Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Play That Goes Wrong Review!

Hey Guys!

In January I had a birthday, woohoo go me, and as a treat my sister got me tickets to see The Play That Goes Wrong. I didn't know anything about it except that it was a comedy. I had the cheap tickets you can risk buying on the day so I was as far back as you can go, but apart from a bit of neck stretching, it didn't effect my experience much at all. Often when I get the seats further back I can see the tricks from backstage, but thankfully this wasn't the case with this show!

I expected the show to be good from what I'd heard from other people, especially when even the person selling us the tickets at the box office emphasised how good the show was. And then it went ahead and exceeded my already high expectations, it was so good!

So first of all I sat down in my extremely far away seat and took in the set, which was an old fashioned room (the play is set in the 1920s) consisting of a lounging chair, a fireplace with a mantelpiece (trust me the mantelpiece is important) and an upper section for a small study. I noticed someone messing with the door on the set and then as they walked away from it, the door opened and they returned to close it once more. After it happened again I realised how much of an idiot I was being, as it was clearly part of the show. When another 'stage manager' came on to fix the mantelpiece, using the aid of an audience member, it was confirmed.

From the moment I sat down to when the lights went up, I was entertained. The acting was brilliant, with great characters; there was the one who introduced the play (as it's a play about a play...get it?) and who acted in it as the inspector, his character was hilarious as he cared about it going well, so when it went wrong he got extremely frustrated. There was a character who loved the audience attention, and was a fan of 'over acting' then looking to the audience for applause. I don't want to give too much away but every actor played their part perfectly and with amazing comedic value.

However I cannot praise the people who worked on the set enough, it was truly a performance in itself! With objects falling from the walls, catching fire and basically the whole set just going to pieces, it was like another character leaving me in stitches. I loved that during the bows they brought the ones running around backstage making all the set failures happen on stage for their deserved applause.

Ingenious and hilarious. If it's on near you, give yourself a treat and go watch it! Worth every penny.

Until Next Time,

Kell

Friday, 6 January 2017

It's so bad it's good - another film chat

Often when someone says 'have you seen...' followed by a crap, more often than not, chick flick film title I respond with 'Yes I love it, it's such a good crap film!'

Why do I enjoy these films when I know they're bad?! Films like Clueless, Just My Luck, Slap Her She's French, they're really quite bad. I mean Clueless is so weird, it shows drink driving and smoking, and then she basically gets with her brother...sort of. I can't say too much about Just My Luck because McFly were in it, instantly making it amazing. But as someone who loves film, I can say that these films are bad, except I love them! So does it matter if the script or acting isn't amazing, as long as the film is enjoyable?


There's been a lot of criticism about Suicide Squad, which I understand because the plot was...non-existent, but I've got to say I still enjoyed the film. I guess as long as I'm laughing when I should, and it's entertaining enough, then I'm happy!

I recently watched The Duff on Netflix expecting it to be bad. I had seen the trailer and already judged it because DUFF stand for Designated Ugly Fat Friend, everything the main character wasn't, which annoyed me because I thought it was going to be another moment where an actor is meant to be seen as the 'fat' one but actually they're probably just a healthy weight. But I was in the mood for a crappy chick flick so I put it on, and actually, I really enjoyed it.

There were many jokes in the film I laughed at, I didn't cringe much at it, it perhaps got a little weird at times but overall I thought it was a pretty funny film. Would I say it was a good film? Yeah I suppose, it was a good bad film.


I think sometimes you just need a film where you don't have to think too much and you can just chill and watch it with no expectations, because then you can't be disappointed with it. The only problem is if I see a new film that I like then I usually watch it a couple more times that week, which is probably a waste of my time if the films aren't that great.

What are some of your guilty pleasures when it comes to good crap films?

Until next time,

Kell

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Excitement and spoilers!

I am not ashamed to say that I have been to the cinema three times to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and if someone asked me to go again I wouldn't hesitate to say yes. I absolutely LOVE this film!

I always knew JK Rowling was a genius, but she has outdone herself once again. Thank you for bringing more of the wizarding world into my life. I've got tickets for Cursed Child that I ordered in 2015 which is craaaazy! I'm so excited to see it in March although I still haven't read the play, or the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts, which is just shameful. Perhaps seeing the film three times already makes up for it.


First of all Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander was a brilliant casting choice, he brought the character to life and I think everyone just immediately adored him. As always Rowling manages to convey serious issues in the world through her writing and I thought Newt's love for animal protection was perfect. Newt is dorky and quite shy but when it's about his animals he becomes instantly confident and even fierce.

I also love his relationship with Tina - SPOILER - at the end I think in any other film the two characters probably would have kissed, but I loved that their shy characteristics aren't ignored and they have an awkward yet extremely sweet farewell to one another. They're both so darn cute!

I have to acknowledge Dan Fogler's acting as Jacob Kowalski because he was amazing! His laugh had me in tears; when Newt goes into the suitcase for the first time his laugh is brilliant and then there was the giggle water which I honestly think is one of the funniest pieces of comedy in film.  I love the giggle water, the first time at the cinema I swear I missed the next scene because I was still laughing! Jacob's character was amazing and he had me cry laughing, but also crying for real. SPOILER - The scene where Jacob is about to stand in the rain and be obliviated, I was so emotional. I don't know how Rowling manages to make me care so much about the characters but I definitely had a few tears when he stepped into the rain.


And then we have Queenie! Now I have had many arguments discussions with people about this part. Again SPOILER - When Queenie kisses Jacob under her magical umbrella, I am sorry but I swear she did some sort of magic love spell thing to make him remember. Everyone I have watched it with thinks Jacob doesn't remember but I think he does! After he opens his eyes and they're not there, he still looks for a while. Then when he gets the suitcase of silver eggshells from Newt he's like 'awesome, now I can open my bakery', plus he kind of shouts after Newt and then smiles. Already I'm thinking, look at him, he SO knows. Then Queenie enters the shop, the shop full of the fantastic creatures in 'bakery form', and BAM he lifts his hand up to the scar on his neck. Why does he do that? Maybe because he remembers everything, and seeing Queenie just proves it was all true.

Overall I love the film, in some ways I think it's better than some of the Harry Potter films. I love the creatures, I love the music in the film and that uplifting magical atmosphere you can only find in Harry Potter films. I'd say my favourite creature was Doogle, his eyes were too cute! But then I loved all the creatures so I'll probably change my mind tomorrow on which was my favourite. Fantastic Beasts was possibly my favourite film of 2016 and if you haven't seen it yet - are you crazy?! Go and see it!

On a different note, in my last post I made a joke that my cross stitch I have begun will take a month, well now I'm realising how much that statement is actually UNDER exaggerating. It is taking me so long to do guys! It's really relaxing and I am enjoying it, but it's such a slow process. I wish I had chosen a smaller design for my first one, but hopefully when I have finished it, and Pikachu looks all cute, I will be pleased with the bigger design.

I hope you've all had a great start to the new year!

Until next time,

Kell



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Resolutions and Pikachu Cross Stitch

Merry 2017? Is that what people say? Let's just stick to happy new year, so...HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My resolution this year was to make a to do list every day, or just make lists in general to become more organised. Well, so far I've made a total of 0 lists. But I've been ill and it's only the 3rd so I don't feel too guilty yet.

So today I thought I better do something other than feeling sorry for myself, so I decided to make a pillow. Realising my idea was too difficult to get sorted today I then moved on to cross stitch and I have had a lovely afternoon where I still managed to watch films, but if anyone asks, I can say I was productive by showing them my cross stitch. Sneaky.


What I didn't realise when I started my cute pikachu cross stitch, is that it's probably going to take me a month to complete! I have watched two films and this is how far I've gotten:


 Out of this:


I won't lie, it is really relaxing, but how is that all I've done? It could be because I've had a few knots that have taken LITERALLY FOREVER to undo. That part is stressful, but then I feel extremely pleased with myself when I do untangle the knot and can continue my relaxation. It's an odd process; 80% relaxation, 10% stress over knotted thread, 10% annoyance at how little I've done.

I would actually recommend giving it a go. It's fun once you get the hang of it, just remember to keep cross stitching the same way for every square or the world will end.

Doing arts and crafts is another one of my resolutions this year, I used to do lots of fun DIY projects and I want to make it a hobby again. I definitely have the time as I quit my job to focus on writing and photography, so I've also got the resolution to redraft my book until I'm happy with it.

What are your resolutions this year?

Until next time,

Kell

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Thousandth Floor - Review

For my November book club we read The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee which I was extremely excited to read as it looked like a science fiction version of Gossip Girl. And that is exactly what it was!



The world she has created is very imaginative with lots of technology and machinery that is subtly clever. I liked the descriptions of different everyday objects in this futuristic world, I love the fact she has possibly predicted things which will be seen as quite normal in years to come. It's always fun imagining what the world is going to be like, and also a little scary!

As for the story, I did enjoy reading it but I had to keep reminding myself it wasn't a dystopian novel. I just kept expecting there to be a bigger problem in the world that needed to be fixed (call me a pessimistic) but there wasn't, it was simply a few people's stories being told in a futuristic world. Once I managed to get it in my head that this new world was working okay and the plot wasn't suddenly going to turn into some adventure to fight back against those in charge, I settled into the stories and characters a lot more.

Having different POVs is always fun, especially when the stories of the characters usually entwine in some way. That's what I like the most, finding out how all their stories will connect, and this book doesn't disappoint for that aspect! There was one particular moment **Slight SPOILER alert** when Watt gets a message asking to spy on someone for them. It was obvious this was going to be Leda but before I go to the end where it revealed who was messaging him, I had a sudden thought that it was going to be someone else and the story was going to unravel even further. However it ended up being Leda, so I was slightly disappointed with that. **End of spoiler!**

The book is basically similar characters to those on Gossip Girl and the same style of dramatic stories, the main difference is of course it's set one hundred years from now. I don't know whether there's any point to it being set in the future, but I do know I enjoyed the dramatic Gossip Girl-esque stories, and I know I enjoyed reading about the world set years from now, so maybe it wasn't necessary but it definitely made it more interesting!

Let me know if you're thinking of reading the book, or if you've already read it and what you thought. I will be doing more reviews on my blog but I talk even more casually, if that's possible, about books on my Instagram @DragonBabble so give me a follow!

Until next time,

Kell

Friday, 19 February 2016

6 Tips to Get Writing

I identify as a writer, and with that comes the dreaded creative block. I’m currently in the middle of doing my dissertation and I know I just need to sit down and get writing, so naturally I’ve decided to upload my first blog post instead.

I often see online that to become a writer…you simply write. Although this may be true it’s not always as easy as it seems. If I get inspired I can write for half an hour non-stop. All the thoughts keep flowing into my head and I have to keep writing it down otherwise I’ll forget it all. Then suddenly it goes, I’ll sit up straight and that will be it until the next surge of inspiration hits. This kind of writing is the best, it’s relaxed and it feels so good when you get some inspiration. However when you do writing as a degree and your dream job is to be a ‘writer’ this isn’t enough. You have to force the inspiration. The deadline isn’t going to change because your creative juices weren’t flowing, you will just fail.


So I’ve spent the last three years of my university life learning the skill of sitting down and start writing. For too long I thought I had figured out my cycle on how to start writing. I would check my social media outlets; Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook again. Then I would open up the word document ready to begin. After staring at the screen for a while I decide there’s no way I can get inspiration without some brain food. I mean how can I expect to write something decent when all I’ve had that morning is a bowl of cereal, a cup of tea and a big bar of chocolate. So with another cup of tea and an hour wasted, if not more, I finally begin typing.

Now although this process may have eventually been successful, it takes up too much valuable writing time. So now I have finally figured it out, and if I’m honest I think being in third year forced me to find a quicker way to start writing. If I continued with my old routine, I would not be handling all my assignments and dissertation right now. I know I joked that this is a distraction from my dissertation, but it’s still writing right? And in actual fact this leads me into my first tip.

      1)    Take scheduled breaks.


Organise your work schedule for the day, or for the few hours you have free to get some writing done. Plan what pieces of writing you want to do in the first hour, for example perhaps there’s a section in a creative piece that needs working on, then take a ten-minute break. Reward yourself in this break, whatever that may be. Personally I find keeping a sticker chart for every hour of work help motivate me, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love stickers.


2)    Turn off your Wi-Fi


If you are writing a creative piece, and you have done your research, then turn off your Internet! Actually turning it off confirms the decision that you won’t be distracted by it until your break. Trust me, it really helps your will power.


3)    Have a clean workspace


I would recommend having a desk to right at, but even if you want to stay in bed to do your writing, make sure your surroundings are clean. I’m a messy person; I could clean my room in the morning and by the evening it looks like a monster threw up clothes and make up and whatever else all over my floor and sides. When my room gets too messy, I always struggle to write. So spend ten minutes clearing everything from the floor, diminish some of the clutter on the sides, and then set up an area to write.


4)    Spend time not writing


Now I know what you’re thinking, this post is about how to get writing and I have just completely contradicted that, but hear me out. You need to spend time thinking about your writing, especially creative writing. A lot of the time when I’m working on a piece of writing it looks like I just sit and daydream, and although this used to be true, now I’m usually trying to figure out what a certain character would do in a situation, or once again rethinking my story after accidentally creating a plot hole with my last plot change. Thinking about what you’re going to write, and figuring it out in your head, is just as important as when you write it down.




5)   When you can’t write anything good, write something bad


This might sound a bit weird, but if you’re really struggling to get writing then there’s an exercise I was shown by my lecturer that really works. Basically you set a timer for five minutes, and once it starts you begin writing ANYTHING. Even if all you are writing is ‘I don’t know what to write’ over and over, and eventually you should start writing out things for your story and it doesn’t matter how bad it is because you can always edit it.

And lastly;


6)    Enjoy it



I know it’s cliché but it’s so true. There is nothing worse than trying to write a 2000 word assignment on something you really couldn’t care less about. Thankfully that rarely happens in my degree, it’s only the stress that makes it less enjoyable. When it came to deciding what creative piece I was going to write for my dissertation, I didn’t think about what the lecturer would be most impressed with, I thought about what story I wanted to share. I chose the genre and subject I want to write because after spending endless hours researching (and trust me, it really can feel endless),  I still find it interesting and I still want to continue to write my story.

I hope this helps you to start writing! Let me know in the comments if any of these tips worked for you, or if you have any other methods to be inspired and get writing.

Until next time...

Kell