Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Favourite Plays

Top Ten Tuesday is the brainchild of The Broke & the Bookish. Every Tuesday, we compile a list of our literary Top 10, and then add it to the blog hop.

This week is all about our Top 10 FREEBIE – So I chose Top 10 Favourite Plays.

I am pretty sure I could fill this entire list with Shakespeare’s works, but here are some plays I saw live on stage or via National Theatre Live, and which blew me away!

Special mention to the below version of Richard III as directed by Jamie Lloyd for Trafalgar Transformed – this is the play and the adaptation (set in 1979 Britain after a military coup, with Martin Freeman as Richard III see my review HERE) that finally unlocked Shakespeare for me!

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On August 14

Hello my lovely booklovers,

how are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, I’d invite you out onto the patio for our drinks. After weeks of miserable weather, drizzling rain, and temperatures dropping to 5°C during the night (it’s meant to be the middle of summer here!!!), it’s gotten warm and sunny again all of a sudden. So suddenly, in fact, that I was down and out yesterday with headaches and circulatory problems (rapid changes in temperature and air pressure have a tendency to mess with me). But I’m fine now.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you whether you work with books in any capacity. No matter whether you’re a bookseller, bibliotherapist, librarian, literary agent or anything else to do with books. If you are I’d love to interview you about your job for a series of interviews I’m planning, to show what sort of jobs a love for books & literature can lead to. There will be an official call for interviewees soon, but if this applies to you or one of your friends please get in touch with me!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am still busy with my M.A. thesis. And though I love my topic, my concentration is waning… I guess I just want to get it down, and I’m at a point where distractions come easily and I jump at them to get away from the computer for a while.

Speaking of computer: my laptop is fixed for now! I was really worried I’d caught a virus, but the professionals had a look, and it seems like all the problems were caused by the touchpad going the way of the dodo. I can’t fully explain it, but from what I’ve gathered, the hardware stopped working, but the driver was still there, and commands still went through. As it’s a laptop that gets moved about a fair bit, some of those movements must have sent signals which were received, and so whatever it was doing got zoomed in or moved about, depending on what I’d last tried to do or how I touched my touchpad. It’s now been completely disabled and the driver uninstalled, so I’m now stuck with an external mouse (not ideal when literally working on your laptop in your lap and you’re used to dealing with everything through your fingertips) but at least my laptop is back to working order! Yay! I’ll still have to look for a new one eventually, though.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’ve missed getting really lost in a good story. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a lot of good books this year so far (more than 60 books total and only the odd one out got less than 3 stars in my opinion). But I like it when you’re so taken by a story that everything else around you becomes unimportant. Food, sleep, assignments, it didn’t matter. So imagine my surprise when I found such a story not in a printed book, but rather in fanfiction! I won’t tell you which fandom I was reading up on, but I found a 5-story arc that gave such a realistic background to one of my favourite characters from that particular fandom, that I just had to know how it ended. At first, it wasn’t too bad length-wise. It progressed easily, with the first 4 stories only having between 8.000 and 32.000 words each. By the time I realised the final story had 258.000 words I was too hooked to abandon it halfway through. So, basically, I read around 328.000 words total in one go, or by my estimate, the equivalent of a ≈ 940-page novel in a day! On my phone. Despite needing several recharges. It was worth it, though. A lot of it matched my own headcanon regarding that character, and it’s given me story ideas aplenty.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I was in Düsseldorf on Thursday night, to see the National Theatre Encore screening of Hangmen. I loved it! I hadn’t been to a theatre screening since Shakespeare Day because this year the performances on offer near me are several months apart, rather than monthly as they had been before. But Hangmen, starring David Morrissey, was one I didn’t want to miss. It’s all set in the north of England, and it was refreshing to hear proper Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester accents again. If you didn’t know already, I spent 6 years living and working in the North West of England; 3 years in Carlisle, Cumbria, and 3 years living in Southport, Merseyside but working in Liverpool, Merseyside and Preston, Lancashire, so I consider myself a Northerner and my accent tends to get more Lanky the more comfortable I become talking to people. In fact, my old house in Southport was about half a mile from the county border of West Lancashire on the main route into Preston. The people sitting next to me at the movies had a hard time following the dialogue at times, which made me giggle. To me, the actors sounded just like the motley crew of regulars down at my local.

Last week, I mentioned that I wanted to get back into journaling, and I’ve made a start. Writing on the first blank page is always the hardest bit, but I’ve started with a “This Is Me” post. It won’t be a diary as such. My days these days consist mainly of work and study with very little else until the thesis is handed in. But I’ve got lists and experiences I want to write about. I’m fully counting on the therapeutic value of such an exercise. I’ve been printing out pictures and patterns to use as backgrounds to add a splash of colour to the journal, as I am hopeless when it comes to illustrations. Let’s just say, even stick people are a challenge….

©Literati Girl

©Literati Girl

Anyway, if we were having coffee today, that would be it from me for now. Tell me about your week. What have you been up to? And I’m sure the other Weekend Coffee Sharers would love to see you too!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

Intense theatre with unexpected hilarity – Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre, London

This review of Hamlet at the Barbican starring Benedict Cumberbatch was originally posted on Study.Read.Write on August 11, 2015. I realise this review was of a preview performance (as the likes of me did not qualify for Press Night tickets despite having Press ID), and subsequently, the dialogue has been moved around again, moving “to be or not to be” back to its rightful place.

I am republishing the review here in celebration of #ShakespeareDay on the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death.

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Energetic and intimate theatre – Richard III at Trafalgar Studios, London

This is one of my real-life writing samples. I’m a trained journalist, so I sometimes write theatre reviews. This one I’m particularly proud of, as it combined a trip to London (I’m based in Germany), my favourite actor and Shakespeare.

It’s a review of Trafalgar Transformed Season 2: “Richard III” at Trafalgar Studios, London, which ran from 1st July 2014 until 27th September 2014, starring Martin Freeman.

First published on Fernweh & Wanderlust on 27th July 2014, and subsequently on my other blog Study.Read.Write.

Republished here in honour of #ShakespeareDay,
celebrating #Shakespeare400 and all the Bard’s works.

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