Sunday, 12 October 2014

10 Crazy Days in Florida - Part II

If you haven't read Part I of my Florida adventures, you may want to check that before continuing with this post. To quickly catch you up, we have made it to Florida, fully explored the hotel, conquered Disney World and are ready to experience our final two destinations: SeaWorld and Universal!


I wasn't overly excited about visiting SeaWorld before we went, but it ended up being one of my favourite days. As with pretty much all the parks we visited, you could easily spend a couple of days at SeaWorld, as there is so much to see and do, from aquarium-like attractions and animal shows to huge rollercoasters and log flumes. 


Thursday, 9 October 2014

10 Crazy Days in Florida - Part I

Back in August I spent an exhausting, but really exciting, 10 days in Florida, visiting the theme parks and generally making the most of the excuse to act like a child. Having always been a Disney fan and only having visited the USA once before, I couldn't turn down the chance to combine the two.

All the excitement


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire

Since first studying A Streetcar Named Desire at A level and subsequently having seen two of his plays since, Tennessee Williams has become a playwright on my theatrical radar whose plays I will endeavour to see whenever possible. As a result of this and my decision to base my final year dissertation on Williams' plays, the chance to see a production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the elusive Young Vic was not one I was going to pass up without a fight (in fact I spent six hours battling with the overpopulated ticket site before I was finally successful).

Having seen a faultless production of The Glass Menagerie at the Young Vic a few years earlier my expectations were high, and the consistently positive reviews that were appearing from the press increased this anticipation. I was wary, however, of the modernisation of this production, as such risks can often leave fans and admirers of the literature a little disappointed. 

The image of Blanche entering the stage in stilettos and a beige trench coat, whilst sporting a designer-esque wheely suitcase and oversized sunglasses is a tricky one to adjust to, and at first I couldn't shake the idea of a footballer's wife, but once first impressions are pushed aside, Blanche's transition from 1940s southern belle to modern-day fallen aristocrat is an innovative and well thought-out move.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

What’s on my wishlist - 27.07.14

In a similar way to how some of my favourite fashion and beauty bloggers make wishlists of clothes and products they are loving, I wanted to give it a go with the books, films, plays and albums that have gotten me excited.

I was hoping I would think up of an amazingly witty title for these recurring posts, but sadly that never happened so I’m just going to have to put up with this for now, as I really want to crack on with all of these finds!


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Review: Miss Saigon

For any theatregoer, there’s always that one show that you’re impatient to be revived/ come to the West End/ go on tour/ whatever it may be, and for me that show has always been Miss Saigon. Having worshipped the soundtrack for years and even performed a couple of numbers in showcases I was beyond ecstatic when it was announced that Cameron Mackintosh was to bring Miss Saigon back to the West End.

As I was only six at the time the original West End production closed (1999) I didn’t discover the musical until much later on, after establishing my obsession with Les Misérables and tracing Schönberg and Boublil’s career forwards to their success with Miss Saigon. As with Les Misérables, the show is entirely sung and so it is easy to follow he storyline and become emotionally connected to characters, just by listening to the soundtrack. The music and lyrics convey a powerful message alone and I’ve often found myself welling up at the desperation in Lea Salonga’s voice during ‘Room 316’ (most embarrassingly in the office), without need for the visual aspect of the show.

As if my expectations of this show needed boosting, Cameron Mackintosh’s stamp on the whole project raised them impossibly higher, particularly following on from his successes with producing Les Misérables and his involvement in the 2012 film. The marketing game for this revival has also been noticeably strong, with the infamous helicopter-shaped logo dominating billboards, newspapers and social media for months beforehand.


Sunday, 6 July 2014

West End Live 2014

I've been seeing and hearing things about West End Live for years now, so when my equally musical-loving friend suggested going I was keen to see what it was all about. West End Live is now into its 10th year, moving from its original location of Leicester Square to the grander venue of Trafalgar Square in 2011. The free event spans across the whole weekend and encourages performances from the majority of the best musicals that the West End has to offer.

Although we preferred the line-up for Saturday, other commitments meant we could only make the Sunday performances, so we headed up on the train in the morning armed with necessary quantities of water and sun cream. We arrived around half an hour early and it was fairly busy by this point so we made our way to about halfway towards the front. It was near impossible to see the stage from this standing area, but if you got there early enough a position on the steps would give you a perfect view of the stage. Luckily for the rest of us there were two large screens either side of the stage that gave you an insight into the action.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dot to Dot Festival 2014 - Bristol

With this being my first year living in Bristol I’d never been to Dot to Dot festival before, but after some of my friends suggested going and I had a listen to some of the acts playing I was really keen to go and see what it was all about. The festival was spread across 12 of Bristol’s music venues, with the first acts starting at 12pm and the events finishing off with various after-parties. Due to the sheer number of artists performing over the day, it was difficult to narrow down the selection, but between the five of us in my group we pre-organised a schedule of people we wanted to see beforehand.

As both Dot to Dot and Love Saves the Day were on the same weekend, there was a festival-like atmosphere in around the city centre, which was evident when walking between the venues – though I was pretty smug that Dot to Dot was inside and sheltered from the typically Bristolian rain.


Friday, 23 May 2014

Review: MADSoc's Spring Awakening

Being a huge fan of Spring Awakening and knowing a lot of the cast and creatives through MTSoc, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to travel back to Guildford to see MADSoc’s (Music and Drama Society) production of Spring Awakening last week.

For those who don’t know the show, Spring Awakening is a rock musical based on the 1891 German play of the same name by Frank Wedekind. Due to its controversy at the time and its dealing with sexuality, child abuse, suicide and abortion, the play was initially banned and many performances were censored even into the 1960s. The musical adaptation was written by Duncan Sheik and Steven Satar and its original Broadway production in 2006 won a total of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.


Live: Bastille at Alexandra Palace

Bastille’s journey to success is an undeniably impressive one: in just one year they have gone from playing small gigs to a few hundred curious spectators to selling-out one of the most iconic music venues in the country to thousands of loyal supporters. And that’s without mentioning their number one album, performing at Glastonbury and winning a Brit Award. Not a bad twelve months by any account.

As singer Dan Smith reminded the audience throughout the concert, this was the band’s biggest gig to date and there was an underlying sense of uncertainty, as if the group were rather star-struck by their own achievements.

Of course, it’s a challenge not to be overwhelmed by the stunning building that is Alexandra Palace. The venue has a strong musical history, having seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Stone Roses and Blur, so Bastille really needed to take ownership of the space and prove that they were worthy of that stage.

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