RSC’s The Tempest at the Barbican

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Gregory Doran directs this incredible and innovative production of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, The Tempest, mixing breath-taking visuals with delicate and funny performances. 

I always seem to watch the best plays just before they’re about to finish; The Tempest, following a successful run in Stratford-Upon-Avon, moved to the Barbican Centre for a seven-week run and is now in it’s final week. I was determined to see it since I had seen all the hype surrounding the ground-breaking technologies used in the show and, after luckily getting myself a front row ticket, I can say it exceeds expectations! If you have the chance to see the show and are interested in Shakespeare even in the slightest I highly suggest you go, you won’t be disappointed!

I’ll start with the performances, in particular Simon Russell Beale’s Prospero and Mark Quartley’s Ariel, the latter being the one who stole the show for me. Continue reading

Spider-Man: Homecoming | A Colourful Character Driven Film

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Director: Jon Watts

Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon

Running time: 133 minutes

Certification: 12A

 

 

“If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”

 

When I first heard that there was going to be another Spider-Man reboot I was very hesitant – the Spidey track record hasn’t been too good – “But” I told myself “Marvel is taking the reigns so it has to be better!”. Then when I heard that this Spider-Man would focus on the nerdy Peter Parker trying to juggle being an unpopular high-school student as well as a “friendly neighbour-hood Spider-Man”, I was both excited and apprehensive. Getting that structural balance right would be difficult but Marvel have done it before; the Guardians of the Galaxy films especially worked well in the mixture of superheroes and comedy. After Homecoming was released and the positive reviews came in I was just very excited to see it, and it did not disappoint…much.

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The Lake District || A Family Holiday

15 / 7 / 17 – 22 / 7 / 17

Part of my A-Level English Lit. course required researching literary critics to find quotes for essays. Once when I was doing some said research I came across John Muir and a number of his quotes, many of which ended up in my essays. But there was one in particular that I thought was so beautiful although I never really understood personally until this holiday, and that quote was:

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” 

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The Shakespeare Series || The Tempest

* The Shakespeare Series is a new series I’ll be doing here on Reading in the Rain and will involve my good self looking at Shakespeare plays, telling you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly reviewing them! I hope you enjoy 😊 *

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The Tempest

What’s it about?
Prospero – the magician, rightful Duke of Milan, and father to Miranda – employs his spirit Ariel to bring on a tempest in order to gather the men who betrayed him onto his island, to seek revenge for himself and a love for his daughter.  We follow the character’s as they set out on their respective journeys of punishment, love, forgiveness and the fantastical.

Why should you read it?
○ It is beautifully lyrical – Not only does Shakespeare create a vivid image of the island through reported speech but also the recurring references to the environment, the metaphysical, and the mythological are wonderful to read.

The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.      

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96 Hours in Paris

9/07/ 17 – 12/ 07/ 17

There’s an unspoken truth about the end of A-Levels: as soon as you and your friends have finished all your exams you pack a bag, board a plane, and head off somewhere exciting. For many that’s to Magaluf or Ibiza – but that’s never really been my kind of thing. So my friend and I instead decided to grab a different ticket and to explore La Ville-Lumière!

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Book Review: Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

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“I could tell I was standing too still and breathing too silently. I prayed she didn’t notice, but she must have, she was so close to me.”

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I was sent this book by Walker Books a couple of months ago and I was immediately intrigued by the the idea of it as a ‘Graphic Memoir’. I know that this isn’t the first graphic memoir, in fact there are many that I’d love to get my hands on, but this is actually the first one I have ever read and boy did I enjoy it! If I had read this a while ago it most certainly would be on my list of Top 5 Graphic Novels. It has everything you would want from a graphic memoir; a compelling and moving story, beautiful artwork, and hilarious writing. Let’s briefly sum up the story:

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Current Favourites and a Catch Up

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It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote about what’s going on with me at the moment and what things I’ve really been enjoying recently, so that’s exactly what I’m doing now!

Time has flown by so quickly that two weeks ago I finished my A-Levels! On Friday the 7th of July I had my Leaver’s Ball (that’s where I am in the photo on the left) and it was my last chance to say goodbye to so many fantastic people. That major part of my life is (hopefully) now over, and honestly it’s been weird. After my last exam on the 22nd of June I came home and just enjoyed doing nothing except watching TV shows, movies, and playing video games.

Since then I’ve found a number of other things to spend my time on, including writing and some online courses. I didn’t know how I was going to feel when everything was all over but I don’t feel that much different, just a lot less bored. The monotonous life of revision and light TV watching is over, now everyday can be and is different!

Other than that, not much is happening in my life. By the time this post is up I’ll be in Paris with a friend of mine – my first holiday in which the only responsible adult is myself – so you can expect to see some footage of that soon.

Now let’s look at some of my current favourites. I’m talking films and TV, games, and the much loved ‘other’!

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Book Review: Truth or Dare by Non Pratt

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“Judge people on what they have control over. Judge them on the way they treat their friends, or whether they persevere when they can’t do something… Be careful not to confuse a beautiful face with a beautiful heart”. 

This book was kindly sent to me by Walker Books, but this has no impact on my review!

When ‘Truth or Dare’ slid through my letterbox and into my hands I have to admit I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t really know anything about the plot and I’ve never actually read any of Non Pratt’s other works (much to the dismay of my friend Jasmine who convinced me to buy Trouble, which I have only read one chapter of!) So seeing as I had some free time and a new book I thought I’d dive in blind – and boy, was it worth it! I read it in just a handful of days because it was so addictive; never was there a moment of boredom and I just thoroughly enjoyed it!

‘Truth or Dare’ is a contemporary YA novel that deals with family, friendship, and love – but really that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

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Spoiler Free Baby Driver Review

 

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SPOILER FREE 

Back again with another film review for you today, this time it’s all about Edgar Wright’s new film Baby Driver! (I bet you didn’t guess that from the title!)
Although I frustratingly couldn’t see this film on the day it was released I was lucky enough to have a couple of days to let the hype start to settle around this film and fortunately it managed not only to meet this exceptionally high level, but exceeded it. So as soon as I got home from the cinema I sat down with my notebook, splurged all my thoughts down, did a quick little bit of research and recorded this video. I wanted it all to be fresh in my mind – I definitely think the buzz of it still shines through despite having to re-record it because I deleted all of my audio!

However I have reflected a bit more on the film and I have to admit that there was one thing that I had a bit of an issue with and that’s the fact that I wish the film had been a little less male-dominated.

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22 / 4 / 17 || Grinshill

I am breaking my two month hiatus with this short little snapshot of my life video!

Back in April, when the weather was unnaturally beautiful for English Spring-time, my family and I decided to take the dogs to a place called Grinshill for a walk all around the nearby woods. Continue reading