Is Theatre Still Theatre When it Can’t Be Performed?

***** WARNING – This post contains quotes of a violent and disturbing nature *****

In particular I’m talking about Sarah Kane and her ‘in-yer-face’ approach to theatre.  I have recieved my reading list for a few modules next year, and top of the Contemporary British and American module is Sarah Kane’s Blasted.  The only experience I have ever had of Kane’s writing is a brief attempt at reading 4.48 Psychosis.  And it was very brief.  I opened it on a page that I can’t even quote.  Have a look for yourselves.

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Book Review – Frightful Fairy Tales

Starting a book with such a title one would expect slightly gothic, Grimm-esque stories of fairies and elves making mischief and sneaking about the woods. While this is what you get from Dame Darcy’s tales, there is also a lot more to them.

Beginning with the tale of Persimmion you are at once dragged into the slightly mind-boggling world of genetics engineers come witches who moonlight as alchemists. The stories are thrilling and heart stopping in all the right places. They are the perfect fairy tales for adults.

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Darcy’s line drawings are a perfect addition to the tales. They jump out from the page and enhance the tales without taking over. Each time I was confronted with one I found myself admiring their simplicity and artistry. Not many people can convincingly depict a Goattick (yes, exactly what you think it is) yet the drawings are enough to make you wince in disgust.

The stories are a wonderful mix of both tragic and heart warming, and all have a moral, some more obvious that others. I found them the perfect length for bus rides, though some I thought could have been slightly longer and still as enjoyable.

In all they were a charming collection which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys bite sizes, slightly scary literature. Perfect for a bus ride home or scary halloween read, these tales are great for the older readers.

Treating myself to a new toy

Recently I have been doing what every university student spends every summer doing – job hunting.  And being rejected by employers.  It has been seriously getting me down.  So yesterday I thought I would cheer myself up by treating myself to something I have been wanting for a long time – an ebook reader.

Now I have had, to date, three previous ebook readers, all of which I have loved and all of which I have sold on to progress to the latest upgrade.  Some might say I have gone backwards this time.  I started off with a Sony, then got the upgrade to that, then purchased a Kindle.  The Kindle was sold to justify the buying of my iPad, which I love with all my heart.  But it’s not the same.

Reading on an iPad is much like reading on a laptop.  There is glare, you can’t take it in the sun, it’s just like a laptop screen with the backlight.  So I did some browsing.  And I found this.

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This little beauty is the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch and it is simply Heaven to use.  I have only had it for a few hours but already I feel like my summer reading is going to take off.  I have an enormous amount of books I was hoping to get through this summer and I think this will help me do it.  Why, I hear you ask?  Here are a few reasons.

1)  It’s super light.  It’s lighter than your average paperback.  And as I like big books (Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth is one of my favourites) it makes it a real joy to read as I don’t have to carry over 700 pages around with me on a daily basis.

2)  The battery life is incredible.  Obviously I’m yet to test this fully but the website states that the battery life lasts over two months.  Which means no annoying cables to take on holiday with you!  I can happily read for the entire five hour bus journey to see The Bearded One and not have to worry about charging up before the journey back home.

3)  Storage.  I have a book problem at home – I have too many for the space I have.  This is the perfect solution.  I can buy as many books as I like and never run out of storage space thanks to the Nook’s capability to use a micro SD card.  Perfect!

4)  I can upload my own writing on there and edit on the go without having to carry a million devices.  I can pop my pdf scripts and drafts on there and read them whenever I like and just make notes with a good old fashioned pen and paper.

5)  No backlight.  Thanks to my years of working at computers I now need glasses to stop the words dancing all over the flippin’ screen.  Not so with my Nook.  The wonderful E ink display means it’s just like reading on paper.  No backlight and no headaches.  Which also means…

6)  I can take it in the garden and read in the sunlight!  No backlight means no glare and no freak outs to the sunshine.

With all of that in mind I’m off to do some reading.  On my new Nook.  Which I love.

Respect

I hate to start a new project on a negative note, but today I was angered and surprised by so many of my friends.  And it’s still the afternoon.

Only a few hours ago I read the sad news that Margaret Thatcher has passed away.  Truly a legendary figure in history.  Yes, she may have done some terrible things.  She was far from perfect and she made a lot of mistakes.  But by leading her country she also empowered a huge number of women to believe that they can achieve their goals.  More importantly, she was a human being – a mother, a daughter, a friend.

However, some people still think it’s ok to post hateful comments online stating how glad they are she is dead.  What surprises me is that the ones saying this are intelligent people who were barely even born when she was leading our country.  To these people I pose this question – how would you feel if it were your mother?  Your mother who led the country, who helped stop the Cold War, who freed the Falklands, and who people were expressing their joy at her passing?

As I was always taught – if you can’t think of anything nice to say, say nothing at all.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)