Last week, I went with a close friend of mine to watch the critically acclaimed production England People Very Nice at the National Theatre.
The play, written by award-winning dramatist Richard Bean, is a three hour comedy about immigration over the centuries in East London, namely Bethnal Green.
To be honest, it took me a while to get into it, but after about 40 minutes I unknowingly found myself goggle eyed and chortling every now and again. It almost felt like a fun history lesson.
Despite some critics dubbing the play racist and offensive, I thought it was very well structured, and had the right balance of reality and stereotypes. After all, stereotypes have some truth in them. I suppose where things go wrong is when people become prejudice due to their own ignorance and generalisation of certain groups in society.
On our way out, my friend and I were amused when we heard a posh sounding lady say in a frustrated manner: "I didn't quite get the satire". Rolling my eyes, I thought: "You wouldn't, would you?" I live in East London-only 10 minutes away from Bethnal Green, in fact- so could appreciate and understand the satire for what it was.
I personally enjoyed the play and would recommend it as a lovely evening out. It's best to go and see it for yourself and make up your own mind. You can go to the National Theatre website to buy ticke ts.
(Photographs: Tristram Kenton; Johan Persson; Johan Persson)
[caption id="attachment_275" align="alignright" width="219" caption="The swine flu virus under the microscope"][/caption]
Since swine flu hit the headlines a couple of weeks ago, there have been 34 reported cases in the UK so far.
Last week the first case of human- to- human transfer of the H1N1 virus was confirmed in South Gloucestershire. The 43-year-old man was the first person to catch the virus without having visited Mexico.
The outbreak has seen 13 confirmed cases in children, resulting in a nursery and 5 schools closed in the capital. Fortunately there have been no deaths yet in the UK.
This morning I took to the streets to ask some Londoners what they make of swine flu and the media’s handling of the virus.