Hi and welcome to this weeks blog post. I have had a week off work this week which has meant I have been able to recharge my batteries and get some things done that I have been meaning to for a long time. I even managed not to get too anxious although I did have a wobble this weekend. Anyway here is what has been on my mind and what I have been up this week. There is a theatrical theme to this weeks post.

Having a week off has been great as it has meant I have been able to sleep in which is a real luxury. I started the week with some things that I have been meaning to do for a while. These were to go to the doctors,  catch up on box sets and films, finish reading my book, start this months special blog post , catch up with friends and one other thing what was it? Oh relax. Well I got some of these things done but not all of them.

I managed to make an appointment at the doctors (only took 15 minutes waiting on the phone). I wanted to talk to the doctor about a test for a nut allergy as over the last 12 months I have had a very mild reaction to certain nuts. It might have been nothing but I want to check it out so I discussed it with the doctor and I have tests in a few weeks time. I also asked for a general health check which I will have when I have my allergy test. She asked why I wanted one and if it was to do with anything in particular or was it because I was now in my 30’s. I admitted it was because I am at the age where if I am going to have to change something this is the time to do. I hadn’t seen this doctor before and I actually think she was younger than me. This is the first time this has happened to me and I felt old especially as I was discussing having a health check because I’m in my 30’s.  Anyway at least I got an appointment and have arranged for tests in a few weeks time. Hopefully it will all be OK.

I caught up a little bit on a box set and a film this week. I watched ‘The Hunger Games:Catching Fire’ as it was my iTunes film of the month. I thought it was good but very similar to the first one. I haven’t read the second book yet so I would be interested to see  if there are any changes as there were with the first one.  I had hoped to watch more films this week especially from my ‘films I have never seen’ list but I didn’t get round to it. I did finish watching Smash, season 2 and I loved it. I know it is the last one and it had poor reviews but I really liked it and loved the music from it. I think I am like the character Tom but just less successful and I had a bit of a crush on the character Kyle. I have many other box sets waiting to be watched these include Season 1 of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (I have seen odd episodes but never watched a series), Grimm season 1 and I have to try again with season 1 of Game of Thrones as I didn’t get far into when tried last year. I also have other box sets that I want to buy/see these include ‘Looking’, ‘Dracula’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’, seasons 4 & 5 of ‘Glee’, Breaking Bad and season 3 of ‘Once Upon A Time’ as Channel 5 are not showing this series. I feel guilty that I am so far behind on film and TV.

I haven’t finished reading my book yet. I am really struggling at the moment finding the time to sit and read. I have even given up on a couple of books this year which I don’t usually do. The book I am reading is non-fiction which does take me longer to read but I have struggled with a few books this year. I need to get back into reading soon. I also feel a bit pressured to finish a book and to fit it in around my book club choice. I don’t like having more than 1 book on the go at a time so it is difficult sometimes.

In last weeks blog post I said that I might get my special blog post for this month done this week. Well I have started work on it but I have a lot to do before it is finished but it will be done this month I promise so keep a look out for it appearing in the next week or so.

I mentioned at the start of this blog post that there was a theatrical theme to this week. This was due to 3 rehearsals this week, watching Smash (it’s about Broadway theatre), and 2 visits to the theatre. The first production I saw this week was ‘Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake’. This was the third Matthew Bourne production I have seen and it was probably the best so far. I’m not a fan of ballet which is good when it comes to Matthew Bourne as he takes ballet and makes it more contemporary dance/theatre. Swan Lake is his most famous production as the Swans are all male. Jonathan Olivier played the White Swan and The Stranger (traditionally this would be the Black Swan) and he was amazing in this role. I think I preferred him as the Black Swan although he was topless as the White Swan. It was interesting to see all the swans as male as this makes think differently about the story you know and also made me and my friends wonder how much chest hair is acceptable as a dancer? The show finished and received well deserved standing ovation which is rare nowadays at the theatre for some reason.

The second production that I saw at the theatre this week was the latest show by Darlington Operatic Society which was Grease. I have seen the last 4 productions by Darlington Operatic Society and have been impressed each time. I have to admit Grease is not one of my favourite musicals and would not be in my top 20 musicals maybe not even top 50. However I like to support local theatre and I knew a few people involved in the show so I went along to see it and I thought it was a good show overall. There were some fantastic performances  especially Selena Blain (Sandy), Nick Holmes (Kenickie), Ben Connor (Doody) Katie Carter (Rizzo), Hayley Walker (Jan), Andrew Hamilton (Roger) and Claire Williams (Patty). There wasn’t one bad performance in the show and it must be tough taking on such an iconic musical particularly for the lead roles but they did well. What did let the night down though wasn’t the show or performers but a handful of audience members. People just don’t know how to behave at the theatre anymore. There were people talking loudly during the show, taking photo’s with a flash on and even trying to out sing the performers on stage. This is terrible behaviour not only for other audience members but also for the performers. These performers have been rehearsing since November on putting on a top show which they successfully did. Is it too much to ask for people to sit quietly and watch the show. Taking photo’s with a flash can really put off an actor/performer. I know this first hand when I had someone take a photo with a flash during ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Also don’t try to out sing the person on stage. It’s their moment and possibly the highlight of the show for them and other audience members. If you want to sing then wait until the encore at the end or why not audition for the next show. The night ended with a standing ovation and then ‘allowed’ singing and dancing to the Grease Megamix. Overall it was a good night and marginally spoilt by a handful of people. It was good to see such support for local theatre though.

Well that is it for this week. It is back to my normal routine tomorrow and it is almost Easter. So until next time it is bye for now.

Top Programme of the Week – The Graham Norton Show

Top Song of the Week – Kristen Bell & Santino Fontana – Love Is An Open Door

Book I Am Currently Reading – Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela