Sharp Objects, Shade’s Children, the Light Princess and Gogglebox
December 26, 2013 § 2 Comments
Work has swallowed up the last couple of months of my life hence the silence on wordpress. Social life was barely there, not enough books were read or plays seen, but to keep the record of November and December, I wish to at least mention the events which punctured my evenings and weekends.
First, I finished the last, or the first in her career, of Gillian Flynn’s novels, Sharp Objects. Disturbing, dark and one of these rare books that made me shudder, my skin crawl with discomfort, a book I would not read twice. Extremely well written as all of her books are, with the words breathing at you off every page, but the subject matter of Sharp Objects was a bit too close to skin for my liking.
I then read a book I would never have picked up if not for my book-dealer of a friend – Garth Nix’s Shade’s Children. A futuristic fantasy and sci-fi imaginarium with evil and good meeting and fighting through the bodies of mutt creatures and innocent children. I devoured the Hunger Games and regarded Shade’s Children as a welcome substitute. Being of a similar subject matter, I continued reading it even though it did disappoint me on a number of occasions. I applaud the idea and the characters, but not so much the lukewarm execution. Something a bit more universal I felt was lacking.
National Theatre’s The Light Princess comes next. What can I say about a production so extraordinary and fantastic it left me speechless and breathless throughout the performance and hours after. After the death of her mother, Althea became so light she floated up, she was unable to cry and lived her young life locked up in a tower. There is a prince who lost his mother too, with a heavy heart he goes through life turning into a brave warrior…I then tell you it’s a musical and you think, sod this, I have better things to do, but you’d be so wrong to miss this…Marianne Elliott’s direction, Tori Amos’ music and lyrics, an unbelievably enjoyable script, staging which kept the audience ah’ing and oo’ing, guessing how this or that was done, draws you in reaching out to the tiniest crevices of your imagination. If you live or visit London, this is a show you must not miss.
ROH’s How the Whale Became was a bit of a disappointment, not for the story which was new and incredible to me, but the singing – not a big fan of opera me and forcing kids to listen to hours of operatic singing with no melody or tune to it was a bit too much. Must find and read the stories now.
And finally, the winner of the season – Gogglebox, junk TV at it’s best!! I cannot wait for the day to end so I can sit down, glass of wine in hand, and watch people watching TV. Yes, I know how that sounds, but if you have not seen it, please do, what an amazing social experiment and a great source of laughter, too.