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Locke One star

April 22, 2014

Great cast, “Gripping” “Groundbreaking” “Thriller”. Four and five star reviews. And not just in ‘Empire’ magazine. But not from me. The only tension was when would the twist come? When would we care?. And it didn’t happen. Mr Concrete (Tom Hardy) is driving in his BMW and the ‘action’ (such as it is) takes place during the phonecalls he makes to those important in his life. He is an unfeeling disconnected twat that deserves everything coming to him. One star.

Last night – the evening before a four day weekend – whoo hoo! – and I am out with three mates for a bite in good old Cote. On the way there I am scurrying down Leonard Road when I see the traffic on the Uxbridge Road at a standstill. I think it just as well I am walking. There is a throng of people and then  I see the black BMW across the road and a young woman face down on the street. I hasten nearer, but at the same time hoping the ambulance will arrive before I do.  It is a long time since I practiced clinical medicine and I am no longer up to date with the required certification in lifesaving skills.  But equally I could not walk by and not offer basic assistance  to someone in need, and seem to have to do it on a not-infrequent basis.  But that’s another blog altogether. On the edge of the crowd I ask if someone has called the ambulance and at that moment I see it so I am let off the hook as the professionals arrive to take over from the two men who are kneeling on the ground and talking to the woman. I continue on to Cote to meet three friends and we drink and eat and chat chat chat until suddenly the place is empty and we are leaving. The hours just flew.That’s what good company does for you. But the night is not quite over. I do not go straight home but walk up to Wetherspoons and meet three others there. And here a round  for four including Jaegerbomb chasers is only £21. This place is incredible. How does it sell things so cheaply? Presumably by getting the numbers through the doors and the lowest quality produce. But at 11 30 who cares about quality? Not me that’s for sure.  They talked about school and of course I heard stories that I’d never known at the time. Which was probably just as well. And then the wait for Skycabs. We met Gavin from Connemara or somewhere else incoherent and he was looking for a pixxa place but couldn’t get the gist of ‘Down there turn left’. I apparently let the side down by actually telling him my name when he asked. The others had called themselves Pizza 1 and Pizza 2. But I think that’s what blue WKD does to your brain – they had actually forgotten their own names.

Calvary. Four stars

April 17, 2014

The title is probably a clue, but I hadn’t thought about it before we watched this new film which stars Brendan Gleeson. It also features Dylan Moran and Chris O’Dowd so it’s going to be a barrel of laughs. Wrong. It does have humour, but really there s much more sadness and  some suspense.

“I first tasted semen when I was seven years old” is the opening line from an unseen guy in confession who admits he is going to murder Brendan Gleeson the following Sunday. And the rest of the film is the run up to that as we watch the priest tend his flock and go through their own agonies and miseries. When I say tend, he seems relatively disconnected from them. He is not the all tender and comforting priest.. But he is there. And maybe that is enough. He came to the priesthood after his wife died, struggling with alcoholism and  leaving his daughter .He has troubles of his own and no one to share them with but God. But tellingly he believes forgiveness to be the most underrated virtue.  It is a gripping film with wonderful scenery, strong acting and a play-like quality. I want to see it again as it will bear re-telling and confess more to me second time around I’m sure. Four stars (and a few tears).

kill kill kill 006Top Ten Things I Didn’t Know Until I Was A Parent

  1. Despite incredibly busy hospital dotcoring jobs working over 100 hour weeks, I didn’t know what tired was until I’d had continuous months of broken nights with babies
  2. I didn’t know what responsibility was until I had to care for someone helpless 24/7
  3. I didn’t know the sheer force and volume that breast fed baby shit can be generated at until I was cleaning up the back of his head after a particularly explosive episode.
  4. I didn’t realise how little I knew about parenting and how easy it had been to criticise others until I had to do it for myself.
  5. I didn’t know how to appreciate a night out properly until I couldn’t have them
  6. I didn’t appreciate what I put my parents through until someone did the same to me
  7. I didn’t realise toddlers really would pick up dog shit and try to eat it
  8. I didn’t realise that when the milk ‘came in’ it would feel like someone had pushed hot boulders down my bra.
  9. I didn’t know what peer pressure was until I worried whether our toddler should be writing and drawing like everyone else’s three year olds seemed to be
  10. I didn’t know what sheer joy having children could be.

I went to Waitrose and was looking for a baseball cap for a toddler in their clothes section, but there were none to be had. Instead they had various bucket hats. Ah, I thought there’s a fun one with sharks on or even better one with skull and crossbones. Our eldest (male) and youngest (female) always enjoyed a bit of pirateering. Those long plastic swords from the 50p shop were some of the best buys we ever made.  The middle (female) preferred to play Wendy from Peter Pan, but was not averse to dressing up as a rather glamorous pirate when she was older. However John Lewis appears to have other ideas. I picked up the hats and saw the label. “Boys.”  Who the hell says so?  This is 2014. Labelling them “Boys” is unnecessary and sexist – making small girls think that adventuring on the High Seas is not appropriate for them. They should stick to the pink polka dots.  Tell that to Ellen Macarthur.

Surely in this day and age hats do not need to be labelled for boys specifically? Surely it is up to us and them to choose which hat they’d like to wear for their next outdoor adventure. Come on JL – don’t reinforce outdated stereotypes.

Yes folks, this really is 2014

Yes folks, this really is 2014

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I love the Soho Theatre. Steeply raked. Small. Intimate. Perfect for this play.

I hadn’t done any background research on The One. Hubby booked it and I turned up not really knowing what to expect. And bang. It opens with sex in front of the TV. And sex continues to be a driving theme throughout as we sit up all night with Harry  and Jo  (English lecturer and his former student) as they wait for news of her sister giving birth. They are clever, well spoken, and compete for control using any tactics (lying, taunting, goading, insulting, hurting). They have a toxic passion for  and against each other.

The arrival of Harry’s vulnerable ex Kerry momentarily displays their unity as they allow her to stand outside in the pouring rain before deciding to let her in. Harry appears to side with Kerry during Jo’s casual indifference and venom towards her and the startling discussions they have concerning when sex is rape between a couple. As my mother would have said, Jo is too clever by half and so sharp she’ll cut herself. And she does.She cuts anything that comes anywhere near her. And Harry is drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

The 65 minutes flew by. I was gripped. It made me laugh. It made me uncomfortable. It made me think..  That’s what I want from theatre. Four stars

Just a thought

March 7, 2014

accept2

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