Wicked: A Good Green Witch’s Story

My sisters and I recently went to see Wicked: The Musical at Apollo Victoria recently to treat ourselves, and enjoyed it thoroughly – each of us had been wanting to see this for a while and it was amazing fun to see all the singing, acting, costumes and sets sliding around on stage and creating a funny and emotional story.

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As is the case with most plays, we weren’t allowed to take photographs during the play’s duration (not that I haven’t tried before, but the accidental flash in the past has taught me a lesson if I don’t want to be removed from the theatre!) We did manage to get a quick shot of the stage before the play started (although these are courtesy of my sister who took these ones below) and which shoes a huge map of Oz as well as a dragon on top of the stage which moved every now and then during the play.

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Wicked is a great play – and it’s even more interesting to see if you’ve read the books originally written by Gregory Maguire, who re-imagined the story of The Wizard of Oz to give it more depth, and to tell the story of the misunderstood Elphaba, more widely known as the Wicked Witch of Oz. Having said that (and I was one of the ones who had read the books years ago), it does spoil it a little if you know what’s coming – although in this case, the way the story was translated onto the stage was brilliantly done and a lot more lively than I expected.

Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, daughter of the Governor of Oz who suspects that she is not really his daughter, and resents her green skin – just as she is arriving at University. Meeting the self-absorbed Glinda, trying to protect her wheelchair-bound sister Nessa-Rose and dealing with the isolation from her peers, Elphaba finds love, magic and most importantly, a passion for Animal rights, which leads to her eventual fate as the “most hated woman in Oz”.

The main difference I noticed between the play and the book is the politics and rebellion, which deals with the treatment of talking Animals as they are discriminated against by the laws of the mysterious Wizard of Oz; and Elphaba’s struggles with her professors, her peers and the friends she ends up making. The play does deal with this – but also attempts to wind together a lot of complex issues by focussing the story on Elphaba as a character and what she tries to do – whereas the book has a wider range of characters who all deal with their own struggles and situations that merge under the canopy of the the Animal rights issue.

I won’t talk too much about the novel, since it’s a very different style to the theatre, and translates to a more exuberant show that works. The play itself is brilliantly created – the main characters of Elphaba and Glinda (or Gah-linda, as she pronounces it) are well acted, and easy to love. The songs are, of course, what make the show, catchy, passionate and beautifully sung, with funny dances, subtle expressions and lots of one-liners that catch you laughing.

My favourite scene is one in which the glamorous, conceited and sparkly Glinda tries to teach the socially-awkward and shy Elphaba to be beautiful, to flirt and laugh – it reminded me of so many girls that I know (I won’t name names!) that it made me laugh – what probably made the scene most memorable was the fed up look on Elphaba’s face, as she stands on a stage that she looks like she wants to run away from!

I’m looking forward to seeing more shows – I’ve seen a few in the past with my friends and my husband, and have a long list of more to see! Have you seen this play? What did you think of it?

Weekly Challenge: Cover Art

A few days ago I saw a really colourful piece of street art in Brick Lane, near Aldgate East which caught my eye, not least of all because of the funky design which shows a quirky character (with, I think, his hands on his head?)

I think this would make a really interesting album cover, or even a sketch, or even a comic series! What do you think?

20141023_174035Part of this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

An Elephant at Waterloo

If you ever go to Waterloo Station, and come up the escalators, you may see this – a giant elephant wire structure created by artist Kendra Haste. I can’t remember the reason why there was an elephant installed here after it was bought by the London Underground (although I like some of these reasons) – although I’m glad there’s some funky art on the underground like this.

Here’s to an elephanty Monday, they may be big but they’re also magnificent, and they’re nice to peep at on the way to the station!

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Fishies and Jellyfishies at Sea Life London Aquarium

We visited the Sea Life London Aquarium a few days ago with all of the nieces and nephews (toddlers, babies and big kids all!) to look at lots of fish, sharks and jellyfishes.  I won’t say too much except to say that we had a lot of fun (the baby nieces had great fun squishing their faces at the glass and squealing at the fish) and that we ended up having nandos afterwards. I’ll let the photos do the talking about all the pretty fishes we saw (we didn’t find Nemo though!)

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Knights and Proud Horses

I visited Liverpool Street to have a meal at a pretty restaurant recently, and saw this in one of the Squares around the restaurant which I really liked. Created by English sculptor Denis Mitchell, this is a huge piece of metal work of a beautifully embellished horse with a knight sat atop it. It represents, apparently, King Edgar’s gift of land to his knights, which was measured “the distance a horseman could throw his lance.”

So pretty beneficial for the darts-players, really.

The blue stones in this are my favourite bit, they’re beautifully bright and really accentuate the whole piece to make it an almost romantic piece – makes me think of French courtly tales and knights from the middle ages almost. The statue itself is pretty big, standing next to it we could it was at least twice the height of one of us (if not more) but that just makes it look more majestic. It’s situated in a quiet area too, so you get plenty of people wandering around in the peace and taking pictures : )

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Patchwork Baby Elephant Mondays

I saw these two little cuties, patchwork elephants which reminded me of Elmer the Elephant, +and also slightly a little like the hallucinations Dumbo has when he gets drunk – add some stuffing and beady eyes and you get these.  I would have loved to have bought these for one of the babies in the family (they probably would have tried to sit on these) but unfortunately they weren’t for sale, and I didn’t think I’d get away with running off with these.

Nevertheless I can add this to the list of cute, quirky animals that I’ve seen (like these cute giraffes) and will be keeping an eye out for some more cutie patooties like these.

Happy Mondays!

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The Animal Applicance Kingdom comes to John Lewis

I saw this amazing Christmas-themed display at John Lewis a few weeks ago and loved it, animals made purely from household appliances, electrical goods and random furniture. I love the cute quirkiness of all of these animals, and especially how well crafted they are – I can certainly  see how they’ve tied this display in with their Christmas advert.

Here’s a few pictures (or several!) of the different animals which have been created using some brilliant creativity and a lot of imagination – my favourite are the penguins but there’s so many more which are just adorable.

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A Bee.

I got very lucky with this shot – I spent about 20 minutes stalking a bumblebee (from a safe distance) while it hovered over a small field of flowers. I’ve spent the last few years increasingly wandering around with a camera-phone, digital camera, Polaroid camera and DSLR camera – and this serendipitous picture remains one of my favourite shots.

So here’s a shot which is close to my heart – a lone bee buzzing around pretty flowers (perhaps a reflection of me hovering over flowers while passer-bys wonder what the heck I’m doing).

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Amazing Sketches from Simple Household Objects

These are some really simple but genius sketches, thought up by Javier Pérez (or Cintascotch as he seems to be known on Instagram). I love these cute but thoughtful pictures, each with its own sweet character and style which I find really inspiring.

The artist is always updating his Instagram account with new images too, so keep an eye out for more (plus he now has an online shop open with various products with his images on them.)

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All images belong to Cintascotch/Javier Perez