Thunder & Lightening and Sunset Strokes

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Life in the fast lane

It has been so long since I have updated this blog. Lots has happened. I pondered separating it into different blogs but thought actually it might be better to put everything thats going on in one post. Theatre, graduation, new thrifty bargains, the ‘job hunt’…

First of all performance wise. What have I seen, witnessed, worked on or been totally disappointed by.

A Dolls House. I saw a production of Ibsen’s masterpiece at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester in June. It. Was. Magical. This is one of my favourite plays of all times and I frequently see different versions of it and with the help of the student reservation scheme meaning front row tickets are a tenner, I found my seat in the auditorium of the Royal Exchange’s round stage.

The play is the story of Nora and Helmer and their ‘perfect’ family home. The home is far from perfect however. Helmer is a controlling materialistic idiot who is too self absorbed to see that his wife needs to take a breather from their marriage. The text in this play is so wonderful and so empowering for women at the time of writing in the 20th century. I think a lot of people see Nora as a flake and complete waste of space for walking out on her children, but I have to disagree. She spends the whole play dreaming about life outside of her nest, and finally plucks up the courage, knowing that her children will be taken care of by her nanny and dear friend Mrs Linde. The actress playing Nora literally made me stand up and go YES NORA when she completed her penultimate monologue before walking out, and it reminded me that in a degree full of weird performance art and cultural studies, you cannot beat a 3 act naturalistic play concerning domestic relationships.

Manchester International Festival has just started this month and runs from 4-21 July here in Manchester. I recently started a job at the Whitworth Art Gallery and was lucky enough to be working a 65 hour continuous performance by an Indian artist drawing a Lancashire landscape on a cotton tent. It sounds barmy but the audience and myself found it extremely relaxing and the patience of the artist was something to be in awe of. The artist was called Nikhil Chopra and details of MiF can be found here: http://www.mif.co.uk/

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Following on from Coal on Cotton I had the opportunity to see one of the most renown stage directors and quite frankly loony stage directors in the world. Robert Wilson returned to Manchester to stage a new production called the Old Woman. Starring Willem Dafoe (Finding Nemo, Spiderman, English Patient) it was a Russian avant-garde piece full of clowns, miming and monochromatic designing. It was fantastic! And I think I was completely in awe of Robert Wilson, I studied Einstein on the Beach at Uni and he is an amazing American director so I’m so pleased I managed toget myself a comp ticket for the preview!

I’ve just finished volunteering on Manchester Sound: The Massacre. It was a site-specific piece of work played in a secret location in Manchester town centre. It fused the 1989 Mad-chester house music club scene with the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. Apparently 15 people were sabred on St Peter’s Field in Manchester when they were peacefully protesting about suffrage and better working conditions. The performance was really interesting to witness, and basically felt like a devised piece. The cast were far more successful in the 1819 narrative as opposed to the 1989 culture, and their were some great moments and expressions of freedom from the two time periods.

On Friday 12th of July I graduate! I got a 2:1 for my degree and am so happy. I knew deep down I was getting a 2:1 but it was so amazing to see it on my transcript and I can’t wait to chuck my hat in the air and walk across that stage to receive my certificate. As well as finishing my degree I’ve recently moved from Fallowfield to West Didsbury to a new houseshare. I dived straight in and am now living with a bunch of strangers. I thrive off new people so its been amazing to just slot right in to a house full of young professionals who like to party and are from all walks of life. Its like being in halls again! I miss the Fallowfield crew though, and because I’ve started another internship working full time I’ve missed hanging out with the people that made my final year at University so great!

In the movies, i’ve managed to see Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2 and (finally) The Great Gatsby. The new superman was awful, and so bloody loud. Henry Cavil is BASICALLY there to look pretty. To be fair I expected more from the Nolans. Despicable Me 2 was thoroughly enjoyable and I’ve now decided i’d like a Minon for Christmas…… Gatsby was well, flashy. I’m still trying to make my mind up on that one – 3 weeks later. It was cast very well, but it felt quite alienating to watch. Heartbreaking, but alienating.

This month my great friend Lyz had a clothes sale to raise money for her one way trip to South America. From it I managed to acquire, a long velvet skirt, blue summer dress and my favourite – a vintage T-shirt dress with belt just below the bust. Photos to follow!

Thats enough on my musings I suspect, I am in the middle of an internship with the BBC Performing Arts Fund, but I’ll divulge more on another post. I’ll also let you know how graduation goes!

I realise this has been far friendlier than my previous posts, maybe I am entering into a new season of blogging. Lord knows lots of other new things have started up recently.

Also its SUMMER! Hello heatwave. I’ve just discovered Formby Beach near Liverpool. I’m going back. I’m going to go swimming.