People love Vampires right? I was blessed with the coming of the Vampire Slayer; Buffy ran the full length of my teenage years. My 12 year old cousin, not so lucky, received the offering of sappy sparkliness that was the Twilight Saga but for those adults who still have a taste for the undead without the poster boys, the 2008 film Let the Right One In resurrected the classic love and death tale with a oddly mature and retro retelling. Its transformation from Swedish book to Swedish film to American remake (with the more manageable title of Let Me In - yes, five words was too much and we like our film titles to be plaintive!) but our thirst for the little girl vampire centuries old did not stop at this medium.
One of the best compliments I ever got was when someone told me I looked like Courtney Love.
It wasn't true then and it's not true now and I open with it not (just) to put the subliminal idea in your head that I might, in case we should ever meet, but because it wasn't just the way she looks that made it such a great compliment. I was 16, and Love was one of a group of female musicians I was discovering who were opening my eyes to what women in music and outside of it, could be like.
I first encountered New York comedian Abigoliah Schamaun last year, hosting a competition for new female comedy talent. It's a tough gig, hosting. It's an especially tough gig hosting a night in which none of those taking part has more than 5 years experience, and are feeling the pressure. As it happened the night was only mildly patchy but you got the feeling that even if it had been dire Schamaun would have risen to the occasion. She commented positively on the comic material and encouraged warm applause without seeming patronising or insincere. So I was interested to see her new show Abigoliah Schamaun is Working on it at the Brighton Fringe and this yoga teaching New Yorker did not disappoint.
Because we are greedy for Twitter followers (follow us! @SqueamishBikini) we spend far too much time on our Twitter notifications page, just in case we miss something, y'know? We think it makes us appreciate a good Twitter handle all the more, so when @LadyParts_ started following us we were tickled. Because we can be base like that. But when we found out Lady Parts Theatre was interested in providing, well, more lady parts we were interested. The company is based in Liverpool and specialises creating and promoting more roles for women. The company states that: "Women have stories as rich and varied as the stories of men, the only difference - they are not being heard. This is not about sexism - this is about trying to create an even playing field for all theatre professionals to compete on. We work with both women and men at all stages of the process from writers to actors to stage crew."
Why didn't I go to Glasgow School of Art? I went to University of Glasgow after a failed attempt to un-box Spatial Design during my Foundation at Central St. Martin's. I may have found the lack of practical creation frustrating during my degree at Glasgow but Hazel Gore's dream place at may not have been the one to covet.
I spent a year at Central St. Martin's School of Art complete my foundation art diploma. When it came to the time to specialise I found it very hard to choose. I had been quite young at the time, well not really, I was 19 but naÃ¯ve was my main quality followed by my creativity. I chose the wrong thing and ducked out before I got to BA level. Gore was younger then me when she began studying at the Glasgow School of Art. At 17, the girl from Ayr had not only the development of herself as an artist to tackle but her growth as a young adult finding her way in a new city. The duality of this journey has no doubt shaped the imagery she presents at her latest show at Veneer Gallery.
So the How I Met Your Mother finale happened, after 9 years. And I saw it, and I have some thoughts. I'm not here to pretend that HIMYM (as we will be referring to it in the interests of cutting down on both boredom and RSI) was a perfect sitcom or that it never had its problems. But I spent a lot of time as a fan. I discovered it when I was only a few years out of university, discovering life and love and long-term relationships in a similar way to the protagonists. I remember feeling during some of the early seasons that the show, while not exactly true to life (why can people in sitcoms always afford such nicer places than me even when they have worse jobs?) was pretty much nailing some of the feelings that went with that stage of life. I was watching these glamorous Manhattanites from my grotty Brighton (UK) flat, and feeling a sense of kindred feeling - that this is what it was like to be in your early 20s and scrabbling to figure things out. As the seasons wore on the characters became less relatable, but I still laughed, still wanted to find out what was going to happen to them. So what did? And just to warn you, the following is CHOCK FULL of spoilers.
Let me begin this review by telling you about my previous visits to the carbuncle of the Brighton seafront, The Brighton Centre - the building so ugly they obscured its name in a 'face lift'. There were the work outings to Holiday on Ice orchestrated by my Dad's employers, a pre-teen outing with my mum and sister to see my favourite band eternal (no capitalisation - any true fan knows that) sadly without Louise Nerding (once they are glammed up and slick girl bands are no longer fun are they?), a spontaneous visit with my sister to see The Corrs (on a school night. A school night my teen sister and I spent looking at the audience and asking "who are all these old people?"), family members' graduations and, as of last night, to seeMiranda Hart.
Last week I was bummed out because the opportunity to see the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. The play was being performed at the School of Oriental and African Studies and was kicking off and ending the Ain't I a Woman? What's Race Got to Do with It? event, hosted by the SOAS Women Society. Instead of going to the play I went to the panel discussion Black (Mis)Representation in which we were immersed in a many number of topics: Mainstream feminism and Black Feminism; mainstream representations of Black mehiwomen; shadism; Black masculinity.
How do you celebrate the 50th birthday of your most eccentric uncle? Especially when he's been several different people and millions of people worldwide are coming to the party? The pressure and expectation could have ended badly for the BBC, but in an hour crammed with multiple Doctors, stunning special effects, insider jokes and a strong central story, they pulled it off.
Even if you weren't one of the 10.8 million people who watched the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who live on TV or the further millions who watched it at cinemas or later, it would have been hard to avoid the hype. Even the Google Doodle was given over to Doctor Who on both Friday and Saturday. Spoilers ahead...
SPOILER ALERT! A sprawling, complex novel, more a character study, the plot of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch moves slowly, encompassing around fifteen years of Theo Decker's life.
Growing up in New York City with his mother and an absent father, everything changes for Theo when the museum that he's visiting with his mother explodes, killing her. In the aftermath, amongst the wreckage, he finds himself comforting an old man, who, in his delirium, asks him to put a painting, The Goldfinch, in a carrier bag, he also gives him a ring, and an address to take it to. Theo leaves the museum with The Goldfinch, the object which is to haunt him for...well, the rest of the novel.