Love, Shakespeare and Theatre: An Interview with Ray Chong Nee


  Let’s do a little exercise together shall we? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and clear your mind. Now think of a famous couple. Just go with the first thing that pops into your head. Now open your eyes and keep reading.   I’m guessing you probably thought of Kim and Kanye. Or Beyonce and Jay Z. Or perhaps, like Leiden’s copy editor Jesse Petrie whom I just made participate in this exercise, you might even have thought of Bert and Ernie. But let’s take it back a little further in history. Back to the beginnings of the… Continue Reading

The Leiden Guide to Feminism


  ‘…when young women move into the world and they realise… “Why am I being treated differently?” and they start to blame themselves because they don’t understand that they are part of a historic pattern…which is…working a little bit against them.’ – Emma Watson [for Buzzfeed, March 2017]   The other day a friend of mine came across a term that she didn’t fully understand: intersectional feminism. She realised she should probably know what that was so she asked me to help her learn about this. I am by no means the world’s feminist guru, however, I am fascinated by… Continue Reading

A Begrudging Examination of Valentine’s Day


  Each year in the lead up to February 14, I conduct a debate with myself about whether or not to write about Valentine’s Day. My personal stance on this romantic holiday is one of disdain. I agonise over writing an article that says as much or simply inferring my sentiments by not acknowledging the occasion at all. This year, like every other year, I had decided to go down the lack of acknowledgment route. However, while sitting on a milk crate, waiting for my life partner in crime to finish work, I had a change of mind. It was… Continue Reading

Cat Person: Starting a Conversation


  Like a great many people in the world I eagerly devoured Cat Person, a short story written by Kristen Roupenian and published in The New Yorker on December 11. This powerful piece of fiction, which had me hooked from the first line, has set the internet ablaze in a way fiction rarely does, receiving praise, backlash and backlash to that backlash. Divisive as it has been, Cat Person has ignited a conversation about sex, gender, power and consent. The short story focuses on two characters: Margot, a twenty year old university student and Robert, an older man Margot meets at the artsy cinema where she works.… Continue Reading

A Chat with Sarah Morrison – Musicals, ABBA and Mamma Mia


  I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am not a fan of musicals. All that sing-talking makes me want to puke into my favourite Miu Miu cat clutch. And yet, despite my propensity to vomit at the mere hint of a sentence that screams to be spoken rather than sung, I actively go and see a lot of musicals. And if they are more of a play interspersed with the occasional song, I confess to rather enjoying myself. The latest musical to come my way is the West End and Broadway smash Mamma Mia, a… Continue Reading

Design with Dana Tomic Hughes


  Design is everywhere. From the houses that we live in to the roads that we drive on to the cars that we drive on them in. With design pervading every aspect of our lives it’s no wonder that an annual festival celebrating design and designers is Canberra’s fastest growing festival. Someone who deeply appreciates design in all its glory is Dana Tomic Hughes a self-diagnosed design tragic and founder and editor of online design publication Yellowtrace. And that’s not all: she is an interior designer, design curator adviser and keynote speaker to boot.  We asked interior designer, friend of… Continue Reading

From Paris with Love – Crazy Horse has Arrived


  The Parisian cabaret scene has always been a draw card for travelers making their pilgrimage to the city of light. Along with a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower, climbing the Arc de Triumph and getting lost in the Louvre, an evening spent at either the Moulin Rouge or Folies Bergere is another of those seemingly mandatory experiences to be ticked off the itinerary. But what of Crazy Horse? This Parisian establishment, having not been immortalised in film by Baz Lurhamn, is perhaps less well known to the traveler seeking a night of revelery in Paris. Founded in… Continue Reading

Playhouse Creatures On The Way to Monaco


  When you buy tickets to see a play, more often than not, you will be seeing a lot more men on stage than women. It’s the same on the screen. Too often the way women are portrayed in culture is a supporting character. Of course, this isn’t always the case (remember how Bridesmaids helped change the perception that films starring all women couldn’t be commercially successful?) but we still have a long way to go before we see women portrayed in our media as they truly are: complex, strong and unique. A Canberra based theatre company is striving to… Continue Reading