Dotti Irving head shot in gray-scale

My working life here at Four Culture takes me abroad, around the country – and all over London too.  I generally enjoy the conversations I have in cabs or Ubers but I also love ‘ear-wigging’ on the tube.  Last week was a rich source of amusement with lots of children on Easter holiday. I tuned in to a sweet family whom I reckon were visiting the capital from Liverpool. The smallest child, a little girl, maybe four years old, was taunting her older brother with the line, ‘Girls rule. Boys drool.’ She was in charge. He was flummoxed.

It made me smile all night since, as you know, I’ve always felt that girls rule or, at the very least, are equal. Female equality was one of the founding tenets of Colman Getty but, 30 years on and more, society still has a long way to go.

Prizes continue to be us, with a whole range of award announcements this month: read more about the shortlist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize (MBI) here; the winner of the Jerwood/FVU Awards here;  the winner in Abu Dhabi of the 12th International Prize for Arabic Fiction here, and the shortlist for the 2019 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction (BEWP) here.

If you happen to be in Hay at the end of May you can catch up with the winners of both the MBI and the BEWP.  The latter may be spotted in a pig pen with a large bottle of Bollinger and an even larger double spotted Gloucester pig. Anna Burns, winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize, will also be making an appearance, as will Serhii Plokhy who won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non Fiction last year.

If you’re in the theatre world you can’t have failed to notice the launch of Get Into Theatre yesterday, a great new initiative funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. More on that next month.

Finally congratulations to our not-for-profit literacy client Pop Up Projects. As Hannah will tell you here, they’ve had a good month with some major grants and a new programme for illustrators in the pipeline. Well done also to the 24 recipients of the new Jerwood Bursaries which have been granted to artists across a range of cultural disciplines. Again you will read more here.

That’s all from me this month but I wish you a very happy May and look forward to being in touch again next month.

All best