rather laborious evening for the BBC. Only a few days after the general election, the change in British politics wasn’t the only controversial event to shake up...
The return of BBC comedy W1A W1A, BBC comedy, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
This week, back at Central London Headquarters New BBC Broadcasting House, Central London we witnessed the new series of W1A, a dry comedy that satires what it is like to work for the BBC. Since the show's beginning in 2014 (a kind of mock up of a documentary) we've followed Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) Head...
What message is Disney sending to women? Tinkerbell, Disney, women, film, image, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Disney is known for putting magic in the hearts of children all around the world. Never mind magic, I worry what other messages they are giving out. Disney seems to suggest that there is only one right way to be a woman, whether that is being the prettiest maiden in all the land, falling in...
The Oscars 2015 – the lowdown 6883792695_f479ee1158_o.jpg
So it was big night for all you Kettle readers who are fans of film, with some of the greatest films to have been made, I know I was certainly excited to see who was going to win an Oscar. The star studded event was held in Hollywood and celebrated the best of the film industry....
Psychodermabrasion: Review
“The colour of skin betrays the secrets of the inner constitution” (Michelle Lovric). This is part of a quote that was kindly provided for me by Matthew Floyd Jones (Frisky and Mannish), and which I read on the back of my programme. And it was to be the running theme throughout Jones’ Psychodermabrasion (PDA) at...