Remember remember! November is always my favourite month. Autumn has fully kicked in; we try to cope with the darkening nights by saying it’s ‘cosy’, and it’s my birthday month, which always nudges it to the top of any list.
October’s busyness continued over into this month, and things didn’t slow down – as you can probably tell! I posted a whopping ten times on my blog, which I think is a personal record!
Matilda The Musical
This was a wonderful surprise! My parents got me a ticket to see Matilda for my birthday and we went the next day! It was as good as I hoped it would be. Brilliantly clever songs and some amazing talent from the kids in the cast. I fell in love with Miss Trunchbull; she was by far my favourite character. I had an absolute blast and I would see it again in a heartbeat.
I didn’t review this one – this was a treat and I wanted to keep it that way – but if I’m ever lucky enough to see it again I’ll be sure to share a few more thoughts.
I had heard so much praise for this show before seeing it at NST; a musical that gives the six wives of Henry VIII a voice, and a chance to tell their story? YES PLEASE. I adored this show and have literally not stopped listening to the soundtrack since. Read my review to see exactly how much I loved it (spoiler: a lot).
My second ever opera; it was an eventful night (firstly because I got a backstage tour beforehand; secondly because a woman vomited over another woman in the third act and we had to finish watching the show with everything reeking of sick. Ahem.) but I really did enjoy it. I reviewed this show too, which you can read here.
Shrek The Musical
Shrek is one of those films I can quote from beginning to end; so when I was invited along to watch and review the stage adaptation, I was curious! This sadly won’t make it onto my top ten shows of 2018 (if I write a list) but it was fun and enjoyable and I had a good evening.
The Sinner, Season 2
I binged on the first season of The Sinner back in August and was delighted when it returned, if a little apprehensive. I very rarely enjoy sequels as I find them mostly disappointing, but this really was a lovely surprise. Albeit not as amazing as the first season, the second is still gripping and fascinating, and I really recommend it if you’re looking for a new show to get hooked on.
How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran
I have devoured Caitlin’s work this year, making my way through all of her books, and I finally got my hands on her latest! How to be Famous was witty and funny and wacky and all I had hoped for. Boy, can Caitlin write a sex scene.
My only criticism was the sheer number of typos I found while reading it; I think I counted six, and my heart broke a little more with each one. Ebury Press, if you ever need a hand with spell-checking your latest books…hit me up.
She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox
I am trying to read more poetry, as well as writing more, and I heard rave reviews of Charly’s book…so naturally, I got my hands on a copy. This was fun to read and relatable, too. I simultaneously feel it could have been written by anyone, but also that it is brilliantly identifiable and opens up poetry to the everyday reader (like #instapoetry, I guess).
I wasn’t as blown away as I’d hoped to be, but I did devour it and would recommend if you want to read some modern-day, accessible poems.
Moving by Jenny Eclair
Now, this was a hidden gem! Moving had been sat on my bookshelf for over a year after my mum gave it to me. I’m ashamed to say I was put off by the cover (I know, I’m sorry!) but I picked it up to read on the train home the other week and fell head over heels for it.
This was by far one of the best books I have read this year, and I cannot recommend it enough. Beautiful. I was thinking about the characters for weeks.
Poetry at the SO: To Speak Small Press Showcase
I spent a whole day listening to brilliant poetry at the Small Press Showcase as part of SO: To Speak 2018 in November. Poets published by Burning Eye Books, Penned in the Margins and Nine Arches Press performed their work for us at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. It was inspiring and motivating – thank you Artfulscribe for hosting the event!
A permanent contract!
Here’s quick non-blog/poetry/theatre-related life update!
A little celebration was in order in November, when my fixed-term contract was made permanent at work, after months/years of uncertainty. I was delighted, and feel I can finally settle properly.
Being published in print
In January my poetry is being published in print for the first time! (Well, actually, it’s being published twice, to be more accurate!)
My Dear Damsels piece, the Great Divide, is being published in their brilliant Annual, which is a collection of the years’ written submissions and is now available for preorder.
I’m also getting a poem featured in the next edition of Brenda Magazine, which is also out in January. I can’t wait to share it with you!
A podcast episode!
I’ve made the step over to audio this month! First up was recording an episode of Art and Stuff with fellow creative and host, Amy Harwood. I whipped up a delicious mac and cheese, she opened the wine, and we chatted for a few hours about all that inspires me. Funnily enough, books don’t feature (oops) but I do share my love of improv, music and poetry.
It’s available to listen to here if you are interested! Thank you for having me, Amy!
On the radio!
I told you November was my audio breakthrough! Somehow on the last day of the month, I found myself at BBC Solent in the evening chatting to their lovely presenter Steph Newenhouse about slam poetry, and I even performed a piece of my own too!
It was a fantastic experience, and I am hoping they would like to have me back sometime!
You can read about my experience, and listen to the segment, here.