Well, hello again! It’s nice to be back blogging after my short break to finish the Amazing Adventures of Maisie and Em (from hereon known as TAAOMAE) scripts, which have, indeed, been completed and sent off to the production company. Phew! But my deep gratitude to Joanne C Hillhouse for guest-blogging for me. She still has one final guest-blogpost for us to enjoy which will be posted early next week.
So in the couple of weeks since I last blogged it hasn’t been all nose to the grindstone – I’ve been out and about to a few things. The first was to see Les Miserables. Now, I’ve seen the stage version four times and bawled every single time. I only have to hear the start up of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and I fill up and the line “They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord” has me sobbing. Usually. I amazed myself by coming out of the cinema completely dry-eyed. I was very disappointed in the film. Sacha Baron-Cohen and Helena Bonham-Carter was fabulous – I loved them. Eddie Redmayne was also totally convincing as Marius and how did Eponine only come second in “Maria”? But the rest? Hugh Jackman’s greatest feat was looking three stone lighter in the opening scenes than in the rest of the film and although Russell Crowe looked right as Javer, every time he opened his mouth he lost something, for me at any rate. His voice isn’t terribly strong and that diluted his performance. I know that I’m probably in a minority of one about this but I can only think it’s because I am a theatre fan over a film fan and I so love the stage production that the film could only be an anti-climax for me. And although much of it was filmed on location the rest looked very film-set – almost like something from the 50s or 60s. It was the same for me with Mamma Mia – love the stage show – didn’t like the film.
I also went to see The Mousetrap at the Cliffs Pavillion, Westcliff, on its 60th anniversary tour. I saw it way back in the 70s and I had remembered “who done it”. That didn’t detract from the play though which I enjoyed but for two things. The first was that Jemma Walker’s projection throughout the first scene was so poor I could barely hear her – and we were only halfway back in the front stalls – and then, there seemed to have been an outbreak of whooping cough among the audience. OMG! It wasn’t just the odd little cough, it was deep, lung-wrenching barks coming from all over the auditorium throughout the whole production. I honestly don’t know how the actors carried on. At the interval the man sitting behind me said “I want to stand up and shout out ‘STOP COUGHING!'” It was, indeed, very strange.
And then – the Strictly Tour at the O2! Fab-u-lous, darling!! A great evening out and it’s even slicker and more professional than last year’s. And seeing the wonderful Louis Smith in person was a real treat – he’s so good you couldn’t pick him out from the professional dances when they did the group dances. Great evening!
I also really enjoyed watching Dreams of a Life on Channel Four, which, given the subject matter – a woman whose body was found in her flat with the tv still on three and a half years after she’d died – perhaps seems a strange thing to say. But it was a fascinating film. That she’d been wrapping Christmas presents added pathos to the situation – didn’t the people she was wrapping presents for miss her for three and a half years? The lead role of Joyce was beautifully played by the wonderful Zawe Ashton (a friend of the Daughter’s).
All that took the edge off the bad news that’s been coming thick and fast; so many people ill or losing family members. I wonder if it’s the time of year? My own dad died in February and my nan and grandad both died in late January. I don’t know but there seems to have been an abnormally high number of illnesses and deaths in the last two weeks.
And poor Masood has been left all alone in Albert Square. He, perhaps, needs me to go and comfort him…. Or as my “friend” Spencer pointed out – “Good God! Hasn’t the poor man suffered enough?” Ha ha!