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.

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Met Favourite Author!

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Yesterday was my mum’s birthday, and the day after my dad’s operation, but I couldn’t not go. It was something I might never get to do again, so I convinced my mum to come with me, and we went to see Patrick Ness, my favourite author! Don’t worry: my dad had a lot of other family and friends willing to look after him.

It was also the day of the Brighton parade to celebrate their promotion to the premiership (woop woop) so it was incredibly crowded but I didn’t mind so much, because I got to meet Patrick Ness.

Before we actually got on the train to go to Brighton, a guy dropped a piece of paper (two minutes before the train was scheduled to arrive!) and went onto the tracks to pick it back up. He then climbed up again and, luckily, did not get hit by a train. Was scary though.

The actual getting to the theatre was horrific. We asked a taxi driver to take us there and he told us it was about half an hour away and would cost a tenner, when we were sure it was much nearer. Anyway, we trusted him, and he drove us to this location. When we got out, and asked around, we realised we’d been ripped off. The theatre wasn’t here at all; and it had just gone half past two, the time we were supposed to be at the theatre. I was so stressed.

We called for another taxi and this time the guy took us to the correct location but we had missed fifteen minutes of the talk. It was terrible, really. We could still get in and his talk was so incredible that it felt like it only lasted a few minutes. We were so engrossed! His sense of humour was amazing too. Apparently, he never got any success until his late 30s, but when he did get success, that was because he didn’t think about getting a publishing contract, he wrote because he wanted to write, and it paid off.

After the talk, he did book signings, so I got a copy of his new book ‘Release’ (which I have yet to read), and waited until the massive queue got shorter, then joined it. Once I met him, I asked him a question (technically my mum did because I was too nervous): “if you had to choose, would you choose writing or cats?” I asked him this because I know he loves cats too, like me. He struggled with the answer, but, as he said when he signed the book, he chose writing. I suppose it’s because he makes lots of money from it. To be honest, I’d always choose cats, because I’ve had them my entire life, and I’ve never lived without them. I don’t know how I’d live without them. A certain blogger (*cough* MyMindSpeaksAloud *cough*) said writing too, so I am going to steal her cats.

It was a wonderful experience, despite the earlier stress, and we also went into Primark and brought me some more black and white clothes. I love black and white. it’s just so… black and white.

Thank you for reading this post; I was very excited about going to see him and I’m so happy I did!

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