Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: An American in Paris - Dominion Theatre


An American in Paris, inspired by the 1951 Academy Award winning film, has been on my list since it arrived in the West End, following its critically-acclaimed run on Broadway. Having never seen the film, it wasn't the adaptation as such that intrigued me, but the fact that the Tony Award winning new musical incorporates the music of George and Ira Gershwin.

This rich and playful score is descriptive and full enough to tell a story of its own, and a lot of the time it does, with expansive sections of orchestral music in comprehensive dialogue with just the movement on stage.

Bob Crowley's beautiful set design is as much a work of art as the classic pieces it enticingly evokes, with projections rippling across a combination of static and moving surfaces. What are effectively blank canvases on wheels are spun around the stage by the cast, equal parts choreography and design. Projections of Paris sweep across these surfaces with the fluidity of the stroke of a brush, with one scene bleeding into the next like watercolour into the pores of the page.

The plot, which is somewhat thickened from the MGM film, is a sturdy (if not a little predictable) classic romance, sprinkled with witty remarks and just the right amount of laughter. However, where musical numbers are often an embellishment upon a purposeful narrative, in this case the story is overshadowed by the performance itself, reduced to the foundations of the flourishing palace of music and dance.

Christopher Wheeldon’s choreography is the real star of the show and its execution is impeccable. This is not a show punctuated by sections of dance, but rather one continual current of movement, a stream of consciousness that ebbs and flows through sorrow, triumph, fear and elation.

Saturday evening was Robert Fairchild’s final show as leading man Jerry Mulligan, and what a privilege it was to witness his astounding performance. However, An American in Paris is by no means a one-man show, and the cast is made up of a collection of incredibly talented dancers, who carry their characters with commendable gumption and an ear for song.

While the story itself is a little too unsurprising to pack any real punch, you leave the theatre mesmerised by an enchanting evening of dreamlike sequences, pining for your own Parisian escapade.
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Sunday, 4 June 2017

Review: Me, Myself and Them – Dan Mooney


Denis Murphy is living with monsters. And we are introduced to these monsters from the opening sentence of the novel, as the four watch him eating his smoked salmon and brown bread. These aren’t just demons in Denis’ head, or skeletons in his closet, or monsters under the bed, these are four very real creatures manifested in quite disturbing forms. A gruesome clown, a rotting professor, a nondescript hairy being and a woman that is also a cat.

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Monday, 24 April 2017

Review: Blame – Paul Read


n.b. This image contains a proof copy, not the final cover of the book.
Although Paul Read’s Blame exists in a few narrative spaces, spanning various points in protagonist Lucas’s life, ultimately they all lead to one common denominator: Lucas’s relationship with his father.

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Friday, 21 April 2017

Poetry Journal I – Beginnings


I've touched on my thoughts on poetry before, in a post outlining my goals for this year and during my review of Rupi Kaur’s Milk & Honey, but for the sake of detailing my Poetry Journal process so far, it makes sense to start from the beginning again.
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister

n.b. This image contains a proof copy, not the final cover of the book.
In ‘A Conversation with the Author’ at the end of The Magician’s Lie, Greer Macallister suggests that ‘writers are illusionists who work in words’, a ‘kind of magician’. Though illusion forms the premise of the Macallister’s plot, it is her aptitude for truly enchanting storytelling that carries the real magic of this book.

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Monday, 6 March 2017

Review: Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur


I had seen bits of Rupi Kaur’s poetry floating around the internet for a while but hadn’t paid much attention until I saw a few people reference her book, Milk and Honey, and it went straight onto my to-read list.

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Review: The Song of the Stork - Stephan Collishaw

n.b. This image contains a proof copy, not the final cover of the book.

The Song of the Stork is a beautifully written and poignant novel about a young girl in Poland during the Second World War. Yael, a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl, has been separated from her family and is fighting for survival when she comes across the farm of the village outcast and takes refuge in his house. The novel is split between the period she hides with Aleksei, who is unable to speak, and the gentle relationship that ensues, and the time she spends with a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.
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Monday, 27 February 2017

5 TV Shows I Will Forever Rewatch



Some of my favourite blog posts to write have been 5 Books I Would Read Again and Again and 5 Albums that Never Get Old. I'm one of those people who finds questions about what my absolute favourite books, albums and films are very stressful, but I love reflecting on and shouting about those that I do love. 

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Friday, 24 February 2017

Four Days in New York


If you follow me on Instagram then you will be well aware that I went to New York a month or so ago. Congrats for sticking with me if you're still following after weeks of incessant NYC photos. Apparently I don't have much else going on at the moment...
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events – Netflix


The original book series by Daniel Handler (under the elusive pen name Lemony Snicket) was a big part of my childhood. So much so that the series made it into a post I wrote about books I would read again and again. I couldn’t say how many times I read the series over the years, but second perhaps only to Harry Potter, it was one of my most esteemed sets of books.
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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Quiet Power


Although this is in part a review of Susan Cain’s book Quiet Power, I’m not titling or structuring it as I would with a usual book review, since I am taking a much more reflective and personal approach (hitting another of my 2017 goals one month into the year – go me).

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Sunday, 5 February 2017

Review: Waitress – Brooks Atkinson Theatre (Broadway)


As with any avid theatregoer, my first thought when planning a trip to New York was ‘what will we see on Broadway?’, and since Hamilton was out of the question at $800+ dollars per resale ticket, Tony-nominated Waitress was top of the list.

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Review: La La Land


The hype surrounding La La Land has been unavoidable. From the inundation of five star reviews to the extraordinarily positive recommendations from peers and public figures alike, it’s almost impossible to sit down for this film with an open mind and no expectations.

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Zoella & WHSmith Summer Book Club Roundup


When I found out that Zoella was doing WHSmith's Young Adult book club last summer I knew I was going to have to at least read a few from the list. Whatever your opinion on Zoella and YouTubers, it is great to see an influencer with a huge teen audience encouraging young people to read more.

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Sunday, 15 January 2017

A New Year: Reflections & Goals


I’ve never been one to set New Year’s Resolutions but, like most other humans, I welcome markers in time as a chance to refresh my mindset or kick myself into gear, whether it’s simply a new day, week, month or, in this case, year.

So, though I won’t be setting myself any personal resolutions or taking on any major lifestyle changes, there are various things I want to achieve, projects I want to start and places I want to go before the end of 2017, and setting these out in writing somehow makes them feel more feasible and less overwhelming.
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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Review: Dreamgirls - Savoy Theatre


Dreamgirls is a show I’ve wanted to see on stage since discovering the infectious music through the 2006 film adaptation, so when I found out it was coming to the West End for the first time since its Broadway debut in 1981, it went straight to the top of my list.

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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Bloggers that Inspired Me in 2016


At the beginning of 2016 I wrote a little post about five bloggers that had been a huge source of inspiration over the past year, and when it came to planning this year’s New Year posts, I knew I had to do it again. Not only does it give me the chance to reflect on blogs that I love and figure what exactly it is that inspires me and shapes my own motivation to develop my writing, photography and general creativity, but it is also the ideal opportunity to spread that blogging love and support some amazing content creators.


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Monday, 2 January 2017

2016 Favourites


I started collecting my 2016 favourites back in January. Every time an album, book, TV show or something on stage has excited or inspired me over the past year, it’s been added to a list I’ve been keeping in the mess that is my iPhone notes. And I can now confirm, it hasn’t made the task of choosing my absolute favourites any easier.

As much as the over-organised side of me would love this collection things to consist only of TV, books and music that have been released during 2016, my consumption habits were not willing to cooperate. So, while most of the below were in fact 2016 babies, expect a few older competitors to have snuck their way onto the list.

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