Monthly Archives: October, 2012

We Will, We Will, ROCK YOU!!!

As promised, the We Will Rock You review. Where do I begin? I’ll just start typing and see what comes up.

The play truly was Queen Heaven. To paraphrase the wrong sort of Queen-based subject, it was victorious, happy and glorious! The songs that featured in the play were Innuendo, Radio Gaga, I Want to Break Free, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, Play the Game, Under Pressure, A Kind of Magic, I Want It All, Headlong, No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young), Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Ogre Battle, One Vision, Who Wants to Live Forever, Flash, Seven Seas of Rhye, Fat Bottomed Girls, Hammer to Fall, These Are the Days of Our Lives, Bicycle Race, We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, and the encore song, which I think you can very easily guess! If I had to niggle a little about the song choices, I was a tad disappointed that Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy didn’t feature in the show. But apart from that, I don’t think a Queen fan like me could complain vociferously about a show with 25 Queen hits.

The play was held in the Dominion Theatre, which was GINORMOUS. I got vertigo just looking up at the ceiling! What didn’t help was having my mind’s eye playing disaster-movie-influenced images and videos of the chandelier and ceiling caving in and crushing everybody to smithereens. I had never been in a West End theatre so gimassive; the last two plays I saw were The 39 Steps and The Woman in Black (the latter of which I might do I blog post on when I can), which were held in really small auditoriums.

Since the play was by Ben Elton, I was expecting it to be very silly…and innuendoes (the choice of first song must have been a warning to the audience of what kind of humour they were going to expect). We Will Rock You was set in the future on iPlanet (formerly Earth), which is under the control of Killer Queen and her company Globalsoft: a corporation as massive as WALL-E’s BnL that bans live music, instruments and songs and instead feeds computerised identikit auto-tuned pop to the masses. The population are essentially Invasion of the Body Snatcher clones that all have the same tastes, clothes and personalities. They are all the result of Radio Gaga. In fact, the female clones are all called GagGa Girls! The hero is Galileo, who hears lyrics and music from the days of rock ‘n’ roll — “the Dreamer” that the rebels to Globalsoft (the Bohemians) have been searching for so long for. The heroine is Scaramouche: an underdog and an outcast to the Gaga Girls, for she dreams of more than being a Gaga girl. The story then develops into a hunt for the mythical “Place of Champions”, which is said to hide the last ever musical instrument, which Globalsoft has been destroying many of for years. Galileo and Scaramouche later learn of the “Place of Champions” through the Bohemians, who worship the ancient musical text that is Bohemian Rhapsody. Yes, there are constant references to the song, but throughout the story, the song is never performed in full!

The show is full of jokes. There are the Queen jokes (“Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?” “You want me to have sex with ya?”). There are the cultural, musical jokes (“Rock ‘n’ Roll was destroyed in three words: HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL”/”Who is Tinky Winky? Who’s Dipsy? Who’s La La? And who’s…Po?”/”It was buried…in a place of towers…and skyscrapers…and it was called…WEMBLEY ARENA!”). There are the jokes that were either added as updates to the script, or were probably a result of improvisation (“”The rest of the [Bohemian Rhapsody] tape was taped over…by some show called…The Only Way is Essex! What–a bunch–of TWATS!”). And then there are the innuendo jokes (“You make me go limp…(look down, then back up again) with excitement!”).

The play was as cliched and exaggerated as Mamma Mia in spirit, but the story surprised me in how different it was in style to Mamma Mia’s. The play had a deservedly long, whooping, cheering standing ovation at the end, plus three curtain calls and an encore! However, it wasn’t a genius laugh-a-minute joy of a play like The 39 Steps and it wasn’t completely engaging throughout like The Woman in Black was, although I guess you can’t really compare this play to what I’ve seen at the West End. However, if you love Queen, and you don’t mind listening to High School Musical, The Only Way Is Essex and pop music in general being mocked and jokedly laughed at, then I thoroughly recommend you go see this; it’s a feel-good play that will make you beam and sing.

RATING: 4/5

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Favourite Songs of the Week!

  1. Come On Eileen – Kevin Rowland & Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  2. Enjoy The Silence – Depeche Mode
  3. Tubular Bells/The Exorcist Theme Tune – Mike Oldfield
  4. I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby – Kid Creole & the Coconuts
  5. Never Stop – Echo & the Bunnymen

East End Ers & West End Plays

In Year 7, this half-term would have been spent doing the small amount of homework given and nervously gnashing my fingernails for when I have to get back to school and face lessons again. In Year 8, it would be the same, only with more homework. In Year 9, I would be thinking up what I’m probably going to do at GCSE level, without a care in the world about going back to school. In Year 10, I’ll be in my zone, preparing for my German Writing Assessment, a little worried, but trying to feel optimistic.

Now it’s Year 11, and now I’m finally over halfway there to truly discovering the definition and experience of “hard work”. I’ve just finished three homeworks, each taking me two hours long, this weekend, but I still have so much more: I have to prepare for a German Speaking Assessment in mid-November, and I have to start making my second major piece for Fine Art as soon as I get back after half term. Others have it worse, though; they have a Drama exam after half-term, and some are not having an easy time; some are even coming back to school this week to continue working on it! One person I know is in a bit of crisis about this Drama exam, and they have SO MUCH HOMEWORK TO DO. But I know that this person is a hard worker and an amazing actress, and will pass this with flying colours, no sweat!

Looking back over my first few blog posts, I really should’ve counted myself lucky that I had less work to do back then than I do now, instead of complaining about my stress over my exam results and upcoming tests. However, I guess it was a lot to get used to in such little time, so I guess I can’t complain. And I shouldn’t.

But what about me now? What will happen in my upcoming exams this year? How will I do?

DUN–DUN-DUN-DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUN!!!

[My attempt at typing out the Eastenders Suspense Music. Hence the title.]

But the past couple of days, looking on the bright side of life, have been pretty good for me, and the after-effects of these events will hopefully keep me optimistic during this week. First, there came the highlight of the school year last Friday: the sponsored walk. The teachers say it’s 10 miles long, but some people say that they measured it with a pedometer and it read a distance much greater — about twelve or thirteen miles. But anyway, back to the matter of hand, the walk last Friday was the best walk ever. It had to be; it was going to be my last, unless I followed the example of some Year 12s and sneak in on the day. I wore a BaZnGa t-shirt (which can be seen at the bottom of this post)! I felt like the Flash taking a hike (only not sprinting it at a billion mph)!

Then there came the trip to the West End yesterday, where I went to see We Will Rock You, which featured 25 Queen songs, one villain called Killer Queen, and plenty of jokes and innuendo by Blackadder writer Ben Elton! I will post a review later, since this blog post is getting a bit squashed. But all I will say was that I was sorely disappointed that karaoke was not a compulsory element of the show; I was joining in with such songs as Radio Gaga, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Flash, Don’t Stop Me Now, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, and of course Bohemian Rhapsody!

If you do go to see the show, however, be warned that Fat Bottomed Girls does feature in the show! Don’t worry though; the performance is suitable for a pre-watershed play. All I will say is that I was right to groan, cringe and roll my eyes to the heavens when I heard the words, “Ohhhhhh, you gonna take me home tonight?”

Live long and prosper! 😀

Big Bang Theory Quote of the Week!

I’m starting to run a little short on BBT quotes at the moment. I might have to resort to other things…

However, it won’t happen in the near future, because my next few quotes are going to be from The Cooper-Nowitzki Theorem: an interesting episode, and not one of the best in my opinion, but it’s still packed full of fodder for geeky guys and gals. Take this week’s quote for example, which explains how Homo Novus’s like Sheldon reproduce…

Sheldon: More Pad Thai, please.

Howard: Sheldon, you’ve already had four servings.

Raj: You might want to slow down a bit, buddy.

Sheldon: Just one more bite. (He chomps a prawn, gulps, then starts to shudder uncontrollably, placing the Pad Thai on the table before him.)

Leonard: Sheldon? Sheldon, are you okay?

Sheldon: I’m just so… full.

(Sheldon begins to shake uncontrollably, then expand, then a second Sheldon separates from the original Sheldon and ends up sitting next to him. Leonard wakes up in bed with a start.)

Leonard: That’s it. No more Thai food.

That’s right. The great Homo Novus reproduces through the same way our body cells reproduce: mitosis! As to why Pad Thai stimulates this is anybody’s guess…

Live long and prosper! 😀

Favourite Songs of the Week!

  1. Magic Fly – Space (hypnotic, entrancing, enticing and any other synonym for “hypnotic”. Also VERY SPACEY.)
  2. Oxygene Part IV – Jean Michel Jarre (the king of synth pop and instrumentals alongside Mike Oldfield & Giorgio Moroder.)
  3. Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode (the Saturdays ruined this song; the original is so much better!)
  4. Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye (describe this in one word? Genius.)
  5. Sinful – Pete Wylie (quite catchy for an indie song and great for 80s synth pop fans!)

Strictly Goes Smokin’!

This year, Strictly has had the greatest celebrity line up ever, Alesha has finally been replaced by a proper professional dancing judge, and my geeky grin has emerged many times during the series — Dani Harmer danced on a Pac-Man arena with Pac-Man eating ghosts on the background screen last week. And then came this week’s Hollywood special. To paraphrase that line from Dirty Dancing, this week, I had the time of my life watching Strictly.

I’m sure many people would say that the Dirty Dancing dance was the highlight of the series; it predictably but deservedly received the longest standing ovation of the series, and was clearly saved till last on purpose. But I would strongly beg to differ.

There was Fern Britton dancing to Supercalafridgalisticexpialdocious [looked it up and found that it was Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious]. There was the Full Monty dance, with some good ol’ Hot Stuff by Donna Summer in the background, although I think I speak for every Strictly viewer when I say I was cowering against the sofa and praying that they wouldn’t actually do the Full Monty for real. There was Denise Van Outen’s Toy Story dance, which I sang along to as nostalgic goosebumps shivered up my arms and I pondered why “Jessie” wasn’t wearing her cowgirl hat and jacket. There was the Bond dance (hands up all those who cringed at “You only lift twice.” Yup. Enough hands to hold up the moon).

And then there came the real highlight: the Mask dance. As soon as I heard the tune during a brief watch of It Takes Two, I knew that this was going to be the dance of the night. And I wasn’t wrong. Nicky Byrne did Jim Carrey justice, behaving almost exactly like him. The dance was, to paraphrase Star Trek, energised. And they remembered to add the “SMOKIN’!” at the end (I said it at the same time). Best of all, Nicky didn’t even need to wear false teeth to do the Mask grin. I love The Mask, and seeing it on Strictly just made my day.

Poor Craig, though. Poor Craig the tin man without a heart. It’s a complete DIS-ARS-TER, darling! 😀

Bring on Strictly Does Halloween!

ChuckleVision

I feel sorry for today’s generation of young children; they’re growing up on programmes infested with poor stories, weak scripts, tiring CGI and just downright heavily cringing ideas for series. I am especially sorry for young children growing up watching poor CGI versions of such fantastic children’s shows like Postman Pat (now Postman Pat’s Special Delivery Service), Thomas the Tank Engine and Fireman Sam. Postman Pat riding a helicopter AND a motorbike? Thomas the Tank Engine’s brilliant old-fashioned animation being replaced by poor CGI? And now FIREMAN SAM? What is going on in this world?!

As a child, I loved so many old stuff: the Clangers, a little bit of Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine, Postman Pat (which I loved to pieces), Thomas the Tank Engine (I didn’t like the crashes and the moments of peril, but apart from that I loved the stories…and Ringo Starr’s heavily Liverpudlian voice), Hanna-Barbera cartoons and Thunderbirds. I also liked some of the new stuff: Teletubbies, Tweenies, Brambley Hedge (which I liked so much that I watched Sea Story during the millennium celebrations instead of the fireworks), Kipper, Percy the Park Keeper AND Woody Woodpecker (which, I recently found out, was voiced by Looney Tunes’ Mel Blanc). These still play endlessly in my head. As does a certain programme that was only subtly hidden in the title…

#Chuckle — Chuckle — Vision! Chuckle-Chuckle-Vision! Chuckle-Chuckle-Vision!#

The guilty pleasure of my childhood. It was cheesy, but wasn’t as cheesy as the Chuckle Brothers’ quiz show: first prize is…a box of Roses chocolate. Yay. The theme tune is ultra-80s-catchy, the slapstick is nearly always giggly good, and their catchphrase is priceless and ageless. Sure, the titles look like they were made at the last minute, the episodes got more and more stretched over the series, and it isn’t exactly comedy gold, but the Chuckle Brothers — Paul and Barry — are now comedy legends! Especially to me.

Ah, nostalgia. Shouldn’t really be feeling it yet as a teenager, but I’m liking it! Well, so long as you avoid thinking about the scary side to it… One day at a time, though. One day at a time.

To me, to you, live long and prosper! 😀

Big Bang Theory Quote of the Week

Geeks of the World. Geeks United. Geek Gangs. And any other organization that involves the word “Geek”. I give you the ultimate insults to give to your fellow men. Such men as geologists: the only people who are glad when others take their work for granite. Bah-dum-cha!

Or alternatively, you could try the steroid-addicted Kurts of the world. Just one word of warning: if you’re going to wear a Doppler Effect costume to a party, make sure you tell everybody you’re a zebra! Enjoy.

Leonard: That’s Penny’s ex-boyfriend.

Sheldon: What do you suppose he’s doing here? Besides disrupting the local gravity field.

Leonard: If he were any bigger, he’d have moons orbiting him.

Sheldon: Oh, snap!

Later…

Penny: Oh, hey guys. You having a good time?

Sheldon: Given the reaction to my costume, this party is a scathing indictment of the American education system.

Kurt: What, you’re a zebra, right?

Sheldon: Yet another child left behind.

Even later…

Leonard: Okay, I understand your impulse to try to physically intimidate me. I mean, you can’t compete with me on an intellectual level and so you’re driven to animalistic puffery.

Kurt: Are you calling me a puffy animal?

Penny: Of course not, no, he’s not, you’re not, right Leonard?

Leonard: No, I said animalistic. Of course we’re all animals, but some of us have climbed a little higher on the evolutionary tree.

Sheldon: If he understands that, you’re in trouble.

Kurt: So what, I’m unevolved?

Sheldon: You’re in trouble.

Even more later…

Leonard: I’m not a dwarf, I’m a Hobbit. A Hobbit. Are misfiring neurons in your hippocampus preventing the conversion from short-term to long-term memory?

Kurt: Okay, now you’re starting to make me mad.

Leonard: A homo-habilus discovering his opposable thumbs says what?

Kurt: What?

Leonard: I think I’ve made my point.

Kurt: Yeah, how about I make a point out of your pointy little head.

Sheldon: Let me remind you, while my moral support is absolute, in a physical confrontation I will be less than useless.

Leonard: There’s not going to be a confrontation, in fact I doubt if he can even spell confrontation.

Kurt(physically lifting Leonard from the ground): C – O – N… frontation!

One last tip: if somebody comes to a party wearing a green outfit and pointed hat with a red feather, don’t assume that they’re Peter Pan, cos he’s not the only person who wears a green costume…

Live long and prosper! 😀

My Childhood Top 40 (Part 2)

In my pre-teenage years, whilst everybody came into school listening to pop music on their iPods, grinning and bobbing their heads to the beat, I still hadn’t found my musical taste. In Year 7, I watched the music channels often. I liked quite a lot of the music, but not so much that I would listen to it on my Zen on my way to school. Nothing sent me in a metaphorical rocket up to Music Heaven.

Well, as a child I didn’t think this, but looking back now I really want to slap a Human League CD into my past self’s hand and say, “Listen to something that you actually like.” After all, Human League is what made me realise I preferred old stuff to modern music.

But that doesn’t mean to say that I don’t still beam with delight when I listen to these songs. Because today, these songs really are now very special to me. It’s Nostalgia Time!

  1. Hot N Cold – Katy Perry (I preferred Katy Perry before her “California Gurls” transformation, and I particularly liked this song during my stress-infused time in Year 7. I can still remember the entire video: the entire, crazy video which, for some reason, had a male bridesmaid…)
  2. Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon (Intensely dark but superb! Same to “Use Somebody.”)
  3. Beggin’ – Madcon (What was it about demented music videos in those days? The video to this song was no exception.)
  4. Not Fair – Lily Allen (The cowboy band players in the video are mouthing, “What the hell?” at Lily for a reason. I always laugh when I listen to this song, which, for reasons only known by Lily, features a banjo instrumental in this song about…uh…shall we say…a relationship gone sour.)
  5. Poker Face – Lady Gaga (Lady Gaga in her early days was so much better than she is now. I was disappointed that this song took weeks to get to Number One. Yes, I knew what game Lady Gaga was playing in the video, but I didn’t care.)
  6. Day ‘N’ Nite – Kid Cudi vs Crookers (Dodgy video aside, I liked this song!)
  7. Greatest Day – Take That (Take That were, and almost still are, my musical guilty pleasure. To this day, I don’t understand the music video, but oh well!)
  8. Broken Strings – James Morrison & Nelly Furtado (Sweet and subtle. I knew the lyrics to this very well as a pre-teen. Every time this plays, the amount of nostalgia this brings back to me makes me tearful and shiver with goosebumps.)
  9. Love Story – Taylor Swift (This is in my Top 40 mainly because of how obsessed all the girls in my year were about this. On the way back from a trip to France, EVERY GIRL at the back of the coach was blaring this of their iPods and squealing the lyrics at the top of their voices. She’s still going. To paraphrase Victor Meldrew, I do not believe it!
  10. Human – The Killers (This song, like Baby One More Time, got its own comedic actions, but this song is just so brilliant that it doesn’t matter; this song was such a craze, even Strictly made a joke based around this. Enough said.)
  11. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (The girls obsessed about Love Story; the boys obsessed about this. A popular choice in secondary school concerts. This song deserved all the attention it received.)
  12. Omen – The Prodigy (When I got this song, I vowed to make it the most played song on my Zen. The mission failed as the song started to become repetitively less interesting. I like electronic music, but not music as loud and booming as The Prodigy. But it’s still packed full of nostalgic nibbles.)
  13. I’m Not Alone – Calvin Harris (These next three songs all have one thing in common: the artists were clearly inspired by 80s music. I listened to Calvin Harris again recently, and immediately I knew I’d found somebody modern who I could confidently say I liked. The video is as puzzling as “Titanium”, but I’m so glad Calvin Harris is back in my musical life!)
  14. Bulletproof – La Roux (I LOVED La Roux. Her wacky hairstyles, her obscure fashion style and her bip-bopping synthesized songs with impossible-to-understand videos and puzzling lyrics were all wonderfully wacky.)
  15. Remedy – Little Boots (Every milligram of her songs and videos contained a big helping of Retro. And that’s why she fascinated me. That and her height that bordered on hobbit-size.)
  16. Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden (The song’s bonkers. The video’s bonkers. I’m bonkers. A perfect match! And it’s probably the only Dizzee Rascal song that I still like.)
  17. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas (“Oh and FYI, you never even heard of the Black Eyed Peas before you met me!” “I heard of them. Just didn’t know they were a band.” There. Now my Big Bang Theory lobe is happy. I liked the BEP and the END. Who didn’t? And BEP weren’t just referred to in BBT once; Leonard sang to their other No. 1 hit, “I Gotta Feeling” in the car – another song that invaded the world by storm, and picked me up in its wake. Shame that it really is the END for them.)
  18. Fight For This Love – Cheryl Cole (I missed Girls Aloud, but Cole’s debut single was such easy listening I really liked it.)
  19. Islands in the Stream – Vanessa Jenkins, Bryn West & Sir Tom Jones feat. Robin Gibb (Gavin and Stacey, Tom Jones and a Bee Gee in a charitable song that is as epic as Band Aid! What more could you ask for!)
  20. My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson (Listening to this song again brought back memories I thought had long since been cleared out by my brain. I was shivering with nostalgic goosebumps as memories of  Year 7, including a certain trip to France, and every emotion I was feeling at the time came flooding back to me.)

This chart was difficult to compile, since so many songs bring back tidal waves of nostalgia. Such songs that failed to get into the chart included Owl City’s Fireflies (which, along with the Match.com ad songs, stuck in my head during Year 9) and, fortunately, Pitbull’s I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho). I thought I had found peace from Pitbull for the first time in years, but hearing the background music to the Baggage ad sent my mind into pandemonium, and now his womanizing ways has polluted my brain.

Please note that I don’t dislike all the listed music; just listening to my NOW CD collection again made my mind feel like it was being pummelled by a tsunami of joy, memories and nostalgia.

Well, that’s my Top 40 done. Now it’s back to normal. Live long and prosper! 😀

Big Bang Theory Quote of the Week!

This week’s quote is from the legendary episode The Pants Alternative: a real cracker of an episode. You can probably guess from the episode title why. Also in the episode, we see Sheldon look astonishingly smart in a suit, turn a psychotherapy session with Leonard around, and ruin a perfectly good meditation lesson with Raj…

Raj: Okay, Sheldon. I’m going to be leading you through a series of meditation exercises. These methods come from the ancient gurus of India and have helped me overcome my own fears.

Sheldon: And yet, you can’t speak to women.

Raj: True, but thanks to meditation, I am able to stay in the same room with them without urinating. Now, close your eyes.

Sheldon: Okay, but don’t punch me.

Raj: What?

Sheldon: When I was little, my sister would say to me, “Close your eyes, you’ll get a surprise.” And then she’d punch me.

Raj: I’m not going to punch you.

Sheldon: That’s what my sister used to say.

Raj: Do you want to do this or not?

Sheldon: I’m sorry. Proceed.

Raj: All right. Imagine yourself in the one place you feel most at home. Where is that?

Sheldon: Sim City. More specifically, the Sim City I designed: Sheldonopolis.

Raj: Okay, you’re in Sheldonopolis.

Sheldon: Where exactly? Sheldon Square? Sheldon Towers? Sheldon Stadium, home of the Fighting Sheldons?

Raj: Whatever you like.

Sheldon: I thought this was supposed to be a guided meditation.

Raj: Fine. You’re in Sheldon Square.

Sheldon: Really? This time of year? It’s a bit nippy.

Raj: Then, put on a sweater.

Sheldon: I suppose I could run downtown and pick up something at Shel-Mart.

Raj: Yeah, whatever. Just go buy a sweater.

Sheldon: You know, the nice thing about Shel-Mart is I own it, so I get a 15% discount.

Raj: You own the damn thing. Just take a freaking sweater!

Sheldon: Look, I didn’t turn a profit last quarter by taking products off the shelves willy-nilly!

Raj: All right. You’ve paid for a sweater, and you’re in Sheldon Square.

Sheldon: Hang on. (He does up invisible buttons down his t-shirt.) It’s a cardigan. I have to button it…Oh no!

Raj: What now?

Sheldon: A Godzilla-like monster is approaching the city. I have to get my people to safety. PEOPLE OF SHELDONOPOLIS! THIS IS YOUR MAYOR! FOLLOW ME! IF THE CHILDREN CAN’T RUN, LEAVE THEM BEHIND! Oh, the simulated horror! (Sound of door slamming) …Raj?……Just as I suspected. Meditation is nothing but hokum.

Live long and prosper! 😀

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