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Dear Yuletider,

Firstly, I’m so sorry for keeping you waiting even longer than expected. It’s been one of those months. So you should have recieved my requests by now and I hope they've not caused you to throw yourself into a pit wailing and rending your clothes.  Anyway if you are one of those super-organised people who have already finished their story, feel free to ignore this and carry on – I know I’ll love it – but if you’re feeling like you’d like some more inspiration here I am (also I do not use ip tracking, so feel free should you like to ask me anonymous questions).  I hope that something I've suggested will give you a grain of inspiration, but if not don't worry - I love surprises as well - and what I'd really love is for you to write something that makes you happy and is fun for you - don't worry too much about me.

I don’t really have much to add to the prompts as I’ve probably bored you enough as it is. But in case it helps some of the things I love - bittersweet sad stories, fluffy stories, angst, dark stories, fun, adventures, gangs, friends, silliness, AUs, queer themes, extra moments, character moments, post-canon, old 'married-couple' friendship bickering, dreamers and fantasists, manipulative characters with secret soft spots, timeline crossing, awesome women, mixed up narratives, found families, what ifs. Genfic, slashfic, femmeslashfic, hetfic and polyfic are all loved.

Things I'd prefer not to have - character bashing, woman/queer characters dieing.

But mostly, anything goes.

I hope you have fun - and please feel free to quiz me anonymously here if you'd like more info on anything or through the yuletide mods.

You're awesome.

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Theatre 2011

OK, totally stealing this idea - but here is a handy list for me to remind me where I've been and where I'm going and where I'd really like to be going money, time and scary ticket rushes permitting.
Cut for your sanityCollapse )

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Top Ten Plays - 2010 - NUMBER 1!

And the winner is...Collapse )
But as much as I Iove Romeo, this production is all about Juliet for me. Mariah Gale is amazing. She practically glows throughout this for me. I never fail to find the way she throws herself around the dance in the ball scene enthralling, or how quickly her mind seems to work. She is so clever and bright and so determined in every single moment, even if the next moment will be entirely different. She is committed to her very core. She reminds me a lot of Mecutio oddly, they are similar in a lot of ways, which obviously adds another dimension to her relationship with Romeo. And as I said before I think she becomes something of an anchor for Romeo, in the way that nothing else has been and when he thinks she is dead – he’s cast loose and desperate. This was particularly true for me when I saw Mariah against Dyfan, who was an excellent, though very different, understudy Romeo – his Romeo (which I also rather loved) was much more hesitant and self doubting and it worked wonderfully against Juliet’s certainty – her appeal was so obvious and then his fascination with/devotion to her was so appealing for her, because I think she is so often not noticed at the beginning of the play... Ummm... sorry tangent. But, yep, I actually think Juliet is one of my absolute favourite heroines almost solely based on Mariah Gale’s performance.

4) COSTUMES:- I think the costumes have probably been discussed by more people than anything else in the production – costumes generally seem to upset people in the theatre. Rupert Goold is definitely doing something interesting with them in this – with a mix of costumes from Elizabethan to Steampunk to Pirate to Modern and I can’t even begin to understand or explain everything he’s doing with it. But I do love it – particularly all the gorgeous dresses for the girls (the way the servants dresses move fill me with envy – even though they do seem a bit rich for their social class) and Lord Capulet’s ridiculous (and awesome) boots. But what I love most is that the way Romeo and Juliet are separated from those surrounding them by their modern clothes but also that it makes that moment when they see each other at the ball, it gives them an instant connection and recognition. It makes their attraction palpable for the audience.

Almost as much as I love Juliet – I love her crazy, twisted, incestuous family. This production for me is as much about watching the Capulet family tearing each other apart. One of my favourite scenes is the one at their breakfast table in the second half where you see them shift between grief and forced closeness and violent anger. It’s both disturbing and compelling and it’s the real driving force of the play. One of the little choices they made with this production that I think is awesome is that during the dance you suddenly spot Tybalt and Lady Capulet kissing – passionately and that tiny moment throws everything into a different light (and has given me a huge fanon about how Tybalt should really be the head of the family by right) – it heightens Lady Capulet’s grief at his death, focuses the tension between Tybalt and Lord Capulet, deepens Tybalts frustration and barely controlled aggression, and provokes Capulets desire for control. I could watch the relationship between those three playing out for hours.

6) DISEMPOWERMENT:- Alongside the violence and passion in this production, there’s a deep vein of powerlessness and disempowerment as well. I’ve already mentioned this in terms of the Prince and I certainly see it within the Friar and the young lovers, but for me its best represented by Lord Capulet. Every other production I’ve seen has played Capulet as all powerful and I understand that desire, but in this he is wearing the mask of power to hide how little he truly has and how much is beyond his control. And it works so much better for me – it’s why he is so intent on controlling Juliet, she is his last opportunity. I think it also motivates a lot of the other characters to their most desperate acts – whether it’s Tybalt’s fighting or Mecutio’s bravado or the lover’s suicide – they’re all trying to take back some control, to leave some mark of themselves. Also this is one of those issues that I love to see explored (wade through my Drunks review for more evidence... much more evidence).

7) DANCE:- Ah, I have already described this Verona as throbbing with anger and passion in the fight at the beginning, but the joyful, energetic side of that is carried through to the Capulet Ball. It never fails to fill me with glee when the play reaches it. The fun of it all is infectious. There are scantily clad people and chanting and dashing around and fire literally bursting from the floor. And there are lots of bits o bits nd there are lots of bitsthe floor. And there are lots of bits are scantily clad people and chanting and dashing around af choreographical pairing that fill me with happiness – Tybalt dances with the nurse, Juliet dances with her father – it is the little glimpses of relationships at their best we only see at their worst, if at all. And then in the middle of that you get Juliet and Romeo’s first meeting, and once Juliet stuck her tongue out at him and my heart all but exploded. :D

8) MUSIC:- Obviously a big part of the dance scene is the music within it (Morrocan inspired, or so I’ve heard I think) – but there are bits and pieces of music throughout that I think are awesome. From the choral chanting at the beginning that issues you into the theatre to the beautiful piece of music that Romeo is listening to her just before he hears of Juliet’s ‘death’. I personally don’t like the way the news is sung to him but I am sort of digging the idea my friend raised of Balthasar as a castrato (even more disempowerment).

9) BANISHED:- My other favourite scene (I have lost count of how many favourites I have and why are there no pictures of it???) is the way they do the two banished scenes, overlapping each other – so clever and the way Romeo and Juliet echo each other gives me so many feelings. They make it feel like the end of the world. Plus all four actors absolutely nail these scenes.

10) PARIS’S FLOWERS:- A very little one to end with and a bit silly but even whilst I think this production clearly shows that Paris and Juliet completely wouldn’t work (their brains just work differently) it also makes me sigh a little that Paris spends the whole play carrying his flowers for Juliet around, trying to give them to her – until he finally has to scatter them on her grave. It’s sort of sweet.

So there you go and I've barely touched on some awesome parts of the production - Jonjo's Mecutio! Noma's Nurse! Forbe's Friar Laurence! The fight scenes!
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Top Ten Plays - 2010 - Part 2

OK, almost the final stretch. Choices 5 - 2 under the cut and then one final (ridiculously long) entry for my top choice (it's definitely a post that has been building for a while). Anyway the order of these four changed around several times whilst I was thinking about this, so lets just say they were all wonderful.

5 - 2Collapse )
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Top Ten Plays - 2010 - Part 1

Ok, so last year I saw a lot moer plays than musicals (partly because most musicals are just so damn expensive) - so instead of a top 5, I'm going to do a top 10. And in an attempt to keep my sanity I'm going to try and attempt miracles and keep this a bit shorter. Yeah, we'll see how that goes....

Onwards...Collapse )


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Theatre Revue - Week 1

OK, so one of my very loose resolutions for this year is to try and keep a record of what I'm seeing theatre wise and what I've thought about it, mostly because my memory is truly apalling. So, hopefully, once a week-ish I'll post a round-up of what I've been to. This week I'm cheating a little as I'm going to include things from before the turn of the year (though I won't count them) and won't talk about some things that do count - because I already did and will do again in at least one case. Also, a question for those out there who may be as pedantic as I am - I'm not going to count shows more than once in a year (i.e. repeat viewings) - but should I count shows I've seen in previous years? They're not new for me, but they are new for the year? Decisions, decisions.

So this week (ish) I've seen:

a. 30th December 2010 - The Three Musketeers, Rose Kingston (Musical)
b. 31st December 2010 - Get Santa!, Royal Court (Musical / Kids)
1. 1st January 2011 - The Winter's Tale, RSC at the Roundhouse (Shakespeare)
2. 1st January 2011 - Romeo and Juliet, RSC at the Roundhouse (Shakespeare)
3. 3rd January 2011 - An Ideal Husband, Vaudeville Theatre (Wilde)

The Three MusketeersCollapse )

Get Santa!Collapse )

Winters Tale / Romeo and JulietCollapse )

An Ideal HusbandCollapse )

Yuletide - The Theatre Edition

Given that I've spent a ridiculous amount of this year in theatres (hopefully some top theatre of 2010 posts coming soon) it's probably unsurprising that I'd eventually stray into theatre fandoms. I was surprised.

HamletCollapse )

We Will Rock YouCollapse )

HairCollapse )

So there you go 22,231 words, 10 stories, 8 fandoms (none of which I had written in before) and a Christmas well spent. :D

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Yuletide - TheTV Edition

I am feeling a little more human today, though still not quite - at least I am not fool enough to say I will never drink again. I have more RSC booked after all.  So... Post number 2. This time it's TV fandoms. :D

Downton AbbeyCollapse )

The IT CrowdCollapse )

One more post to come.

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Yuletide - The Movie Edition

OK - so have decided to split this into three posts, so that if my growing sense of nausea overthrows me, I'll be able to stop sooner. So first up are the stories in movie fandoms, as this covers both my official stories (yay - I got a pinch hit - a pinch hit I'd actually already written, as I wrote about six treats whilst waiting for the official assignments to be sent out).

The BakerCollapse )</div>

An EducationCollapse )

History BoysCollapse )

Not sure if I'll get round to the others tonight, but there is always the morning.

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New Year - Yuletide Fics Forthcoming

Hey all,

Have been a bit lax with posting about yuletide / replying to the awesome comments that people were lovely enough to leave - mostly because for the first time in years I had actual New Year's plans. It was weird and sort of awesome. A good friend of mine came down on the 31st and we headed down to the Southbank for the fireworks. It was overcrowded and the people and the view were somewhat rubbish, but it's something else to cross off the to-do list. When we got back we had a couple of whiskeys and then went to bed until another friend arrived in the morning, when I finished off my left over whisky from the night before. This is not a recommended way to start off a new year. We then headed up to Camden to spend a day with my favourite reprobate actors, The RSC - who I sort of love a ridiculous amount and who have definitely been a major part of the last two years for me.

We saw The Winter's Tale matinee - which was I think the most beautiful of the ensemble productions - at the end of the first half Leontes world, signified by two huge bookcases, came crashing down with a cascade of books that formed Bohemia in the second half - rocks and cliffs and trees and a bear made out of the pages from books. Symbolically and visually it's stunning. Yesterday, though, it went a bit wrong - one of the bookcases started tilting too early ("Oh my god ! The bookcase is trying to kill David Rubin!" "It's ok, he'll bounce") So they had to stop the scene in the middle of one of the most dramatic moments whilst they all stared at it for a while and then pick it back up later - a very strange experience. But still awesome. I shall miss the production ridiculously.

Then we grabbed a quick Indian and headed back to the Roundhouse for the final night of Romeo and Juliet in London. This production is just incredible - completely changed my opinion of the play - completely made me fall in love with it. I think there's unlikely to be a production this good for a very long time to come, so everyone should go and see it when it's in Stratford next year. I've seen it about ten times, which is silly and I'm still thrilled every time I see it (two more performances planned as well). Go and see it for the drama and the fighting and the setting people on fire and the dancing and Romeo and Juliet and Mecutio and the ridiculous twisted Capulets, who I love, and the way it makes you think and for Shakespeare's words, which never wear out.

We also may have started drinking the coke and whisky we'd snuck in, during the interval. I fear we may be the only people ever to sneak alcohol into Shakespeare. Then we went to the bar afterwards and bought several more whiskys and then we may also have had a hip flask of the good whisky that we'd brought and after that it was all a bit silly and my arms went weird and we eventually stumbled our way back to Waterloo.

Needless to say, today I have the hangover from hell (though I did manage to go on a tour of the Globe - other theatre of my help) and so have still been rubbish about posting about Yuletide today, but shall try to make it up now - so expect a couple of posts coming up with links to my stories (I wrote a few this year - mostly because I have been stuck in the flat on-call and ill and partly because I've had writers block for about six months, so it was great just to be writing again).

First of all though - please go and shower the two amazing gifts I got with love - they are both about the ridiculously twisted Orkney family of Arthurian legend - I will eventually do a post about how much I love them and the De Galis family, in their insane, murderous, incestuous ways. For now, revel in these stories about them -  Last Time Around and Pellinore's Head - I adore them both.

Soon links - eventually comment replies! Though maybe not all this evening. I am still feeling very delicate.

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