It’s been aaaaaaaages since I posted anything I really felt proud of on my blog (the last thing was probs that parody of Simon Stephens’ book). I’m trying to get back into the ‘when you see something you really love and just HAVE to write about it’ mindset. Hopefully I’ll be back writing longform blogs on plays I really loved soon (up next, maybe: Hamlet Mk II, The Treatment, Anatomy of a Suicide).
This blog post is completely and utterly ripped off from this Meg Vaughan blog post which was such a good idea that I’ve decided to borrow it. Except I’m doing current obsessions/likes/favourites instead of hot takes. Thanks, Meg.
- Billingtron 5000. I’m obsessed with Meg Vaughan’s Billington fanzine. I love all of it, but my favourite bit has to be Tim Norwood’s list of ‘One Hundred and Eight Jokes About Michael Billington’. I’ve read it again and again and again and it is still endlessly funny. The whole zine is so joyous. Love.
- Anatomy of a Suicide. What a fucking play. This was beautiful. Hattie Morahan, Kate O’Flynn and Adelle Leonce were bloody brilliant, as were Paul Hilton and Jodie McNee. Obvs the whole thing was great, but my favourite thing was actually the costumes. I was gone as soon as I noticed Anna was wearing Carol’s red shoes (from an earlier scene) on her wedding day. The constant threading down of themes, motifs, costumes, movements was so delicate and I know I missed half of it. Hopefully it’ll come be back at the Court soon. (Weird sidenote: I love the way Birch emphasises words in the script by capitalising the first letter. Strangely satisfying.)
- Life of Galileo. Main appeal of this was the aesthetic night skies. I wish I had been in the lying down area. Including a picture to show how cool the stage was. Photo by Leon Puplett
- Twitter bots. I’ve had a range of different mental health disorders for a long time, but have been doing really well over the past year. I had a wobble the other week that kind of took me by surprise. One of the things I’m trying to do to feel peaceful and chill out is decluttering my twitter and adding in some chills bots. My favourites are:
@tinycarebot: regular reminders to eat, drink, rest and take deep breaths
@JustToSayBot: William Carlos Williams’ poem, ‘This Is Just to Say’, with a couple of words replaced with random other nouns and adjectives
@tiny_gardens: cute lil soothing emoji gardens 🌱 (wordpress wouldn’t let me embed any tweets so pls click on the link to see the pretty tweets)
@medrobot: reminds me to take my medication
@a_moments_rest: not really a bot, but tweets chill art n gifs to provide a moment’s respite from the rest of twitter
(a couple of other bots I’m into are @tiny_seas, @mothgenerator and @tinydotblot)
I’ve also been trying to shield myself by following some of those twitter accounts that steal other people’s content and are called things like ‘space pastels’ and ‘aesthetic nature’ and all that shit.
- Hamlet. I saw Robert Icke’s Hamlet again, this time at the Harold Pinter theatre, and it’s just as good as it ever was, if not better. My original review is here, and I’m planning an upcoming piece on how the play works in the new space, with added thoughts, etc.
- Mental health days. I’ve had some form of mental illness since I was five and in all that time I’ve never ever taken a day off school/work/uni for my mental health. I did this for the first time the other day. I can imagine it not working for everyone, but it worked for me. I spent the day in bed, in my fluffy dressing gown, watching clips from inane tv shows and doing nothing. I ate some oreo ice cream and loads of jaffa cakes. I tried to play Mario Kart with my dog. It was good. It helped.
- Edinburgh. I AM VERY EXCITED. I’m going up for two weeks and am So Pumped for the theatre but also not mentally prepared at all. Loads of my friends have shows that deserve love and attention. I’m really excited to see all of these. Please keep an eye out for them ❤
[in alphabetical order] Luke Barnes has written All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, I know basically the whole Celebration team and they’re bloody great and it’s a bloody great show, Escape for Dummies is a Nottingham New Theatre show with some talented comic actors in, Eve Allin and Ava Davies are writing for Hear All About It, Jake Orr is producing No Miracles Here, Flora Wilson-Brown is in The Murderous Philanthropist of Croydon Town, Lilith Wozniak is one third of Roaming Collisions’ clowning trio, my very funny cousin Eve Delaney is in Salt Water, literally half my Nottingham buddies are involved in Strangers II which is half theatre/half magic show, Row: C Seat: 24 podcaster Tomas Howells worked on Trial by Media, and Wrecked is another Nottingham New Theatre show – a piratey, political version of The Tempest.
- An Octoroon. I haven’t written on this properly because I don’t want to be yet another white person dominating the discourse on this production. But, to touch on it shortly: it was fucking brilliant. The most meta thing I have ever seen. A clear exploration of dramatic irony, representation and stagecraft. Love it.
- Songs from plays. This is a Spotify playlist I made a while back that’s just songs I liked from plays I saw. I listen to it all the time, and still occasionally add to it. In order, the songs are from: This House, Oresteia, People Places and Things, Hamlet, Roman Tragedies, Celebration, Ink and An Octoroon.
- The Handmaid’s Tale. Jesus. This is one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in years. Really cool, slightly modernised adaptation of the Margaret Atwood book. I’m so pumped for the second series. I know a lot of people think they should leave it where the book left off, blah blah blah, but as long as they get some good writers on board, hopefully have Atwood’s involvement and are able to retain the style of the first series it’s gonna be great.
- The Ferryman. First things first: this is not the future of theatre. This is not where we are going/where I hope we are going. It’s great, but it’s never innovative or daring. Just a piece of solid naturalism. But as a piece of naturalistic writing, this is excellent. If I was to do a glib on it, I’d say it’s ‘Chekhov, but in 80s Ireland’. Also: this did three weeks at the Royal Court before transferring to the West End, as announced before the Royal Court run even started. I know that the Court needs money, but they could have at least given it a full run at the Court before transferring it. Three weeks is embarrassingly short. Stop commercialising our subsidised art, etc etc.
- The Treatment. I still haven’t got round to writing up my conversation with Lily James on Lyndsey Turner’s production of The Treatment at the Almeida. But I reread the play the other day. Forgot how good it is. Crimp’s writing is so sharp and clear. That last scene in the taxi is a killer. Am a fan.
- Mooncup. I got a mooncup: one of those silicone cups you put inside your vagina to catch the blood. Using a mooncup just feels so much healthier and fresher than a tampon. I’ve googled it and (according to wikipedia) mooncups are healthier because they collect blood away from you instead of holding it in a semi-coagulated/absorbed form against the walls of your vagina (like when it’s absorbed into a tampon). Plus, there’s less risk of TSS because mooncups ‘are not absorbent, do not irritate the vaginal mucosal tissue, nor do they change the vaginal flora’. There you go. Lifechanger.
- Love Island. I never ever thought I would watch this programme unironically but I got way to into it. Chris and Liv should have won btw. I found Cash Hughes funnier than I should have.
- Rites of Spring. Exeunt’s latest zine for their supporters is divine. The Exeunt website is home to some of the best theatre criticism being written right now, but that criticism printed into a beautiful zine with a hand-made cover was golden. Also: I want Alice Saville’s fake blood recipes pls.
- The Thick of It. This is sort of shameless self-promo. I’ve been into The Thick of It, one of the greatest television programmes ever made, and perhaps the greatest British television programme ever made, for ages now. And I recently publicised that I have a twitter account where I tweet my favourite funnies from the show. You should follow it.
Header gif [made by me], clockwise from top left: seedling emoji, single cover to God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, Aisling Loftus photographed by Nadav Kander for The Treatment at the Almeida, one of Miles Aldridge’s promotional photos for Hamlet at the Almeida, me and Barney, and a stock photo of a mooncup.