By Benedict Nightingale
The Times, 04 August 2015

One image in particular sticks in my mind from this year’s Enniskillen International Beckett Festival: an opera singer delivering Britten’s version of Racine’s Phaedra from the top of a white dress that fell 15 20 feet to the bare earth of a riding centre below the ruins of Necarne Castle, a few miles out of Enniskillen. 

Ruby Philogene was the mezzo who stood high above the Ulster Orchestra and brought anguish, rage, grief, poignancy, an unsettling joy and then a strange calmness to the often feverish, sometimes poignantly quiet cantata that Britten wrote in 1975, when he, like Phaedra, was approaching death.  As she sang, her undeniably elegant dress, apparently made of a soluble variety of celluloid, began to auto-destruct — its rents reflecting the mind of a woman who, having taken poison after confessing her love for her stepson, was in the last, minutes of her life. Her director, the brains behind this towering (in every sense) and moving (both emotionally and literally — Philogene rotated very silly on an invisible plinth) performance, was Sophie Hunter. 

“She’s revolving, she’s hallucinating, she’s bombarded with a turbulence of memories and visions, an isolated figure who makes you feel the heat and fire and lust and boiling veins. and then a burning cold as poison courses through those veins and her flesh turns to ice,”- said Hunter, when we met after the performance. “And there’s and ecstatic euphoria as she finishes surveying the landscape of her life,” added Andrew Staples, the music director and Hunter’s collaborator on a past production of Britten’s the Rape of Lucretia and an impending one of his Turn of the Screw. “Suddenly you see the generosity of someone about to die. They’re saying don’t worry, don’t worry. It’s uplifting and it’s reflected in the music.”

Staples is a distinguished tenor and Hunter is, as any newspaper reader should know, the wife of the Barbican’s new Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch, with whom she recently had a son. The relationship is, like everything else personal, "off limits” to any interviewer, as she gently makes clear. As her Phaedra definitively proves, however, Hunter is far more than Mrs Cumberbatch. 

Born in London and granddaughter to General Sir Michael James Gow (Aide-de-Camp General to the Queen during the early 198os), Hunter is an Oxford graduate, a student of the avant-garde performer Jacques Lecoq, a sometime actress (she and her husband have actually appeared together on screen, in the 2009 thriller Burlesque Fairytales) and singer — she released an album of French-language songs in 2005 entitled Isis Project, written with Robbie Williams’s former collaborator, Guy Chambers. It is as a director, however, —focusing largely on opera and classical music — that she is becoming increasingly acclaimed and has won a Samuel Beckett award for her imaginative work. 

She was, she says, exhilarated by the almost Shakespearean complexity and density of a Phaedra that crams emotions galore into 15 minutes and equally excited by the prospect of staging it in an equestrian school. The feel and even smell of the place put her in mind of Hippolytus, the abused stepson depicted in Greek tragedy who loved horses and was dragged to his death when they panicked. 

“I felt this could be our most ambitious project yet,” said Hunter. “We wanted to take a classic or a contemporary piece, move it out of the traditional concert hall, explore what experience could be built from it, and push the boundaries a bit.” Seven months after starting work on Phaedra, she’s still finding new feelings, new touches of light and shade, in a piece she finds “transcendent as well as challenging — it never lets the audience off the hook”. 

Next up is The Turn of the Screw, with the Aurora ensemble and an excellent cast that includes Staples, the soprano Sophie Bevan and mezzo Ann Murray, and which will form the centrepiece to Aldeburgh Music’s annual Britten weekend, Supernatural in Suffolk. In Northern Ireland, Hunter and Staples have been especially gratified by the crowds making their way to Necarne for Phaedra —"we’ve been having conversations with 16-year-olds who would never normally have anything to do with Beckett and were moved by this" — and hope soon to take the show to Paris. And after that, maybe to show it elsewhere or even make it available on film. It deserves a future life.

Romantic comedies are often dismissed as fluff—a woman’s genre, insubstantial, so formulaic they must not be very difficult to execute. This could not be farther from the truth. The demands of a romantic comedy are considerably higher than the average messy movie made by the Judd Apatow collective, and I say this as someone with a very healthy appreciation for Pineapple Express. Some of those movies might be better if they were a little tighter, but they don’t fail because they aren’t, and they get something out of his loose, improvisational style. In order to succeed, a rom-com needs to be precision-sharp: a finely-honed machine that won’t miss a single beat. I don’t meant to suggest that every rom-com needs screwball patter, but rather that they are structurally demanding: even if you deviate from form a little bit, you had better know exactly what you’re doing. The audience wants something, and it’s your job to give that to them, in a way that is hopefully both totally predictable and also surprising.

Read more: Inside Trainwreck

Back by Popular Demand: Our Subscription Deal with the LRB
Together again.As readers of the Daily know, we at The Paris Review are big fans of the London Review of Books. It’s not just our favorite British book review—it’s our favorite British magazine, period. It sets a standard for criticism and literary journalism, with essays that examine every aspect of politics and culture from an informed, personal... Read More »
By The Paris Review

Consider is the best of times.


Directed by Natalia Leite

Tribeca Film Festival review

Bare, the vibrant feature-length debut of Natalia Leite, is a drama that’s refreshingly submissive to the whims of the night. It’s not that the film is oblivious to the dangers of living impulsively. But, through the experiences of the still developing Sarah, Bare is profoundly absorbent to the spontaneous pleasures and free-spirited logic of the nocturnal mind, to the point that daytime activity is virtually background noise. Trust is sharing a flask with a stranger. Success is finding a generous client at the strip bar. Drugs are a medium for self-discovery. The luminous night holds the pulse of melancholic romanticism that defies the oppressive and purposeless daylight hours – consequence-free trumps the inconsequential.

Played by Dianna Agron of Glee and Heroes fame, Sarah begins the film bored and sullen in a painfully quiet small town in Nevada. Shortly after getting fired from her job at a supermarket, she comes across Pepper, played by Paz de La Huerta, sleeping on the sofa of her father’s now shuttered store. While Sarah is unsure at first of how to respond to this uninvited guest, the two soon begin to make a connection. In their early exchanges, Pepper may initially appear to serve as just another representation of Sarah’s despondent feelings of nowhere-ness but the world of possibility the relationship opens up for Sarah is evident from their trip to Vegas that very night.

That Sarah eventually finds new work as a stripper seems to place Bare in a long tradition of cinematic tales of young, work-hungry heroines who end up making money through their sexuality. What distinguishes this particular story is how lightly it’s treated. It isn’t ‘tragic’ or ‘depressing’ that Sarah has taken up this occupation. Neither is it a reluctant last resort or an especially unpleasant means to an end for the character. Sarah gets on stage on a cocaine-informed whim and the film respects (and perhaps even celebrates) her choice.

Likewise, the aimless wanderer is as much a staple of American independent cinema as the introspective man-child but Pepper’s lifestyle isn’t treated as the embodiment of any national sense of dejection. She’s simply one individual living the erratic, risky life that’s right for her. Paz de la Huerta balances her character well with a performance that’s endearingly sincere and accessibly awkward while maintaining a believability to her outcast status. Dianna Agron, meanwhile, is the sympathetic heart of the film, delivering a performance more identifiably natural than what we’ve seen in her higher profile works.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the two actors are supported by a committed crew unified in maintaining the film’s ethereal, amorous tone. Aided by the radiant, almost aquatic cinematography and sharp editing, Natalia Leite seems intent on capturing every interaction from the best possible angle. At its most passionate, the visuals are almost rhapsodic, but never distractingly so, while the story floats along the shimmering synths of the soundtrack which includes compositions from TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone.

There’s a strange ambiguity to the film’s third act. It’s unclear the extent to which Leite is warning against Sarah’s actions or condemning the protective, judgemental reactions of her friends and family – though the transcendent final scene goes some way to defining the film as a whole. Bare is best viewed not as a cautionary tale or a call to action or a plea for recognition of some group or lifestyle but as a simple, compassionate document of a personal transition. You can decide whether this transition will ultimately be for better or worse but there’s no denying that Sarah feels a little freer by the closing credits.

City of Heavenly Fire — Chapter 2

As it turns out, the prologue isn’t the last we see of Emma Carstairs. Because it’s just so necessary to have her as a recurring PoV in this book. It’s not like it’s two hundred fucking thousand words long and could have used some trimming or anything like that.

(It literally is around 200,000 words long, according to my computer magics. That’s almost three times the size of an average YA novel, for reference.)

Keep reading

Explore the scene: Australia

Yo! So basically I spontanousely decided to write down a list of some lesser known bands I really dig from Australia ( order of the bands is random! ), maybe I will do the same with other continents/countries, who knows. So…let’s start!

Yo! Więc - spontanicznie postanowiłem spisać listę mniej znanych zespołów z Australii, którymi się jaram ( kolejność przypadkowa! ), możliwe, że zrobię to samo z innymi kontynentami/krajami, kto wie… Zaczynamy!

Postblue ( Melbourne )

I heard Postblue for the first time after the premiere of their music video for “Ugly”. I fell in love immediately - energetic, melodic, emotional alternative rock, heavily influenced by 90s alt/grunge scene. Raw and great sound. Their LP “ I Hope They’re Praying For Me ” is a really strong position, better give it a listen. I hope they are preparing some new material, can’t wait!

Postblue po raz pierwszy usłyszałem po premierze ich teledysku do “Ugly”. Natychmiast się zakochałem - energetyczny, melodyjny i emocjonalny alternatywny rock, mocno inspirowany latami 90tymi i ówczesną sceną alt/grunge. Surowe i świetne brzmienie. Ich LP “ I Hope They’re Praying For Me ” to bardzo solidna pozycja, lepiej tego posłuchajcie! Mam nadzieję, że szykują już jakiś nowy materiał, bo nie mogę się doczekać!

Facebook / Order the LP here bandcamp

Endless Heights ( Sydney )

Endless Heights began with melodic, modern kind of hardcore, what you can hear on their first releases ( link ). On the record New Bloom” from 2013 they have exposed their more alternative side, more in the direction of Basement and Title Fight, not giving up their hardcore roots. Recently the band announced the new EP - “Teach You How To Leave”, that I had opportunity to review. Brilliant material.

Endless Heights zaczynali od melodyjnego, nowoczesnego hardcoru, co słychać na ich pierwszych wydawnictwach ( link ). Na płycie New Bloom” z 2013 roku pokazali natomiast bardziej alternatywne brzmienie, idące w stronę kapel pokoju Basement czy Title Fight, nie rezygnując z hardcorowego rdzenia. Niedawno zespół zapowiedział nowe EP - “Teach You How To Leave”, które miałem przyjemność recenzować. Genialny materiał.

Facebook / Pre-order the EP here

Sheltered ( Melbourne )

Sheltered after releasing really promising, more melodic hc/post hc demo in 2014 decided to head more alt/grunge  direction with this years release, “Treat Me Like A Ghost” that I have also revievew not long ago ( link ). They are on tour right now with some amazing bands, I wish I could see them live someday! I can’t stop listening to “Broken Bones”

Sheltered po wydaniu bardzo obiecującego dema bardziej w stylu melodic hc/post hc w 2014 roku, postanowili pójść w bardziej alternatywnym / grugowym kierunku z tegorocznym “Treat Me Like A Ghost”, które niedawno zrecenzowałem ( link ). Skład jest teraz w trasie ze świetnymi kapelami, mam nadzieje, że kiedyś uda mi się ich zobaczyć na żywo! I nie mogę przestać słuchać “Broken Bones”

Facebook / Order the EP here /  bandcamp

Cellar Door ( Brisbane )

Describing themselves as “Sad Punk”, Cellar Door is a alternative/emo punk band that I found out about by an accident, and they became a permanent part of my playlist. Their song “Silhouette” is one of the best singles I had opportunity to listen to this year. It combines all my favourite aspects of emo, alternative rock and the new wave of grungy punk. They have dropped a new EP called “Headaches” not long ago, so check it out.

Opisujący siebie jako “smutny punk”, Cellar Door to alternatywna/emo punkowa kapela którą odkryłem w sumie przez przypadek, a stali się stałą częścią mojej playlisty. Ich kawałek “Silhouette” to jeden z najlepszych singli jakich miałem przyjemność posłuchać w tym roku. Łączy wszystkie moje ulubione aspekty emo, alternatywy i nowej fali grunge/punka. Niedawno wypuścili nową EPke “Headaches”, obczajcie ich!

Facebook / bandcamp

Sundial ( Wollongong / Sydney  )

Sundial are my latest discovery and one of the best bands on my iPod right now. Honestly - I’m listening to them over and over the past few days. The EP “Bleed” from 2013 is a mix of emo, noisy punk with a small shoegaze/alternative rock touch. The 7" split with Ringfinger from 2014 is also well good. Really melodic and catchy stuff!

Sundial to moje najnowsze odkrycie i zarazem jedna z lepszych kapel aktualnie na moim iPodzie. Serio - słucham ich niemal non stop od kilku dni. EPka “Bleed” z 2013 to mieszanka emo, noisowego punka z lekkim alternatywnym/shoegazowym zacięciem. 7″ Split z Ringfinger z 2014 tęz jest bardo dobry. Strasznie melodyjne i chwytliwe kawałki!

Facebook / Order the EP here / bandcamp

Columbus ( Brisbane )

Columbus is a emo/pop punk band with extremely catchy and melodic songs. The first single off their last record, “Downsides of Being Honest” featuring the vocalist of Trophy Eyes is so damn good. A really fresh sounding band, not another copy of a copy on the poppunk scene.

Columbus to emo/poppunkowa kapela z bardzo chwytliwymi i melodyjnymi kawałkami. Pierwszy singiel z ich ostatniej płyty, “Downsides of Being Honest” z gościnnym udziałem wokalisty Trophy Eyes jest przedobry. Bardzo świeżo brzmiąca kapela na scenie, której duża część to kopie kopii.

Facebook / bandcamp

(I can’t post more than 5 videos here, so here’s a link > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wQ7Mgfwa5Y )

Introvert ( Newcastle )

Introvert is a new band with just a single out, but it’s a really promising one. The song “Trip” represents Nirvana driven new way of melodic, grungy punk. Apart from all the intrumental parts here, that are really good, the vocal melody immediately stucks in your brain! I hope to hear more stuff from the boys soon!

Introvert to nowa kapela, która wydała do tej pory jedynie singiel, który bardzo dobrze rokuje. Kawałek “Trip” reprezentuje nową falę melodyjnego punk/grungu. Oprócz dobrych partii instrumentalnych, melodia wokalna utkwiła mi w pamięci od razu. Mam nadzieję na więcej materiału w najbliższym czasie!

Facebook / bandcamp

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (Review)

“That’s what Love is, Georgie. Accidental damage protection.” - Neal

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 3.5

Date Finished: August 3, 2015

Fave quote/dialogue:

Georgie: “How come I can get you to do almost anything I want?”

Neal: “You don’t get me to do anything. I just do things. Because I love you.”


I’ve read all of Rowell’s books and I’ve come to the realization of why I love her works so much…

The plot is simple, (quite predictable, even), but her characters…her characters are so alive and they simply float off the page. Rowell has a beautiful way of story-telling that it doesn’t seem like I’m just reading sentences and paragraphs; it’s almost like I’m right there with the characters… like a part of their little fictional family. 

Pacing is great, dialogue superb, descriptions funny and witty. I LOVED IT. <3

Landline is light, fun, and has an amazing dialogue flow (Something I hope to develop in my writing). Even though this wasn’t exactly a YA novel like her other books, it definitely held that same sweetness YA romances usually give. This book however, didn’t give you the fairytale version of love but instead will teach you that love isn’t perfect and is filled with conflicts, “I don’t know’s”, and “meeting you halfway’s”. But in the end, love really conquers all and life is about finding someone to share with, right? So once you find that right person…you can’t go farther wrong than that. Sure, you’ll mess up, life will get in the way and may even make you hate everything… but in the end you forgive and you realize that you love that person more than you hate everything else.

Now that’s love. That’s love. <3 

-Kaye Allen

NOTE: This is to encourage me to read lol (because I’ve missed reading a lot considering my schedule is so tight I could hardly finish a book in a month OTL) … I will do short reviews every time I finish a book, so I can also share with you guys the books I’ve read and you can enjoy them as well. <3 


#TheHaloOfAmaris on #Amazon and #BarnesAndNoble

#jadebrieanne #instabook #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookstagram #bookreview #urbanfantasy
#sciencefiction #fantasy #angels #nephilim #epic #books #novel #writing #writer #supernatural #paranormal #AdultYA #bookish #writersofcolor #writersofinstagram #literature #buyblack #reading #amwriting #reviews #BlackExcellence #Durham

Positive Reinforcement for Writers

Positive Reinforcement for Writers           

I don’t think it can be said enough that reviews, comments, and simple little nudges of encouragement, are not only wonderful to receive as a writer, but the very foundations of what makes us want to write more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’d write even if I never received a single accolade, but when I do receive positive comments…it’s this insane confidence builder, this rush that wow, I connected with someone because of something I literally poured part of myself into, and this person/people liked it!

But one of the other reasons it can be so important to let your favorite writers know how you feel about their work is because those same people, who you might love but maybe aren’t the type to review or ever do more than beam that they wrote a new book, or posted a new chapter online, is because your positive reinforcement can help combat the negatives they are almost certainly also getting.

One single bad review/comment can completely eradicate the good feelings created by positive ones, because that’s just how humans are built. 7 good reviews and 1 bad—you instantly forget all the good and start second guessing yourself, why do I even do this, and the only thing that can help is time and, frankly, that next positive review. It really does help to go back after some time has passed and see another glowing comment to combat the bad.

Now, I’ve been lucky lately, it’s been a LONG while since I had a straight up mean review, and I’ve had some very helpful criticisms lately that were well-stated and didn’t bother me at all, just made me nod along like, yep, you’re right, I’ll work on that for the next thing I write, or that during a story has helped dictate how I proceeded and things I ended up including to combat a reader’s concerns. Those types of comments don’t sting the same as something purely negative but spur me on, like, oh I got this!

But as I have in the past dealt with some pretty awful reviewers, and have sadly seen very recently the effects that type of thing can have on others when it happens to them…I’d like to put out a plea to all you readers out there to remember that every little kind comment even just an ‘I love this’ means so much to writers. Because sure, we’re writing for ourselves, but we’re also writing for you, and what makes me want to attack that next project most is seeing how happy my work can make others.

So please know how grateful we all are for your comments and support, and consider offering positive reinforcement where you can, because we all know how awful it can be to deal with bullies and trolls in this world, and what a better place it would be if we were all just there supporting each other instead.

As for you bullies and trolls…suck it.  



Amazon | BookDepository

Goodreads Description:

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Keep reading


Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander.




I cried and cried and cried and even if it’s an E-book, I cannot look at it without crying. I absolutely hated it, it’s awesome!

What can I say when I am at loss of words?! Cry. My weeping will carry out the unspoken words. Before halfway into the book, someone on tumblr spoiled for me, but I KNEW THAT I’D STILL CRY!! This is a cancer book, but if someone compare it to THE FUCKING FAULT IN OUR FUCKING STARS, I’LL RIP YOUR HEART OUT! Not all cancer books are TFIOS copy cat, because that would mean that TFIOS is A walk to remember copycat, which means that AWTR is a copycat of some other shit copycat! ENOUGH!

This book is hilarious, I swear has Shannon Lee Alexander HAS THE BEST SENSE OF HUMOR AFTER RAINBOW ROWELL. I am suffering from depression and this book is still making me laugh when no one can. I owe this book. Another thing I love about it, is that part from when Charlie knows the truth about Charlotte. That part is my life every single day. Every time Charlie is with Charlotte, he doesn’t live the moment, but saves it as a memory, because that’s all it will be in a while. I do just that, with everyone I love. I cannot bear the idea of losing loved ones, I cannot see a life after them. There is this certain person, who is my Charlotte. Except that it’s not that kind of love. But someone I cannot bring myself to think of a possibility of life after them. That’s why I relate so much to this book, that’s why it pains me just to think about it, that’s why I can never stop crying at the mention of it. That’s why I know that this book will be there when they won’t.

ATWCWTS: Critics’ Hannigram Roundup

The Guardian, Brian Moylan  “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun”

Speaking of asexual gay couples, Will went to visit Hannibal to get some insight about the Tooth Fairy and how he selects his victims. […]  To Hannibal the two of them are the only family that matters…

Digital Spy, Emma Dibdin — ‘And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…’

And the scent of Will’s new family drives Hannibal to reminisce about the one he tried to build for himself and Will. Will can try to avoid getting too “personal” with Hannibal all he wants, but the two of them even appear to be sharing a mind palace now...

The A.V. Club, Molly Eichel, Hannibal: “And the Woman Clothed with the Sun…”

Hannibal may be behind glass, separated from Will, but they’re still a family, whether Will wants them to be or not…. 

DorkShelf, Peter Counter, “Hannibal Episode 3.9 Recap”

All Will Graham wants is a family of unwanted people. He had it once, collected and presented to him by Hannibal Lecter, but he rejected it in the name of a moral conviction he only truly half-held. In abandoning his surrogate family he had it erased and the trauma that followed drove him to create another one all his own. Gathered like the stray dogs he keeps rescuing, the new Graham family is a dark mirror of the abandoned Lecter-Hobbs clan of his past.

StarPulse, Adam Bellotto, 'Hannibal’ Recap: Wait, The Great Red Dragon Is… A Real Dragon?

The dialogue’s about what you’d expect- Hannibal throws out emotionally charged lines like “you came to look at me” and “you are family, Will,” meant to renew their murder husbandry. Standard material.

But Hannibal’s face. His face. Mads Mikkelsen absolutely killed it in terms of face performance- the first time speaking to Will, his eyes are glowing with this true love/hungry predator/little kid seeing his mom warmth. It’s really powerful stuff.

Vox, Todd VanDerWerff “The 7 found families that might stop the Red Dragon”

If “The Great Red Dragon” really did make it feel like Hannibal and Will hadn’t seen each other in years, then “…And the Woman Clothed with the Sun” very quickly suggested that the two had left little pieces of themselves all over each other. 

[…] Episode director John Dahl spends several scenes framing shots so that reflections of Hannibal and Will seem like eerie ghosts haunting each other. They’re literally beginning to blend together all over again, because that’s what bringing these two into proximity with each other will do.

Hannibal and Will are supremely unhealthy together. Hannibal and Will are so much healthier when they’re together. The only way the Red Dragon will be caught is if they work together — and yet the Red Dragon is already reaching out to Hannibal to betray Will. Danger and heartbreak, always intertwined on this show, lurk all over again.

Chances of relationship’s survival: 20 out of a possible 10 points. We know how this show works. Will will never escape Hannibal; Hannibal will never escape Will.

Okay So Disney’s Descendants

This movie. This freaking movie, I honestly loved it. 

Despite the occasional over the top cheesy parts (this also includes some of the songs, I mean, come on Disney you made it sound like crap from one of your shitty sitcoms). This movie had some great elements to it. 

It showed and hinted at the abuse that Evie, Mal, Jay and Carlos OBVIOUSLY experience on the Isle of the Lost by their parents. (Never truly flat out discussed, but the museum scene, Ben and Mal’s date, and Mal and Evie’s conversation about being scared of  their parent (possibly the most non vague mention) give a lot of points to that. 

All four also experience torn feelings at the beginning of the movie where they question all that their parents taught them about evil. (Mal is shown with the most conflict over this, but it’s expected as the main protagonist)

Evie is freaking intelligent af without her mirror giving her the answers.

Carlos and Jay’s relationship is freaking awesome

Ben isn’t just a dunce, he actually finds out about the love spell, but he doesn’t get mad at Mal. He is very kind and loving towards her and knew his feelings for her.

Mixed characters, POC’s and disabled representation.

The “Be Our Guest” scene

Dopey has a son, Doug, that is pretty smart (which makes me wonder if he is trying to be smart to make Dopey proud. Despite the possibility of having an inherited learning disability from his dad.)

Doug doesn’t just see Evie as a pretty girl and tries to help her when he can. He knows she’s smart and has full faith in her. Also, he doesn’t become a dick or anything when Evie tries to go after Charming Jr., he still stays a friend and tries to approach her after the Family Day fiasco.

Carlos and the dog.

Jay learning to be on a team.

The blitz of Jay, Carlos and Ben to win the game.
The parallels Jay and Evie have to Aladdin and Snow White

But some things I didn’t enjoy so much:

Maleficent dancing and prancing like she is on Broadway. I mean, Mistress of Evil and such. Have you SEEN Sleeping Beauty? 


Lack of magic use. (Only ones shown to use it are Evie (via magic mirror), Mal, Fairy Godmother, and Maleficent.)

Anti-climatic fight, bit cliche. (Even Avalon high had better fighting and wasn’t anticlimatic.)

The music should have been more Retro toward the styles used in the old movies, but with a modern twist (Example: Be Our Guest)

Should have shown more villains in the beginning

Now what I want to happen:

  • Villains have escaped the Isle of the Lost and are causing trouble.
  • Fairy Godmother teaching Evie, Mal, and Nancy magic.
  • Magic being slowly reincorporated into modern science.
  • Jay meeting Aladdin and his kid(s) and they all hit it off immediately.
  • Mulan and Shang
  • Evie and Doug going on crazy adventures because Evie helps Mal with some spells and they have to go out and find ingredients.
  • A proud seven dwarfs meeting Evie and adoring that she is so much like Snow White.
  • Mal and Nacy sometimes causing trouble when they are practicing magic and sometimes accidentally transforming Jay and Ben into animals
  • More villains children coming to the mainland and trying to learn about good and evil
  • Children of Disney heroes and heroines becoming evil.

Happy Days: international Beckett festival review – exquisite Britten; comical, otherworldly drama

Helen Meany  for THE GUARDIAN, August 2,2015

A woman is motionless on a plinth, her dark head emerging from a white feathered gown that cascades from her neck to the ground far below her. The first thought is of Winnie in Happy Days, buried to her neck in sand, suggesting a rationale for including Benjamin Britten’s final cantata, Phaedra, in the programme. This festival takes a scenic route around Beckett, pursuing lines of connection with artists who were significant to him. This year, it is the turn of TS Eliot and Racine, on whose tragedy, Phèdre, Britten based his 15-minute piece for mezzo soprano and chamber orchestra.

As the audience surrounds Phaedra in the darkness, she rotates slowly, lamenting her plight: doomed by the gods to be enthralled by her stepson Hippolytus. Layers of sound extend the Ulster Orchestra’s percussion, pizzicato and Ruby Philogene’s intense arias, while the white gown disintegrates in dripping water. All elements combine to create an image of frozen grief exquisitely realised by directors Sophie Hunter and Andrew Staples.