• What to see

    Ernest Hemingway described Josephine Baker as 'The most sensational woman anyone ever saw'. A statement proved with Newtonian strength thanks to Cush Jumbo's one-woman tour-de-force, Josephine and I.

    Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, The Iron Lady), the staging is reminiscent of a 1930s Parisian jazz bar, replete with cosy clusters of tables, bottles of wine in high-multiples and ensconced by lascivious crimson curtains.

    When it comes to theatre, there is quite possibly nothing the spectacularly named Cush Jumbo can't do. The term 'triple threat' - describing someone who can act, dance and sing - is like a mini-skirt to the full-length gown of Cush's talents. Of course she acts, (multiple parts played with equal conviction that command the stage for the entire show). But she also sings and she dances. Oh and if that wasn't enough, she also wrote the entire screenplay and has comedic timing to match any stand-up.

    Like the recent great biopics, (Robert Downey Junior's Chaplin and Marion Cotillard's Edith Piaf both spring to mind), Cush is Josephine Baker. No doubt weeks, months, possibly even years of research went into this role as Cush appropriates every facial tick, every angle of limb, celebrating Josephine; pioneer, musical icon and political heroine the world over. And let's not forget, the first ever African-American to star in a feature film, Zouzou (1934). And, "not as the maid," quips Cush on stage.

    The night I saw the show, as the curtain closed the entire audience rose to their feet for a thunderous standing ovation, only slightly impeded by pauses to wipe streaming tears.

    By Bridget Arsenault

    Josephine and I is showing at the Bush Theatre until Saturday 17th August 2013

  • What to know

    Summer holidays and there's the sometimes embarrassing 'weighing-in' moment at the airport. Gingerly placing your suitcase on the scales, hoping it doesn't tip the 25kg mark, wishing you hadn't brought so many hardback books, endless shoes or filled your washbag to bursting.

    The solutions for a less shaming, pre-flight build-up; a kindle for your books, embrace the barefoot by the beach look and make your beauty products work harder. There are plenty of unguents and solutions that are both singer and songwriter - so do the research and take bottles of stuff that do two-jobs.

    1. Estee Lauder Cello shots: these are small, pump-action cartridges filled with coloured gel that give a 'just been on a bike ride' flush to the cheeks. And the gel can be patted on to lips for a 'I've just eaten a bowl of cherries' stain. Cello shots come in four colours - Hot Fuse is a winner.

    2. Biotherm's Celluli Eraser is a gel that smells like oranges, but rubbed in daily will ward off orange peel thighs and help skin tone look its peachy best. The magic ingredients are caffeine to firm your skin and Coralline - a marine algae that encourages fat degradation and strongly discourages new fat cells forming. Skin immediately looks and feels tighter, whilst ingredients are beavering away on the inside for long term gain.

    3. Fulphyl by Phylia de M is a potent form of Fulvic Acid which drunk on a daily basis helps heals the body on a cellular level, whilst weeding out excess matter that our hard-working bodies can't process. But you can also mix the liquid with face creams to add potency, pour some in your bath or apply to cuts and bruises to speed up the healing process. It's a little bit magic.


  • What to know

    It's hard not to be head-turned by the latest health product promising outer glow and inner rainbows. But returning from Los Angeles, where the aim is not just to be healthy… but to be the healthiest person ever, my hunt for the elixir of life has never felt more pressing.

    Thankfully my welcome home mail bag of bills and more bills also included a curious little parcel. Inside was a five-day trial of a new supplement called Onça. Hurray! Ten little packets, separated into morning and evening doses, filled with 21 natural ingredients, including wild super-fruits harvested from the Amazon rainforest (eg. the appropriately exotic sounding Camu-camu, Açai and Buriti). These along with other components including Lycopene, Selenium and Hydrolyzed Collagen apparently help to energise, cleanse and detoxify by day, while supporting the body's recovery and cellular renewal by night.

    Sounds good, right? Well after a few days of carefully mixing up the precious powders and knocking back the strangely sweet drink I do feel rather bouncy. But here's the catch. At £180 for a month's supply, it's not cheap. Though small fry, less time consuming and not as painfully hardcore when compared with, say… a week at a monasterial Swiss spa where the only thing on the menu is a hunk of dry old bread followed by a colonic irrigation. But the other hitch is that currently there's only enough Onça made for 3000 people in the whole wide world to be hooked on this stuff.

    So if you're feeling a bit tired or not looking your shiny best and you don't have the time for a big lifestyle overhaul, give Onça a whirl. Just don't tell those health-heads in LA or there'll be none left for the rest of us.


    Onça offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a 6 month supply of Onça (total worth £1000). Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.