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.

sharp-objects-book-cover

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.

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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.

lightprincess

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.

whale

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.

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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.

 

 

 

Cirque Eloize iD

October 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

CirqueEloize-Jumping-Rope wCirqueEloize_ID_RoueCyr-1280511783 CirqueEloize_ID_Trampoline

 

Should really write about things right after I see them…iD by Cirque Eloize, a Canadian contemporary cirque/dance troupe with very few circus elements, truth be told.

A fantastic performance to take kids to and if you crave something different, a perfect day out.

 

A Doll’s House drunk on a Margarita

September 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Young Vic, A Dolls House

Young Vic, A Dolls House

Perhaps I should blame the margarita for not remembering half of the play, but let’s start at the very beginning. Tickets to see A Doll’s House, a play by none other than Henrik Ibsen, were a birthday present for a friend who as it turned out was out of the country on the day, dancing at a Spanish wedding and drinking sangrias. I invited another friend of mine to come along.

It’s a long play so naturally we had to eat something mouth-watering, as you do. Enter Chipotle, a sin in a soft taco shell. The juicy, spicy, shredded beef slowly roasted for hours, I think, impressed me more than the play, fireworks in my mouth does not cover it, it’s like Christmas and lazy Saturday mornings but better:

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The delicious barbacoa is not to blame for me spacing out during the play of course, it is Chipotle’s lethal Margaritas that came in huge glasses and looked so innocent until you drank one and went to sit down in your seat to find yourself floating high and above the heads of very serious spectators.

And I do remember the play, of course I do. I remember Nora, who came across as vulgar, lacking of imagination, neurotic and cheap, who, dare as I may say, behaved nothing like a Scandinavian lady of 19th century would have. The lack of chemistry between Nora and Torvald was uncomfortable to watch, even with lime tequila pouring out of my eyeballs. Hattie Morahan’s hoarse voice did not add to it either and only made a tragic character like Nora seem jumpy and pathetic, which she never was. It was all a bit too try-hard, too in your face obvious when I think and I trust the public that sat in those seats have seen their own fair share of shit called life, no need to chew it to the state of pulp and feed it to them.

Instead, spoon it in subtly, unceremoniously, because that is how all the tragedies in life play out – they happen on the most random of days (say when you take your cat for a routine operation), to the most ordinary people (boring office jobs, big ambitions, no talent), spoken in most primitive words. The impact of the decision to leave the family cannot be overplayed, the decision, if made by a strong character like Nora, would speak for itself, even without the door slamming.

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