On my radar: Daisy Edgar-Jones's cultural highlights

The Normal People star on livestreamed theatre, the best TV show she’s ever seen and a gem from her dad’s record collection

Actor Daisy Edgar-Jones was born in 1998 in Islington, London. She trained with the National Youth Theatre and her breakthrough acting role was in ITV’s comedy drama Cold Feet aged 17. She made her film debut in 2018’s Pond Life but is best known for playing Marianne earlier this year in the critically acclaimed BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People. Edgar-Jones stars in Mike Bartlett’s play about politics and patriotism, Albion, filmed at the Almeida theatre and airing at 10.10pm on BBC Four tonight and subsequently on iPlayer.

1. TV


Zendaya in Eurphoria.
Zendaya in Eurphoria. Photograph: Eddy Chen/AP

This is one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched. It’s told from the perspective of Rue, a recovering drug addict played by the phenomenal Zendaya, who laces her character with so much humour and darkness and scar tissue. Sometimes it feels as if the camera is on some form of narcotic as it swings upside down or follows two characters in dizzying spirals as they run up and up a flight of stairs. The costume, music, makeup, sets, characters, writing are all phenomenal. It’s truly a feast for the eyes.

2. Theatre


Matt Smith and Claire Foy in Lungs.
Matt Smith and Claire Foy in Lungs. Photograph: Helen Maybanks

I was lucky enough to get tickets to the first livestreamed performance of this at the Old Vic. The story tracks the relationship between a couple as they debate the ethics of bringing a child into the world; it’s funny and moving and brilliantly observed. Both Claire Foy and Matt Smith are amazing in it, and I found it so interesting how powerful theatre is, even when delivered through a laptop. The actors and writing paint the world for you so vividly you can still suspend your disbelief. Also, no interval queue for the toilets.

3. Book

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor.
Jon McGregor. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

This story follows the lives of various residents on one single street, all united by one event that took place there. The book celebrates the parts of life we take for granted, and, having spent so much time in lockdown, I’m hyper-aware of what I also take for granted. How wonderful sitting in a pub with a pal is, how great it is to hug your parents. I’m also very aware of all the strangers that live on my street: we all experienced lockdown together, we had the same footpaths we could use for our daily walk, the same corner shop to stock up on loo roll, and yet I don’t know anyone to say hello to.

4. Film

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (dir Joe Talbot)

Jonathan Majors and Jimmie Fails in The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
Jonathan Majors and Jimmie Fails in The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Photograph: A24/Everett Collection/Alamy Stock Photo

I watched this film not knowing what to expect and I fell in love with it. The story follows a man living in San Francisco, who is on a journey to reclaim a beautiful house his grandfather built and lived in, much to the annoyance of the current residents. It’s like watching moving art and the soundtrack is beautiful, I’m still listening to it now. The story is inspired by the lead actor and it’s directed by his old school friend. It really is a film made with love.

5. Album

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd in 1973.
Pink Floyd in 1973. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

We have a record player and I have a load of my parents’s old vinyl albums from when they were young. When I was 18, I found my dad’s copy of Dark Side of the Moon and thought it was incredible. I enjoy the thought of my dad listening to it when he was younger, with all the same scratches and jumps in the record, and I like the use of sound recorded from people chatting or clocks ticking, layered and fed into the music. It’s a good one to have a bop to on your own before bed.

6. Documentary

Hitsville: The Making of Motown (dir Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner)

Watch a trailer for Hitsville: The Making of Motown.

I always love a good music documentary and this is just brilliant. It tracks the birth of Motown Records in Detroit in 1958 and the amazing hits and artists that came out of there. We see the insane talent of Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and so many more as they work together to make music. The documentary explores the sense of community surrounding the label and how they dealt with the success they had when they started making nothing but hits. It also shows you how the label really changed culture for ever. You’ll be tapping your foot for the whole film.

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