946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips

At 21 I had my first experience at the Globe theatre.  I really didn’t expect it to feel as magical as it did.  I do not usually express emotion but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t Continue reading “946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips”

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Yerma

Ok so this was a while ago now, but I had to write about this amazing experience of watching Billie Piper go through a lifetime of emotions in such a small space of time.

Simon Stone’s Yerma, a brilliantly modern adaptation of Lorca’s play of the same Continue reading “Yerma”

Christmas Film Favourites

Since we are now only a few days away from Christmas I thought I’d share some of my favourite Christmas films.  This list could go on and on, however these films tend to stay in my top spots.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

This is my all time favourite Christmas film.  When a man believes he is worthless an angel shows him what an impact he has made on others and that his life is worth living.  It has everything you need romance, family, snow and an angel.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Muppets Xmas Carol

The great story of Scrooge and the ghost of Christmases past, present and future is best told by the muppets. 

Edward ScissorhandsEdward Scissor hands

Maybe not the most obvious Christmas choice, however it is such a good film about family, love and acceptance.  

Beauty and the Beast:  The Enchanted ChristmasBeauty and the beast

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite Disney film so when this film about the much loved characters at Christmas came out I played it on repeat for several Christmases.  Now I don’t watch it quite as much, but it still holds a special place in my heart.

Jack Frost Jack Frost

This is a film that I both love and hate at the same time.  Such a heart warming film that all should see at least once (you will need to have the tissues on standby)

laurajoan

Bend It Like Beckham-The Musical

I’m rather ashamed (being a performing arts student and all) that this was my first musical outing in (cough) a few years.  There are many other musicals that I would have had chosen to watch before ‘Bend It Like Beckham’.  It’s not that I didn’t want to watch it, I was actually really intrigued as to how they had managed to make it into a musical.  But there are other more appealing shows that I would have made the effort to see first. 

Having said that I really enjoyed it.  There were some good songs with both western and eastern vibes, a few interesting dance numbers of the girls training, some laugh out loud moments and a highly relatable storyline, not just to those with an Indian background.  Being set in 2001 there may be a feeling of the social comment being dated since there has been progress for both women and the treatment of other cultures, however it is still relevant as there are still many hurdles to get over in regards to both issues.  It’s worth a mention that on the night I went to see the show the main character of Jess was played by Sharan Phull who is the understudy.

Bend it Like Beckham

Taking my seat waiting for curtain up I admired the steps going onto the stage and the boarder being covered in fake grass.  The whole stage was bordered with white to give the image of a goal.  Throughout the show the set continued to surprise me.  The slick change of scenery flipping into the shops on Southall broadway to the sliding in of the girls bedrooms on a raised platform.

The music was a mix of surprisingly catchy songs such as ‘Girl Perfect’ which has been stuck in my head, the emotional songs of parents looking out for their children, ‘There she goes’, and ‘People like us’ the sorrowful song of the Father’s (of Jess the main character) unfulfilled dream due to the way he was treated because of the colour of his skin, projecting his fears and past onto his daughter.  There were also many moments musically with distinctive Indian influences, I particularly enjoyed ‘Heer/Golden Moment’ beginning with an angelic vocal.

The dancers were full of energy and entertaining throughout, convincing as a strongly bonded football team.  I thought the training number where the girls go through various training exercises was effective.  The football moves which the girls managed to perform were executed well.  I did have some unrealistic expectation of a ‘Get’cha Head in the Game’ type number with the girls doing choreographed football tricks.  Realising my rather high expectations I was admirable of what they did manage to perform on stage.  The perhaps simple moves of heading the ball is made multiple times harder, having to perform it in time to music and in front of a live audience; who would not be expecting a football to land in there lap, or worse their face.  The cast did however include a  footballer who could perform keepy uppies on demand, her invlolvement perhaps not completely necessary as there is a limited amount of football tricks that can be confined to the space of a stage surrounded by various lights and wires.  However having the show being a great support to women’s football it is nice to see a professional women’s player involved.

If you want a a great feel good experience with a slice of social comment with relatable characters and situations this is definitely worth a watch.

laurajoan

Wild

I have finally got around to watching ‘Wild’, the film based on the book ‘Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found’ by Cheryl Strayed.  I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.  It was a great story of self discovery, vulnerability and strength.  I recommend it to anyone and once I’ve read the book I’m sure I’ll be able to say the same thing about that.

“denying/her wounds came from the same source as her power”1

The film features the poem ‘Power’ by Adrienne Rich.  I was drawn to the words spoken in the film and had to look it up right away.  I admired how Rich had placed strength and vulnerability hand in hand.  

I felt a connection to the words for various reasons.  In my professional life my strength is how I use my body.  Us dancers often put our bodies under so much stress in order to improve.  Doing the very thing we love can lead to success, but also has the risk of injury.  The drive to improve can occasionally hinder progress.

I also have an emotive connection.  As a performer it is a strength to have deep and varied emotions; I have this ability in me.  I have these strong emotions, however these rarely reach the surface as they can get trapped inside of me.  My inability to be open emotionally has made me hold onto my emotions, causing tension and anxiety.  It may be an advantage on one hand to have these emotions, however it has also caused problems.  There is a blockage of emotion inhibiting anything from escaping.

This is just my personal connection.  For me I can also see how it could relate to love, passion and desire.  Engaging in something which can give us strength yet can also easily destroy the beholder.  You may see something else entirely, or have a similar take to me; however putting the seemingly opposing feelings of strength and vulnerability together is surely an interesting motion.  Illustrating the complex state of the human mind, being able to feel multiple complementary and conflicting emotions simultaneously.

laurajoan

1’Power’, Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a common language, 1974-1977

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