Last entry for 2017. No cultural outings this week – a quiet Christmas, followed by a sick in-between week wherein I am fairly sure I poisoned myself and various family members.
I finished my Reading Challenge!
Some highlights from the list: Yellow Blue Tibia – probably the best pun in a title ever; King Dido -a historical crime novel I would recommend to anyone; The Night Sessions, excellent SciFiCri.
I won some audio books, all Maigret stories, and listened to some of them; I read a few graphic novels, and some children’s books, including The Dark Is Rising, which I wasn’t supposed to finish until the new year, but I couldn’t resist.
I finally got to grips with Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, and made a dent in the Dickens backlog. There were six cookbooks, and three books I bought because I didn’t think I would get to see the plays based on them, and then actually did get to see them all . There was a new Donna Leon, a new Dave Hutchinson, a new Christopher Fowler, a new Jo Nesbo and a new Ragnar Jonasson (do you detect that I like a crime story?)
Finally, there were two new Hogarth Shakespeares, based on Othello and King Lear.
It was a real challenge to read 100 books this year, as well as keep up my weekly culture outing. Next year’s challenges will be simpler, I think.
This should have been an interesting week. I was going to see Titus Andronicus, a Shakespeare play I have only ever seen excerpts of. In addition, it was the last week of the Opera in the City festival, and I had tickets for a couple of new pieces.
Sadly, life intervened, in the form of illness in the family, and I didn’t get to any of the things I had booked. Once again, it was a couch culture week.
Rodgers and Hammerstein: Oklahoma!
This was a lively, semi-staged version of an old favourite. A bright spot in a dark week.
SUMMER reading challenge
E is for Eco. This was a bit of a variable feast. In some parts, it was a fast and lively murder mystery; in others a tedious wade through pages of description or chapters of historical detail. I found it hard going, although the central story had me hooked. I might revisit this one day, as I am not sure I really did it the justice of giving it my full attention.
Brockley Jack Studio
Edgar Allan Poe double bill
It is so rare to get “goth” theatre. I tried very hard to like this, but sadly, I didn’t. The first half was the Masque of the Red Death, a famously scary story that didn’t really work for me in this setting. Perhaps it was a bad night, but I’m afraid I didn’t wait around for the Fall of the House of Usher, scheduled for the hour after the interval.
This was a lot of fun. The Merchant family seem to be Bollywood legends; Vaibhavi and Shruti choreographed the production, with Salim and Sulaiman writing the music that linked the Bollywood standards. The dancing was good to my untutored eye, the costumes were spectacular, and the largely Indian family audience seemed to love it, despite (or perhaps because of) its adherence to Bollywood tropes. This was my first Asian dance experience, and I would certainly go again.
Only one this week, but a good one. This is the second book about Yashim the eunuch. An interesting case story, with a brilliant sense of place. Reading this, you can hear and smell Istanbul, and almost taste the food Yashim loves to cook while he is pondering his cases.
This brings my reading challenge total up to 54. Still on target, but only just…