Monday, December 5, 2011

I Need a Little More Help...

You may have seen my post about the reading challenge I have set myself for 2012.  The post can be found here.

I have had many, may replies for which I am very grateful.  I still have a few categories which I'm bereft or low on suggestions for though.

These are...

Classic British Novels. This is the one I'm most eager to get into as I am really at a loss here.

Novels Set In or Around Manchester.  I can probably find books in my local library for this but a recommendation is always sweeter.

Biography.  Historical, Sport, Entertainers any surprises I may not expect?

Crime Fiction.  My favourite genre.  I need to spread my horizons.

Non-Adult.  Unfortunately most of my recommendations in this one I'd previously read.

All suggestions most gratefully received :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Theatre - Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange

I walked into this performance having no idea what the show was about.  I hadn't made the link between the title and the film that had been adapted from it.  I enjoyed the film a couple of years ago, without realising it started life as a play.  I put 2 and 2 together when I read the programme before the play began.

The set was even better than the Royal Exchange's usual standard.  It evoked very well the London Housing Estate the play is set in.  Without being dour.  With the lighting it seemed chirpy and summery.  The lighting was a fabulous part of the scene setting.  From the lights in 'other flats' to the overall feel of the day.

The cast never put a foot wrong here.  They were all excellent but I have to say the two women were fantastic. Especially the younger one who was playing a gobby truant.  The conversations between characters was great. It zipped along wonderfully and never felt scripted.  I have never laughed so much in a theatre.  The one liners are hilarious.

The story deals with two serious topics.  Making you think about them without thrusting them repeatedly in your face.  The sad parts are brief but not too brief.  This is a play that you initially enjoy and then spend time thinking about afterwards.  It doesn't have an explained ending.  It seems that life will carry on.  Not necessarily easily but there's no portent of misery either.

Thanks to a fantastic script and a script full of great banter, this is the play I have most enjoyed at the Royal Exchange.  I'd be hard pressed to think of one I've enjoyed more anywhere.  I'm gutted I haven't chance to see it again.

One question I left with was - Why don't they make those duvet covers in a Double?

I hope any local readers can make it there if they haven't already.  It's well worth the trip.  More info can be found on the Royal Exchange website.

5 out of 5 pawprints