Monkey Olympics

Well, not long to go now until the opening ceremony. I have LOVED the BBC’s promo video for their Olympics coverage. Made by the animator of the Gorillaz videos and with music made by the group. I love the music and was sad enough to download it onto my mobile.

Monkey Olympics promo.

Watched Mock The Week last night. I love this show primarily for Frankie Boyle. The man is SSSSOOOO rude! Every week we tune in just to see how quickly Frankie will say something outrageous. It never takes long!

He’s got big hopes for the future…

Anyway, off to watch the opening ceremony…

The Reviews Are In.

How has Mr T been received as Hamlet I hear you all not ask?!

Well, by all accounts, quite well. The man done good.

A BBC web site review by entertainment reporter Caroline Briggs said that “Tennant also uses his hair to great theatrical effect. From the sleek combed-back style of his first scene, he ruffles it to display despair, rage and madness. It deserves a credit of its very own.” That made me giggle.

In actual review of his performance she goes on to say “Overall, his performance is undoubtedly mesmerising. What he lacks in emotional intensity, he makes up for with wit, humour and stirring energy.”

Micahel Billington of The Guardian says of the production “This is a Hamlet of quicksilver intelligence, mimetic vigour and wild humour: one of the funniest I’ve ever seen.” And of Tennant’s performance… “Tennant is an active, athletic, immensely engaging Hamlet. If there is any quality I miss, it is the character’s philosophical nature, and here he is not helped by the production.” Overall praise for the production and 4 out 5 stars given.

Benedict Nightingale of The Times also gives the production 4 out of 5. On Mr T’s performance, he writes “Tennant is restless, curt and mocking when he needs to be, affectionate when he can be, and, apart from an occasional tendency to gabble, is pretty impressive. But most noticably he’s so dreamily reflective that you feel that Claudius’s fatal mistake was refusing him permission to resume his philosophy degree in the safety of faraway Wittenberg. Like Gordon Brown, who came to a preview, this very temporary leader is error-prone.”

Charles Spencer of The Telegraph is a little more dour with his praise. “What’s lacking, at present, is weight and depth. He delivers the great soliloquies with clarity, but he doesn’t always discover their freight of emotion.”

“Tennant’s prince seems merely resigned and wearily fatalistic, a reductive reading of a role that can offer a moving glimpse of grace, as the Christian imagery of the last act suggests.

There remains much to admire. It’s hard not to warm to a Hamlet who makes you laugh, and Tennant discovers almost every ounce of sarky humour, especially when baiting Oliver Ford Davies’s hilariously ponderous but poisonous Polonius and winding up the smarmy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Tennant is at his best though when he dares with his emotions and lets rip. The closet scene with Gertrude, when he confronts his mother with her moral laxity, standing astride her on the “incestuous sheets” of her bed, has a thrilling raw power.

And there is a beautiful moment when the ghost of his father seems to hug him and Tennant delivers a little gasp of love and grief. As the run continues, Tennant should trust his feelings, dig deeper, expose more of himself.”

Quentin Letts of the revered [sic] Daily Mail is the most scathing (not surprisingly – the Daily Mail be in praise of something that isn’t Helen Mirren’s breasts? God forbid!). I think it’s all summed up in the article’s title “Alas poor Dr Who…you’re okay but not out of this world.”

Lett’s begins as saying “At the Royal Shakespeare Company’s temporary home in Stratford he makes a sarcastic Hamlet, a selfish Hamlet, a Hamlet very much for our self-indulgent age.” Oh, hark at the irony delivered from a Daily Mail reporter!

“He is memorable, quirky, handsome in a fey, underfed sort of way. He even proves himself a dab hand at sword fighting. If the British Olympic fencing team requires reinforcements it need look no further. ”

That’s the best description of “sexy geek” I’ve ever seen! “Handsome in a fey, underfed sort of way.”

Letts also discredits the audiences appreciation with this statement…”The star buzz is palpable. On Monday night I saw about 30 members of the audience leap to their feet at the end to show delight at Mr Tennant’s performance. All but two of them were women.”

MEOW!!! And I’m sure he was holding himself back from saying “And the two that weren’t were probably ‘queer as folk'”.

He continues…”From the first scene, when he stands apart from the other courtiers in a modern-dress, electric- chandeliered Elsinore, Mr Tennant’s grieving prince feels sorry for himself.

When not pouting like a spoilt child he often has his mouth open low in disbelief or mockery.

The only thing you’ll do with a mouth like that, any nanny will tell you, is catch flies.

It is hard to reconcile this jawslung brattishness, dressed at times in jeans and scruffy red Tshirt, with a figure who supposedly inspires deep loyalty in Hamlet’s friend Horatio – or, indeed, with the prince who returns to announce: ‘This is I, Hamlet the Dane.’

Mr Tennant swallows this line, normally a moment of defiant self-discovery. He utters it with scarcely more force than a man answering the telephone.”

Obviously not a fan Quentin. Well, to each his own.

The overall general consensus does seem to be that he’s a very competent but not great Hamlet.

It hasn’t deterred me from trying to get tickets for the London run when they go on sale in September. A bit of Mr T for Christmas, yummy! The London run goes from early December, until March. I don’t care when within that timeframe I go. I ain’t fussed.

New Music From The Faves.

There is a number of groups I’m into releasing new material over the next few months, which I’m looking forward to.

The first is the highly anticipated new Verve album for 10 years. It’s released in two weeks time. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it then. I hope it can capture what they had when they split. I think there is still quite a bit of discord in the camp, but let’s hope it doesn’t detract from them making great music.

The next two to release new stuff are Kaiser Chiefs and Keane.

The Kaiser’s seem quite prolific with their stuff. This is their 3rd album in as many years. I hope it stands up, as sometimes I think bands can rush material. I think there needs to be a balance between the length of absence with someone like The Verve (okay, they had officially split, granted), to an act like the Kaiser’s that can produce albums within 12-18 months.

Keane have had a longer absence due to Tom Chaplin’s rehab stint, etc. They sound like they’ve worked very hard on this album. I was a little disappointed in Under The Iron Sea. I could appreciate what they were trying to do, but some if it got a little lost. Let’s see if they “move on” or take a retrograde step and try and recreate Hopes and Fears.

Both Kaiser’s Off With Their Heads and Keane’s Perfect Symmetry albums are released October 13th in the UK.

The next on the card, towards the end of the year (no official release date yet) is the hotly anticipated new U2 album. Said to sound very retrograde by all accounts. Going back as far as supposedly recapturing the sounds of Achtung Baby. Bono has said to have described it as sounding very Moroccan influenced. Bono goes on to say “it’s not like anything we’ve done before” but it’s all sounding a little Achtung Baby meets Pop to me. But we’ll see I suppose. I don’t mind if it recaptures those sounds. I tuned out during ATYCLB and HTDAAB (the last two albums) sadly. There are a few tracks I like on both, but on the whole I was disappointed with them. I’m holding out a lot of hope with this new one.

The last two, expected to be due early in the New Year are Franz Ferdinand and Antony and The Johnsons. Franz say their new album is more disco influenced. I’m not sure if that’s a bit of a retrograde step. Not that the first self-titled album was disco-based, but You Could Have It So Much Better was such a mature continuation of their sound, I’m worried the new one will sound a little backward. It’s not that I’m not wanting a disco sound from them, I just don’t want it at the expense of them compromising the maturity they gained in their sound with YCHISMB.

I’m not sure what we’ll get with Antony. He’s quoted on Wiki as saying the new album is about “landscape and the future” and said the previous album’s theme was “sort of sad and redemptive”. Sounds like he’s going for a more “upbeat” sound, although he says the new album will be more one of “contrasts”, with a blend of uplifting and redemptive songs. If the musicality of it is anything like I Am A Bird Now, I’ll love it.

Cool days, music, hair cuts and what’s on telly.

The weather has finally settled itself down after a week of humid, sticky, but dark and damp weather. Today is sunny and cool, perfect!

 

I have finally been listening to more music. Most of it has been quite retro, as it always usually is for me. I can’t help being stuck in the 70’s/80’s/90’s. I hardly listen to any “new” music. The “newest” music on my rotation of play is Franz Ferdinand. So far it’s been revolving around Bjork and Eurythmics, with a bit of kd lang splashed in.

 

This is the Bjork song I can’t get enough of at the moment. There’s a line in it I just love…”Since we broke up, I’m using lipstick again. I suck my tongue, in remembrance of you.” How sexy is that?!

 

The Eurythmics stuff I’ve been listening to is Touch, and Touch Dance (an album of remixes of songs from the Touch album) and Revenge. Here’s my favourite song off the album (I love The Miracle of Love as well).

I am fully in love with kd lang’s voice. The Cambridge Folk Festival was on over the weekend, and she played there. I SO would’ve loved to have gone, but the tickets were long sold-out and damn expensive anyway! The stuff on her most recent album sound as lovely as ever. She just does beautiful songs and has the voice of an angel. Her voice would make me do naughty things 🙂

 

Last artist on my rotation id Nick Lowe. Not a person I’d expect to have on my list of music at the moment. BBC Four showed a concert of his the other night and I watched it and really got into his music. I got his latest CD and have it in my playlist.

 

I’m going to cut and dye Em’s hair today. All the greys are coming out again! I should have my OWN hair cut now. I’d booked an appointment last week to get mine done, then I got man flu, thrush, then my period, so ended up cancelling the appointment. I’ll go this week though. I got myself some dye too. I’ll take a pic once my hair is cut and killed (dyed).

 

Just got through watching the 2nd series of Blackadder on DVD. There is something scarily sexy about Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder in the 2nd series. I SO love Tim McInnerny as Percy. He’s such a nonce! But you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Still got Brigadoon and Jekyll to watch.

 

The Tudors was back on Friday night. Yay! I hate to break it to the actress playing Anne Boleyn, but she doesn’t have much time left! Still, she’s got to have Elizabeth yet so I’m sure she’s in a few episodes to come.

 

The only other show that I’m into at the moment is Bonekickers. They’re making archaeology exciting! I’m sure it is for those directly involved in it. And of course, with it being fictional, there’s a bit of artist licence, so they are making discoveries that probably would not actually happen in real life.

 

I have to show up Em. For about the last 12 months or so, there has been an ad campaign for this “pure, filtered” milk called Cravendale. They have the most SURREAL ad campaign involving a Tour de France cyclist, a pirate and a cow?! Yes, I know! Anyway, the ads are stop-motion animation and they are growing on me. I couldn’t see why Em would get so much pleasure when these ads came on air, but over the last few months I’ve begun to see the appeal.

 

The premise of the ad (in case it escapes you) is that the cyclist, the pirate, and the cow wake up and want to have their morning glass of milk. The cow goes to the fridge to pour out 3 glasses of milk, but guess what? There’s only enough for one! NNNNNNOOOOOOO! So, they decide to have a game of musical statutes to determine who gets the glass of milk. The cyclist cheats by putting a paper cut-out of himself there, so in the meantime he can drink the glass of milk. Naughty cyclist! I love the pirates reaction when he realises he’s been robbed!

 

Here’s the other, which makes a little more sense once you’ve seen the first one.

The thing I love most is the cow. Why would a COW be craving milk THIS MUCH?! This second clip is much like how our trip to Hitchin was the other day! Except we didn’t end up in a milk truck, just a ditch!

Hitchin and The Latest DVD’s.

We’re going off to Hitchin today. It’s one of very few towns left in this country that has managed to retain some of its identity.

Keeping an eye on Chrissy today. She used her litter tray this morning. When I went to clean out her faeces from the tray, I noticed her stool was bloody. She’s NEVER passed a bloody stool, ever, so I’m slightly worried – especially so that now (for about the past 12 months) she has no pet insurance covering her. I’ll just have to keep an eye on her and hope there are no further signs of illness.

The DVD’s arriving in the post today are:

Series 2 of Blackadder. I LOVE Blackadder – but not the first series. It’s too Mr Bean, whereas the second series, the character develops into the Edmund Blackadder we love to hate to love. And I just LOVE Miranda Richardson’s Queenie! And of course, Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett.

Jekyll Series 1, starring James Nesbitt, written by new executive producer of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat. It was on when I was in Oz and Em told me it was very good.

Last is Brigadoon. I’d always heard the word bandied about, but never really knew of the story. It fascinated me once I’d read about it and so thought I’d get the film. I love Gene Kelly as well, so any excuse will do!

Anyway, Hitchin calls.