February started off with beautiful spring sunshine, and ended in layers of snow – not really what we all expected when winter seemed to be ending. However, compared to January, it was short and sweet, with plenty keeping me busy!
Here are a few things that inspired and entertained me throughout the second month of 2018.
The Shadow Factory at Nuffield Southampton Theatres
This was the opening show for NST’s brand new City venue, and what a way to begin a new exciting era of culture in the heart of Southampton! The Shadow Factory was utterly fantastic and, although it’s no longer playing (sorry!), I know that I can expect to see many more high-quality performances like this in the city from now on.
I finally got to see Darkest Hour in February. I always take so long to see the films everyone raves about that I risk missing them entirely, so I was very glad that didn’t happen this time!
This film was great, beautifully shot with a stunning score and, of course, Gary Oldman’s Oscar-winning performance as Winston Churchill. I have a few more films lined up to see in March, and hopefully they will be equally as good.
Miss Saigon at The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
I was overjoyed to grab some last-minute tickets to see Miss Saigon on the Southampton leg of its UK tour. Incredibly memorable, it was one of the best shows I have ever been lucky enough to watch; I can’t recommend it enough. If you get the chance…go go go!!
Teddy at Nuffield Southampton Theatres
This was another last-minute theatre trip at the end of the month; two days after seeing Miss Saigon, I was at NST Campus watching the award-winning musical, Teddy.
I loved this show and found it inspiring and poetic; sadly it’s no longer in Southampton but it is on tour and will be ending its trip in London, so again, if you can see it, make sure you do!
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
This book was a post-Christmas present with love from me to me. I bought it with some gift money and opted for the illustrated hardback edition (my favourite illustrator, Chris Riddell, has collaborated with Matt Haig and they have created a stunning version of Haig’s bestseller. I had to have it!)
I think it only took me a week to get through this book; it was utterly brilliant, magical and poignant. Watch out for a review very soon (but don’t wait until then to get a copy of your own – you need this book in your life!)
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Aptly, Dolly’s bookish debut arrived in my arms on Valentine’s Day! Another read I adored, and another one on my lengthy ‘to be reviewed’ list, this was a true gem and really stands out from other memoirs I have read.
Penguin Modern Classics
Penguin has brought out a new series of mini books; the Penguin Modern Classics are minty green and full of surprises. I have already picked up a few to add to my current collection of mini Penguin Classics, and have started with Andy Warhol’s Fame (which I am loving so far.)
Self Made Women
Another must-listen podcast to add to your list! This one comes from friend and freelance social media superstar Corrie Jones (you might remember her from an interview I did last year!)
Corrie has started her own series where she speaks to different women about their careers, aspirations, and journeys. I have listened to every episode so far and each one has left me feeling motivated and inspired. Corrie’s interviewing style is really chilled and she lets her guests really shine; her chat with Samantha Moyo stood out to me in particular. This is definitely one to enjoy during your commute!
February was a bit of a Dolly Alderton fest for me, obviously! This little podcast series, released in line with her book, is really quite lovely; an opportunity to hear about various familiar figures and their experiences of love in all shapes and sizes. I really loved her chat with Ruby Tandoh – it’s well worth a listen.
Game Plan at SeaCity Museum
I popped by Southampton’s SeaCity Museum with friends at the end of the month to catch the Game Plan exhibition on its tour from the V&A. It was a great little exhibit full of old games and fun facts and I learned a lot (and triumphed at a round of Snakes and Ladders!)
Sadly it has moved on, but I can’t wait to see what will replace it at the Museum.
Studio 144 (Southampton Celebrates)
February saw the launch of NST City and Studio 144 with a spectacular celebratory event in Southampton’s new Cultural Quarter.
The event on 16th February included performances in Guildhall Square, fireworks and a sneaky peek in the new John Hansard Gallery space. I managed to head along after work, and was so glad I made it; it was a vibrant and truly exciting moment and I cannot wait for the fantastic future of Southampton’s cultural scene!
I spent Valentine’s Day enjoying a long bubble bath complete with red wine, a book, and champagne truffles, and it was the best evening I’ve had in a long time. You can read about my mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day in a post I wrote with love: In defence of celebrating Valentine’s Day