London's rising talent

Our capital is the most vibrant and fertile cultural kindergarten on earth, and there’s a new generation gagging to prove it. Time Out's critics unearth the best of the capital's new breed

  • Art | Books | Classical & Opera | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre


    New_80 NT Artist.jpg
    Nick Hornby

    Art

    In New York and Paris it’s begrudgingly conceded that London has one of the best young art scenes anywhere, thanks mainly to our strong college system. And as the market for art seems to outstrip every hedge fund going, the possibilities for prodigies to have their work shown (first at end-of-degree shows and then in commercial galleries) as a prelude to building a decent career seem better than ever. Ossian Ward

    Nick Hornby, 28, sculptor

    Nick Hornby sculpts the impossible, from a life-size slice of a 727 shown at Selfridges to his pink Disney castle currently floating in King’s Cross. ‘Anticipation’ is at the Ultralounge of Selfridges until Sunday and ‘Tell Tale Heart’ is in Camley Street Natural Park.

    Tom Price, 35, conceptual designer

    A Brixton boy who graduated from the Royal College of Art’s product-design course, he now creates chairs from plumbing pipes, and lampshades from 3D scans of a lightbulb’s emissions. His designs can be seen in ‘Personal Freedom Centre’ at Hales Gallery in October.

    Bettina Buck, 34, recycler of raw objects

    A German sculptor of everyday materials such as latex and carpet, which become uncanny figures and otherworldly objects. Bettina Buck’s first London show, ‘Flexing Brown’, is at Rokeby until August 31.


    Art
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    Books

    Look beyond the big publishing houses to London’s independent imprints, magazines and online journals, and you’ll find a literary scene in rude health. And, in fact, the savvier editors are realising that this is where they’re most likely to unearth the best new literary talent. John O’Connell

    James Miller, 32

    Miller’s terrifying, genre-bending debut novel ‘Lost Boys’ (Little, Brown) is about a group of boys who, lured by the same strange dream, disappear from a west-London school.

    Chris Cleave, 35

    Cleave’s first novel, ‘Incendiary’, came out on July 7 2005. Which would have been fine, except that it was about a terrorist attack on London. His second, ‘The Other Hand’ (Sceptre), is out in August and already a favourite with literary bloggers. Art | Books | Classical & Opera | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre

    Classical

    Classical music ambition has to start early. Maybe not as early as in China, where six-year-old pianists effortlessly churn out Chopin polonaises, but even here you should have a game plan for your Associated Board exams by about the same time you’re mastering joined-up writing. London’s music colleges and its wealth of concert halls still make it a magnet for young hopefuls. But for each one who makes it as a soloist there are hundreds who have failed. Here are three of our city’s most engaging promising survivors. Jonathan Lennie

    Gillian Keith, 36, soprano

    The diminuitive soprano with the great voice. Born in Toronto, she has just made her mainstage debut at the Royal Opera House in ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.

    Nicholas Collon, 25, conductor

    The principal conductor of the Aurora Orchestra, and a sought-after guest at international events. He is currently in Austria conducting an opera at a festival but will be back here to appear at the BBC Proms on Aug 6.

    Nicholas Watts, 30, tenor

    This young tenor gave a lovely performance in ‘Acis and Galatea’ at Wilton’s Music Hall in April and is definitely worth keeping an eye – and ear – out for in the near future.Art | Books | Classical & Opera | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre

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    Left to right: Seann Walsh, Jack Whitehall, Katherine Ryan, Daniel Rigby, Pippa Evans, Sara Pascoe

    Comedy

    Comics come to London from all over the world knowing our audiences accept a broader range of comedy than anywhere else. If you can make it here, as Sinatra once sang about some other joint, you can make it anywhere. Tim Arthur

    Pippa Evans, 26

    Evans was runner-up in this year’s Hackney Empire New Act of the Year contest and a finalist in the Nivea Funny Women Awards. Her psycho-tic yet sexy American singer is a thing of hysterical beauty. Her show, ‘Pippa Evans and Other Lonely People’, is a hot tip for Edinburgh this year.

    Sara Pascoe, 27

    A runner-up in the Nivea Funny Women Awards, Pascoe is a comic actress and stand-up whose ability to charm an audience sets her apart. A regular with topical sketch show ‘Newsrevue’, she is one of comedy’s next big things.

    Daniel Rigby, 25

    Winner of the 2007 Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Competition, Rigby’s comedy is delightfully surreal in a ‘Monty Python’, middle-class way. His debut solo show, ‘The Mothwokfantastic’, proved that he has the intelligence and creativity needed to back up his obvious promise.

    Katherine Ryan, 25

    Canadian Ryan won the Nivea Funny Women Awards 2008, with her take on bitchy, celebrity-obsessed airheads. She has perfect timing and enough attitude to stop an elephant in its tracks.

    Seann Walsh, 22

    Brighton-based comic Walsh is this generation’s Dylan Moran, with the looks, gags and charm to become something quite special.

    Jack Whitehall, 19

    There’s no way this young scamp should be as good as he is. He’s been hugely hyped but has the talent and jokes to back it up. He was the first guest presenter on this year’s ‘Big Brother’s Big Mouth’ and could, given time, emulate the success of its original presenter, Russell Brand.
    Art
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    Anaïs Bouts (right) with her dance company, MIKS

    Dance

    Dance is thriving in the UK. Schools, academies and conservatoires like London Contemporary, Laban and the Royal Ballet are spitting out a steady stream of young dancers and dance-makers. Many will try to grab the spotlight at the Resolution! series at The Place; the luckiest might be showcased in the Royal Opera House’s ‘Firsts’ season. As ever, true talent transcends trends and gimmicks. Donald Hutera

    Anaïs Bouts, 28

    A French-born dancer-choreographer with a desire to subvert audience expectations in fresh and funny ways. Her company, MIKS, is the centrepiece of a quirky triple-bill at Laban on October 2.

    Marc Brew, 31

    An outstanding member of CandoCo, whose duet ‘Blue on Red’, a hit of Resolution! 2008, was packed with succulent ambiguities embodied by performers whose differing physical abilities seemed liberating rather than restrictive. See Nadia Adame perform 'Turning the Inside Out' by Marc Brew.

    Ash Mukherjee

    A recent Critics’ Circle nominee, Mukherjee was terrific in the 2006 The Place Prize-winning dance ‘Quick!’. A classically trained Indian dancer with a keen appreciation of popular culture, he could bring new meaning to the notion of artistic fusion.Art | Books | Classical & Opera | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre
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    Left to right: Tom Higgs, Ken K Chung, Holly Cowan, Mary Katrantzou, Sam Westlake

    Design

    Thanks to our fine fleet of design colleges, from the Royal College of Art to Central Saint Martins, London is the first city buyers and magazine editors look to for new talent. With dozens of stellar graduate shows this summer, the standard was higher – and more inspiring – than ever. Maggie Davis

    Holly Cowan, 25, handbag designer

    A vibrant new force in the world of handbags, Belfast-born Holly Cowan has just graduated with an MA in womenswear from the Royal College of Art. She uses solid moulds to create space-age, ergonomic bags; each one features intricate Perspex detailing (designed by fellow RCA graduate Sarah Angold) giving them a luxurious edge.

    Mary Katrantzou, 25, fashion designer

    Athens-born Mary Katrantzou has just launched her own label af


Art
| | Classical & Opera | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | TheatreLook beyond the big publishing houses to London’s independent imprints, magazines and online journals, and you’ll find a literary scene in rude health. And, in fact, the savvier editors are realising that this is where they’re most likely to unearth the best new literary talent. Miller’s terrifying, genre-bending debut novel ‘Lost Boys’ (Little, Brown) is about a group of boys who, lured by the same strange dream, disappear from a west-London school. Cleave’s first novel, ‘Incendiary’, came out on July 7 2005. Which would have been fine, except that it was about a terrorist attack on London. His second, ‘The Other Hand’ (Sceptre), is out in August and already a favourite with literary bloggers. Art | Books | | Comedy | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre Classical music ambition has to start early. Maybe not as early as in China, where six-year-old pianists effortlessly churn out Chopin polonaises, but even here you should have a game plan for your Associated Board exams by about the same time you’re mastering joined-up writing. London’s music colleges and its wealth of concert halls still make it a magnet for young hopefuls. But for each one who makes it as a soloist there are hundreds who have failed. Here are three of our city’s most engaging promising survivors. The diminuitive soprano with the great voice. Born in Toronto, she has just made her mainstage debut at the Royal Opera House in ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’.The principal conductor of the Aurora Orchestra, and a sought-after guest at international events. He is currently in Austria conducting an opera at a festival but will be back here to appear at the BBC Proms on Aug 6.This young tenor gave a lovely performance in ‘Acis and Galatea’ at Wilton’s Music Hall in April and is definitely worth keeping an eye – and ear – out for in the near future.Art | Books | Classical & Opera | | Dance | Design | Film | Food & Drink | Gay | Music | Nightlife | Social Club | Sport | Television | Theatre