Sean Penn: Activist. Politico. Geriaction hero

Issue 1142

Sean Penn: Activist. Politico. Geriaction hero

In this issue… Sean Penn – the double Oscar-winner who likes to jet around the world fixing things in trouble spots. Adrian Lobb talks to him about conscience politics, the Liam Neeson-driven vogue for older action heroes, some de rigueur rhapsodising about Mark Rylance and where the “enemies” are coming from.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with one of Britain’s best character actors, the always great Lennie James. He is very open about the early loss of his mother and his time in care. It’s a cracker – there will be tears reading this one.

Samira Ahmed takes an alternative look at Frozen and wonders what it and 50 Shades say about female role models and the reality of relationships.

John Bird this week details plans for his new initiative to raise money and fight poverty. Poetry, gardening and tea-towels feature.

A piece of research by the University of Manchester recently revealed that in almost 70 constituencies migrant voters could hold the balance of power in May’s poll. Alex Massie looks at whether politicians are cooking up the wrong rhetoric ahead of what might be the outsiders election.

There is a huge rise in sales of colouring books for adults. This is true. We investigate whether it’s because they offer a simple, relaxing means to beat modern anxiety and pressures. Or whether Britons are too reluctant to, you know, GROW UP!

Our featured vendor this week is Drew Muircroft. He works selling the magazine at Burton Street in Bath. After his mum died, 30 odd years ago, his home life shattered and he fell hard. He’s on the way back. A fan of good architecture and Dickens, he is a fascinating character.

There is much else besides, of course – including rising star Mika Monroe, author Sarah Pinborough on what everybody can learn from young adult novels, and there is Spot The Ball, of course.

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For each subscription to the magazine, we’ll provide a vendor with a reusable water bottle, making it easier for them to access cold water on hot days.