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Gallowglass at New Theatre

“I saved your life”, he told the homeless youngster, “so your life belongs to me now”. Spine-chilling, Gallowglass stages an eerie recount of a psychopath and his ‘gallowglass’ who plan to capture a high-profile model. The Middle Ground Theatre Company has been running for 30 years who have worked alongside actors from Dirk Benedict and Kelly McGillis. Ruth Rendell’s writing of the crime novel has been transformed into a fantastic play, one of which one of the greatest thriller writers would have been proud of.

The global phenomenon of kidnapping is brought to light within the production. Benedict Cumberbatch was once held up at gunpoint in South Africa but managed to talk his way out of being released. As well as five men conspiring to kidnap Victoria Beckham, requesting £5 million from her husband David. Luckily both cases were unsuccessful. However, the practice remains unexpectantly common.

With money appearing to be Joe Eyre’s (Sandor Wincanton) motivation to kidnap Nina Abbott (Florence Cady), the play highlights human greed and desire for more than what someone already has or has lost. I found that I was trying to like Joe or give him the benefit of the doubt, but Sandor plays his character so well that it is impossible to.

Rachel Hart, who plays Tilley, brought light comedy to the play when the scenes where getting distressing or uncomfortable. The balance of kidnapping awareness, thriller genre, and audiences rollercoaster of emotions where all taken into consideration by the Director (Michael Lunney).

The New Theatre only ever shows quality entertainment and Gallowglass was certainly bringing me to the end of my seat. The production is at the New Theatre until Saturday the 3rd of February. Experience a suspense like no other.

http://www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/what’s-on/gallowglass/

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Flashdance at New Theatre

SHE’S A MANIC, MANIC- that’s all that I have been saying in my head since I left the New Theatre. Flashdance the musical was inspired by Tom Hedley’s teacher of Art, Robert Markle, who had been fascinated by a few of his students who formed a new type of burlesque at a club which was near the school. The show had a sold-out world premiere in 2008 at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth followed by a 16-week London West End run at the Shaftesbury Theatre ending January 15, 2011. The UK Tour began in August in 2017.

Alex is an eighteen-year-old welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, who dreams of attending the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy. The performance of its ensemble and its choreography, as well as its updated story, is what makes Flashdance an original work of art.

The three girls of Alex’s gang stood out most for me, especially Gloria, performed by Hollie-Ann Lowe. I loved her enthusiasm and in her performance her passion for acting and character of Gloria was expressed.

The finale was groovy and cool (very 80’s). Everyone danced and had a fantastic experience living the 80’s vibe.  This musical is not one to miss! Visit the New Theatre website to get tickets to see Flashdance! http://www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/what’s-on/flashdance/

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My love for Austen

Studying English Literature at Cardiff University for the last year and a half has been pretty amazing. I have made some lifelong friends, experienced things I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had gone to university (the stress of academic essays being a big one) and I get to read all the time. Every lesson I’ve learned from university or literature itself has formed my appreciation of words and stories alike.

There is usually one author that sparks a love for the literary canon and mine was Jane Austen. I have read Pride and Prejudice 43 times to this date and I bet it won’t be the last time I read it either. I have read all six of her major published novels. One of my most loved Christmas presents was three of her novels in hardback copies from Conor (the boyfriend). They’re right next to my complete collection of Jane Austen novel which I have treasured for many years.

I am a lover of the classics and a romantic novel. You have to be a romantic, or at least a hopeless romantic to study Literature. What I love most about the classics, especially Austen is that they’re timeless. I know that is said all the time but it’s so true. Writers from Homer, to Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters to Hugo have all stood the test of time with the novels in the last few decades being rewritten, reformed and shaped differently. Films such as Clueless are loosely based on Emma but in a modern-day Beverly Hills. A timeless film I must add. My favourite film is another Austen retelling- Bridget Jones’ Diary based on Pride and Prejudice. Bridget is a believable character which a lot of people can relate too. She’s in her early thirties and single, overeating and not worrying about her fashion sense. With an OOT mother who worries about Bridget dying alone.

‘And that was it. Right there. Right there, that was the moment… I suddenly realized that unless something change soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine and I’d finally die fat and alone and be found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians, or I was about to turn into Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction’- poor Bridget.

However, he in end she does get her Mr. Darcy just like the stubborn Elizabeth Bennet.

‘The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid’ my most memorable quote from the loveable savage Jane Austen.

The Avocado Hummus Addict x

Earth: One Amazing Day at Chapter

“The best day in the entire universe is spent on Earth”

BBC’s Earth Film’s sequel is adapted from its popular show Earth, there is so much going on that nobody could possibly have a complaint about the film. The film presents animals in their natural habits, avoiding anthropomorphism, bring the adventure of the day on earth to its full capacity. The photography is outstanding, crystal clear and this benefits being on the big screen rather than at home.

The documentary begins with the giant panda which captivates the audience. The stars of the film, in my opinion, were the sloths. From their eyes, the way they yawn to their squeaks, no one can dislike the sloth.

The Iconic video of the fast-moving snakes hunting a baby iguana voiced over by Snoop Dog (Snoop Dog is not included in the film of course) is included in the movie. From sperm whale sleeping, giraffes fighting each other to a zebra foal braving a harsh fast river, you will love this movie.

The Avocado Hummus Addict x

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COCO review

For someone who loves Mexico and Mexican culture, I knew I would love this film, but I didn’t realise how much of an impact it would have on me. Coco has brought Pixar back from the dead from a film about the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead. Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) is a 12-year-old boy who is accidentally transported to the land of the dead. His love of music causes conflict with his family. A film about family vs being passionate what you love about is a must-see film who can even teach adults a two.

Miguel’s grandmother Coco (Ana Ofelia Murguia) struggles with memory loss and it appears to be the result of dementia. Worldwide 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million cases every year with our every growing ageing human population. Music has been proven to stimulate memory, shift mood and manage stress. Regardless of the unorthodox beauty of the movie and unrealistic scenarios, the movie definitely gets a lot of things right about the connection between memory and music.

I expected creepy looking skeletons and a traditional adventure story plot. Was I wrong? Most definitely. Engaging musical numbers, a quest narrative and a beautiful character development throughout, Coco has struck a chord in my heart (I can’t wait to buy the DVD). Crying and laughing throughout the movie,  I enjoyed every second of the movie. Ending with the most perfect twist which tied together the reason why the film was called Coco in the first place. The movie is thought-provoking as it helps children understand the values of family, to never give up on your dreams and to look after those who you love.

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Downsizing at Chapter

Downsizing points to the potential future of the human race. Literal as well as metaphorical downsizing and the extinction of our existence. Downsizing imagines a future in which humans are 5in in height. It seems that this started due to people’s concerns about the environment. When actual you discover that it is for the ‘smalls’ to live a life of luxury and privilege in a gated communities.

Production and the way that the people are downsized is impressive and the proportion element is as good as can be. I would recommend seeing this for a one-time thing. I would be interested in watching this film in a few years to see whether any of the points that the film was making is relevant to that time period.

As an environmentalist, I appreciate the message that the movie was displaying. Humans are destroying the planet, whether that be through wasting resources, fossil fuels or ‘taking up to much space’. The plot itself was inter-changing and I felt as if I was watching different movies after each other. The romance story-line between Paul (Matt Damon) and Ngoc (Hong Chau) wasn’t necessary. If they remained friends rather than lovers at the end, I feel that the message of the environment and diversity could have been focused on more.

Go and see before Downsizing goes on DVD. It’ll certainly get you thinking about a hundred different things throughout watching and afterward. The unusual film could potentially be a new type of science fiction comedy-drama film.

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Darkest Hour at Chapter

First and foremost, I recommend taking a trip to the Chapter in Cardiff. I had been before but I didn’t have much time to look around and take in the atmosphere of the venue. The staff are friendly and welcoming, the food options are outstanding and the number of things that there is to do is extraordinary. Take a look at many shows and performances coming to the Chapter on their website https://www.chapter.org.

Darkest Hour captivates the thrilling and beguiling story of Winston Churchill in his darkest hour in 1940. Hitler is preparing to invade Britain across the Channel. The interesting part of this movie that is it reminds it that the war did not go away overnight when Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) took over Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup). Also, how not everyone was right behind him, with King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) not having much faith in Churchill. While watching the movie, it occurred to me that his core enemy does not appear to be Hitler, but more Chamberlain and Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane).

With a demand for movies about war and 1940 being released from Dunkirk to Stars Wars: The Last Jed, it was great to see a film with so many people after saying how amazing it was. History, thrills, and British patriotism all in one. Written by Anthony McCarten, who scripted The Theory of Everything brought the tale of the Prime Minister of Winston Churchill to the 21st century.

I am a big Lily James fan, cast as Elizabeth Layton the personal secretary to Churchill from 1941-1945.She always makes me smile and plays roles that I adore (bring on Mamma Mia 2 this summer). James always charms the audience with her talent and flawless acting. However, the actor who stood out most for me was Kristin Scott Thomas, who performed as Clementine Churchill. Churchill’s wife knew that her husband was more dedicated to his work more than her, yet was a loyal wife who would put Churchill in his place when he wasn’t respecting her the way she should be.

My favourite scene (I was actually in tears from laughing) was between Churchill and George VI. When the King was asking Churchill after he had just been given the job as Prime Minister if 4 o’clock on Mondays suited his schedule, he had the most humorous reply to a question I have ever heard. “No actually that is inconvenient to my schedule, I nap at 4 o’clock,” I had never related to a Prime Minister so much in my life! Oldman was at his greatest and the entire cast. I haven’t ever laughed at a war drama but from time to time I couldn’t stop. I was laughing even when no one else was!

5 out of 5!! A must see at the Chapter.

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