McBusted

McBusted
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Sorry for not posting for a week. I would say that not a lot has happened over the past week but that would be a lie.

My mum came down to Southampton on Tuesday to spend a few days and help me pack up my uni room.

She experienced the lush burgers and strawberry milkshakes at Eds Diner that I kept going on about aswell as trying her first Sprinkles in the form of Turkish delight and mango ice cream. I also took her to a cafe which I like to spend my quite time at called The Butterfly Cafe.

The best day was Thursday however. The day where the seven year old in me couldn’t contain her excitement. The twenty year old me was pretty excited too. Thursday I went to go and see McBusted,two of my favourite bands growing up,McFly and Busted,and let me tell you,IT WAS AMAZING! By far the best concert I’ve been too.

After spending the morning in Southampton starting to pack up my room we made our way to Bournemouth and the venue to pick up our tickets. Whilst there I also bought my McBusted wristband from the merch table before spending the afternoon on the penny slots and grabbing machines in the arcade, I almost won a minion,but not quite. Hopefully in Brighton on Wednesday.

Around 6.30 we went back to the venue for the concert. After the support acts at around 9pm the lights went out,and the crowd(me included) went mental as Mcbusted came out on stage.

They sang a mixture of both bands songs with Danny singing parts of the songs in which previous Busted member,Charlie Simpson would have sang.

As expected everyone sang along to all of their favourites and the crowd went mental when the band performed the last song on the list,Busted’s hit Year 3000.

It was an amazing night and if you ever get a chance to go and see them live,you really should.

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Yesterday I cleaned out my room and said an emotional goodbye to my first year flatmates. Next years have a lot to live up to. I love you,guys.

I’m now home for the summer and plan on doing a lot of writing,drawing and catching up with friends,which starts Monday when I should hopefully receive replies to some emails I’ve sent.

Off to Brighton on Wednesday to meet one of the first Downton Abbey fans I got speaking to,my friend Alice which I’m looking forward to.

In a couple of weeks time I’m also going to listen to a talk with author Sebastian Faulks and possibly see Carey Mulligan in Skylight with Tim. Then,the week after that it’s West End Live for the third year running which I’m excited about,so look out for those more exciting posts in the coming weeks.

For now,I hope you all enjoy your weekend and I leave you with my favourite picture I took of Thursday night,Danny and Harry.

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Tonight at 8.30

Tonight at 8.30

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So yesterday was a new experience. I’ve been to the theatre quite a lot since the start of the year,but to see only one play. Yesterday,me an Tim spent the whole day at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton watching Tonight at 8.30. Nine short plays by Noel Coward.

We went in not knowing what to expect but it turned out to be a great day.

Each of the plays were separated into three sections. Trio 1-Cocktails,Trio 2-Dancing and Trio 3-Dancing.

Made up of a small company of just nine plays,each of the actors worked incredibly hard remembering each of the parts and lines depending on the different characters they were playing.

The Nuffield theatre websites gives a better explanation of each of the plays below.

Trio 1-Cocktails

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ImageThe Astonished Heart(photo taken from Nuffield Website)

ImageRed Peppers(photo taken from Nuffield website)

My favourite in the first trio were the plays We Were Dancing and ‘Red Peppers’,both completely different but both equally brilliant.

Trio 2-Dinner

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ImageWays and Means (photo taken from Nuffield website)

ImageFumed Oak(photo taken from Nuffield website)

ImageStill Life also known as Brief Encounter. (Photo taken from Nuffield website)

After lunch at a local pub near the theatre we went in for the next trio,which included my favourite,and the only Noel Coward play I knew,Brief Encounter or Still Life as it was originally know.

The film holds a special place in my heart. It was the film I watched that helped and gave me the idea for the play I’m working on,the play that got me a high grade at college so I was a bit anxious about seeing on stage. It was portrayed perfectly however,including all the most important scenes of the film into the half hour slot. All the scenes took place in the station cafe and it worked perfect. It still remains my favourite.

Trio 3-Dancing

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We had an hour and a half break before the final trio so we went back into the bar. The atmosphere had changed quite alot since we went there in the afternoon. The lights had been dimmed,tables were laid out for those who had reserved them for dinner and a jazz band were playing in the hall to the side of the room. Myself and Tim sat on a sofa and observed the atmosphere before trying on some of the coats and hats from the era. Ofcourse we couldn’t help but take some selfies.

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When it came to 7.20 we got the call that the plays we’re going to start soon and that we should take our seats.

So for the last time that day we made our way into the theatre and was transformed back into a different era. The last three plays dealt with a death and the healing process in Family Album,what people really think of their friends in Hands Across the Sea and a flashback to falling in love for the first time with Shadow Play.

During our second break,we got speaking to a lady about the plays. She came to see the last set on opening night as she had a few of the actors staying with her. She explained to us about the last play and the way in which the actors looked at each other and the chemistry they shared. I paid particular attention to how mainly he looked at her and found that there was indeed a look of love in his eyes. Chemistry between actors is amazing!

Shadow Play was definitely my favourite amongst the final trio. Although the Family Album was great as all of the cast members were featured in it.

All in all it was a great day,a new and enjoyable experience. A huge thanks to Nuffield Theatre and the Company for putting on such an incredible production.

For more information on Tonight at 8.30 and other production at the Nuffield,visit http://www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/tonight-at-8.30#.U4H054m9LCS

A start to the summer

So I go back to Southampton after a week at home in a few hours. This time however it isn’t for uni,it’s to enjoy the last week I have with my flatmates before we leave for the summer.

Before I go back however I’ll fill you in with what I’ve done over the last week and what’s coming up over the next one.

So I came home on the Wednesday,vis Brighton rather than London,which made a change and was a change of scenery.

On the Friday I met up with Lucy and we had a catch up over McDonald’s before going book shopping and sitting in west gate gardens.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was reading the book birdsong by Sebastian Faulks which I finished almost a week ago. So for the time I was sitting in west gate gardens I may have pretended I was in Amiens in France.

It was really nice to just sit and relax in the sunshine and next time I see her we’ve decided that we’re going to get nandos and sit in West Gate rather than our usual Dame John park.

Sunday I went for brunch with my mum and then my day was made by a tweet from Jamie Lloyd who’s the director of the Trafalger Transformed season.

On Monday evening I finished Birdsong and was left with quite a few feelings about,which you can read in my previous post.

The rest of the week I practised my drawing skills and watched a couple of films before my mum tried out a couple of hairstyles. The crown braid where my inner Isabelle Azaire came out. (As you can tell Birdsong is a bit of a thing at the moment) and more of a summer look with two plaits clipped at the back.

Tomorrow me and Tim are spending the day in the theatre watching 9 Noel Coward plays back to back. Including my favourite,Brief Encounter. Review to follow.

Also on Tuesday mums coming down to spend a few days in Southampton to try Sprinkles Gelato and Eds Diner. She’s also helping me to pack up for the summer.

It’s going to be weird spending the next week in halls knowing that it’s my last time with my first year flatmates. They’ve honestly been the best and I love them all a hell of a lot.

I’m off to pack before my four hour train journey ahead.

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A few thoughts on Birdsong:

A few thoughts on Birdsong
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After I watched the tv series of Birdsong I remember going straight to the library trying to find the book. Each week I went I looked,but to no avail could I find it. There was something about it that made me think that the book would be better than the series,and it definitely was.

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the series. I did,in some ways. The story was interesting but it was more the casting that bothered me.

Anyway,when I was in Winchester with my mum I saw a poster advertising the play. As it was Tim’s favourite book I text him and we booked tickets.

After seeing the play I ordered the script of it,but I have since in the mean time borrowed Tim’s copy and read it by his,and George Banks(the actor who played Stephen in the play) recommendation.

It took me five days to finish it. With it being quite heavy in places I had to keep stopping and starting. But don’t we all with most books?

For those who aren’t familiar with the storyline,Birdsong written by Sebastian Faulks tells the story of Stephen Wraysford as he fights in the trenches in World War I and,through flashbacks,his time in Amiens,France in 1910 where he goes to stay with the Azaire family,falling in love and embarking on an affair with Isabelle Azaire in the process.

Although mainly Stephen’s story it also focuses on the characters of Jack Firebrace who befriends Stephen in the trenches and his granddaughter Elizabeth.

I finished reading it yesterday and there are no words to describe how I feel after finishing it.

Overwhelmed and emotional yet happy with how it ended. It’s a beautiful piece of writing, a perfect way to pay tribute to those who fought,and are still are fighting for our country.

It will certainly stick with me for a while,a must read for anyone interested in or who wants an insight into what it was like during the war.

Trafalger Transformed: Season 2

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I’ve always loved the theatre,but it wasn’t until I went to go and see Alexi Kay Campbell’s The Pride,the last in the first series of his Trafalger Transformed season that I realised quite how much.

Trafalger Transformed started last year. It was a season of three plays directed by Jamie Lloyd starring many famous faces.

It started with James McAvoy’s performance in Macbeth which I unfortunately didn’t get around to seeing,but heard great things about.

Next came The Hot House which starred Simon Russell Beale and ended with Hayley Atwell’s performance in The Pride which after much begging from my mum I finally got to see on the last day of it’s run. It didn’t disappoint and I was so glad I got to see it.

It was The Pride that made me realise my love,not only for theatre,but also the work of Jamie Lloyd.

I have since fallen in love with each of the pieces of theatre I’ve seen.

From performances in the west end(Coriolanus at the Donmar with the talented Tom Hiddleston,Once at the Phoenix starring the lovely Declan Bennett and Mojo with the incredible casting of Ben Whishaw and Daniel Mays) to touring productions of War Horse at The Mayflower in Southampton and Birdsong at the Theatre Royal Winchester. It’s all thanks to Jamie Lloyd that I started to enjoy theatre and of course my friend Tim for sharing these experiences with me.

Jamie once again returns this summer with Trafalgar Transformed season 2.

It begins with Shakespeare’s Richard III starring Sherlocks Martin Freeman from July 1st-September 27th and continues,from October 4th-January 3rd with East is East.

Like last season,£15 Mondays will once again be offered for those first time theatre goers to experience the magic of theatre for a reasonable price.

I will once again try and purchases tickets for one or both of these productions as their bound to be amazing,if not because of the cast,then became of Jamie Llyods amazing direction.

For more information and to buy tickets visit:

http://www.trafalgartransformed.com/
http://bit.ly/richardIIIATG
http://bit.ly/eastiseastATG

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From l-r: Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitesic in Once,George Banks and Carolin Stoltz in the touring production of Birdsong,Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus and Hayley Atwell in The Pride.

Since seeing Birdsong a few weeks ago I’m currently reading the book and loving it. So much so I’m looking into booking tickets for the last show of Birdsong in Eastbourne because it was just so good and I can’t get it out of my mind.

Also now that the summer has started I’m going to work on two theatre projects,a theatre fanzine and a theatre script as I’m so tempted to write a play and tour it around the country. It must be so fun. No idea who I’d get in contact with to make it happen though.This is why I collect script books,so i can one day write my own script and tour it.

If anyone has any advice on wiring a script and how to get it noticed any advice will be appreciated.

That’s it for now,you lovely lot.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Emily
Xo

Year 1 is complete:

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Year 1 is complete.

So after 8 months and 7 units of hard but enjoyable work,my first year of uni is done. I can’t believe how quick it’s gone. The next two years are going to fly by,but I’m excited for them all the same.

I’m so glad I came to Solent,I definitely made the right choice and can definitely see myself working within the industry once I’ve finished.

I’d like to thankyou my flatmates for helping me settle in and putting up with my living habits. You’ve been the best flatmates ever and next years are going to have a lot to live up to.

To my coursemates,thankyou for making me feel like part of a team. I’ve had great fun getting to know you all and I hope I get to know the rest of you over the next few years. Bring on the hard work. We can do this!

Ok,so enough with the soppy stuff. Below I’ve rounded up each of my units to give you an insight.

Term 1:

Magazine journalism:

The first time I had to write a feature in the style of a publication. Proved challenging as I’m terrible at coming up with ideas,but when I did I was pleased with the finished product. An interview with my cousin Kate about working at What Katie Did.

Magazine journalism toolbox:

Where I learnt how to write news stories and write a covering letter and update my cv for work experience opportunities. Time to start applying.

The Big Debate:

The art of writing pitch emails and discussing topics within the news. Made me realise how important reading different magazines and newspapers are to my career. I now feel confident in writing pitch emails if I ever have to write one to a publication.

Magazine and Cultural Theory:

This was the unit I really struggled with. Me and theory stuff don’t mix very well but looking back on it I learnt a lot and got a grade which I was happy with at the end of it. Also A Clockwork Orange was awesome at the start of the year.

Term 2:

Layout and Visualisation:

Probably my favourite unit of this term. Writing a feature and then being creative with the layout is great fun. Seeing the finished product which you created is beyond amazing!

The Multi-platform Approach:

This was the unit that really inspired me to start writing more on this blog. Also getting the chance to interview one of your favourite authors is just brilliant. Thankyou so much for that opportunity Ali McNamara,I’m so excited for the next book.

Culture of the Glossy:

The final unit for the term. One of the most interesting units over the year I think. Getting to look back at old versions of some of my favourite magazines was just amazing! Also examining how teenage magazines have changed was surprisingly ah interesting topic to write about.

I’d like to thank all my lecturers you’ve been amazing. Look forward to spending the next few years being taught by some of the greatest people. Because having nice lecturers always helps.

Now,the summer has began. A few more weeks spent in Southampton cuddlingy my olaf when he arrives and finally watching Sherlock and reading Birdsong.(Sorry for having them so long,Tim). Before going home to my family and friends.

I’m sure I’ll keep you all updated over the holiday but for now,I hope you all have a good summer.

Emily x

Ps: Sorry for the long post!

Birdsong:

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Birdsong:

I mentioned in my last blog post that I was going to see the play Birdsong at the Theatre Royal Winchester yesterday afternoon. And let me tell you, it was absolutely incredible!

Having not enjoyed the tv series I was a bit reluctant about going to see the stage version. But as it was Tim’s favourite book I thought I would make an exception. Hell I’ve dragged him to plenty of shows that I wanted to see this year(Once,Mojo and War Horse) and he didn’t complain,mainly because he wanted to see them too,but anyway.

We took the 20 minute train to Winchester arriving at around 2 at the theatre for the afternoon showing which began at 2.30.

Our seats were really great,Row D,four rows from the front giving us a real close up of the set, war trenches with a revolving door to the side in order to change scenes from the trenches in 1914-1916 back to 1910.

The theatre royal is a small theatre so you can see anywhere. I went to go and see A Clockwork Orange with uni at the start of first term and we were right at the back and could still see everything. Still,it was nice to be near the front and be able to see and feel like you were in the action.

The lights dimmed and the play began. Then for those two hours I was transformed back to World War I.

Everything about it was amazing. I couldn’t fault it. Beautifully acted,the set was beautiful,as were the costumes.

All I could say is congratulations to the whole company of the production.

Everytime I go to the theatre I get the adrenaline I always do and usually end up crying after most,if not every performance I go to.

I didn’t realise how much it hit home until I came out into the sunshine a few hours later.

The production raised money for help for heroes,a charity my parents have always supported and that I was raised to put money towards. As I put my coppers in the bucket I had the sudden urge to cry. Whether it was because of the play or because my dad trained at the barracks in Winchester I don’t know. Probably both,but either way I came out of the theatre and cried on Tim’s shoulder.

Once my emotions had subsided we made our way to Buddy’s Diner. I’d been hyping up how good the Oreo milkshakes were so we had to go. I ordered one which Tim tried a sip of along with some fries. He ordered a coke and BBQ chicken wings.

After we’d eaten we went and looked at the cathedral and wandered round the barracks where my dad trained. Whilst there I showed him my dad’s room(or the one I thought was his room atleast) before taking the lovely selfie at the top of the post and getting the train back to Southampton.

I’m now excited to read the book once my deadlines are over on Thursday.