Monday, 30 December 2013

Something Something Gallifrey

What people usually ask me soon after Christmas Day: "Did you watch Doctor Who?" followed by "Did you enjoy it?"

What everyone asked me this year: "Did you watch Doctor Who?" followed by "Did you understand it?"

"The Time of the Doctor" by Steven Moffat, directed by Jamie Payne. Spoilers after the cut.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Dick Twittington 41: Fops on the tube

This week on my Twitter feed, bits of a theatre fall down, and programming at another one stops making sense.

Writing my American Psycho review; meanwhile the team at the next bank of desks is getting VERY excited about their new business cards.
10:37 AM - 18 Dec 13

@TootingGareth I wanted to do a #themorethingschange hashtag but the character limit was against me.
11:29 AM - 18 Dec 13

Theatre review: American Psycho
11:54 AM - 18 Dec 13

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Let Zygons be bygones

Yes, this post did take a little while for me to get round to. Still, I got there before the next episode aired (just.)

It's not often people on the internet agree about anything, let alone Doctor Who, but it seems to have worked in the case of "The Day of the Doctor," the 50th anniversary special - and indeed all the surrounding programming spread around the BBC.

"The Day of the Doctor" by Steven Moffat, directed by Nick Hurran. Spoilers after the cut.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dick Twittington 40: Turned on beyond endurance

This week is a non-stop parade of filth on my Twitter feed.

Catching up with Only Connect. Hywel naming mathematical terms is strangely arousing.
2:58 PM - 11 Dec 13

@bridgetorr I'm genuinely baffled by Twitter wetting its knickers over Kester and not noticing Hywel's existence.
3:11 PM - 11 Dec 13

"He needs to show me more respect innit - I'm his friend's best friend's cousin!" #overheardonthebus
9:33 PM - 12 Dec 13

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Book review: Love All The People

I moved to the UK in 1993, and Bill Hicks died in early 1994, so I never got a feel for the huge popularity the US comedian had been building up over here. Having heard a lot about him subsequently I've watched a few performances to see what the fuss was about, and now read the book Love All The People, a collection of his writings and transcripts of his recorded performances. Although I feel like the angry but strangely loving comedian is someone whose influence and reputation is well-deserved, the book is irritating because the editors haven't really done any actual editing - the same routines are repeated in transcripts from various performances. The justification given is that it's to allow people to see how the same material evolved over time, but you'd have to be a real Hicks obsessive to want to re-read the same routine half a dozen times with small variations, so after a while there was a lot of pages getting skipped. Interesting man though.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Dick Twittington 39: Mexican vampires

This week on my Twitter feed included my birthday, but I kept quiet about that.

Well, I'm pretty sure there's nothing anyone on the internet will have Strongly Worded Opinions about today.
8:54 AM - 4 Dec 13

Jeez, Sean Foley's doing all right for himself lately isn't he? *other theatre directors are available*
3:15 PM - 5 Dec 13

Sloane Square
3:17 PM - 5 Dec 13

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dick Twittington 38: Invisible trumpet

This week on my Twitter feed, something or other gets The Gaiety all excited. Can't imagine what.

Thought I saw Sam Claflin jogging but it was just some bloke. Good job I didn't shout out "YOU'RE NOT PRETTY ENOUGH TO BE FINNICK!"
9:16 AM - 27 Nov 13

Rargh Expressionism, look at me being an Expressionist, smell my Expressionzzz #intervaltweets
8:41 PM - 27 Nov 13

Just seen police tell off a cyclist for riding on the pavement. Marvellous.
9:25 AM - 28 Nov 13

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Book review: Waking Nightmares

Waking Nightmares is the fifth in Christopher Golden's Shadow Saga series of books, that follows a post-Church world where the measures put into place to keep the supernatural at bay have been lost, and alternate dimensions now regularly creep into this one.

This time around the magician Peter Octavian is called upon to deal with an ancient chaos goddess who's been reawakened in an small college town, with the help of three women, a witch, a vampire, and a seemingly normal human with a family connection to the events. This is another fun supernatural thriller although it's very obvious The Shadow Saga is now something completely different than it originally was - the first three books were a separate trilogy with an ongoing epic sweep and huge cast of characters, but from the fourth book on it's been practically a reboot into a series of standalone adventures. Still good, but not quite what it was when I started reading the series.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dick Twittington 37: Grand Theft Fudge

This week on my Twitter feed: The Doctor Who anniversary episode. I will get round to doing a post about it, I've just been busy. Playing the Doctor Who Google doodle game, mostly.

Hull's been named City of Culture? They know it doesn't mean the kind of culture that's in yoghurt, right?
11:11 AM - 20 Nov 13

Seeing posters in Soho for some Netto boyband called G.T.F. I do hope that stands for Get Tae Feck. Or maybe Grand Theft Fudge.
6:56 PM - 20 Nov 13

No that's fine, I love standing in the rain 20 minutes waiting for a bus that then decides it'll terminate early at the next stop.
10:42 PM - 20 Nov 13

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dick Twittington 36: A crumbling country estate

This week on my Twitter feed, I get grumpy at work, inquisitive in a bookshop, and comically inspired (NB your mileage may vary) by Cake.

Tovey as a footballer? Andrew Scott as a rock star? The return of sensible start times? OK Royal Court, I'm listening.
1:23 PM - 13 Nov 13

Oh, the Tovey-is-a-footballer play also has Nico Mirallegro in it. I know for a fact nobody who follows me will care about that.
2:37 PM - 13 Nov 13

Sherbet Gravel remains my favourite Ridley character name #intervaltweets
8:33 PM - 13 Nov 13

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Book review: The Boy From Reactor 4

The Kindle daily deal seems to do a lot of crime novels, doesn't it? I don't often go for them but I thought I'd give Orest Stelmach's The Boy From Reactor 4 a chance. I actually thought, reading it, that it was at least the second in a series because there's all these references to its heroine breaking up a crime ring the previous year, but it turns out it's the author's first novel. It sees a former banker go on a journey to her parents' birthplace of Ukraine, to find the uncle she thought was long-dead, and his son raised near Chernobyl, while various different gangs chase her for the fortune they believe the uncle has stashed away. It's quite enjoyable although the fact that the quest begins with a dying man telling her "the fate of the free world depends on" her returning to Ukraine meant I couldn't take it entirely seriously from the off.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Dick Twittington 35: Training montage

This week on my Twitter feed, have I found the new "so bad it's good" show? Probably not. It's probably just bad.

When I saw Spamalot, it starred Simon Russell Beale. Now it's Les Dennis. Next: Dick and Dom #diminishingreturns
2:37 PM - 6 Nov 1

Macbeth of Fire & Ice: It's like the Southwark Playhouse Henry V all over again.
9:04 PM - 6 Nov 13

@OughtToBeClowns every so often the cast breaks off mangling Shakespeare, to praise Thor.
10:06 PM - 6 Nov 13

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Dick Twittington 34: :) :) :) :( :( :(

This week on my Twitter feed, in case there isn't enough of a theatre preoccupation already, the National theatre's 50th birthday celebrations take over Saturday night TV. Well, they do for sensible people. I suppose X Factor and Strictly might have still gone on, but broadcasting to nobody because everyone was glued to Dame Judi on BBC2. Right? Right?

Gemma Arterton as the Duchess of Malfi at the Wanamaker? Interesting...
11:16 AM - 30 Oct 13

I must admit, I did wonder if opening a theatre called the Wanamaker with a show with a female lead was a clue, but I like this casting.
11:24 AM - 30 Oct 13

So... no new Cheek By Jowl show next year? And two revivals but Russian Tempest isn't one of them? *sadface*
1:23 PM - 30 Oct 13

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Book review: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Apparently The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is an "international sensation," although I hadn't really noticed it sensating anywhere near me, I just spotted it when I was browsing through the Kindle shop, as per. Jonas Jonasson's novel does what its title suggests, as a man called Allan climbs out of the window of his old people's home on his hundredth birthday, and goes off on an adventure, meeting new people, accidentally killing half the members of a criminal gang, and being chased by the police. This is entertaining enough, but better are the flashbacks every other chapter to Allan's century-long life. Singularly uninterested in politics, he stumbles into some of the biggest events of the 20th century, meeting everyone from Stalin to Mao Zedong, Churchill and Presidents Truman, LBJ and Nixon, like a Swedish Forrest Gump - or Forrest Gümp. As in his present life, his past also seems to have seen him leave a trail of death behind him wherever he went while he remained unscathed, and although it's a gently amusing story I did like the hint of a message underneath that keeping yourself clear of all important matters might leave you safe to live a long and happy life, but be disastrous for those around you.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Dick Twittington 33: One per boob

This week on my Twitter feed... oh I dunno, "various" I guess. My life can't always be themed.

"aphra behn benedict cumberbatch" #bloghitsoftheweek I'mma start an illicit time-travel affair rumour.
10:53 AM - 23 Oct 13

Theatrical Spot: Sam Troughton on Dean Street.
6:53 PM - 23 Oct 13

This Jamie Dornan casting news has definitely not made me any more interested in the Fifty Shades movie *innocent face*
11:10 AM - 24 Oct 13

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dick Twittington 32: Fabulously clear projection

This week for the second time in a row I'm illustrating this roundup of my Twitter feed with a photo of a Doctor Who star's stage work, but where Matt Smith was playing an all-singing, all-dancing serial killer, David Tennant's photo is much more disturbing.

While everyone else is still congratulating Rufus Norris, the whatsonstage boards have already dismissed his entire tenure as a disaster.
2:41 PM - 16 Oct 13

3:12 PM - 16 Oct 13

I've only just realised the actress from last night's play was Madame Vastra off Doctor Who. It was the lack of scales that threw me.
4:01 PM - 16 Oct 13

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Dick Twittington 31: "I'm so excited"

This week on my Twitter feed has been one of those quiet ones.

Oh, so the lift at the Royal Court is making "aaargh!" noises again.
7:01 PM - 9 Oct 13

"The performance lasts 70 minutes without interval" #themostbeautifulsoundthatieverheard
7:15 PM - 9 Oct 13

I had a "back at school" dream so convincing it was actually a relief to wake up and remember I'm nearly 40 and work in an office.
10:12 AM - 10 Oct 13

Friday, 11 October 2013

Book review: For Richer, For Poorer

Rather confusingly, Victoria Coren's For Richer, For Pooerer is variously subtitled A Love Affair With Poker or Confessions of a Player - the kindle edition has one on the cover and the other on the contents page. Maybe it's some kind of bluff or distraction technique. Let's face it, I only read this because Coren's the host of Only Connect and is entertaining in that job, so hopefully would be in a memoir as well; it certainly wasn't through me having any great love or understanding of poker. And I can't say I understand it any better at the other end of the book, but as my other blog will attest, I do know something about getting addicted to a pastime that takes up all your evenings and cash, although theatre blogging is unlikely to turn around and net me half a million pounds one night like poker did for Coren.

So despite not being that interested in the subject I was still interested in Coren's exploration of it, and she makes it entertaining and (almost) comprehensible even for a non-gambler.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dick Twittington 30: No effect on me

This week on my Twitter feed, booking theatre tickets gets tricky.

"Ohmygod a banjo!" says the girl sitting behind me. And it wasn't even @Weez #intervaltweets
9:08 PM - 3 Oct 13

Today's Evil Corporate lunch was venison medallions. THAT'S BAMBI BURGERS TO YOU! #Itoldyouitwasevil
2:54 PM - 4 Oct 13

This week since our manager quit has been our most efficient ever. Do try to look surprised.
5:49 PM - 4 Oct 13

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Dick Twittington 29: Doing the accent

This week on my Twitter feed, it's all change at work, and a hasty escape from the theatre.

ZOMG two history bits this week! #GBBO
12:13 PM - 25 Sep 13

Wait, Damien Molony bakes cakes? Just when you think you couldn't be more attracted to someone.
6:30 PM - 25 Sep 13

I'm not sure how putting on a disguise made Kent's amputated legs grow back #intervaltweets
8:36 PM - 25 Sep 13

Friday, 27 September 2013

Book review: The Night Circus

One I wasn't sure I'd like but ended up pleased I gave it a go, Erin Morgenster's The Night Circus could have been, going from the blurb, either along the lines of Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell or a tedious paranormal romance. Fortunately it's closer to the former, and although a romantic connection between the two leads is central to how the story pans out, it's kept surprisingly low-key.

Two ancient magicians who've done battle many times before, meet again in the late 19th century and select children they'll raise to wield magic and be set into a lifelong game against each other. One chooses his own daughter Celia, the other finds Marco in an orphanage. When they reach their late teens they're sent off to do metaphorical battle in the unusual arena of the titular circus, an after-dark carnival where they have to put all their energies into outdoing each other with magical exhibits. Morgenstern's descriptions of Cirque des Rêves are the highlight of the novel and make it more of a mystical piece of immersive theatre than a circus. It often made me think of Punchdrunk, so it's not surprising when the acknowledgements at the end thank Punchdrunk for providing much of the author's inspiration in imagining the circus.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dick Twittington 28: Normal decent people

This week on my Twitter feed, theatre provides me with disappointments, but on the other hand it also has more topless wresting so *scales gesture*

Irate customer: "You most certainly did NOT send me a reminder email!" Me: "Really? That's weird cause... you replied to it."
10:28 AM - 18 Sep 13

Are there any show pics online of the *relevant* people in Midsummer Night's Dream? You know who I mean. Google is failing me.
12:22 PM - 18 Sep 13

OK, the official Grandage Season website does have some photos acknowledging that AMND is more than just one scene, so that's something.
5:54 PM - 18 Sep 13

Friday, 20 September 2013

Book review: Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade

Despite a theatre habit I'll cheerfully admit is an addiction, there's still plenty of "classic" plays I'm not familiar with yet. So it's not surprising that there's even more "must-read" books that I haven't got round to, but as usual kindle offers come to the rescue. This time with Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, subtitled The Children's Crusade to reference the youth of most of the Allied soldiers in World War II. The central event is the bombing of Dresden, during which the lead character Billy Pilgrim is a prisoner-of-war being held in the titular slaughterhouse - ironically making him one of the few survivors.

In fact the bombing itself is barely described, instead the narrative jumps around Billy's life, from his time in the War from capture onwards, to his later days when he returns to the US and becomes a successful optometrist. But the biggest event for him is one he "remembers" after an accident, when he announces that he was once abducted by an alien race and taken to be shown in their zoo, where he found out about their fatalistic view on life, as they don't see linear time but all events as existing simultaneously on some level.

As well as a rather moving little comment on a man creating such an elaborate coping strategy for the unpredictable tragedies of his life, this also provides the structure for the way the story's told, with Billy "time-travelling" backwards and forwards between critical moments of his life. I found it a simple and effective little satire, and it's incredible to think it's still considered controversial in certain parts of the USA.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Dick Twittington 27: Actual intent to cause harm

This week on my Twitter feed, theatre continues to be secretive, or not to happen at all.

Kilburn - nice to see one that doesn't look exactly the same as all the rest.
3:07 PM - 11 Sep 13

Well after #2, it follows that #1 must be next #secrettheatre
7:09 PM - 11 Sep 13

A man on this bus thinks he has discovered some unique new insights about the shallowness of celebrity culture. Spoiler: He hasn't.
9:42 PM - 11 Sep 13

Monday, 16 September 2013

Book review: The Long Earth

Terry Pratchett only seems to have got more prolific in recent years; The Long Earth, which he co-writes with Stephen Baxter, is the first in a planned new fantasy series that plays on the ever-popular theme of parallel universes. But where quantum theory sees every decision spin off into a different reality, so that infinite universes exist with tiny differences, The Long Earth is a multiverse where our Earth - here called the Datum Earth - is the only one that's inhabited, by humans at least. And the multiple other Earths stretch out to a notional East and West. A few years into the future, blueprints for a mysterious device are posted on the internet, and the result is a "Stepper," a machine that allows people to move along by one Earth at a time. Faced with a seemingly infinite number of fresh new planets just as the original one's resources are starting to run out, humanity's instinct is to colonise.

The main thrust of the novel follows Joshua, a young man born between worlds who's acquired a natural affinity for stepping as a result, and his journey with Lobsang, a disembodied entity who claims to be a reincarnated Tibetan, but may in fact be a computer program that's become sentient. They travel West through the Long Earth, partly to research the different realities but partly to be the first to travel millions of steps away from the Datum. There's a few plotlines running through their journey but largely this is a scene-setting novel that builds up the writers' fictional universe, and given how little hard plot it has I found it very entertaining. Beyond things like the design of the Stepper device (it requires a potato to work) there's little of the comic side of Pratchett, but instead there's an interesting central relationship between the loner Joshua and the rather smugly omnipotent Lobsang.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Book review: Frozen Out

Perhaps with an eye on the popularity of Scandinavian crime novels, Quentin Bates sees if Iceland, where he lived for ten years, would also do the trick in his own series of thrillers. It was also one of the first countries to go bankrupt in the financial meltdown, so that offers another dimension to explore in a country whose leaders are suddenly faced with a particularly desperate situation. So Frozen Out, which introduces rural policewoman Gunnhildur or Gunna, sees her investigate an accidental drowning she's sure is actually murder, and find it leading back to a sell-off of government assets.

It's quite enjoyable so I'll be catching up with the next one at some point, although partly because I felt as if there were quite a few loose ends being left and I wonder if they might lead somewhere further in the series. And the Icelandic naming conventions make it trickier than usual to keep up with who the various characters are (instead of surnames Icelanders use patronymic or occasionally matronymic names - I did find it amusing that some Icelanders have surnames, but it's generally considered a bit pretentious.)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Dick Twittington 26: Whatever gets you through the day

This week on my Twitter feed, a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon finally yields a photo of an unfortunately-named rowboat, and I fret over how much of a theatrical secret to reveal online before one of the professional critics cheerfully spoilers it for everyone.

You know, I'm sure we'll all get used to those blue conversation lines once they've been on Twitter for a few months or years... Oh.
11:09 AM - 4 Sep 13

Ugh. When you get hired specifically  to make judgement calls in boss' absence, then get bollocked for doing it #fuckyouWednesday
5:27 PM - 4 Sep 13

Just realised I started University TWENTY YEARS AGO. I'm so old, I'm legally dead.
7:26 AM - 5 Sep 13

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Book review: Un Lun Dun

Having seen China Miéville's books highly rated and wanting to try them out for some time, my entry point, as it usually is these days, was decided by which of them was discounted for kindle. This turned out to be Un Lun Dun, his entry in the all-ages fantasy field, which sees two teenage London girls drawn to a battle in a parallel version of the city, UnLondon. When London got rid of its smog problem in the last century, it actually moved over to UnLondon where, like many other inanimate objects. it acquired a conscience and, in this case malevolent, personality. Zanna and Deeba are fated to stop it from taking over both versions of the city.

Although Miéville acknowledges the influence of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and other alternate London stories, he comes up with enough skewed geography and colourful characters to make UnLondon unique. What I particularly liked though was his messing with the conventions of fantasy, particularly the trope of the "Chosen One" which gets punctured pretty early on. And once we're in a story where the sidekick has to do all the work, it's open to having things like the quest narrative dismissed as well. (Also, the fantasy trope about cats being particularly mystical animals is quickly thrown out of the window. They're just idiots.) In any case I enjoyed this one and will give some of his more adult-oriented work a go as well - I get the impression cities are a recurring theme in his books.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Dick Twittington 25: HIT IT WITH A HAMMER!

This week work has shamelessly got in the way of my talking bollocks on the internet, so my Twitter feed has been on the quiet side.

Finsbury Park
3:37 PM - 28 Aug 13

Ooh, I'm tired. *Hot Boy In Suit walks past with perky nipples poking through shirt* HELLO, I AM WIDE AWAKE.
3:28 PM - 29 Aug 13

Tube train gets stuck halfway along platform at Clapham North. Driver's solution: HIT IT WITH A HAMMER! This strategy is successful :o
9:40 PM - 29 Aug 13

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dick Twittington 24: Jigging like a good'un

This week on my Twitter feed is mainly about the Henriad, which I end up watching over three nights then reliving a bit online.

Theatrical Spot: Jonjo O'Neill at the Globe. SITTING! I didn't think actors were ALLOWED to sit at the Globe!
1 RETWEET Charles Twigger
10:07 PM - 21 Aug 13

"actual cherubim caught on photo." #bloghitsoftheweek I didn't know Arthur Conan Doyle used Google.
1 FAVORITE Alex Ramon
11:20 AM - 22 Aug 13

Apprentice Spot: Either someone actually gave Zeeshan a real job or he's just roaming Canary Wharf in a suit trying to look busy.
2:43 PM - 22 Aug 13

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Dick Twittington 23: Reader, I married it

This week on my Twitter feed, I eat a cake then watch some other people baking them on telly.

I'm on the back seat of the top deck*, I must be young & foolhardy! #sevenagesofbus *because that's all that was available
9:01 AM - 14 Aug 13

I don't know who had this keyboard before me but they were a messy eater *shakes out enough crumbs to make a new sandwich*
12:29 PM - 14 Aug 13

Today the work canteen had an almond pithivier. It was basically a pastry with a cake in it. Reader, I married it.
2:58 PM - 14 Aug 13

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Book review: Bleak Expectations

One of my favourite Radio 4 comedies is Mark Evans' Bleak Expectations, a spoof of Victorian novels, particularly Dickens', that see their heroes go through endless hardships, surrounded by grotesquely evil characters. So what with needing a bit of cheering up after The Casual Vacancy, Evans' novelisation of the first series was the way forward. Sir Philip Bin, inventor of the bin, looks back on his happy childhood, cut short when his father disappears, his mother goes mad and his new evil guardian Gently Benevolent sends him to St Bastard's, a boarding school with a 100% pupil death rate.

I wouldn't call this a must-read for fans of the radio show, especially if they've listened to it more than once, because not just the story but also the jokes are pretty much exactly the same as in Series 1, and the narrator's voice in my head kept alternating between Richard Johnson and Tom Allen as Pip Bin. The main addition, replacing the radio series' framing device, is a series of footnotes from Evans providing a modern-day explanation of the novel's Victorian "facts." Even if I did know all the best lines in advance I still enjoyed the ludicrous story again as Pip and his best friend Harry Biscuit go round accidentally (ish) killing every member of the Hardthrasher family. I'd recommend this to people with a silly sense of humour who aren't necessarily familiar with the original radio series - this might inspire them to seek it out.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Dick Twittington 22: D'you know who she was fingering?

This week on my Twitter feed: Very little, frankly. I know it's the Silly Season but I'm not the papers, I don't have to say stuff for the sake of it. Which admittedly is what my Twitter feed consists of at the best of times, but shh.

@stephenfry "Stephen Fry is an attention-seeker" says Steven Berkoff. At which point the very concept of irony implodes.
2 RETWEETS Autism N.Ireland, Kirsten SE
10:05 AM - 8 Aug 13

"Dental Surgery & Sunbed." Now there's a combo. Do they offer both services at the same time?
9:09 PM - 8 Aug 13

@merseytart I saw a girl with a pierced cleavage once. I saw it, but I still don't know how it's physically possible.
4:28 PM - 9 Aug 13

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Book review: The Casual Vacancy

I do like to be awkward, so while everyone else was going on about J.K. Rowling dragging up as Robert Galbraith, I was catching up with her first non-Potter book written under her own name, The Casual Vacancy. I'd been a bit wary of it as its reputation precedes it, as one of the books most likely to be given up on halfway through and a really dark affair. It's certainly a departure from the family-friendly books she made her name with although anyone who'd paid attention to them would have known the strong feelings she brings to the fore here: The Casual Vacancy is populated almost entirely by characters like the Dursleys.

The story is set in the determinedly middle-class small town of Pagford in the Westcountry, its affairs run by a local council as there's a larger town nearby that deals with bigger issues. The book's starting point is the surprise death of one of these councilors, and one of the few people who seemed to care about the poverty-stricken estate that occupies the borders, and which the insular people of Pagford would like to see offloaded on their larger neighbour as their responsibility.

The barely-concealed reality is that the relatively well-off people of Pagford have contempt for their needier neighbours, as exemplified by the wayward teenager Krystal Weedon, the daughter of a drug addict, and in her attempt to make sense of the world alternately repellent and in some ways admirable. Of course the people of the town only see her as a monster, and with a vacancy on the council they hope to get someone more sympathetic to their cause in to make sure she and her like are no longer their problem.

I actually found the book pretty involving, it's a portrait of a whole town that builds up a lot of individual character studies. It's occasionally witty but mostly it's a very angry book, Rowling's feelings about middle-class NIMBYs never disguised, with barely any character not displaying some pretty horrific side. Even when, as here, I completely agree with the author's politics, I can get a bit frustrated when they hammer it home to this extent so that was an occasional irritant, as was the way Rowling writes Krystal's dialogue, rather overegging her poor grammar. But overall I found it worth a read - although I'll definitely need something a lot lighter next to cheer me up.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Book review: The Complete Sherlock Holmes vol.1

I feel like I've probably read all of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories at some point or another, but how to know for sure if there's any I haven't quite caught? I got a four-volume Complete works downloaded onto the kindle and went back to the start, with the first volume covering A Study In Scarlet, The Sign of Four and the first short-story collection, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I'd re-read the first novel comparatively recently so it didn't hold many surprises, and its structure is a bit heavy handed (the first half of the novel is the investigation, the second half the background to the case, not exactly a slick whodunnit) but still enjoyable.

The Sign of Four also features an international backstory although Doyle manages to weave it into the investigation part of the novel a bit more successfully this time. The short stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes include many I remembered quite well, like "The Five Orange Pips" - it's interesting, and not in a good way, that at the end of the 19th century the Ku Klux Klan are treated as the almost-defunct, entirely obscure fodder for a crime story, but in the following century they'd had enough of a resurgence that the letters "KKK" appearing on threatening letters makes the reader instantly guess their meaning.

By the end of three books in a row I was ready for a break from Conan Doyle but there's no denying these stories are more re-readable than most.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Dick Twittington 21: The huskier gentleman

This week on my Twitter feed the new Doctor is announced. I mean, he's not announced on my Twitter feed. He's announced on a worldwide simulcast live TV show. But I then comment about it on my Twitter feed, which amounts to much the same thing.

"London's Air Ambulance" just drove past. Drove, as in, it's a car. I don't think they get what the"air" part means.
7:08 PM - 1 Aug 13

The new type of Caffe Nero milkshake may have finally discovered a concentration of sugar that's too much for me.
7:28 PM - 1 Aug 13

Wow, there is one bloody aggressive moth in this kitchen! It keeps dive-bombing into my face.
11:08 PM - 1 Aug 13

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Dick Twittington 20: Y u no obey the laws of physics?

This week on my Twitter feed: A cat! Like on everyone else's Twitter feed!

Today's corporate madness: We're all working in a different branch today because my boss figured out she could get a free lunch.
2:12 PM - 24 Jul 13

Upside: New selection of Cute Boys In Suits. And the aforementioned free lunch, obvs. Mmm, chicken katsu.
2:13 PM - 24 Jul 13

Nothing confirmed yet, but fingers crossed the Evil Corporate Machine may still want me beyond September, when my current contract runs out.
4:06 PM - 24 Jul 13

Monday, 29 July 2013

Book review: The Buddha of Suburbia

This is another of those cases where a well-known book has been around for a while (since 1990, in this instance) but it takes a special offer to get me to catch up with it. Worth a read though in the case of Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia, a coming-of-age novel about Karim, a bisexual mixed-race boy of English/Indian heritage growing up in the 1970s. The starting point is his father Haroon's midlife crisis, which unusually ends up affecting many more people than his family circle: Reinventing himself as some sort of vague mystic, he leaves his wife for another woman, but his pronouncements are taken to heart by the people of the suburbs who flock to him for advice. Moving with his new girlfriend to somewhere more central, they take Karim with them the couple of significant miles into London, and he tries to make something of himself in his late teens and twenties.

It's an entertaining book built largely around a cast of eccentric characters, both British and Indian in origin; some of its story of course comes about as Karim encounters different responses to his race - being narrated to by someone who's so obviously English in outlook and attitude it's almost bizarre to have him be treated as either excitingly or dangerously exotic by others. But a lot of the story's flavour is dictated by the setting rather than the characters' racial makeup, the fashions and politics of the '70s defining Karim's life as much as anything else. As such it works on a couple of interesting levels.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Dick Twittington 19: The universe's plan for me

This week on my Twitter feed, the Globe is full of actors (and not just on stage) and I'm full of cake. Also, some woman is no longer full of a baby.

Just had to get a new Oyster card for the first time. Think the ticket office were shocked the old one had lasted so long.
7:17 PM - 17 Jul 13

Propeller are dealing with the weather by doing the interval entertainment outdoors.
9:02 PM - 18 Jul 13

Theatrical Spot: Hipster Tranio at, funnily enough, Shrew at Hampstead. He's wearing a vest. Calm yourselves, ladies.
9:11 PM - 18 Jul 13

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Dick Twittington 18: #toplessmuddywrestling

This week on my Twitter feed it's my annual slightly longer trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. I usually spend the time there grumbling about how there's nothing to do between theatre trips. Have a guess what I do this time. Also it's quite warm out, did you notice?

7:19 PM - 10 Jul 13

Young businessman types at the next table are asking each other "how are you going to make History?"I thought the #apprentice was yesterday.
12:30 PM - 11 Jul 13

Also, there's a primary school party in the canteen. Who thinks "let's go on a school trip to an accountancy multinational?"
12:34 PM - 11 Jul 13

Monday, 15 July 2013

Book review: Down Among the Dead Men

The Kindle daily deal does lead to me choosing some unlikely reading material at times, like when at some point I must have decided a memoir of life in a mortuary sounded like fun for all the family. (Or maybe without realising it I have a thing for medical memoirs, what with this and Sirens a few months ago.) In any case Michelle Williams' Down Among the Dead Men is a pretty interesting read, if not perhaps quite as much of a revelation as the author seems to think (maybe I'm just immune to how bizarre people can really be by now.)

In her book, Williams is working in a care home and not particularly satisfied when she sees a job advertised in a mortuary. Soon she's cutting open and disemboweling cadavers, and dealing with the relatives the dead have left behind. Her attempts to argue that her choice of career doesn't mean she's an especially morbid person aren't exactly successful - I hadn't particularly assumed she would be on the gothy side until she brought it up, I'd just assumed the profession attracts pretty pragmatic people, which she and her colleagues clearly are. There's some sad and funny stories around death, and for the most part it's entertaining, although I thought the sheer level of hilarity that greeted a man who'd hanged himself in an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident while wearing women's underwear took its supposed humour from a trans-phobic place. Overall it's interesting enough, although I don't think Williams is uncovering quite as alien a world as she thinks - even if it's one I'd rather not have to work in myself.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Dick Twittington 17: Friday means lots of things

This week on my Twitter feed, my current job gets in the way of my tweeting. The nerve!

12:38 PM - 3 Jul 13

In all this Snowden business everyone seems to be ignoring the key issue, which is that I Would.
7:42 PM - 3 Jul 13

Finally in the new Southwark Playhouse main house. Is it really bigger than the old one? I guess appearances are deceptive.
7:57 PM - 3 Jul 13

Monday, 8 July 2013

Book review: The Lost Books of the Odyssey

Growing up in Greece, with Greek mythology someting I've been very familiar with all my life, I'm generally interested to see it reworked and reinvented, so Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey seemed interesting, and often it is. The idea behind it is that it presents fragments of lost versions (not just of the Odyssey, in fact, but quite often of the Iliad as well) which occasionally provide a different angle or context for the events in Homer's epics, but for the most part present an alternate universe entirely: One where the Greeks lost the Trojan War, or won it much faster, or in a different way; Odysseus' journey home ending with Penelope having long since married one of her other suitors, or Ithaca deserted, or his travels going on forever.

Inevitably not all of the stories were to my taste, and the ones where Mason opts for quite a self-consciously literary style didn't do much for me, but there were a few alternate worlds I really liked - some of my favourites saw Odysseus' travels end as the Odyssey says, only for him to be unable to settle after so long away and set off again to revisit past glories and disasters; a retelling of parts of the Theseus myth that for the most part seems unrelated to the Odyssey until it slots in as quite a vital element; and a story that mixes Greek and Jewish mythology to have the invincible Achilles as a golem created by Odysseus to help the Greeks win the war, and the ways that affects the Achilles myth as we think we know it.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Dick Twittingon 16: Things are gonna get classy

This week on my Twitter feed it's London Pride. So I go to it. I don't tweet much about it though so that's all kind of irrelevant. Here's what I did tweet about.

Oops - got an email to say The Drowned Man's been cancelled tonight.
1:42 PM - 26 Jun 13

Alex's umbrella isn't for the rain, he's protecting himself from daylight #apprentice
9:11 PM - 26 Jun 13

Myles clearly trying to rip off Horrible Histories there. But with horrible food. #apprentice
9:13 PM - 26 Jun 13

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Book review: 666 Charing Cross Road

A standalone (although... not quite) novel from Paul Magrs of Brenda & Effie fame, 666 Charing Cross Road shares those novels' camp take on the supernatural, except this time in more of a cosmopolitan setting, with the first half of the novel set in New York and the second half in London. When ageing American ghost story fan Liza discovers a specialist Charing Cross bookshop that will deliver the most obscure old English ghost stories, she's an instant fan. But one of the shipments contains the real thing, a bloodsoaked grimoire that contains a trapped demon who possesses her niece's boyfriend and starts a vampire and zombie plague on New York.

This is another lot of good fun from Magrs (although he's perhaps overcompensating a bit with how many of the English characters are bad guys and the Americans good - I'm sure if he was trying for a more transatlantic audience they could have handled a bit more of an even spread of good and evil.) The evil-fighting team are a familiar combination, with a seemingly innocuous old lady with a badass past, a gay best friend and a terrifying monster who's actually one of the good guys. It certainly takes place in the same universe as the Brenda and Effie books and early on I was wondering if, like in To The Devil - A Diva! this book's characters might eventually end up crossing over into the other series; a reference near the end makes it look pretty much inevitable that they will.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Dick Twittington 15: "She is Friendship and Flowers."

This week on my Twitter feed I'm actually at home to watch The Apprentice and regale Twitter with my opinions on it. Also parts of The Voice final, although in practice I'm just commenting on the couple of seconds I managed to bear.

Tesco mobile has a poster ad in which Gina Yashere tells a joke that isn't funny. I think this is meant to be unusual.
4:02 PM - 19 Jun 13

"Some people are lesbian, some people are gay, some people are undead and just like necks." #apprentice
9:09 PM - 19 Jun 13

No surprise Jason's gone for over-50s dating after last week's flirty shenanigans #apprentice
9:12 PM - 19 Jun 13

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Dick Twittington 14: The evil corporate machine

This week on my Twitter feed I start a new job, where things are pretty quiet - presumably before the storm.

First day at the new job. So yes OBVIOUSLY there's a massive zit on my face.
8:00 AM - 12 Jun 13

Well that's my first day as part of the evil corporate machine.
5:48 PM - 12 Jun 13

I now have a company laptop to lug around with me everywhere. I'm nervous. And
6:24 PM - 12 Jun 13

Monday, 17 June 2013

Book review: Rush of Blood

Time for the latest Mark Billingham novel to make it to paperback, and it’s his second departure from the regular Tom Thorne series; and this time Thorne doesn’t even make a cameo appearance. Instead Rush of Blood goes for a different format entirely, following three British couples who met on holiday in Florida. Unlike most holiday friendships they actually follow through with the promise to keep in touch, and the book is structured around the dinner parties each couple hosts for the others over the course of a couple of months. The additional point of interest that keeps them together is that while in Florida, a mentally disabled teenage girl disappeared, later to be found dead. They think it’s just a gruesome anecdote but when a similar crime takes place in the UK it becomes apparent that one of them is responsible.

I really liked the format change here, I enjoy Billingham’s Thorne novels but it’s good for a writer to stretch himself and he’s done so successfully. There is a bit of a downside to having a plot that by its very nature means the reader has the suspects narrowed down to six right from the off, even if the detectives haven’t: With very good reasons to suspect everyone cropping up at various points in the story, inevitably the result feels like it was guessable. But he throws in a couple of sharp little twists around the reveal that make up for this, and the narrow field of suspects is balanced by getting more of a chance to get into all of their heads, as the couples discover that back at home they’ve got less in common than they thought, and see why people normally keep holiday friendships just there – and that’s before the police have got involved.

There’s also an interesting little touch to the glimpses we get into the investigation, as a trainee UK detective tries to make a name for herself by finding the British link to the case, but also seems to be developing a bit of a fixation on the American detective she’s never actually met. This plotline kind of fizzles out a bit disappointingly but does add a bit more texture to the investigations.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dick Twittington 13: Less cryptic than you think

This week is pretty quiet on my Twitter feed because I've been busy moving house and interviewing for a job (which I got.)

I hope the "CARAVAN CARAVAN CARAVAN!" bit in next week's preview is an #apprentice version of Yellow Car.
11:28 PM - 5 Jun 13

On my way to Watford for an interview. For a temp job. The job's in Canary Wharf. #wtf #brokenbritain
10:55 AM - 6 Jun 13

Got the job. It's only until September but it keeps me out of mischief for a while.
6:07 PM - 6 Jun 13

Friday, 7 June 2013

Book review: Soulless

It's a while since I read anything by US fantasy/horror author Christopher Golden, I've just been ploughing through what's on my kindle, but clearing out the flat I dug out his zombie novel Soulless, which I hadn't got round to reading yet. A daytime TV show's stunt of hosting a live séance goes wrong when the three psychics and two hosts all end up bonded together in a coma. The supernatural channel they open uses the broadcast to spread throughout New York State, which is overrun by the risen dead. It's a pretty standard zombie story with the usual disparate group getting together to fight off the monsters, with the additional focus of them trying to get to the TV studio to stop the invasion's origin point. There's not a lot of surprises and the morality of the climactic events is kind of dubious. But I did like Golden's attempts to rationalise the standard zombie tropes like the flesh-eating and the fact that their heads need to be destroyed to stop them.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dick Twittington 12: Sorry, no autographs

This week on my Twitter feed I get recognised from my other blog, and start an inevitably heated discussion over who should be the next Doctor.

The casting call must have just said "Bring me cute actors with beards! Bring me more! Ahahahaha!" #intervaltweets
3:53 PM - 29 May 13

Spellcheck wants to change "Gandalf" to "Ugandan."
11:31 PM - 29 May 13

@Weez To be fair, I'm not a Saturday evening performance fan. Sometimes the audience have had a drink or two. *judges*
12:12 AM - 30 May 13

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Book review: The Yiddish Policemen's Union

Michael Chabon's books took a while to end up available for kindle so I'm fairly behind with them. The Yiddish Policemen's Union is one of his best-regarded novels, a Chandleresque crime story set in a slightly alternate universe: After the Second World War, the Jewish homeland was set up not in Israel, but Alaska (apparently Franklin D. Roosevelt genuinely proposed this.) In addition, the Sitka district was established with a built-in expiration date of 60 years, and when the time is up (a deadline that's a couple of months away when the novel starts) America wants it back, and only a few of the residents will be allowed to stay on. So it's in the middle of an allegory for the Jewish experience of being forever unwanted and moved on that Chabon tells his story of Detective Landsman, likely to be out of a job when Reversion comes, and having to spend those remaining months working for his ex-wife, who's been promoted above him.

Landsman lives in a seedy hotel and when one of the other residents is found murdered in his room with a half-played chess game next to the body, he takes a personal interest in the case (despite, or perhaps because of, his own hatred for chess, so the case also makes him look into his own history.) Together with his half-Eskimo partner he ends up caught up in a slightly surreal world of Orthodox Jewish mobsters and an attempt to make the Messiah come to Earth through terrorism. I'm not a huge fan of the noir genre so this wasn't a natural fit for me; I enjoyed parts of it and its sometimes bizarre imagery, and there's a nicely haunting atmosphere to it, but it's very bleak - certainly a contrast to the blurb's suggestion that it's a funny book: There is dark, wry humour but it's not the prevailing tone of an extremely melancholy novel.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dick Twittington 11: Herding doctors

This week on my Twitter feed I shoot a man in the face. So, a quiet week.

Don't know why everyone's getting so het up about gifs/jifs. They'll only change the name to Cif as soon as you get used to it.
9:11 AM - 22 May 13

That duet between FUN. and P!nk is like a punctuation-fixated supergroup.
11:06 AM - 22 May 13

Everything about the X Factor musical sounds bloody awful. But it's written by Harry Hill so I'm actually tempted.
4:48 PM - 22 May 13

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Dick Twittington 10: Bjenny and Born

This week on my Twitter feed there was no The Voice, mercifully. But there was Eurovision, so you can't relax completely.

The Play That Goes Wrong at Trafalgar 2 has extended to the 1st of June so you've got no excuse - both @webcowgirl and I recommend it.
12:01 PM - 15 May 13

Oh, so the new Arcola 2 IS an adaptable space after all!
7:55 PM - 15 May 13

If I've got over 3 hours of Chekhov tonight, maybe a nap is in order.
12:24 PM - 17 May 13

Monday, 20 May 2013

Spoiler: His real name's Susan

Yes, that's the big shocker with the revelation of the Doctor's true name, Susan: He is his own granddaughter! Wait, what? We didn't find out? Well, I still think that's roughly how much sense the reveal would have made, so maybe it's for the best.

"The Name of the Doctor" by Steven Moffat, directed by Saul Metzstein. Spoilers after the cut.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Dick Twittington 9: The Sloppy Seconds

This week on my Twitter feed, it's my first trips of the year to Shakespeare's Globe and the weather predictably goes bad the moment I set foot in the place, and The Voice is on twice in a weekend, which is cruel and unusual punishment to viewers, frankly.

I'm not blogging #apprentice this year btw. I don't have time and @Chrisrubery & @tellybitching do it better anyway. Also I can't be arsed.
10:02 AM - 8 May 13

Now why did I immediately think of @givesyouHel ?
10:10 AM - 8 May 13

"She can't sing, she can't dance, but who cares, she walks like Rihanna." I mean... maybe she IS Rihanna.
10:42 AM - 8 May 13

Sunday, 12 May 2013

There mite be giants

You know what's great about Doctor Who? The word TransMat. Every other piece of sci-fi has followed Star Trek's lead and called it a teleporter but no, a Matter Transporter got christened a TransMat in the Doctor Who universe in the 1960s and that's what it's still called today.

"Nightmare in Silver" by Neil Gaiman, directed by Stephen Woolfenden. Spoilers after the cut.

Book review: Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands

I've been quite fascinated by Mary Seacole since first hearing about her, and her Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands is free on kindle, and is surprisingly readable for a Victorian autobiography. A mixed-race Jamaican, the self-taught nurse or "doctress" as she described herself is remembered for her work in the Crimean War, where she had a better survival rate than Florence Nightingale, who was later to overshadow her completely. Prior to that though we get her earlier life in Jamaica where she learnt her nursing skills, and in various parts of Central America where she learnt how to run "hotels" that were essentially cheap bars and restaurants. That was the model she eventually used in the Crimea with her British Hotel, a cross between a bar and a hospital, set up independently when her services as a nurse were turned down by Nightingale's hospital and the other official channels.

Though apparently prone to exaggeration about some of her achievements in the Crimea, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands is still a very entertaining read, Seacole comes across as a bit of a shameless self-publicist (the narrative is occasionally interrupted to quote letters of recommendation from former patients and customers) and unapologetic about the fact that the British Hotel was intended to make money (ultimately unsuccessfully - the war ended a bit earlier than she expected, leaving her with a lot of leftover stock and she returned to London destitute.) But she's not entirely Mother Courage, there's also an obvious affection for the men in her care and a genuine wish to do good. She's also a surprisingly funny writer with a witty way with words that goes some way to explaining why she was so much more popular than Nightingale with the soldiers (other than the fact that she sold them booze which Nightingale disapproved of, that is,) she sounds like she'd have been good company who gave as good as she got.

This could also be a good book to have read if you're ever confronted with someone who tells you the world's going to hell in a handbasket and Victorian values were better - Seacole is frequently horrified by the looting and stealing being done by men on all sides, some of the violence and robbing from the dead is still shocking to read today.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Dick Twittington 8: She owes her career to The Fizz

This week on my Twitter feed, Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz auditions for The Voice and Twitter erupts in Rock Profile jokes. As is only correct.

Saying a vaguely sexual word in front of a cute boy isn't that good a flirt when the word's "syphilis." Basically, I'm bad at flirting.
7:02 PM - 1 May 13

Spellcheck want to change "anaemic" to "iceman." I like the X-Men too but that's silly.
10:38 PM - 1 May 13

I really need to unearth my T-shirts from the wardrobe but I'm worried it'll jinx the good weather.
12:15 PM - 2 May 13

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Fascinating Ada

I don't know about all this "actually crediting Dame Diana Rigg in the end credits" business. There seems to be an unspoken rule that you don't use actors' titles in credits, theatre programmes, posters etc, like you're not making a fuss - Ian McKellen didn't get credited as Serena last Christmas. I wonder whose idea it was to bung the title in the credits. Maybe someone on the production team wanted to show off about the show securing a Dame. I hope it wasn't Diana Rigg herself, I'd like to continue thinking she's awesome, not the female version of Sirben Kingsley.

"The Crimson Horror" by Mark Gatiss, directed by Saul Metzstein. Spoilers after the cut.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Dick Twittington 7: What's in my bra?

This week on my Twitter feed I finally get some temporary work, and can't go two minutes without spotting someone from off the telly.

First day temping after a v long break will be followed by 3.5 hours of Shakespeare. Let's see how that goes shall we?
12:27 PM - 24 Apr 13

Sleb Spot: Jodie Whitaker on the South Bank. Not crying, but I still recognised her.
6:25 PM - 24 Apr 13

Sleb Spot: Joe Dempsie, also South Bank.
6:36 PM - 24 Apr 13

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Lava lump

This week's episode of Doctor Who looked good in previews, but I can't say I wasn't nervous about the writer of the LOLracism episode of Sherlock returning to Who.

"Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" by Steve Thompson, directed by Mat King. Spoilers under the cut.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Book review: Paper Towns

Some of my Twitter friends have been absolutely raving about John Green's books for long enough that I wanted to see what the fuss was about, so I went for the sensible option of sampling the cheapest one I found. Paper Towns is a coming-of-age story set in Florida, in the couple of weeks leading up to high school graduation. Q and his friends are neither the most popular nor the least popular kids in school, geeky but not entirely lacking in social skills. When Q's next-door neighbour Margo, whom he's been in love with since they were children, disappears seemingly leaving a trail of clues behind her, they decide to try and interpret them, culminating in a road trip to find her, whether she be alive or dead.

There's a bit of the feel of a modern-day The Body/Stand By Me to Paper Towns, although the teenagers have mobile phones and some of the plot revolves around an unreliable online resource that totally isn't a Wikipedia spoof *cough* they still have to do most of their investigating through legwork and getting to know the more obscure corners of their state. The book's message that to some extent we all make fictionalised versions of the people around us, all different from each other and from the reality, is rather overstated by the end of the novel but overall it's a very sweet and well-written story.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dick Twittington 6: A dozen middle-aged belly dancers

This week on my Twitter feed, I see a play that makes me a bit paranoid about my choice of seat on the bus, while Stratford-upon-Avon celebrates Shakespeare's birthday creatively.

I hadn't seen the RSC As You Like It trailer. Definitely a hippie festival vibe then. Could be interesting.
4:43 PM - 17 Apr 13

The NT shop's selling Curious Incident T-shirts that say "I find people confusing." Can't say I'm not tempted.
7:21 PM - 17 Apr 13

I can't decide what I think of this #intervaltweets
8:53 PM - 17 Apr 13

Sunday, 21 April 2013

(Doctor) Who you gonna call?

Once again this week I wasn't actually in front of my TV while Doctor Who was on, so I had Twitter to spoil me on what the general reaction would be like. Which means I knew going in that it was completely irrelevant what I or anyone else thought of "Hide" as it will go down in history as the episode where Matt Smith mispronounces "Metebilis III." Twice. And the fans of the classic series weren't pleased. And... really, wasn't there anyone on set who could tell him how it was pronounced? I was imagine there's one or two Doctor Who geeks working on, you know, Doctor Who. Ooh, you see now I'm going to be imagining scenarios where all the crew hate Matt Smith and let him walk straight into the ire of the fanboys. Twice.

"Hide" by Neil Cross, directed by Jamie Payne. Spoilers under the cut.