There is a lot to look forward to on Katelovesliterature.com over the next two weeks.
I am so excited because there is another #theatretrip coming up very soon. I’m sure some readers may be able to guess what I am going to see next. I cannot wait. The show that I am going to see soon is very special to me, but all will be revealed in my next Theatre Trip discussion. Keep an eye out on my Instagram – @katelovesliterature.
After a trip to the theatre, I am very happy to say that I am going on a trip to a #literarycity.
I can’t wait. I did not expect to travel this side of Christmas, and I am so grateful to have been surprised with this trip.
I’m going somewhere that I’ve never been before, and I am counting down the days because this city is filled with so much literary history, this city has a particularly rich music history and I am looking forward to exploring and taking lots of pictures and just soaking in the beauty and the history of the place, as well as really enjoying the festive season.
Most of my trips are inspired by literature in some way, not on purpose, but I am very drawn to exploring places that have a rich literary background. There is something really fascinating about seeing the place where a piece of art was created.
I have not yet shared where I am going, and I think I will keep it a secret for just a little while longer, but do stay tuned because all shall be revealed very soon.
On Saturday I ventured into town for a #theatretrip. I went to see Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
If you know me then you know that a night at the theatre is my idea of a perfect night.
On Saturday we cracked out the autumn jackets and headed into town for a day filled with coffee, food, drinks, and some gorgeous music.
If you’re in Dublin and you want to go for a bite to eat, I am a big fan of The Woollen Mills. The restaurant is right beside the Ha’penny Bridge and the menu offers a wide range of choices along with a delightful cocktail menu.
All thoughts and opinions expressed here on Katelovesliterature.com are entirely my own. I have never been paid to promote or recommend anything. I’m writing about The Woollen Mills because it is a go to spot of mine, and I’d like to share it.
The theatre was buzzing with excitement, and it is great to be in a room that is filled with so much life. My Fair Lady is clearly a much-loved film, and the theatre was filled with people who love the film but hadn’t yet seen the show, or people who loved the show and the film. I fall into the latter category. I have loved the film for a very long time, and I have studied George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in great detail, as well as being very familiar with Loewe’s music.
My Fair Lady the musical, directed by Bartlett Sher is a delight. The set is stunning, the music is charming. The show itself is funny, endearing, and full of passion. I laughed and cried in my seat, and I was in love with the beautiful costumes.
The entire cast was incredible and very deserving of the standing ovation that they received. I think a show like this would be a very hard one to step into because the roles are so iconic and audience members who absolutely adore the Audrey Hepburn adaptation have high expectations, but the cast definitely delivered.
Charlotte Kennedy played the famous Eliza Doolittle, and she did so brilliantly. I would argue that Eliza is the hardest role to play in the show, because the actress must almost play two parts. We meet Eliza on the street selling flowers, penniless and dirty, and “insulting the English language” according to Higgins, but then as the play goes on, Eliza becomes well educated, well spoken, and she no longer fits in on the streets where she grew up. Eliza has to be determined, feisty, funny, but she also has to be endearing, charming, and likeable. That is key. As the audience, we have to root for Eliza, we must cheer for her when she triumphs, we must be on her side, and to do that, we must like her. Charlotte Kennedy was beautiful. Her voice was sweet, yet strong, and had the most gorgeous, air-like quality to it. She was a funny, very passionate, and very likeable Eliza. I was on her side the entire time, as was the entire audience.
Michael D. Xavier was perfect as the snobby, pretentious, egotistical Professor Higgins. I have to commend him as some of the songs that Higgins must sing are very fast, and very wordy, but Michael D. Xavier was clear as a bell and very, very strong. Michael D. Xavier appeared to actually tear up during his final song, and he had me moved to tears. Higgins is an interesting character because at times he is incredibly unlikable, but it is important that he has the audience on side during his last song. We don’t have to like him, but we should feel for him, and I certainly did.
The ensemble was fantastic. The dancing was precise, and very classic. The costumes were dazzling, and the cast embodied their characters in every single way.
My Fair Lady is a fun show. It is charming. I think a great way to describe it is that it is effervescent, but it is not without heart. The show puts class differences front and centre for the world to see and highlights how very often, people are separated by the opportunities that they receive and the way that other people treat them.
Eliza puts it very aptly. The difference between a lady and a flower girl is how she is treated.
I loved the show. I thought it was bright, beautiful, and full of heart.
I would highly recommend seeing it if you get a chance to, and definitely watch the film if you haven’t.
If you’re a fan of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf then Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is a show you don’t want to miss. Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical is an electric show that is filled with incredible rock anthems.
I always look forward to a #theatretrip & this time was no different. I decided to buy tickets for opening night in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. I never have a bad night at the theatre, however it is unusual for me to know almost nothing about the show that I’m going to see.
I knew that Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical existed, but I had never seen the show before & I didn’t know anything about the plot. Usually if I don’t know much about a show I will look it up & read about it so I know what I’m going into, but this time I decided to go in with no knowledge at all. I wanted to go in with completely fresh eyes so I could take it all in.
The show was incredible. I went on Tuesday night. I’m still buzzing. The songs are stuck in my head & I’ve been trying to pin down a moment that was my favourite.
Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical brings the love story of Strat & Raven to the stage. Strat is the leader of ‘The Lost’ gang & Raven is the daughter of Falco. Falco rules the city & his family. He is overbearingly protective of Raven. He never lets her leave the house, but despite his rule, she & Strat meet & fall in love.
It is a classic forbidden love story that has a Peter Pan style twist to it, as Strat & the rest of the ‘The Lost’ are frozen at the age of eighteen. Raven has just turned eighteen, but she will continue to age as normal. This is a problem that the couple will have to face, that is if they can get together at all, because Raven’s father is determined to keep them apart.
This story is accompanied by the music of Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf & the staging is spectacular from start to finish. The best word I can use to describe this show is electric.
It was absolutely brilliant. Every single cast member was fantastic & each one drew me in.
I love seeing a cast that clearly loves the show that they’re doing. It is also brilliant when the chemistry on the stage is so obvious. There was an energy in the air & I was fully invested in every character & their stories.
I have to give a special mention to Sharon Sexton. I might be a little biassed because I love seeing Irish actors thrive onstage, but Sharon Sexton is utterly brilliant. I saw her during the tour of Mamma Mia! The show came to Dublin & I got the chance to see her playing Donna. She was brilliant then & when I found out that she would be playing Sloane, I couldn’t wait to see her again. Her voice is just amazing. I love hearing her belt out those iconic songs. She just owns the role of Sloane & she’s got this brilliant, slick energy in every scene that she is in. Sloane is a fantastic character. I think that she might be my favourite character in the show. The pairing of Sharon Sexton & Rob Fowler as Sloane & Falco is a perfect match. The two play off of each other so well & Rob Fowler was incredibly engaging as the strict, overbearing, powerful ruler of his domain. These two singing Paradise By the Dashboard Light was one of the best moments in the show.
Glenn Adamson & Martha Kirby played the forbidden lovers Strat & Raven. They were amazing. I’ve heard the show be described as an ensemble piece because it really is a group effort & while I would agree with that assessment, I think it is so important that we, the audience, feel connected to Start & Raven, because we need to root for them in order for the plot to work.
I would call the show an ensemble piece, but I definitely would class Strat as a leader. He is the leader of ‘The Lost’, he looks out for all of his friends, the gang look to him for guidance etc. I felt that Glenn Adamson really commanded the stage, especially in his romantic scenes with Raven. I believed every bit of his passion & Martha Kirby as Raven complimented his Strat perfectly. Kirby’s voice is stunning. She is powerful, but she also has some softer moments & the light & shade of her voice was really beautiful.
I could honestly go through each cast member & talk about them one by one because everyone was fantastic. The vocal skills displayed were exceptional. These are not easy songs, there are some really difficult notes in this score & the actors made it seem so easy. I’m so impressed that I’m almost jealous. I wish I had that amount of power in my voice. I just love seeing talent & passion bursting on a stage. The sets, staging, & lighting just adds to the buzzing atmosphere that this show creates. You can feel it in the audience. It is hot. It is compelling. It is powerful. It is charged. That is something that really stood out. Everyone gave a very charged, passionate performance.
It is a fun show that brings an element of rock’n’roll to the theatre, but within all of this fun, there is a really engaging & at times, very poignant plot. The characters are compelling & they command attention. Each character goes on their own journey. Sloane in particular has a very compelling character arc, as does Falco.
I had the most fantastic night & I would 100% see this show again.
Have you seen Bat Out Of Hell – The Musical? If you haven’t & you get the chance to, don’t miss it.
My two top moments – Paradise By the Dashboard Light & You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night).
I don’t think there is anything that excites me more than a theatre trip.
It’s no secret that I love the theatre. I see a lot of shows. I’m aware that it can be an expensive pastime. I’m aware that I am very, very fortunate to be able to go to the theatre as often as I do. I make so many wonderful memories each and every time I go to see a show, and there’s just no other place that gives me the same excited buzz as when I am sitting in my seat just before the curtain rises.
Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers is a masterpiece. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this show, but I am determined to try. I studied speech and drama for years. I have been in several productions and choirs. I have watched this show many times. I’ve seen every professional production that I could. I’ve watched amateur productions. I’ve been in this show myself, and performing in a production of Blood Brothers will always be one of my fondest memories of drama class. It was incredible, and the material has stuck with me all these years.
I saw Blood Brothers when the show came to Dublin in 2020, just before the pandemic hit Ireland and everything changed. I remember how excited I was when the five minute call was announced over the speakers. I was buzzing with anticipation. I thought the show would never start. I love it that much, I just could not wait.
I don’t tend to speak about my personal life. I try not to, just because it’s not really relevant to my literature discussions, however always typing “a friend” just feels ridiculous. The reason I’m even adding this information is because this theatre trip was fairly spontaneous. I wouldn’t call it last minute as we did have time to make plans, but the way this little city break came about was all very sudden and seeing as this is a theatre/city break piece I want to explain properly how this trip came about. Unlike my holiday to Italy, this trip was not planned months and months in advance.
This may come as a shock, but I talk about literary things quite often as a love of film in particular is something that I have in common with many of my very close friends. I was talking to my boyfriend about Blood Brothers because it is a show that I thought he would really enjoy, so we decided that the next time the show comes to Dublin, we will definitely go to see it.
I was thinking about how the last time I had seen the show was in 2020, so I thought it could be a while before it comes back to Dublin. I don’t know why, but I decided right there and then to look up “When will Blood Brothers tour again?”
Immediately I saw that there was in fact a 2022 tour happening. I was so excited, and also surprised that I hadn’t heard about it until this moment. I don’t think I’ve ever made plans so quickly. I viewed the tour dates and as soon as I saw that the show was going to be on in Belfast, I just knew that a little mini break was happening. Yes, it is a mini break. In my opinion, if you are leaving your city with an overnight bag then yes, that is a city break, even if it is only for one night.
Let’s talk about the cost. I am a full-time masters student who is about to face a mountain of work when the academic year starts again in September and I have to tackle my thesis. This means I budget. I really try to save my money and only splurge when it is really worth it, and for the most part, theatre trips are really the only thing that I do spend money on. I tend to save money from work, my birthday, and Christmas in order to be able to go to a few different shows every year, and sometimes the tickets are birthday or Christmas presents.
I am a firm believer that you can still find nice places even if you don’t want to spend a fortune, and lovely places don’t always have to cost a ridiculous amount of money.
I’m being very realistic here when I say that it is easier to do things if you are splitting the cost with someone, and when you are splitting the cost with someone, you can decide together what is worth a splurge and what isn’t.
When planning a theatre trip specifically, my thoughts are as follows; there is no point in paying a lot of money to go somewhere and stay the night (if you’re going outside of your home base), and then not have great seats at the show. Theatre tickets are theatre tickets, and they cost what they cost, and there is a price range that differs depending on where you sit, but sometimes the seats at the back of the theatre are still very pricey and if I’m going to spend money on seats, I would rather spend a little more and sit in the stalls. I’d rather an expensive seat that I have a really great view in as opposed to a less pricey, but still rather expensive seat that I may not be able to have a great view from.
Something to note here is that I am very short so I am speaking from personal experience. I find that the further back I sit, I have a harder time seeing. Honestly even when I sit in the stalls I have to hope that someone very tall does not sit directly in front of me. I’m not bashing any seats. Some people may prefer to sit further back. My own mother doesn’t like being super close to the stage, and everyone has to decide what price option works best for them, but if I’m explaining where I’m going to splurge, then I am going to be honest and say that if I can, I will sit in the stalls.
On this occasion, we decided that the hotel was worth a splurge more than transport so we booked a bus ticket from Dublin to Belfast instead of getting the train even though a train journey is usually a bit more comfortable, and even though it was only going to be for one night, we decided that we’d like to treat ourselves to a slightly pricier hotel even though there were budget options that would have been perfectly fine. If we had have been staying for a few nights, then we would have had to choose a more budget friendly hotel, but when we were talking about just one night, and one hotel was just so much nicer than the other, and the difference between the two places wasn’t absurd, we decided that we would splurge a little and treat ourselves to a really nice night in a gorgeous place.
I am going to be completely transparent and create a breakdown of costs for anyone who is interested in the table below. Feel free to skip ahead if travel breakdowns don’t interest you.
Personally, I find them helpful if I’m reading about trips so I can get an idea of prices if I want to do something similar myself.
The below table is a breakdown of costs from show tickets to accommodation, and it is all based on what we paid individually. For example the show tickets are not £40 in total, they are £40 each. Everything is divided this way.
£40 per person > approx. €50 each.
€20 per person. Round trip. This makes it €10 each way per person. Extremely reasonable.
Overall, for a plan that was put together in a very short amount of time, I am extremely happy with this price. If you look at it and compare it to a night out in Dublin, it becomes clear that we found some great prices.
Tickets to see a show in the Bord Gáis can start at €50 each, and depending on the show, I’ve sometimes paid €80 to sit in the stalls. On a night out to the theatre, we will usually get a few drinks and we sometimes go to dinner, although we don’t do this every single time. For the sake of the comparison though, let’s say we had dinner before the show and had drinks after the show. I’ve often split a dinner bill down the middle and paid €45. That usually covers my food and a cocktail or two and a soft drink.
Even before adding post show drinks, if you take the €50 for the tickets and pair it with at least another €40 for dinner and drinks with the food, that’s €90 already.
If I spend roughly €90 on a trip to the theatre (to be fair, the tickets are usually purchased far in advance so on the night of the show itself, I’m just buying dinner and/or drinks but I’m including the ticket price as part of the overall theatre trip expense) then this entire mini trip to Belfast, tickets, transport, and accommodation is costing me another €45.
If the tour had have come to Dublin, I would have absolutely bought tickets. There’s no doubt about that, so even though the tour coming to Dublin would have saved me the trip, I still think that getting a cute little break away in the month of august to stay in a nice hotel and see an amazing show and make a wonderful memory out of it for an extra €45 is so worth it.
That is really how I decide whether or not something is worth the splurge. I sit down and I think about it and I add everything up, and sometimes we go for the more affordable option or sometimes we decide that we just cannot justify something and we don’t do it, but when we find the right prices and we think it through and we compare, if it works out that we can do something really nice for not a ridiculously extra amount, we do it, and we always have an amazing time.
I want to take a moment to state that this theatre trip was not sponsored. It was not gifted. No part of this piece is an ad. We chose to go on this mini break. We paid for everything ourselves and anything that I have chosen to discuss, I have chosen because we really enjoyed it.
Now that the logistics are out of the way, let’s talk about the fun stuff.
We stayed in the gorgeous Hotel Belfast. This was a great choice because the hotel could not have been in a better location. It was a ten minute walk away from the Grand Opera House. The Botanic Gardens were just down the road. We were right beside so many little coffee shops, pubs, and book shops. It was a twenty minute walk to Victoria Square. The bus from Dublin dropped us off right beside the theatre, and as I said the theatre was only a ten minute walk away so this meant that the hotel was easy to find and we did not have to walk for very long with our bags.
I’ve shared pictures on my Instagram grid – @katelovesliterature is my handle for those who don’t know. I will share some snaps below, but you can also find them on my Insta, along with many snaps from the trip itself in my highlights.
If you like to take pretty pictures like I do, then you’ll see that House Belfast was a dream. It is so pretty. I fell in love with the blossom tree in the bar. I love the design. I love the deeper colours mismatched with lampshades and lots of florals. I love the out there patterns clashed against the grey and rose gold hardware.
I did talk about this already on Instagram, but it is worth repeating. I have to say how impressed I was with the staff. Everyone was so kind to us, especially everyone in the bar and restaurant.
Our lovely waitress, (whose name I won’t share for obvious privacy reasons), was brilliant. She was able to tell me exactly what was nut/peanut free on the menu. She went back to the kitchen and double checked with the chef for me. She gave recommendations. It was so kind of her, and it meant that we could enjoy our meals without any second thoughts.
I wish we could have stayed longer. It was such a lovely experience. The overnight stay has also made me really want to do a staycation in House Dublin so I might look into that closer to Christmas or maybe for one of our birthdays.
When we arrived in Belfast, we checked into our hotel and then we headed out for a walk.
We had planned to eat dinner in the hotel so we had a table booked in advance so our plan for the afternoon was to just have a wander. We grabbed a coffee and made our way to the botanic gardens.
If you need to kill some time on a sunny day, botanical gardens are a great spot. We had a lovely walk through the rose gardens and then we went through the greenhouses. It was a really nice way to spend the afternoon. We really enjoyed the sunshine and the fresh air.
I will talk about the performance of Blood Brothers in a separate piece because this show deserves its own piece. It is incredible. The show is iconic. It is heart-breaking. It is gripping. It is filled with highly emotional themes of poverty, class differences, religion, and fate.
The score is stunning. Each character serves their own purpose. Every line is so intentional. Every move is so intentional. I have studied this show intensely. I’ve been in an amateur production of this show. I’ve read the material too many times to count, and the thing that always stands out is how detail orientated this show is. It is precise. There is so much foreshadowing and this is something that the music reflects. It is just a masterpiece and I intend to speak about it properly in what will be a very long discussion.
Keep an eye out for that as it will be published soon.
The theatre itself was beautiful. We had great seats. We had a drink at intermission. The Grand Opera House in Belfast was a lovely venue. I love visiting different theatres and I would happily see a show there again in the future.
The next day we explored. We had a great time. Our bus back to Dublin was not leaving Belfast until the evening so we had all day to explore.
We went to several book shops. We explored Victoria Square. We had ice cream at Taboo Donuts. It was delicious. The highlight of my day though was when we got to Victoria Square and came across a fairy tale exhibit. This was an amazing coincidence. We did not know about this exhibition in advance, but if I’d have known about it, it would have been on my to-do list for sure, so the fact that we stumbled across it was brilliant.
The exhibition is called Into The Forest and you can go on this journey through fairy tales until the 29th of August 2022.
It was amazing. I was looking at each fairy tale display like an excited kid on Christmas morning. It was so sweet and it felt really magical. I also love the idea behind it.
Fairy tales are so important and we should never be too old to enjoy them.
I’m sharing some snaps here, but most of my pictures can be found in my highlights on Instagram so check it out – @katelovesliterature.
Overall, we had the best time. It was just one night, and although we said that we could have easily stayed another day, the fact that it was such a spontaneous mini trip was what made it so fun. We went with zero plans aside from seeing Blood Brothers so all of the other lovely things that we did were things that we just stumbled into, which made it all the better.
What is your favourite fairy tale? I’d love to know.
Have you seen Blood Brothers?
Where is your favourite place to go on a mini break?
Note that all of the above pictures are pictures that I took myself with my own phone. They may not be shared without my permission.
It’s true, sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty. Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre is a show that I cannot recommend enough. It is joyful. It is upbeat. It is fun. The stage is bursting with life, but in Matilda, a very touching, and very important story is told.
I’m a huge fan of Roald Dahl and I loved Matilda when I was little, and as an adult, I’ve come to appreciate the story even more. As with a lot of Dahl’s stories, there is a darkness to Matilda. It is a story about a little girl who is neglected at home. She is not appreciated, she is not shown the care, love, or attention that she deserves. Matilda goes on to face more bullies at school, and this story is one that highlights how adults can abuse their positions of power. Sadly, there are people in this world who bully children, and they think that because they are bigger, and because they are older, they can do whatever they please. There are people who do not respect children, and I find that these people tend to forget that they were once a child themselves. Matilda is an intelligent, imaginative, kind little girl and she stands up for herself and for others when she thinks that something is not right or not fair, and by doing so, she is able to help others around her.
I love the musical’s score. The music and lyrics are by Tim Minchin, who is of course known for his comedic musical style. The lyrics are a perfect mix of fun, and witty, yet I found myself emotional as some of the songs are rather poignant.
I think my favourite song has to be When I Grow Up, because I think that this song is the perfect example of the mix of fun and poignant that I just mentioned. The stage is bursting with life, there are kids everywhere, there are slides and swings and it’s just glorious. It’s a song about children who are looking forward to growing up and they are singing about what they think growing up is. They sing about staying up late and watching tv until their eyes go square, and it’s brilliant. It is brilliant because I think this song captures what you think being a grown up is when you are little. It seems so freeing. You think you can do whatever you want, and to an extent you can, but when you are little you don’t think about jobs or bills or relationships or any of the less fun things that come with growing up. I remember this. I remember being little and just wanting to wear my Mam’s perfume and I couldn’t wait to be older because then I could have my own. The line that pulls on my heartstrings, the part that I think is very poignant is when the kids sing about how they will be braver when they grow up. They will be bigger, and braver, and stronger, and able to fight the creatures beneath the bed. This part gets me, because when you are a child, you’re dependent on the adults in your life and they are supposed to keep you safe, but sometimes we grow up and there are different creatures to face, they’re just not always under the bed.
Matilda and Miss Honey are my favourite characters. They always have been. I find Miss Honey’s arc to be particularly touching because Miss Honey was that neglected, mistreated child. She didn’t have anyone to speak up for her when she could not do it for herself. Her monsters followed her into adulthood, and it is only when she meets Matilda, when she wants to help Matilda, that she is able to fight her creatures. I find this really emotional because I think that is a very layered moment. When Miss Honey helps Matilda, when she stands up for Matilda, I feel she is also standing up for herself, and more importantly, she is standing up for the little girl she used to be, and she does for Matilda what no one did for her. Together, Miss Honey and Matilda are able to be surrounded by people who love and appreciate them, and they stand up to their bullies together, because they’ve found strength in each other and it’s a really lovely arc.
I have to take a moment to say that the entire cast was incredible, but I was blown away by the kids on that stage. Each and every one of them were fantastic. I love seeing talented young people getting to thrive on the stage and I am sure that all of these kids will grow up to do great things. The singing, the dancing, the timing was just amazing. It is a hard show, it is not watered down, they are on stage a lot, they’re an essential part of the show and I can’t applaud them enough.
I hope Matilda The Musical tours again at some point in the future because I’d love to see it in Dublin. I would see it again in a heartbeat. It was just fantastic. It was a brilliant night out.
Have you read or seen Matilda? Have you seen Matilda The Musical? Are you a fan of Roald Dahl and if so, which one of his works is your favourite? I’d love to know.
* The following pictures were taken by myself, with my phone, and they may not be shared without my permission.*
There’s no place like London. If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you already know that I spent a few amazing days in London.
I’ve been sharing snaps on my Instagram grid & I will be sharing snaps for a while because I fit so much into a few days. I saw so many things & I took loads of pictures that I am excited to share.
From St. Paul’s to Big Ben, from the London Eye to Tower Bridge, from Fleet Street to Shakespeare’s Globe, I had a blast. It was an amazing trip. The weather was lovely, and it was so great to see so much life everywhere. Some of the buildings are absolutely stunning. I ate, I drank, I explored, and I went to the theatre.
There is so much to do & see in London. It is such a bustling city, I’m already thinking about when I can go again because there are things that I still want to do.
I think the highlight of my trip was going to see Matilda The Musical in the beautiful Cambridge Theatre. Stay tuned because I will be publishing a #theatretrip discussion all about this brilliant show.
I’m sharing some snaps below as I did take many, many pictures.
*The pictures below are pictures that I took myself, on my own phone, and they may not be shared without my permission.*
These are just a few of the pictures that I took. It was an amazing trip. Memories were made, and I loved every second.
If you’ve been, I’d love to hear where your favourite spot in London is & I can add it to my list for next time.
Hello everyone. I have been one lucky lady lately as I have been doing so much and I’ve been getting the opportunity to enjoy the arts more and more.
If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you know that I am just back from London. I had an amazing trip. I did so much. I did lots of sightseeing and I ate lovely food and drank fabulous drinks and I went to see Matilda the musical and I had the best time exploring Fleet Street. I have already shared a few pictures on Instagram, but I will be sharing more so keep an eye out for that, and I will be writing a much more in depth discussion about my trip as it was filled with things that made my literature loving heart very happy.
There will be a #theatretrip post coming up soon about the brilliant Matilda the musical.
For now, I am back in Dublin and I am very busy. I do have some exciting news that I am just waiting on permission to share so stay tuned.
I was at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Sunday evening to see Blade Runner Live.
It was an amazing evening. I absolutely love hearing an orchestra play live, I don’t think there is anything quite like it. I also think it is brilliant to see the musicians on stage as this doesn’t always happen in musicals, the musicians are very often in the orchestra pit so while we hear the beautiful music, we don’t always get to see the talented people who are playing.
Blade Runner is a brilliant movie. We saw the director’s cut version starring Harrison Ford.
The movie is based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
I studied this text in my first year of my BA which feels like such a long time ago now, even though it really isn’t, but I was not expecting to like this text as much as I did and I really loved the movie.
If you are not aware of the plot, the central idea is that there are humans and replicants and Rick Deckard is tasked with hunting and killing the “non-human” replicants. The replicants are designed to look like humans, however they are deemed to not feel the way that humans feel, however as one watches the movie, this idea can be debated.
I think the key theme of this movie revolves around the idea of questioning what makes one human? What makes me the person that I am? Am I made up of experiences and memories?
I also think that the story highlights the importance of having empathy in society.
I don’t wish to give away any spoilers, but there are moments in this movie where the supposedly unfeeling replicants show more empathy than the human characters. There is one specific scene that I think of when I say this, if you’ve seen the movie then you likely know which scene I am alluding to, and if you have not seen the movie then I suggest watching it, and it should become clear which moment I am talking about.
The movie has a beautiful score and it was amazing to hear it played live by the orchestra.
I have a few more exciting theatre trips coming up and I will be writing about all of them.
Hello everyone. I am very happy to be sharing another #theatretrip discussion. Last night I went to see Chicago at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and it was brilliant.
It was my first time seeing this show and I could not wait to get there. Chicago has been on my “must see” list for the longest time.
It is no secret that Chicago is an iconic show, so I knew going in that it would be fabulous but actually seeing it onstage was something else. The show is sexy, precise, and full of incredible dancing.
The sets are so simple. The costumes are striking despite being understated. Everyone is dressed in black. There are very few props, the odd hat, the occasional cane, a chair here and there, but everything is used very specifically. It works. The focus is on the actors. The music, the dancing, and the acting are what takes centre stage.
I think that the ensemble was fantastic. It goes without saying that Chicago is known for Fosse’s iconic and specific choreography. Each move is absolutely precise. Each hand movement, each tilt of the hat, every single thing is done very precisely and very smoothly. It makes for a wonderfully sultry and engaging performance and I have huge respect for each member of the cast because the talent showcased on that stage was amazing to see.
The show itself is iconic for a reason. The satirical story about the American justice system, corruption, and the role of media alongside the social commentary about how audiences will always love a scandal and a spectacle is just as relevant today as it was when the show first opened in 1975.
Velma Kelly is an iconic character and the energy in the theatre was electric when All That Jazz started playing and Velma rose up from beneath the stage. Each character got their moment.
Roxie Hart and Billy Flynn are a dynamic pair and I think their performance of They Both Reached For The Gun was my favourite part of the show although it is so hard to pick when each song is so memorable.
It was amazing to finally see The Cell Block Tango live onstage and the harmonies in My Own Best Friend were beautiful.
I have to take a moment to talk about the musicians. It is brilliant to see shows that highlight their musicians by having them be visible onstage. This is not always possible, but the setting of Chicago allows the musicians to be seen onstage and they were incredible.
I especially loved that they performed an encore at the end of the show. I don’t know if they do this every time or if they did so because last night was opening night, but it was so much fun and I was very glad I got to be there. The musicians and the conductor looked like they were having the best time, as did the entire cast, which only added to the wonderful energy in the theatre. The atmosphere was perfect and it made for a fantastic evening.
It is so great to be able to attend shows again. I am very lucky that I live close by so that I can go and see the shows that come to Dublin. I would go to see Chicago again in a heartbeat and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering going to see it. You won’t regret it.
This has been my latest #theatretrip and I am very excited as over the next few months I have some more shows lined up that I cannot wait to see.