Fun Friday: Theatre Review – Evita at Royal Opera House, York

Disclaimer: I feel I have to say straight away I’m not a huge fan of Evita. I went because the husband is a fan and had never had the chance to see it live.

I feel this is also a review of the Royal Opera House because I had never been before. We were sat in the circle and I must say the room was very spacious. The view was also very good, even though we paid for restricted view on one of the seats (see disclaimer above) my view was superb . It’s actually difficult to say what was restricted about the view. Also, unlike some theatres, even though we were on a higher level it remained a reasonable temperature. The bar was a little small and it took at least 15 minutes before we were served but the prices were reasonable. The same can be said of the concession ice creams. Unfortunately I’m writing this review about a couple of months after the actual show so can’t be sure of the actual prices but I think we paid about £1.50 for a large bottle of water (I think I remember this price from another production we went to see though, this will teach me to write more regularly, maybe )

The production we went to see was the national tour with Marti Pellow which is now settled in the West End. The basic story is of Eva Peron, a young woman from a forgotten family of a man already with a family to become the first woman of Argentina. It was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Most people would have been exposed to it in 1996 when a film was released staring Madonna and Antonio Banderas, at which point several of the songs sung by Madonna were in the Top 40. It was the film that my husband first saw and he in time showed it to me, which I had vaguely heard of but never seen. Whilst I enjoyed the film it didn’t become a favourite of mine, whilst my husband watches it at least once a year.

When he saw it advertised he immediately begged nagged whined asked very nicely if we could get tickets as he had missed the tour when it came to our Local theatre. I agreed, but was happier when I only paid £12 for my ticket due to the limited view.

So the actually production. There was a stand out moment. The woman who sang “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” had the most beautiful voice and for the handful of minutes she was on stage she had my full attention. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the other actors.

Marti Pellow, best known as the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, was good but not outstanding. The female lead was so unmemorable I can’t remember her name (Edit: It’s Madalena Alberto. I did have to google it) There also appeared to be zero chemistry between the principle characters of Eva, Peron and Che. When the husband asked my what I thought my initial reaction was that I though Marti Pellow came across as some weird stalker. He said I was missing the point, that he was the narrator and an Everyman who was to blend into every scene. I didn’t miss the point, it was just very poor execution. Rather than blending in and giving more information, as that is what I believe a narrator should do, many times he was the main focus of a scene. Even when he tried to go into he background it was in such an exaggerated way you couldn’t help but notice him. For example, during Good Night and Thank You I would not consider his role or voice in the song to be the one to gain the most attention, yet he was swinging around the poles that supported the balcony and seemed to be almost shouting at points. It was irritating. This is also not a attack against Marti Pellow, I happen to quite like Wet Wet Wet, I just didn’t particularly have any fondest for him in this role. It also didn’t help that he appeared to wear the same clothes in each scene, when all the other characters had a costume change, and in Eva’s case several. It didn’t help him blend in, yet it didn’t define him as a character either.

In terms of Eva and Juan Peron there seemed to be zero interaction. We are suppose to believe that these two people are either in lust, in love r have a strong relationship for mutual gain. My recollection is that they spent the majority of time on stage at opposite ends, with as much space between them. The final scenes, where Eva is dying, also seemed to make him more cold and distant.

The stage design was, thankfully, simple yet effective. Two spiral staircases at both edges of the stage with a connecting balcony in the middle which could be pulled forward and moved back as the action required. It also became the beautiful centrepiece during Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, almost give. The effect that Eva was above the audience, rather than performing on a stage.

Whilst individual elements of his production were superb others were very disappointing. This production was never going to ignite my love for Evita.

2 out of 5 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Knitting Songs!

I know an ambiguous title but trust me! Whilst on the plane to Corfu (take me back to the Beach!) I was listening to a song and realised that it had a line about knitting in it. Then I remembered a couple of others and then I did a bit if research and realised I had enough to make a Top 10! So in at 10….

10. Love of the Common People by Paul Young

Knitting Line: The closer the knit, the tighter the fit.

Knitting Rating: Sound advice there but I think it was a metaphor.

9. Don’t Marry Her by The Beautiful South

Knitting Line: Those Blackbirds look like knitting needles trying to peck your head.

Knitting Rating: In what world do Blackbirds look like knitting needles. IN WHAT WORLD! (I do like this song though)

Bonus: Another Beautiful South Song Woman in the Wall (warning: it is a very depressing song)

8. I can Sing by Barenaked Ladies

Knitting Line: I can knit a scarf, but you can’t knit a sweater.

Knitting Rating: Best for beginners. (Plus the video is awesome for the line “The true instrument of Death Metal – the Bango.”)

7. Stephen by Ke$ha

Knitting Line: Stephen, I’ll Knit you a sweater

Knitting rating: Vocalising the true dedication of knitting a loved one a jumper/sweater. (Actually she appears to be a stalking in the video so YMMV)

6. All I Want by Joni Mitchell

Knitting Line: I wanna knit you a sweater.

Knitting Rating: See above, but with less stalking

5. I’m Going Slightly Mad by Queen.

Knitting Line: I’m knitting with only one needle.

Knitting Rating: Freddie, my dear, what your doing is called crochet.

4. Doozer Knitting Song by Doozer

Knitting Line: ALL OF IT! But I especially like: You know knitting’s friendly, and knitting’s fun, knitting’s good for everyone!)

Knitting Rating: It’s great but what’s a Doozer?

3. Vindaloo by Fat Les

Knitting Line: Knit one, Purl one, Drop one, Curl one, KICK IT!

Knitting rating: Listen to when you’ve had a visit from the frog, you want to kick it then (also the song that inspired this post)

2. I’ve Got A Dream on Tangled Soundtrack.

Knitting Line: Bruiser knits, Killer sews, Fang does little puppet shows, and Vladimir collects ceramic unicorns.

Knitting Rating: Not just knitting but sewing and making puppets! The Snuggly Duckling is practically a Craft Club.

Bonus: Rapunzel knits in her morning routine.

1. When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles

Knitting Line: You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Knitting Rating: Knitting by a fireside when you’re 64? Sounds like my retirement plan (except my retirements probably going to be at 74!)

If you don’t like the YouTube links it’s also available on Spotify (but with Bernard Cribbins instead of The Beatles, but really who would complain about that?)

Lovely Blog Award

HAPPY FRIDAY PEOPLE!

I have been nominated by the lovely dancingthruyears (which autocorrect wanted to change to something else entirely)

So: Rules. I don’t like Rules. Rules are boring. Bowties are cool. So I’m not going to nominate other people. If you want to do it, go ahead and linky-link in the comments. But if you are interested:-

Rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers and let them know about the award.
5. Display the award and follow the blogger who nominated you (if not already!)

And now 7 interesting facts:

1. Oranges are not cool. In fact They are very uncool. I am allergic to them.
2. Bow Ties are cool. As are Scottish 100% Rebel Time Lords. My obsession with Doctor Who at the moment has intensified to epic proportions. (And it totally is to do with a silver haired, previously toga wearing, utterly charming Time Lord). I know I have issues, I’m not exactly normal, I don’t actually care
3. Conveyancing is boring. And I have to explain what it is to everybody.
4. A large majority of the time I am plugged into my earphones. On the train, bus, any form of public transport, on my lunch hour, going for a walk, exercising, outside of 9-5 hours at work when working and especially when blogging. I have music on when I wake up until I go to bed. I have a soundtrack to my life. I like to pretend I live in a musical sometimes.
5. I have started to do things that scare me to make me love more. It’s always the things you don’t do you regret. So this week I have sexy new specs, a super new short hairdo and went to salsa classes. And I had fun. And soon I shall be GINGER! (And not rude)
6. Sometimes I want to use my holiday days and disappear from the world for a while, book a hotel room and knit in said room whilst listening to music non-stop for 12 hours. But then I’m scared it’s a waste of my precious holidays.
7. Plums are uncool. Especially when they lead to what looks like a compromising position with the boss of the Law Firm you work for. Damn plums.

Mini Monday: Success and Failure.

Today I feel I have failed at many things. I have not done any of the clothes washing, which is necessary now I only have 4 outfits suitable for work. I manage to rip one of the dresses straight down the side last week and repairing it would make it too small even with the most tiny of seam allowances. My house still looks like the scene of a burglary or small disaster movie. I haven’t even bother to make the bed.

I have done no exercise even though the extent of me getting dressed was to put on exercise clothes rather than stay in pyjamas.

I have only eaten nachos and a packet of M&Ms, the diet of a student (well kinda student).

I didn’t even start to make the dress that I have been planning to make to make up for the one that was ripped.

However I did bring out my longest WIP (8 years, 5 months and counting) and did about 5 hours work on it.

IMG_0841.JPG

Today has been successful.

Stitching Sunday: Updates!

Look updates!

IMG_0826.JPG

This is the sleeve of a jumper I started on holiday. I’m actually going to be making two nearly identical versions of this for two little boys in my family. So far I have one back, two sleeves and the beginning of a front. I have a bit of a dilemma of which version I want to do though, with or without a hood. As the only changes have to be made to the front neck to decide with or without a good I still have time to decide but it’s not really good to make a decision as knitting as I have discovered in the past. I think I have asked everyone in real life that I know which they prefer and most have informed me it’s my decision to make. NO! I can’t make this decision. Anyone want to help me?

IMG_0824.JPG

Also next look, pretty fair isle! This is the back of the nearly never ending jumper. I have just another 2cm of the plain stocking stitch in the dusky pink to go on the front before I start the fair isle on that. Whilst this project feels like it has been going forever I apparently only started it sometime in March. Hopefully at this rate it will be ready for autumn.

IMG_0825.JPG

Whilst the Fair Isle jumper may feel like it’s taken forever this really is taking forever. What you see is actually all I have done on it. This is the back panel of what I call Aran for Aaron. It’s a silly word play but makes me smile. I don’t think this will be completed in time for this winter.

IMG_0823.JPG

I also got round I washing the fabric I bought for some summer dresses. Yes summer may be coming to an end but I may get to wear something I make before the end of September. However I have learnt that drying several meters of fabric in a tiny flat is not very practical. My sudden interest in trying to get back on the dressmaking wagon is four fold:-

1. I have so much fabric I should really use some of it soon.

2. My wardrobe really needs updating. I can count on one hand the amount of outfits I own that fit, are fashionable and suitable for work on one hand. Then again I can probably do the same for my out of work clothes too.

3. I have a new sewing machine that needs to be used for more than cushion covers.

4. Look at my new friend…

IMG_0813.JPG

She is just begging to be draped in fabric even if she does look amazing in the nude, so to speak.

She is another of my charity shops finds. I saw her standing in the window and had to look at her in more detail. It was only when I got into the shop I realised she was for sale. As it was a case of love at first sight I didn’t care what her price was I just had to buy her. Turns out she didn’t break the bank balance at £20! In fact I think she was a bargain. Yes she has a little bit of damage around her base and she is old enough to be called vintage but to me is perfect. I’m hoping we have many happy hours together.

Mini Monday: Missing Month

So it’s nearly over a month since I blogged and it feels like there is an enormous amount I’ve not blogged about but wanted to. Like the visit from the knitting fairy. Or the argument I had with a police officer. Or the tooth saga. Or the dream where knn was actually a pirate crew in search of y-argh-n!

And on top of that I have actually made progress with my WIPs. Every time I go to take pictures it suddenly dark or I had to leave for work 10 minutes ago. So still no pictures, but take my word there be epic!

Speaking of work it’s taking over my life at the moment. I’m in early, I stay late, weekends are non-existent. It’s sleep, work, knit. My appetite is suffering to the point people are asking what my secret to losing weight is. I’ve just starting smiling. The honest answer is come and work in the business area of law with understaffed team and no lunch hour, it’s the best diet in town at the moment.

Which brings me to this: do I have time for a blog relationship at the moment? I’m not sure, and if I’m really honest I could have blogged the last month it’s just I didn’t want to in the hour or so I had spare. But I enjoyed this just writing a little about the craziness that is my life at the moment.

So this maybe me calling hiatus or starting to make time again. Time will tell.

Stitching Sunday: Welcome to Antipaxos, (nearly) Paradise on Earth

Why nearly? Well I didn’t have any knitting. But here have a look.

20140630-132442-48282843.jpg

How lovely.

So I admit again I haven’t really kept up with any crafts. I think I’ve done about 4cm of twisted rib for the front of hearts and flowers top during siesta time but I have also been napping during this time. Doing nothing actually makes me more tired it seems.

Well not exactly nothing. I have been swimming everyday and yesterday we also went to Achillion which had some stunning views and architecture.

I was most taken with some statues of the muses that were in the large courtyard but rather than take poor quality pictures with my iPhone I took the photos with the camera so I will have to upload then when I get home.

I also possibly have a new shot to replace my standard avatar, although it’s similar in a way.

20140630-132537-48337209.jpg

What do you think?

Good Morning, this is once again a day later but as I said the internet connection is temperamental.

Other things I forgot to mention was about the swallows. There are loads living all around the town we are stopping in, there is even a nest in our favourite restaurant (it’s called Zak’s, if you ever get the chance to visit Messonghi, honestly his homemade sauces for meats are amazing, homemade wine seriously good and the atmosphere is so friendly). The best things about the swallows is the way they are dive bombing the swimming pool of the we are staying at. They are too quick for me to take pictures but I’m planning on stalking the pool all day to try and catch them.

And look I finally have a rest day from all the trips and plan on doing this all day (aside from the bird watching)

20140630-132903-48543142.jpg