Sunday, 31 May 2015

Three Years

This week marked a special date - on the 29th May, it was exactly three years since I was invited to have tea at the Ritz with Ruby Wax. It is all thanks to Black Dog Tribe and that special afternoon that we met. 

See this blog post from that brings back goose bumps.

It was such a special afternoon for so many reasons - I am still in touch with many of the people around the table today - one of them has just had a BABY!

I am SURE that even had this particular afternoon not taken place, Ruby would still have received her OBE but who knows...! I am still jaw achingly happy about that...

I actually saw her first one woman show Losing It just over four years ago and had no idea that a year later, I would get the chance to meet her. 

6th June will also be the second birthday of Sane New World. If you haven't seen it / read it / heard of it - WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ?! Book two is coming out later this year...!

Ruby is one of the funniest and bravest people I know. Here's to many more years of fun and laughter. I remain in awe.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Zoe Wanamaker in STEVIE

I'm so mortified that it has taken me so long to write this post. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get the chance to see Zoe Wanamaker starring on stage at the Hampstead Theatre. I adore Zoe - at home we have seen almost every episode of my My Family where she plays Susan Harper. And many will recognise her as Madam Hooch, the flying teacher in Harry Potter amongst many many other things - she is a British icon as far as acting goes.

On this occasion, she was playing the lead role of Stevie Smith in the play Stevie.

There are few things that have blown my mind, quite like this evening did. 

'Stevie' was written in 1977 and is about the life of poet Stevie Smith. She lives with her beloved aunt and her life story is told through direct dialogue with the audience by Stevie, as well as flashbacks.

Nervous and droll, Stevie Smith spends her days as a private secretary at the Newnes Publishing Company and her evenings in the London  suburbs eating Battenberg cake and Ginger Nuts with her beloved Aunt. All the time she is writing the piercing poetry and prose that will make her famous.

In between there are diverting visits from a series of men and, later on, tussles with literary  celebrity. Beyond everything there is her greatest, often darkly comic, struggle: to keep waving when she feels like drowning.

The main focus is on her relationship with her aunt, romantic relationships of the past (including her boyfriend Freddie) and the fame she received late in her life. Stevie escapes her dull middle-class existence through her poetry. Though she takes many spiritual flights of fancy, she never truly leaves the small apartment where all the action takes place. 

Theatre reviewers described her performance as "pulse-quickening" and "soulful" - it was an emotional roller-coaster and as there were only three cast members, Zoe / Stevie hardly left the stage. I felt very fond of the character by the end of the evening became very drawn to her.

I knew nothing about Stevie Smith before I saw the play and I instantly wanted to go home and read more about her. I only paid £15 (benefit of being under 30 years old!) and sat in the front row - and probably had the best seat in the entire house. *I think I sat right by the sofa pictured above so she was looking straight at me - our knees and feet were almost touching. 

Afterwards, I was invited to meet Zoe for a drink in her dressing room. Massive thumbs up all round. A real privilege to see theatre, which is rarely as brilliant as that. I was deeply moved. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Princess of Cambridge

My last blog post was probably my most favourite ever. So it was always going to be hard to top. 

But today we learnt the amazing news that the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a daughter - I erupted with joy whilst watching the news updates on the television in the hairdresser.....

What will her name be ?  Charlotte ? Alice ? Elizabeth ? Diana ?  
(I think a combination of some of the above...)

I particularly liked Emma Freud's tweet -