Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Summary

I'm missing an hour. Anyone seen one?

This week, I have mostly been:

Reading | Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Some 'celebrities' write novels and surprise me with their wit, insight and literary talents.

...Sadly Mrs O'P is not one of them.

I'm slightly baffled by how many positive reviews this book has generated. I found it cliche, I found both 'heroines' non-distinct, fairly unlikeable and actually could not tell one from the other after about two chapters. I found the secondary characters unsympathetic and downright evil in some cases. The one positive aspect was that while the book was set in 1994 (when I was the same age as the 'heroines', by the by...) it was not overloaded with cultural references to attempt to create a sense of place. But that's really it. I haven't been so annoyed by a book since The Da Vinci Code and that's saying something.

So now I'm reading the far more gratifying The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. I'm only about ten pages in but already it's so much better than Paper Aeroplanes.

Seeing | Jesus Christ Superstar on stage

JCS is the latest production by ESOS (East Surrey Operatic Society), performed at the Harlequin Theatre in the cultural hub that is Redhill. My friend Fiona, she of Jane Eyre fame, was in the chorus which gave me added incentive to see it.

I feel particularly tied to Superstar for two reasons: one being that I performed in JCS in my first year at university (in 1997) as part of the Musical Production Society*.

The other that, rock music references and excessive use of cheesecloth aside, it was the most accessible entry to the Bible that I had come across at that time, and I fell in love with the 1973 film as a result. And cheesecloth.

{Not sure how this video will show -- do take your chances, though}

Of course Superstar has its moments of enormous irreverence (Herod's Song, anyone?) but it is also a considered re-enactment of Jesus' last days, not just from His perspective but also that of Judas.

Anyway, I digress.

I went to the Wednesday showing of the ESOS production, and was impressed -- there were some seriously powerful performances on display, emotionally and vocally.

Jason Lines played Jesus with great humility and humanity, some blinding vocals -- and some seriously scary-looking welts after the whipping scene. Likewise, Jamie Thomas as Judas maintained a vocal and emotional intensity throughout the whole show that made me realise what an emotionally exhausting role that of Judas truly is on many levels.

All the performances were stellar, really, but one of the standouts was Tony Lee as Pilate -- Superstar has always depicted Pilate with a considered (and maybe controversial?) amount of sympathy, and it's a delicate balance to portray that aspect of Pilate, rather than that of executioner.

The fire alarm during the interval didn't dampen anyone's enjoyment of the show either!

I've subsequently been listening to the film soundtrack on a loop. And singing the whole thing. All parts. Yep. #Whaaaaat do you meaaaaan by that? That... is not an answer...#

* 17 years later, I am totally over the fact I wasn't chosen to be one of the 'hot' dancers in Herod's Song back then. Totally. No, really. It's OK: I wasn't one of the hot ones, or a good enough dancer. That's fine, I accept that. Totally;-) #issues #letitgo #noseriouslygetoverit #itwas17yearsago #moveon

Listening | to old vinyl

On Friday I picked up this bargainous little LP-to-MP3 converter turntable at Maplin:

I'm still working out how I can rig it directly up to my stereo but for now I'm enjoying some of my long-neglected vinyl played, somewhat crudely, through my PC.

{I took the plastic needle protector off right after I took this photo...}
{Picked up these little gems for £1 for 3 in the charity shop.
The Kids from FAME | Simon & Garfunkel | Dusty Springfield}

ICYMI** << g'argh, yes, that acronym is hugely pretentious. I promise not to use it ever again

I posted this little epic Contemplation on Thursday night on the dilemmas posed by the #nomakeupselfie trend. 

It included the Grumpy Cat meme so if nothing else incites you to read it, surely this will?

Now, if someone could help me down from my moderately high horse, that'd be fab, thanks...!

** ICYMI = 'in case you missed it'

Featuring | in my friend George's fabulous promotional video

Georgina and her husband Jason rent out their gorgeous cabin retreat in the mountains of Chulilla, Valencia. Their visitors are many and varied, and get up to all kinds of antics, and George has captured just a few of these folk (moi included -- I'm book-and-tapas Beth...!) in this lovely little video that makes me want to jack in my whole working week and fly back to Spain, like, NOW (with a pile of books, natch).
You understand my predicament, right?

G & J truly are the hosts with the most...s...! Easter dates still available!


(With special thanks to Clare, David, Evie, and the Press, PR and Marketing wizards at Egmont for much of this fodder)

Find out what happens behind the scenes of a dynamic YA book imprint -- follow the Electric Monkey Tumblr

On a far more serious note, sign the petition to ensure prisoners are not denied access to books and gifts from family

Following last week's uh-mazing Bibliochaise, check out these excellent IKEA hacks!

{© 2013 Andrew Whyte}

Man sings 'Let it Go' in 21 different Disney voices (I think Dug from UP is my favourite!)

Stay epic, friends.

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