Jane Casey

The au­thor on watch­ing Tom Hid­dle­ston on stage, and how An­drew Scott in­flu­enced her new novel

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Cur­rent favourite book

Mag­pie Lane by Lucy Atkins, which is com­ing out in April. It’s set in Ox­ford, and it’s about a lit­tle girl who goes miss­ing and her nanny is in­ter­viewed. It’s evoca­tive, creepy and well con­structed . . . not quite a crime novel, it’s more crime-ad­ja­cent. Lucy Atkins is a great writer. It’s lit­er­ary but so easy to read. The main char­ac­ter is a math­e­ma­ti­cian in her spare time, and the re­search that must have gone into it is amaz­ing. Highly rec­om­mended.


This year I went to see Be­trayal by Harold Pin­ter, which was in Lon­don but has now moved to Broad­way. Tom Hid­dle­ston, Zawe Ash­ton and Char­lie Cox starred. It’s a bare stage, there’s no in­ter­val and the three ac­tors are on stage the en­tire time. Yet it’s ab­so­lutely riv­et­ing, and shows just how cruel peo­ple can be to the peo­ple they love. I saw it twice be­cause it was so good.The story is played out back­wards, so it starts off at the end, af­ter Tom Hid­dle­ston’s char­ac­ter’s wife and his best friend have an af­fair. Then it goes back through dif­fer­ent scenes from their time to­gether, ly­ing to one another, and when the hus­band finds out, he doesn’t con­front them im­me­di­ately.

I found it heart­break­ing be­cause at the be­gin­ning of the play, the char­ac­ters are so dam­aged, and at the end of the play, when they’re at the start of the events we’ve just seen, they’re so happy and look­ing for­ward to life. It’s a por­trayal of how dam­ag­ing it is once you start ly­ing in a re­la­tion­ship, and when the trust goes.


I’m go­ing to the Brid­get Ri­ley ex­hi­bi­tion in the Hay­ward Gallery. I was taught about her in school, but I would re­ally like to know more – she’s fa­mous for her op­ti­cal il­lu­sion art, but she did a huge amount of work that I’m not fa­mil­iar with. I think women’s art has been over­looked for so long, and Brid­get Ri­ley is one of a few fe­male artists who’s been cel­e­brated dur­ing her life.


I’ve been lis­ten­ing to a lot of Lewis Ca­paldi’s Divinely Unin­spired to a Hellish Ex­tent. He’s very mid­dle of the road, but I just love tor­tured men feel­ing emo­tional and singing about it. That’s my favourite thing.


An­drew Scott. I’m writ­ing a book at the mo­ment that has a char­ac­ter who’s both like­able and evil, and for some rea­son I hear it in An­drew Scott’s voice. I saw him this year in a Noël Cow­ard play, Present Laugh­ter, and he was so funny and tal­ented. [He’s dif­fer­ent] when he’s be­ing the Hot Priest [in Fleabag], and dif­fer­ent when he’s be­ing Mo­ri­arty. His range is un­be­liev­able, but he’s al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing.

So­cial me­dia pro­file

Mar­ian Keyes (@Mar­i­anKeyes) is so much her­self on all forms of so­cial me­dia. She’s bril­liant. The other per­son is Sali Hughes on In­sta­gram (@sal­i­hughes), who’s The Guardian’s beauty jour­nal­ist. I buy more make-up be­cause of her In­sta­gram than any­thing else. She’s a ge­nius and she rec­om­mends the most amaz­ing things. Watch with care.

TV show

I’m watch­ing South­land on Ama­zon, an Amer­i­can po­lice drama that’s a few years old, but I’m en­joy­ing it. It’s got Ben McKen­zie, who was in The OC, and a cast of ex­cel­lent ac­tors. They fol­low patrol of­fi­cers and de­tec­tives, so you get to see po­lice work in the round. Again, they play with how they tell the story. It starts off with a mo­ment that hap­pens later in the episode, and then you find out how they’ve ended up there. It’s shock­ing in places, and quite graphic, but noth­ing beats a good po­lice drama.


My sons and I are ex­cited about see­ing Black Widow, which comes out next year. My younger son, who’s seven, was dis­gusted that Black Widow didn’t have her own film – he’s my lit­tle fem­i­nist. The trailer came out the other day, and we’ve al­ready watched it about six times. The film seems to be Scar­lett Jo­hans­son go­ing back to her roots in Rus­sia, and it looks full of good ac­tion se­quences.

Cruel Acts is pub­lished by Harper Collins

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