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Showing posts from November, 2015

Billy Elliot

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I can’t quite believe it took me so long to see Billy Elliot. Despite the fact I love musicals, and go to the theatre so often, I hadn’t seen a classic which ranks highly in many people’s favourites. I put that right a few weeks ago, when my lovely friend Anthea came for a day trip to London, and we headed along to a matinee.
I think I was slightly apprehensive pre-show for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I love the film so much, and it’s so fantastically made, that I wondered how the stage version could compare. Secondly, having heard people rave about the show for years, I wondered whether my expectations had been set too high.
It’s safe to say my apprehensions were unnecessary.

Billy Elliot the musical has all of the heart of the original film, and manages to sustain that same juxtaposition of beautiful story of a young boy’s dreams against the political backdrop of Maggie Thatcher and the miners’ strike.
The show opens with Billy watching news reel clips, placing the show immediately wit…

A Reflective Mood

Recently, it was the anniversary of a particular event, or series of events, that happened at a time when I was probably struggling the very most with my anxiety.
What the event was doesn’t matter, nor do the specific ins and outs of what happened, but what I wanted to try and put into words was how these dates felt, this year.
Firstly, I felt sad. I felt sad that what should have been a really happy occasion and memory is tainted by the way my anxiety made me feel. It completely took over the event, leaving me crying in my room, and escaping for long walks with my dad.
Secondly, the emotions and feelings came flooding back. I sat in my room remembering the events. The transportation there and back made me feel trapped like I would never be able to get out. And every minute felt like hours.
I was convinced everyone was watching me, noticing what a nervous wreck I was, noticing me trying to slow down my breathing and stop my whole body tensing and shaking.
I was convinced I would be letting …

Ghost, Guildford School of Arts

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Having missed out on seeing Ghost, the Musical when it was in London and touring, I was excited about getting the chance to see it performed by the third year Musical Theatre students of Guildford School of Arts this month.
The Ivy Arts Centre at the University of Surrey boasts a lovely auditorium, and the stage was set with some industrial-looking steps at the back, and three hanging gauzes, or curtains, all of which were moved around and used as set throughout the performance. Other items, such as bankers’ desks, and the sofa and fridge in Molly and Sam’s apartment were swiftly moved on and off the stage by cast members. For a show hosting so many scenes and locations, the set design and props had been carefully thought through.
As expected, the cast as a whole put on a stunning performance. The culmination of their years at the university, this musical showcased the standard of talent that will be moving forward into the industry. Choreography by Claira Vaughan allowed chorus members…

Sleepless Nights

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Sleep.
Everyone loves it, and the health and wellbeing benefits are well-documented.
But I’m just a bit rubbish at it.
I’ve never been a big sleeper. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an early-riser. Even if I’d had a late night, I’d be up bright and early.
That in itself isn’t a problem; I’m a real morning person, and find my mornings to be so productive. However, as the years carried on, and as times became a bit tougher and my anxiety began to make itself known, any chance of a good sleep BEFORE the early wake-up went out the window.
That’s when being an early riser becomes a problem. Because even if I hadn’t calmed my thoughts enough to fall asleep until 3am, I’d be wide awake at 6am.
Once or twice, that’s ok. But when you’re going night after night after night of between three and five hours of sleep, it starts to take its toll.
I know some people can barely function without a full eight hours of sleep, and that’s definitely not me. I sometimes look back at periods where my sleep h…

The Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon has made it into my list of Top Five Favourite Musicals.
Possibly even my Top Three.
I was blown away by the originality, comedy, music and cast of this phenomenal show, and I’m going to attempt to sum up why.
A religious satire, The Book of Mormon is the story of two young Mormons, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, during their mission trip to Uganda. Whilst in Uganda, they attempt to introduce the people they meet to Mormonism, whilst also going on personal journeys, questioning and learning more about their faith.


Firstly, let’s establish the fact it’s from the creators of South Park – if you’re not up for that sense of humour, there’s no point booking a ticket. Is it sometimes crude humour? Yes. Does it push the boundaries? Yes. Do you sit there thinking ‘I shouldn’t be laughing at this’? Yes. But is it clever, satirical and absolutely hilarious? Yes, yes and yes. It’s offensive, but it’s universally offensive; every character is a parody, and all groups are laughed…

Changing my TV Habits

I’m changing up my TV habits.
The thing is, I realised fairly recently quite how many hours I spend watching TV shows and it is honestly shocking. It’s my default to ‘put something on in the background’, and whilst I still do this with YouTube videos or music, there’s more of a feeling of being able to dip in and out of things.
A TV series is a commitment.
Once I’m into a programme, I need to watch every episode. I need to know when the new season starts. I need to watch the latest episode before anyone on Twitter spoils it for me.
And the problem with Netflix is there’s always a new series to watch. And all of the episodes are ready and waiting. Binge-watching has almost become a sport.
The release of a new season of Orange is the New Black leads to the update tweets of how many episodes people have stormed through by the end of the first morning. And it can be hard to turn down that temptation when the next episode is all cued up and ready to go.
You don’t even need to move; it autoplays …

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Musical

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Growing up, I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I loved the book. I loved both films (although I have more love for the original).  And so when the stage show began I was a little apprehensive. It hadn’t been long since I’d seen Matilda, which was so incredible I didn’t want to risk seeing a Roald Dahl show which just didn’t quite live up to expectations…
However, my parents and sister went to see it, and I got a bit jealous hearing them going on about how much they’d loved it. So I booked my seat.


Let me start with what I enjoyed. The show is incredibly true to the book. The visual effects are fantastic. The set is stunning.
The characters were larger than life, just as in Dahl’s stories, and the five children in particular carried this off very well. I had a soft spot for Verruca Salt, because she’s always been my favourite, horrible child. The story is the one we know and love, with no attempt to embellish or alter. This I was happy with, as I’d have been a bit heartbroken to h…

Memphis

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A month or so ago, my parents came to visit London and we wanted to see a show. I quickly suggested Memphis, having been tempted by all the posters dotted around the Underground, and we weren’t disappointed.
The show opens as it means to go on, with a radio DJ welcoming us into the lively Downtown, at Delray’s club. Cue shock as Huey (Matt Cardle), a white man, enters this club on ‘the dark side of town’, soon winning over their trust singing about his love for ‘the music of my soul’ – what was, at the time, referred to as ‘race music’.
Set in Memphis in the 1950s, the show is set against a backdrop of extreme racial tension, challenged by the growing relationship between Felicia, a promising young singer, and Huey, an aspiring radio DJ. What follows is a beautiful story both of a fight against racism, a love story, and a story of family loyalty, all taking place among the vibrant Memphis music scene.


The music of this show is simply stunning. I’ve listened to the soundtrack countless ti…

Hello, November

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Where did you come from?
I feel like we only just welcomed in October. Seconds later, it was gone.
This year has absolutely flown by. Everyone’s saying it, and I’m going to say it again.
I can’t even think what happened in October. I know over the past few months I’ve been to the theatre a lot, as anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter will know.
I’ve been working.
I’ve been continuing to get into the swing of London life.
I’ve been seeing friends.
I headed home for a weekend to see my dad for his birthday (I’ve just got home, he was a Halloween baby!)
 Just getting on with day-to-day life really.


The days are strange at the moment. When I look back, time is flying by, but the days themselves whilst I’m in them seem to stretch on forever. I think the clock change definitely played a part in that, as last week I was completely out of sync.
Let’s just chat about the clock change for a moment: I’m not a fan!
The weather affects my mood hugely. Last Monday, I was genuinely feeling like I coul…