Monthly Archives: April 2016

Murder, misery and mutilations – King Lear at the Royal Exchange, Manchester


Don Warrington as King Lear – copyright Royal Exchange, Manchester


In the ancient realm of King Lear the death count is as high as Hamlet, betrayals on a par with Macbeth and the blood as thick and fast-flowing as Titus Andronicus. Murder, misery and mutilations drive Michael Buffong’s mesmerising adaptation of King Lear, one of William Shakespeare’s most violent and tragic plays.

It was a memorable night at the Royal Exchange, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, by watching Don Warrington master the lead role of the royal patriarch, who descends into madness. The twisting plot of King Lear requires careful exposition at the start that quickly builds momentum. Buffong’s excellent cast, including Philip Whitchurch and Wil Johnson, deliver sword fights and despicable deeds one after the other, after the other, after the other, until Lear’s tragic downfall is complete. At over three hours long, one audience member commented that, “there was a lot of shouting”. Take heed – this is no Midsummer’s Night Dream but a play charting the catastrophic breakdown of a country and family – clearly there is going to be a lot of shouting.

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Christiane Lemieux – Heron Cushion


Christiane CushionFlorals and bird prints are on-trend for Spring 2016 and Christiane Lemieux has launched a stunning new ‘Living by Christiane Lemieux’ range for House of Fraser. Lemieux’s elegant designs feature an Hiroto-inspired print of a heron soaring over orchids and clouds. As the signature piece of Lemieux’s new collection, the heron (which is a Chinese symbol of strength, purity and patience) adorns a range of bedding, dinnerware and soft home furnishings.

Lemieux’s inspiration for the design came whilst scouring Parisian flea markets and finding a vintage swatch of two herons in flight. Where the original swatch uses Prussian blue and dusky pinks to accent the heron’s outstretched wings, Lemieux uses fine hand-drawn monochrome details. The back of the cushion is also complemented with the scalloped edging of the cushion’s clouds, creating a vintage pattern that features elsewhere in the range. This simple yet intricate design – that makes the everyday seem remarkable – is sure to be a talking point in whichever room it’s placed in.

The Hiroto heron print cushion has been reduced to £24 and is on sale now at the House of Fraser. To view the cushion and the complete ‘Living by Christiane Lemieux’ range click:,default,pd.html

Dimensions: 50 x 50cm

Fibre content: 100% Cotton, machine washable

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