Wednesday, 29 August 2012

London Road

Not long ago I went to see London Road at The National Theatre. Despite it being a couple of weeks ago now the experience has lingered in my thoughts, it was one of the most incredible pieces of theatre I think I have ever seen. I have been trying to write this post ever since and have been struggling - how do you constructively say all you want to when everything comes out as a never-ending stream of 'so so good, so amazing.'. After many abandoned drafts, this is my attempt.
In late 2006 Ipswich was terrorised by a serial killer. Steve Wright was eventually arrested and charged with the murders of five young women all working as prostitutes in what was widely reported as the red light district of Ipswich. The national press reported every minute of the emerging story as soon as the police announced that they had the bodies of two women. It was a story that gripped the nation as it seemed that every day, another girl was reported missing.
I remember being captivated by the fact that these young girls were going out onto the streets to solicit knowing there was a killer targeting them because they felt they had no choice. They were drug addicts and this was their only way to pay for their habit. Who wasn't struck by the interviews the media held with various girls asking why they were putting themselves at risk, I kept wanting to scream that no-one chooses this, they were on the street because they were desperate, really desperate, no-one prostitutes themselves on the street as a career choice or to buy a dress you want. If they felt they had a choice they wouldn't be there in the first place.
London Road is a verbatim play set to music which reveal the community's story behind the headlines. The testimony of the 'residents' (played by a fantastic and varied ensemble of actors), conveyed that London Road specifically had battled for years with an increasing amount of solicitation and kerb crawling. When Steve Wright was identified as not only the serial killer but as a resident of London Road the community were left reeling.

As the play begins, opening in a community meeting, the residents communicated that this enormous social problem was only actively addressed by the community at large as a consequence of the murders and subsequent exposure. As a result various programs were implemented to help the girls get off the streets.

Alecky Blythe is a verbatim playwright, she constructs her play around interviews she holds with various members of a community. For London Road she spoke to various residents of Ipswich during and after the murders as this shocking case unravelled on their doorsteps. Adam Cork, the composer,  then identified, emphasised and further developed the natural musicality of their expressions into a very contemporary piece of musical theatre.

 The music was beautiful and served to perfectly emphasise the sometimes startlingly, commonly shocking and always poignant comments and opinions of the residents of the area. The actors clearly had learnt the exact way these opinions and points of view of the residents were expressed, from the intonation, the hesitations and the stutters. The way we all speak in real life.The overall effect was mesmerising.

Watching it, completely engrossed, I couldn't help but repeatedly think, "You just couldn't write this".The verbatim style revealed so much, it was so thought provoking and insightful. There were people who were scared while the killer was at large,  people who were annoyed at the girls prostituting on their residential street, irritated by the ever increasing and intrusive media, alarmed by the dawning realisation that as a man you were a possible suspect.

It was fascinating, terrifying and utterly beautiful. 
The staging was so simple yet highly effective at emphasising the everyman aspect of the ensemble with clumps of living room furniture all positioned around televisions.  I particularly loved the section where the residents' movements around their living rooms were severely restricted by police tape as they watched the media footage shot right outside their front doors.

The moment one couple identified that an arrest was taking place next door by watching it on the live news coverage was expressed in such a way that we, as an audience got to experience how horribly surreal it all was with them.

One of the most haunting sections was when we saw the girls of the street, the working girls, the incredibly vulnerable girls who Steve Wright seemingly picked off. Three girls emerged from the darkness where in  seemingly drug addled states they mumbled how they no longer work the streets and instead have some regular clients for money. Then they just stared at us in silence. Looking out at us all for about 3-4 minutes in complete silence they confronted us and any stereotypical views we had of of them. They represented the girls and the victims and that's what they were, just girls. Not monsters but instead vulnerable, damaged girls. They were as fascinated by us as we were by them. and then just as mysteriously as they arrived they disappeared back into the darkness. It was one of the most powerful moments I have ever experienced in the theatre

I could rave on and on about this production, I had heard it was fantastic the first time round it opened at The National and am just so appreciative of the fact I got to see it. It is back for a very limited run and I cannot urge you enough to see it if you can.

This is what a National Theatre should be doing, bringing the words and experiences of people to a stage to share and educate. I went to see it with my Uncle, an art therapist who works with people just like Steve Wright and the conversations this piece provoked were fascinating. You never get to hear the real experiences behind the headlines, the simple yet unbelievable accounts behind the tabloid sensation.  This production was not about Steve Wright, not about the girls he murdered it was about a community who experienced something so shocking and violent that it changed them, hopefully for the better.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Big One Did It Again!

The Big One made another awesome film this time with the incredible performance poet Polar Bear.

Clever chaps aren't they!

Friday, 3 August 2012

They're Baaaaaccck!!

I know I am so late in announcing I've joined the celebrations, I've been dancing non stop that's why. Too damn excited to type.

No Doubt are BACK.

On hearing their new single, Settle Down, I actually felt quite emotional. Firstly because they were back but secondly because they sounded like them. They didn't release a track based around a great hiphop hook created and bought from a faceless producer that anyone could have released. They created their No Doubt sound again and it sounds incredible to me.

No Doubt were probably the first band I became a proper fan of. I looked up to Gwen Stefani's tom boyish style and attitude, her incredibly raw stage presence. I loved the sound, the lyrics, everything.

I was introduced to Tragic Kingdom when I was about 13 I could not get enough of it. I had never heard anything quite like it. I quickly collected up every album I could and I can still sing almost all of their back catalogue word for word.

Although I enjoyed the Westwood styling of Gwen's pop solo career and let's be honest, her voice is awesome whatever she's singing, it just wasn't the same for me. I liked the band and her as the tough, in-yer-face front woman. I missed that unimitable No Doubt ska-pop-punk sound collectively created by them all.

So let the celebrations continue, No Doubt are back back back and I'm so ready to get my dance on to more!

"I think I've been able to fool a lot of people because I know I'm a dork. I'm a geek."
- Gwen Stefani

First YarnBomb: Completed!

I did it! With shaking hands and rather an alarming amount of anxious perspiration I finished and attached my first yarnbomb!

It was my last day temping for this particular creative agency and as soon as my fellow receptionist, Tats, left for the day, I took a deep breath and started attaching my yarnbomb to the desk leg.

In order to hide my fiddling hands from the rest of the studio filled with people behind me, I had moved the chairs round the leg.  I cannot tell you how nervous I was - I was actually whispering to myself to keep calm which just added to the mad yarn lady image I was trying to avoid!

Just as I finished securing the bottom section, which required me to be on my knees (not so subtle), I got caught! One of the guys in the finance department, who sits closest to Reception came over to ask me something and on seeing what I was doing, promptly sat down and in surprise and immediately wanted to know what was happening.

I was crouched on my knees, bright red holding cable ties, looking distinctly dodgy! All I could manage was a whispered, "Ssh, I'm being a yarnbomber." Needless to say he looked all the more confused...

I eventually managed to explain what I was doing and why. He seemed very taken with it and promptly offered to lift the desk, allowing me to tuck the end underneath the leg. He told me he thought it looked awesome and by then I was riding high off the adrenaline.

This could get very addictive.

Before attaching

They, Tats and Showgirl, found it the next morning and tweeted it so I think they liked it.

My first YarnBomb experience has taught me that:
It takes much longer then I anticipated to secure the piece.
I love cable ties.
I was much more nervous then I had thought I'd be.
It was amazing and I want to do more more more!

"Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. "
- Edward de Bono

Monday, 30 July 2012

Not Just A Doctor's Dilemma

I was very kindly given tickets to see the new production of A Doctor's Dilemma, at The National Theatre last Thursday directed by Nadia Fall. I took along a theatre buddy and avoided reading anything about the show in the lead up in order to be as open minded as possible.

We had fabulous seats and were both instantly struck by the beautiful set design (designed by Peter McKintosh), which revealed itself to be increasingly impressive throughout the show.

On the whole, I am not familiar with George Bernard Shaw's plays however, I am aware they generally explore moral dilemmas, social hypocrisies. A Doctor's Dilemma, originally staged in 1906, certainly does that. It questions how we can determine the value of an individual and more directly, if you can save the life of only one man, how do you choose who deserves it most?

David Calder, Aden Gillet, Malcolm Sinclair and Derek Hutchinson

Tom Burke as Dubedat and Genevieve O'Reilly as Jennifer Dubedat

It is an interesting dilemma but I had my own to battle with in regards to this play. On paper this is a fascinating debate yet in practice/production I just could not engage with it.

Although superbly acted by a wonderful cast it simply lacked in impact for me (despite often being very funny).  The production was beautiful, the performances on a whole were great - I particularly enjoyed Tom Burke's Dubedat. But I just didn't care about the dilemma, the stakes weren't high enough for me and more importantly I could not work out why this play was relevant for today.

There were fleeting moments of resonance, wry remarks made about the dubious agenda of the drug industries and an insight into the questionable morals of the private medical profession. Some of the doctors involved were motivated by money, others by fame. Very few, if any, by a desire to simply heal the sick. But these points really were sporadic and so, on the whole, I just couldn't understand what I was supposed to take away from it.

Plays aren't just put on, particularly at The National Theatre of England, they are programmed. Classic pieces over new commissions, are one assumes, specifically chosen. The Artistic Director feels they have something to say, a debate to ignite, a relevant point to make. I can only suppose I was meant to understand and appreciate the importance of the National Health Service, our publicly funded healthcare system which is increasingly under threat due to government cuts and policy.

The National Health Service's system ensures that no Doctor has the opportunity to choose who he treats over another, there is treatment for theory. I'm not going to go into the waiting lists, the postcode lottery of treatments. The NHS treats one and the same as best it can despite cuts, policy changes, targets and mounting pressure from all sides.

So maybe that's what I was supposed to feel, but I didn't. My fellow theatre buddy in turn didn't either, instead she felt angry. Angry that what this theatre wanted to say to a modern audience wasn't instead given to a contemporary playwright to say in a more emphatic manner with a new commission. Maybe that choice came down to the fact that The National Theatre has a responsibility to achieve the right ratio of classic to new pieces...maybe not.

I won't pretend that I am not a New Writing enthusiast but I do feel strongly that a lot of classic plays can often make their points with more emphasis when it comes from a period we don't think, based on appearance, we can relate to anymore. An issue that resonates can be far more effective when coming from an unexpected place. Classic/Period pieces often makes me better understand that humanity is not affected by tailcoats and hoop skirts. Times and society have changed but ultimately we are all people trying to muddle through as best we can.

I was pleased I got the opportunity to see the production and oddly it has made me want to become more familiar with Shaw, I want to explore his other moral dilemmas and find one I can more directly engage with...let me know if you have any recommendations!

Do let me know if you have seen the National's production, I am happy to debate and discuss alternative viewpoints. After all that's the beauty of theatre, it gets us thinking and talking.

“Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.” 
-George Bernard Shaw, A Doctor's Dilemma

Friday, 27 July 2012


c/o gaveston
How is it that I can I feel strong and self-assured like a rock and then just 10 minutes later feel as fragile as a feather in the wind? 

Sometimes I feel I'll never find my place.

"Dreaming is one thing, and working towards the dream is one thing, but working with expectations in mind is very self-defeating."
- Michael Landon

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ticks Almost All my Boxes..

Thank you Tats for sharing this - I love it!

"Let's make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake - you know, to send the right message to kids."
- Bill Maher

Monday, 23 July 2012

Knit With Love

As you probably know I am a member (and fan) of Ravelry. I was perusing various sock patterns on there the other day and came across this wonderful project by a fellow knitter from the USA. I asked her if I could share it with you and she kindly agreed.

She, mylittlepurl, recently got married and as a wedding gift for her husband-to-be she hand knit him a pair of socks to wear on their big day. But these weren't your usual pair of hand knit beauties, she had knit a lovely funny little message to keep his toes extra warm and I'm sure ensured a firm smile on his face.

In case you can't see, the pair reads: in case you get cold feet

How gorgeous is that! 

Thank you mylittlepurl for letting me share your wonderful socks, what a talented lady and what a  lucky hubby!

"Memories are stitched with love." 
 ~Author Unknown

First Yarn-Bomb Location: Identified

I'm temping this week at an agency where it's safe to say I'm a regular. I work with one of the two receptionists (blog-names: Showgirl and Tats) each time and they are both equally amused and interested by my current knitting projects and always ask for updates.

Last week I was talking to Showgirl about my upcoming yarn bombing plan and she was intrigued, we ended up looking at various yarn-bombing websites and images together.  This week she's on holiday and so I am covering her. This morning I found she had left me a note asking if I had achieved my yarn bomb yet.

Tats brought it up too, turns out Showgirl was telling him all about it and he too is intrigued. While talking about it, he had a truly fantastic suggestion - yarn bomb her desk for her return from holiday! I was excited, what a brilliant idea - I will yarn-bomb the leg of the desk she shares with Tats and I think she will love it!

It's a creative agency and the desk leg faces the studio not any incoming clients so I doubt anyone will mind...we'll see!

The YARN BOMB TARGET...with a bit of Tat's tatted leg.

Of course this won't exactly be anonymous but there's time for more risky pieces later...let the measurements commence!

“Why do you have a cigarette lighter in your glove compartment?" her husband, Jack, asked her. "I'm bored with knitting. I've taken up arson” 
Audrey NiffeneggerHer Fearful Symmetry

I Made Potatoes!

I planted and grew my first potatoes - they are Queen Elizabeth's and I dug 2 portions up on Friday. I was beyond excited to find they had actually grown and were proper, real life potatoes!

We washed and cooked them up and made a lovely Tuna Nicoise salad. Unfortunately I had never cooked such fresh tats before and so, I admit, I overcooked them just a bit. They were done so quickly!

They were still delicious and there's more out there yet to be dug up and devoured.

A man who prides himself on his ancestry is like the potato plant, the best part of which is underground

- Spanish Proverb

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Streets of Colour

I have been considering having a go at yarnbombing for a while now, looking at images like these has inspired me. I'm going to do it! Watch out London I've got my crafty eye on you....
c/o History to the People
c/o Stickluben
c/o Illusion
c/o Flickamag
c/o Design Drool
I will document my yarnbombing adventure on here, first thing's first I need to select a spot to yarnbomb....


“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.”
― Raymond Salvatore Harmon, BOMB: A Manifesto of Art Terrorism

A Literal Spring in your Step

I love when you see adults walking like children, all swinging arms and lolloping gait. I bet it makes them feel happy and carefree, like when you skip anywhere. It's nigh on impossible not to feel cheered by a spontaneous skip. Try it, you'll see.

That is all. Back to your business.

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is."
- Ellen DeGeneres

Friday, 29 June 2012

Mulling it Over

"I'm considering moving over to Tumblr...what do you think?"

- Me

Stash Storage Envy

I keep stumbling onto Stash Storage discussion threads on Ravelry right now and oooh my envy is growing! Some people have a whole room for their knitting stash and projects!

I'm temping today on a quiet front desk so had a little google...
c/o 1521 blogspot
c/o Rubbermaid
c/o the loopy ewe
c/o Crochet Me
C/o Streets and YOs 

As a Virgo and a yarn addict I am officially jealous!

“I recognize that knitting can improve my mood in trying circumstances” 
-Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Date Night: Noises Off

The Big One and I went on a rare and lovely date night last night. He's increasingly busy with work so I really appreciate the time we do get to spend together especially if we can do something fun.

Last night we went to see Noises Off by Michael Frayn at the Novello Theatre, I had a friend in the cast and I had only ever read it, never seen it. It was great, just honest good farcical fun! Quite often I go to see thought provoking pieces which I adore as they provoke brilliant conversations and leave me thinking about the issues stay with me for days but every now and again, you just need a laugh!

It started at The old Vic in December and then transferred and will close on Saturday. Not much time left but if you can, I do recommend going to see it and having some good belly laughs. It has a great cast and they all work incredibly hard especially in Act 2!

We met my friend afterwards and had a lovely dinner with him and a musician friend of his who was also in the audience.

A truly lovely night all round!

"On we blindly stumble!"
-Lloyd (Noises Off)

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Totally daft song but I am hooked! What can I say - it makes me dance...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Peek Into My Yarn Stash

I recently-ish went to Wonderwool in Wales and treated myself to quite a lot of sock yarn. It was too beautiful to not indulge, the successful heel turning of knitting a sock too addictive, full of way too much satisfaction.

I spent about £50 on various sock wools, one lovely lavender grey Gotland skein specifically for The Big One. He is yet to fully understand and therefore appreciate the world of handknit socks but I think he will be pleasantly surprised...he certainly likes the pair I finally finished for myself.

Here are some of the others I invested in, at last my black sock collection is under threat, there'll be some new kids in town...eventually!

Krafty Koala Mockinjay Butterfly Yarn

Krafty Koala Neon Lights Puffin Yarn

Tall Yarns and Tales Soliloquy Sock Yarn

Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino
What do you think?

“His socks compelled one's attention without losing one's respect”
-H.H Munro

Getting A Little Tribal in the City

Getting A Little Tribal in the City

I haven't been clothes shopping in 8 months!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lets Pretend Nothing Happened...

Hello! My goodness where has the time gone? I lost my blogging mojo to be honest, not sure whether I became uninspired or just lazy...maybe both! However I am now back - have you missed me?

So what have I been doing? Well I got a small part in an episode of a rather cool telly show which I am forbidden to discuss but can say it was lots of fun and will be on in the autumn.

The Big One and I went to Goa (gorgeous gorgeous Goa) and visited Red and Berlin in... Berlin to celebrate our 13th anniversary and have a sneak peek into their world - which was awesome!

Other then that and temping, I have been knitting....cor blimey have I been knitting!

Fishnet Anklets for Red's Birthday in Koigu Mori

Iphone Cover for Painter

Giant Snood for ME in a Mohair Mix
An Oystercard holder for PeeWee - awaiting delivery

PLUS a jumper for Patch, which I can't show you yet as it's her birthday pressie, a pair of socks for me which I'll share as soon as I take pics, a load of theangrystitch etsy shop commissions AND some pieces for the luxury hand knitwear company The North Circular.

I have joined their rank of knitters across the country and have been knitting up a couple of pieces for them. A few of us indirectly collaborated recently to knit up an exclusive capsule collection for the World Wildlife Fund's annual Pandamonium event. North Circular designed a luxury set and we knit it up. I did the intarsia gloves...what do you think?

Pretty awesome huh!? The whole look walked the catwalk at the charity event and then went into an exclusive auction raising over £3,000 for WWF!

Here's the blurb;

We are the leopard who must voyage to change our spots, 2012

British wool from rare breed Wensleydale sheep Dimensions variable, nine pieces

Inspired by Lily Cole and Katherine Poulton, the North Circular produces contemporary knitwear from rescued Wensleydale sheep, knitted by grannies. The wool’s route from sheep to scourer, spinner, dyer and knitter is all within a 120-mile ‘north circular’ route.

For WWF’s Pandamonium, the North Circular invented its first print: a “snow- glazed leopard print, voyaging across the ice with giant over-sized pieces inspired from the current collection; over-sized to emphasise the massive problem we face”. This unique piece is for sale. A version of the hat will also be available at a later date as a special edition through the North Circular, with proceeds going to WWF.

Yup, I'm a very proud knitter!

"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour."
 ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Wonderwool? How Wonderful!

Yesterday I booked tickets to attend this year's Wonderwool in Builth Wells, Wales! I am so excited, it's my first Wonderwool and it's very close to My Lovely Dad and his wife M's gorgeous home and B&B The Rhedyn so we get to visit and stay with them. It was his wife M (a fellow crafty) who told me all about it when we were last there for Christmas. She told me there are sheep being sheared and demonstrations about how the fleece is spun into exciting is that!?

I also know that two of my favourite yarn suppliers will be there, Toft Alpaca - who are bringing some of their Alpacas (soooo excited) and Tall Tale Yarns who I recently bought gorgeous Canadian Koigu yarn from.

The Big One is coming with me and I am really looking forward to sharing my excitement with him, I wonder what he'll make of it all!

Prepare yourselves - there will many pictures!

"A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away."
- Phyllis McGinley 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Living The Dream...

Since I was very little I wanted to be an actress yet my favourite game to play with my sister and friends was 'Offices'. I loved playing admin, we'd make up busy office type things to do, answer phones, shuffle papers, write things and generally be very 'busy'.

I am an actress as you all know but it's very quiet on the old audition circuit right now and so I'm currently temping. It only occurred to me today, while in the midst of franking 800 envelopes having stuffed most of them between answering phones and transferring calls, that technically, according to my 8 year old self, I'm living my dream scenario. Technically I have nailed the best of both worlds.

It struck me that if I can only channel my 8 year old self and the glee she'd have felt to be both an actor and an office person with lots of admin to do,  it will help me get through these quiet audition free days.

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
- Tom Stoppard

Monday, 19 March 2012

Have You Met The Angry Stitch?

You may know that I am now the proud shop owner of The Angry Stitch Boutique, a bespoke cross stitch and knitting service. I design and hand-stitch contemporary samplers and frame them in vintage inspired frames. 

A modern take on a traditional craft. Here are a few currently available to purchase in the shop:

I have stitched many Angry Samplers for various private commissions including the backstage VIP area of The O2 Greenwich and the highly rated Rhedyn B&B. 

To see my latest projects including my handknit pieces like The Goldie Looking Chain Cowl (available in Silver, Gold and Bronze)...

...check out my Angry Stitch blog where all commissions and items available in the shop are regularly posted up.

Angry Stitch, Vintage Stitch...never just cross.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Tempting, So Very Tempting...

Temping today, I'm going to start blogging about the amazing things I hear from the suppposedly invisible position of Reception.

Today's True Temping Story:

Man: So yeah, I guess we started drifting apart and then..
Girl: Oh I'm sorry-
Man: Yeah it was tough, well, what happened was I was going through my divorce which was awful, really horrible actually and then she started saying she wasn't happy. She wanted a break so we went on a break about 3 months ago and then about 1 month ago I realised she was seeing someone else so..
Girl: Oh that's awful
Man: Yeah it was, really rips at you, you know but... all good other then that so yeah, I'm single so if you want to go for a drink, maybe next week?
Girl: umm, yeah...

Catch of the Day!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Spring is Almost Sprung!

The sun is here, the sun is here!! 

I spent almost all the weekend in my garden,clearing the leaves, pruning the plants and weeding, oh ma gosh there was so much weeding to do!

As a reward and incentive The Big One and I placed a rather large order with Crocus for all sorts of floral delights including some seeds for; plum tomatoes, potatoes and some amazing rare strawberries - yup we're getting productive!

Here's some of what we ordered, have a look at what they're supposed to look like and wish me green fingered luck that I can make them all bloom!

Pineberry Dream - taste like strawberries and pineapple!
Spencer Sweet Pea
Golden Margurite
Gladioli 'The Bride'

"Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization."
- Lincoln Steffens

Friday, 9 March 2012

Gift Package!

The other day I posted up a few wish list items explaining that due to lack of funds these were unlikely to be finding a home with me anytime soon BUT 2 days after that post I came home to a package which contained that very same SAVE FERRIS tee I had wished for!
A look at the paperwork revealed that it was a wonderful gift from Red and Berlin, totally unexpected and it left me overwhelmed and utterly delighted. I hopped straight on Skype to shout and scream my hysterical thanks and promptly put it straight on. I wore it all day and it rocks!
What a lovely treat! Thank you Red and Berlin!!

"Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness."
- Richard Bach

Monday, 5 March 2012

More Want Want More

Jeannie Printed Pleat Dress

Carson Zip Print Dress

Black Geometric Surface to Air Wedges

MM6 Black Scalloped Heels
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