LYnette Linton was born in east London in 1990 and started writing and directing for the stage after joining the National Youth Theater in her early 20s. Her three produced plays include steps and hashtag lightie and she won rave reviews for directing Lynn Nottage’s sweat at the Donmar in 2018. The following year, aged just 28, she became the artistic director of the Bush theater in west London. Linton’s production of House of Ife, the first show in the Bush’s 50th birthday season, opens on 29 April. She has also directed an adaptation of Kit de Waal’s novel My Name Is Leon, airing on BBC One later this year. In September, she will make her National Theater directing debut with Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky.
Untidy Soul by Samm Henshaw
I’m a bit obsessed with this album by the London artist Samm Henshaw. I saw him at the Shepherd’s Bush Apollo recently and he was just brilliant on stage. He sings beautiful R&B love songs, mixing together old-school and new-school. They’re the songs that I play to get me up in the morning. He’s really big in the US, but he should be much bigger over here, so I’m shouting him out. If you’re into Frank Ocean, you’d be into Samm Henshaw. I can’t stop listening to him.
I binge-watched Bridgerton recently and it was really lovely. It’s such a great form of escapism. It’s set in Regency-era London, when there were so many rules in society to do with courting, and that’s what makes it so romantic and sexy, because people can’t get together so easily. It’s great to see hard-working actors such as Jonathan Bailey and Adjoa Andoh getting proper recognition and it’s nice to be able to just sit and watch a love story unfold.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
I really enjoy Babalola’s writing. She’s an incredible writer of fiction, with a real twitter presence. She writes stories about love, particularly black love. her debut collection of her, Love in Color, adapted different myths from around the world. Now she’s publishing her first novel by her, Honey & Spice [5 July] and they’re describing it as “the romcom of the decade”. I’ve got a bit of an obsession about love at the minute so I’m really excited to delve into this. We need more love in our lives.
Toyin’s Kitchen, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12
This is a brilliant Nigerian food stall in Shepherd’s Bush market, which is right next to the Bush theatre. Everybody who works at the Bush is always going there for lunch – I go at least twice a week. The owner, Toyin, is incredible. She does stews and curries and you get jollof rice and plantain and salad in massive portions. For me, it’s all about the coconut prawn curry. It’s very, very good. If you’re ever in Shepherd’s Bush, you should go.
Dead Ass with Khadeen and Devale Ellis
Khadeen and Devale Ellis are an African American married couple based in Brooklyn. They became Instagram-famous and now they do a podcast with relationship advice and what it’s like being parents in their mid-30s. I followed them for a long time before they blew up and now they’ve got four young boys. They’re really cool and down to earth. I like turning them on sometimes and listening to them banter with each other. They talk about how to raise a family, but also how to keep intimacy in a relationship when you’ve been together for so long. #couplegoals is probably the best way to describe this.
6. internet show
I’m really enjoying a lot of what YouTubers Chunkz and Yung Filly are doing at the minute. They have a channel with [shoe shop chain] Footasylum, which includes a dating show called Does the Shoe Fit?, among other stuff. The dating show is young and fresh and really funny. In each episode, they’re joined by guests such as the rapper Konan and Jack Fowler from Love Island and each of them goes on a speed date with the same woman, while the other three watch and comment. It’s unbelievably hilarious.
This is a show exploring masculinity through movement. I’m a theater director, but text is my anchor. What they’ve managed to do with BOYS is kind of the opposite: using physicality and movement to show fragility and vulnerability in men, specifically men of colour. It’s such a beautiful show.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism