A Monster Calls in Theatre!

So I am an avid fan of Patrick Ness and managed to win a competition run by him and his publishers; it entitled me to a series of prizes, including two free tickets to see A Monster Calls in theatre, which I saw on Saturday.

I have read the book and seen the film but I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the theatre play. The concept of it, in the most spoiler-free way, is that a boy’s mum has cancer and he starts seeing a ‘monster’ who tells him various stories. It’s an amazing story, very emotional. However, it’s easy for the monster to be portrayed in book and film form. In theatre form, I was wondering how they’d do it! They used stilts, ropes, and humans, in various ways — it was very artsy and I loved it.

One negative of it was that in the book and film the mum is an artist but there is absolutely no mention of this in the play. I relate to it a lot because my mum is an artist and a cancer survivor so this disappointed me slightly.

That’s the only negative though. The rest of the play is astounding and the music was brilliant too. In the top right hand corner of the back of the stage, there was a box which opened up, and in it were a few men who made the music. It was really great.

The play had a 4 star performance for me. I was very impressed by the acting, as well as how simple the set-up was yet how beautifully they portrayed the play. It was honestly stunning.

Advertisements

Q + A Answers

Note that not all of these questions were asked on the blog, some people preferred to message or email me the questions.  Here goes:

 

I like that you tagged this post with #lol – what is the craziest/funniest tag you’ve ever used?
I’ve used a ton of crazy/funny tags. I literally don’t care whether the tag is irrelevant. If I want to use it, I’ll use it. I pretty much use at least one irrelevant tag each time hahaha.

If you were to live in a box, what kind of box would you live in?
A big box. Like, the size of a house. It would also be so thick that rain couldn’t penetrate the walls. I would have a slightly smaller box as a garage.

Light or dark?
Dark because, if there is the slightest bit of light in my room at night, I can’t sleep. Also, I love the sky at night.

Favourite sound?
Music. Of course. If you’re referring to non-musical sounds, then I like the sound that you get when you wet your finger and put it around a wineglass, though that’s semi-musical. I think all sounds are kinda music in their own way.

If you were in the middle of a field and saw a lake, what is the first thing you’d do?
Look for ducks, duh.

If you had to live in one place for the rest of your life (real life and/or fictional), where would it be?
I’m tempted by Hogwarts but that’s a school so you can’t live there forever, you have to become an independent witch/wizard. So I’ll go for a real life location: France. It’s hot, but not as hot as places like Spain, and it has such a lovely language and it’s beautiful and I just would really like to live there.

Five people you’d like to be stranded on a desert island with?
MyMindSpeaksAloud because she would have remembered her music when she got stranded, so we’d have some awesome tunes to listen to.
My mum because she’d make me feel calm when I felt lost.
It’s a shame that it has to be people because I know a few animals…
Patrick Ness so he can make a story about the desert island and I’d be a famous character.
Einstein, if he were alive, because, come on, the smartest man in the world. He’d get us out of there in no time.
Also a guy who has a sack of potatoes because potatoes are not only delicious, they are also very good conductors and you could start an electric supply out of potatoes.

Five people who you wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island with?
A serial killer. That’d be bad.
My dad because he’d tell me not to snack… on a desert island. Seriously!
A kid because I’d feel so sad that they’re all out her by themselves that I wouldn’t think about anything else and I’d just cry forever.
The prime minister. They’d tell me they were getting us off the island, but would never do it.
Donald Trump because, come on, it’s Donald Trump.

What made you start writing?
I started writing because I had a passion for it. There was no other reason. Nothing inspired me, I was a kid at the time, I just wanted to write, and I had a big imagination that needed to be let out.

Imagine you were a cat for the day, what would you do?
Sleep and not be judged. Also, express how I feel about people in meows and purrs so they think I’m being sweet when I’m not.

Do you belong to any clubs/groups?
At the moment, I’m part of a lady’s autism group. I don’t feel like a lady, I’m only eighteen, but that’s what it’s called. Because we’re all adults and female. I like it, though.

What is your favourite take away?
There’s this pizza place near me called Pizzaface and they do great take away vegan pizzas.

What is your favourite TV crime drama and why?
Probably Death in Paradise because it’s funny and cleverly written.

What is your favourite quote?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein.

If you could go back and relive your life from any point and still have your current memories but also have the ability to change what you originally did, would you?
I’d go back to when I was six and become a really smart child because I have all these memories. I’d be like a genius for a good few years. Also, I’d become more confident in myself and wouldn’t withdraw. I’d finally stand up for myself.

If your life was made into a movie, which actors would you want to portray you and your family members?
Hard question! I think Saoirse Ronan for me, Jennifer Aniston for my mum because she would love someone attractive to play her, Jude Law for my dad, and Chris Hemsworth for my brother. I know he’s over 30 but I mean, come on?? Like, I’d get to meet him on the set and everything…

If you could gain an ability/skill that you don’t have now, what would it be?
The ability to read minds. I really need to know what people actually think of me.

If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Oo hard. Maybe my writing?

What is your theory of how Game of Thrones will end/who do you think will sit on the iron throne at the end?
I hope it’s Daenerys, and that Jon Snow is her right-hand man.

Carpet or hard floor?
Tough one. Hard floor is cold but carpet collects dust… Carpet because, although bad for my asthma, it feels nice on the feet.

Thank you so much for all these questions! I hope you enjoyed the answers.
Lia

Day in Southampton!

So on Thursday, me and my mum went up to Southampton to watch, at the mayflower theatre, ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime’. I’ve read the book so I know what happens. My mum, however, has not and didn’t even realise it was about a dead dog! First off, the acting was amazing. I really believed it. My mum actually thought it was based off fact. The main character was played very well too. Then there was the abstract depiction of autism, which I thought was absolutely stunning. They used lights and music to create a very overwhelming atmosphere, which was to try and make normal people feel how autistic people feel. There was also a real puppy at the end and I wanted to steal it!!

After seeing the play, we went to the Holiday Inn hotel, where we stayed the night. We shared a twin room which I thought was a bit annoying because I couldn’t sleep very well as my mum is a heavy breather and snorer. But, we did get breakfast there, with a very interesting toaster. It worked like a conveyor belt. You put the toast in and it moved along, getting evenly toasted, and then it fell down the other side and you could collect it. I actually got a piece of toast stuck in the toaster because I didn’t understand how to put the toast in at first. I think someone got an extra piece of toast as, when I went back later, it was gone.

We did a lot of shopping when we were there too, at the Westquay shopping centre (which is very complicated to get to unless you know the area). We went to Build-A-Bear and I made a little gangster kitty, despite the fact I am almost eighteen. We went to quite a few places to eat too! For my first lunch, we had a Spudulike (where I had baked beans). For the evening meal, we went to Zizzi, which has always been my favourite pizzeria, due to the fact that its vegan pizzas are stunning.  This was even better than the Chichester Zizzi I usually go to, as the vegan garlic bread had a lot more garlic flavour to it than the one at Chichester. My mum tried a bit of my pizza and she really liked it too. Then, for lunch number two, we went to The Real Greek. I wanted to try some new dishes so ordered this weird chickpea thing which I didn’t like. My mum told them we didn’t like it and immediately they said “we won’t charge for it”. The rest of the dishes were lovely though — the hummus, flatbread, and new potatoes. We gave them a large tip  (more than the usual 10%) for the great customer service.

I also ordered a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. I’ve never had a massive American pretzel before, so I was quite excited. I had it vanilla-flavoured and it was beautiful.

Overall, I had a wonderful time, and although it was extremely exhausting, it was awesome. I’d do it again — but not for at least a year!

Thanks for reading this post,

Lia

A Time [Poem]

a time where

all girls have short hair

and all boys have braids

a time where

boys wear make-up

and girls let natural beauty show

a time where

girls run around football pitches

and boys dance ballet

a time where

we’re allowed to defy our gender

without the sniggers of our peers

100 Followers Q+A [Answers!]

  1. What is your favourite aspect of blogging? 
    Really, it’s just the fact that I can get my thoughts out without being judged much. The community here is so strong that I don’t have to worry about what I say much at all. 🙂
  2. What are your top three pieces of advice for blogging?
    1) I would say don’t try and write everyday! If you want to, then that’s fine, but don’t feel like you have to. You don’t. 🙂
    2) Don’t worry about what people will think. It’s your blog; not theirs. Just as long as you understand there are different opinions, you’ll be fine.
    3) Enjoy it and blog for yourself, not anyone else! Make sure that you are blogging because you want to and because you enjoy it, not because others want you to. Again: it’s your blog.
  3. Favourite milkshake flavour? [Vegan ofc]
    Hmm, chocolate, I guess. I still have chocolate vegan milkshakes sometimes. ^-^
  4. Favourite quote?
    I don’t really know but I’d have to go with “imagination is more important than knowledge” by Einstein because imagination rocks. xD
  5. Something you take with you wherever you go? [Except phone]
    Umm, a jumper. I love my jumpers. Also, sunglasses. Even in winter.
  6. Someone on the planet you can’t live without?
    You didn’t say it had to be a person so Diego + Smiler + Pablo. xD
  7. Your favourite pet?
    HOW DARE THEE?! Diego. He’s the only smart one.
  8. As an aspiring creative writer, whom influences you the most in your work?
    Hmm, this is hard. I’d have to say that, although my writing is quite unlike his, I am fascinated by Shakespeare and I guess that a few ideas come from him. Speaking modernly, I like reading Patrick Ness and Scott Westerfeld; they influence me a lot too.
  9. If you were asked to write for any novel/magazine, what would it be and why?
    This is hard, to be honest, but I’d love to write for a writing magazine or a vegan mag — none specifically, but something in my zone of interest. I want to write for The National Student and might apply once I’ve got something worthwhile aha.
  10. In front of you, you are given the choice of a red and blue pill. You can only choose one pill. The red pill grants you an infinite amount of a drink of your choice. The blue pill grants you an infinite amount of a food type of your choice.

    Using your strategic skills, what pill would you choose and why?

    Right, so this doesn’t say that you can’t make the food into a drink so, therefore, the blue pill and potatoes and then I’d drink potato juice. It’ll be a thing, one day… I’ve never tried it but one day, maybe I will…

  11. What was something unexpected that happened after you started blogging (other than gaining 100 followers)?

    I guess I didn’t expect to get any reads at all. I thought it’d be a dead-end blog, so I am really surprised that people have taken to it! I love you guys 🙂

  12. What song do you most connect to and why?
    This is SUCH a hard question, seriously. Why? Why? I guess, one is “Numb” by Linkin Park. There’s a lot though, that’s just one :3
  13. If it was the end of the world, what would you rather do? Eat a stranger (that’s human) or eat your pets?
    Is this even a question? OBVIOUSLY, I would eat the stranger. Easy choice. 😉
  14. How are you so awesome?
    You made me awesome. Literally, you wired me up, and made me awesome. I am your creation and am forever in your debt.

    Thank you so much for these questions! I love you guys.
    Any more questions that you wanna know? You can just ask anytime. I’ll reply in the comment! Love you ❤
    Lia

 

A-Levels Rule…

There is this annoying thing about A-Levels called “work” and the “work” that is involved in A-Levels is not the same kind of “work” we had in GCSEs.

In GCSEs, sure it was tough, sure we’d get detentions if we didn’t hand it in on time: but it was manageable. I’m on my summer break, have been for a couple of months, and I’ve got work to do and it is so hard.

My creative writing is alright but it’s the English that’s suffocating me. We have to do this essay and I have no clue what to do for it. You have to think up the subject entirely by yourself and then you have to hunt for an article to compare it to, before you even write the essay.

Like, how am I expected to find an article that’s good enough for comparison? I don’t know. I haven’t even started the essay yet and I already can’t do it because I don’t have an article. I’ve been searching for days but there’s not really anything worthwhile.

This is for my coursework too, so it’s pretty important.

:c

The Naughtiest Dog Ever!

So, Pablo had one of his most awful walks today — not meaning that other beings were horrible to him, but that he was being awful himself. He is so naughty. Firstly, a woman had two dogs, who were being very civil and calm, until Pablo starts barking at them. She crosses over, saying “I think this little one is going for my dog” and I say “no-no, he just wants to play” (because he does) and then she says “well, you never know, do you?” and look sat him suspiciously. We then cross and go to the park.

In the park, Pablo makes friends with a few dogs, all of whom are much bigger than him and could eat him in one mouthful. He chases them all around the park. Usually, he will come back to me if he’s too far away, but not today. I have to follow him round the park until, finally, I catch him and attach his lead.

So, we exit the park, and as I’m walking along I see one of my mum’s friends across the road, and she’s talking to someone. She says hi, I say hi, but then the woman she’s talking to goes “oh, that’s the naughty dog!” He’s obviously built up quite a reputation now.

Then, we’re on the final road home, and he barks and lunges at a baby in a pram, and the mother flinches and rushes past us. I’m surprised the baby didn’t cry. Then, an old woman is sorting out her walking frame, and Pablo barks and lunges at her too and she gives him this look of fear. He’s really terrible.

He never wants to hurt anyone; he just wants to love, but he definitely goes about it in the wrong manner! I think Marley has competition, to be honest. Thank you Pablo for making people switch sides of the pavement as soon as they see you, for barking for no reason, for being completely mad. You’re a total nightmare but I love you.

Plus, I can make blog posts about you…

Anyway, thank you for reading this post about my terrible dog,

Let me know what type of posts you want from me,

Lia 🙂

Happy Birthday!

So it is my friend and fellow blogger’s (although recent!) birthday today. A New Chapter is one of my closest real life friends, making me smile when I thought I couldn’t, making me laugh over anything. She’s pretty awesome.

I just think she needs to understand how awesome she is, and how awesome she has been for the last seventeen years – how she is a better contribution to the world, spreading rainbow dust wherever she goes and all that. Her presence can make anyone, even the grumpiest, be happy. She’s a wonderful person, truly, and I’m so lucky to have her as my friend.

I got her a mindfulness activity book thing for her birthday and some felt tips but I thought that that wasn’t enough for how amazing she is so I decided to do this post. I will never be able to express how much she has helped me over the years but I’m just glad that she has a part in my life, and I’m sure that everyone else who is in her life feels the same.

Thank you and happy birthday to you. 🙂

You’re awesome.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness [Book Review]

So, I finished this book last night and I just had to write a review for it! It was astonishing! It’s the last YA book by Patrick Ness that I’ve read, meaning that I’ve read all of his YA books and so I don’t have any left to read. 😦

‘A Monster Calls’ is about monsters and it’s more of a psychological thing than a physical thing; even though the monsters are very much present, it’s sort of to do with the monsters that Conor, the main character, hides within himself, and is really intriguing. It’s a really sad story, in all honesty, and I felt my heart sink at the end of it.

It’s wonderfully illustrated too though, and the pictures really add to the story. The story probably wouldn’t have the same feel without those illustrations. They definitely add to the words surrounding them.

I had strong emotions about the characters too, getting annoyed at Conor sometimes because Patrick Ness is the best author at creating realistic, flawed characters. Without giving too much away, I will say that Conor definitely grows throughout the novel, despite other aspects of his life being crushed. The monster makes him see and that is the real beauty of the story. Conor is blinded by his hatred of himself but then he realises that there’s something more important… something that can make him see… This is with the monster’s help, of course.

I am just filled with love for this story! I wasn’t surprised, though, as it is by my favourite author. I can’t think of anything to criticise in this tale of relationships, truth, and realisation.

☆☆☆☆☆

I hope you enjoyed this post!

I would love book suggestions too. 🙂

Thank you, 

Lia