Spring Playlist

Spring is probably my favourite season of the lot. Alongside the fact that my 16th birthday is quickly approaching I could probably fill in an A4 page of things that I love about Springtime. There is something so satisfying about sitting outside surrounded by sun and daffodils after a cold and dark winter.

One of the most wonderful aspects to the season is the return of the absent. Leaves and flowers bloom, the scent of fresh grass fills our noses and the lovely warmth of the sun returns to our backs. These things wouldn't be anywhere near as exciting if they hadn't been away for what has seemed like so long. Plus, the ice cream van has been spotted out on the road once more and Hockings ice cream here in Devon is simply the best ice cream ever. I may be a little biased but even my Grandma from Newcastle couldn't deny its brilliance. Trust me.

Friday marked the last day of term before our Easter Holidays. For me, it was spent performing my groups devised thematic piece to a moderator to secure 60% of my GCSE Drama grade. This now means that I have no practical lessons of Drama left and this greatly saddens me. Along with this my favourite teacher no longer teaches me English and my exams are approaching ever so quickly. I'm really struggling to find any part of me that wants to return to school after these two weeks off.

Other than the occasional gig review (click here or here to read my two favourites) you have only had a small insight into my regular choice of music. Something I am yet to do is share some of my recent favourite tracks with you. This little playlist is a mixture of new found loves, old favourites and the love of my life (yes I am talking about you Tom Odell).

1. Lovers Cave - Is Tropical

2. Not Nineteen Forever - The Courteeners
3. Songbird - Oasis
4. Giant Peach - Wolf Alice
5. Big Jet Plane - Angus & Julia Stone
 6. Violent Shiver - Benjamin Booker
7. Lamplight - Bombay Bicycle Club
8. Cherry Blossom - Paolo Nutini
9. Till I Lost - Tom Odell
10. She's Electric - Oasis
11. Jocasta - Noah And The Whale
12. What Kind Of Man - Florence and the Machine

I hope that for all of you, wherever you are in the word, the sun is making an appearance and you all have a wonderful Easter. It's only 8 days until Easter Sunday and sadly for me I made the mistake of buying a two piece crop top and maxi skirt for prom this July. I'm going to have to refrain from extensive chocolate eating unless I want to turn up with the added accessory of a pot belly! Do me a favour and eat my fair share of chocolate for me...

If, like me, you have exams coming up and these next two weeks up are going to be spent doing a lot of revision don't forget to leave some time for yourself. Maybe even do what I have done and take some time out to put together a playlist of some songs that will either boost your energy or aid relaxation. I appreciate that everybody is different and peoples taste varies wildly- so rather than listen to my little playlist why not take a moment to make your own.

Happy Spring.

REVIEW: Teechers - The Queens Theatre 16/03/15

John Godbers Teechers is a brilliant interpretation of life at modern day schools depicted as a play within a play by students Gail, Salty and Hobby. Teechers, as the name implies, tells the story of how the three slightly low aspiration kids who originally had no motivation or work ethic were inspired by their new drama teacher Mr Nixon. The music and fast-pace dance routines may have been updated to include some 1D, T-Swift and even Uptown Funk but the rest has stayed pretty much the same. Mr Nixon, the drama teacher at the demanding comprehensive, has to tame the zoo of kids in his drama class and put up with the self-absorbed range of teachers at Whitewall High. Mr Nixon disapproves of the flaws to the seemingly unfair school system. As only Gail, Salty and Hobby are telling the story of their school year they often have to imitate the rest of the pupils and teachers. You are left with some hilarious caricature impersonations of stereotypical school goers. Performed with a very minimal set and only a 3 person cast the performance was not just the laugh out loud kind of funny but was also very witty and and at no point did any cast member lose the high energy or fast pace that was necessary throughout the performance.

I knew even before the house lights had gone down that the performance was going to be a good one. This being because as the audience were taking their seats the three adults-turned-schoolkids were walking around the room and interacting with everyone in there. My favourite remark was when Hobby walked up to an elderly couple and announced that if they thought the performance was "s*** or bad [they] should probably keep it to themselves". In fact he couldn't have been more wrong. I have to say that it was quite possibly one of the best performances I've seen at the theatre to date.

Being a GCSE Drama student myself I had performed a reasonable chunk of Teechers in school so the story line was already clear in my head. What excited me though, lame as it may be, was that I was able to see someone else's take on the key part to the performance- how each of the three students multi-role the numerous different characters. When working with it at school I often found it difficult to get my head around who I was supposed to be performing as; yet the three cast members seem to create a difference caricature for each character whether it was the overly dramatic Mrs Parry, the indignant Mr Basford or the expressive Miss Jackie Prime.

On a typical trip to the theatre I normally find that one actor or actress seems to shine out to me as being the best. This time though I found I couldn't possibly pick. Jacob Addley, Lucy Benson-Brown and Brad Calpson all stood out to me as being incredibly good in their own different ways. For one, Lucy was awesome at portraying Gail and her romantic interest in Mr Nixon. We were presented with a very funny scene where she had her legs wrapped awkwardly around Mr Nixon as they turned in tune to Aerosmith I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. It was almost impossible to not get sucked in and believe that they were in fact school kids the whole time.

Together with the endless jokes and the realistic impression by Hobby of Mrs Parry giving an hour long thank you speech, I was impressed with how Teechers stood the test of time. Considering it was written in the 1980s there was nothing to it that made us feel that it was written any earlier than yesterday apart from how well practiced it was as a whole. The show was so much about how the characters used their voices, faces and body language that the lack of set and simple lighting just complemented their acting skills in general. All our attention was on what they were saying and doing rather than what was going on around them and I liked that raw feeling to it.

Adrian Mcdougall has directed something wonderful that is both highly-entertaining and true to life and I had a large grin on my face for every second of it. If you would like to see Blackeyed Theatre perform their version of the highly praised Teechers on their Spring 2015 tour you can book tickets by clicking here.

If this review has left you really in the mood for a good trip to the theatre Teechers is just one in a variety of shows put on at North Devon Theatres. Check out there website to see which shows are up and coming: http://www.northdevontheatres.org.uk/

The Great Outdoors

After a cold and miserable January & February we seem to have appeared out the other side and finally reached a stage that is beginning to resemble spring! Yesterday I found myself walking along the beach with Beth, an ice lolly in one hand and my coat in the other as it was too hot to even wear it. I had missed the feeling of the sun on my back and suddenly there it was in the sky, without the company of even a single cloud. As a small sort of celebration of the suns reappearance I thought it would be nice to share with you some photos I took on a walk with Mollie last May. I did originally intend on making this into a blog post and I'm not sure why I didn't but I think it fits in quite nicely here now the sun has come back around.

After a night of watching Cat in the Hat and dancing to Arctic Monkeys in the dark the following morning Mollie and I were due our dose of fresh air. We agreed to go on a spontaneous walk to the woods, pools and wooden lodges up from her house as the weather was so lovely. I wasn't expecting much more than a couple of trees and the thrill of just being out in the sun but boy was I wrong. I ended up with a little bit of sunburn and a vast amount of pictures that have completely clogged up the memory on my phone. It was just unbelievably and unexpectedly photogenic. I have now printed all these photos and put them in a little album which is really pretty to look through. We have already agreed that we need to take a trip back here this year and this time I intend on taking my camera as although these photos have come out really well they were all taken using my iPhone! What made it so great was that we didn't really expect it to be as fun as it was. We ended up getting a bit lost and wondering around for quite some time but that was all part of the fun of it. The lodges there were all very fancy and had little wooden hot tubs out the front. It would be a bit pointless as it is so close to home but I did get the feeling that I need to stay there one day.


What I love about these photos is the memory that comes with them. To you they are probably just some photos of some trees but for me looking at them brings back the scents and sights from the day. That's the thing I love the most about photographs; they have the ability to capture both what you saw but also in a way what you felt. Just like music, photographs have the ability to trigger memories that were stored away in your head.

My Grandad would take photos all the time and he was extremely good at it. If he hadn't spent all his time taking pictures, I wouldn't spend all my time looking through them and seeing new things through his camera lens. It's my own way of seeing the world through his eyes and that is what I love about it most of all. I love taking some time to rummage through boxes of his photos because in a way it's like getting to know him in a whole new way and at the same time it's almost as if I am living his life with him.

The only thing I ever regret about a good day is not having taken enough photographs. I think we take photographs for granted nowadays, but with a photo you can capture that moment you were in with such ease. They're the best souvenir to any trip you take. Life is full of moments where you should have a camera in hand, whether you're at a wedding, by the sea, a concert or a walk in the woods take a second to document it. Since I've started taking pictures not only have I developed a love for photography but also for the world. I now see more, capture more and notice more.

If you take anything away from this post, take photos of anything. The landscape. The sky. Your friends. Their faces. Whatever takes your fancy. Just go for it and you might find you surprise yourself.