Entertainment | Theatre Review: Crazy For You @ The Lyceum, Sheffield

Crazy For You tells the story of Bobby Child (Tom Chambers) who, shoved into working for his mother's bank, is sent from glamorous New York to Deadrock, Nevada to foreclose on a rundown theatre. However, finding himself falling in love with the theatre owner's daughter becomes problematic when she realises what brought him to Deadrock. What follows is a Shakespeare-like tale of mistaken identities with a predictable, yet fun, romantic plot. Rather a pastiche of an older, golden age of Broadway, Crazy For You is gorgeously put together by a hugely talented cast and crew.

Entertainment | Theatre Review: Legally Blonde @ The Lyceum, Sheffield

Although Legally Blonde has been around as a musical since 2007, until seeing it I'd only really encountered the songs 'Bend & Snap' and 'Positive', giving me the impression of a very fun and sassy musical but not piquing my interest in the way that the likes of Hamilton might. As I'm such a fan of the film, I was sceptical about it as a musical and worried it would follow the trend of churning a Broadway musical out of anything. But, as Elle Woods' character has such a sing-song chirp about her, it soon became clear how well Legally Blonde lends itself to the stage.

Entertainment | Literature: Off the Shelf Festival of Words, Sheffield (ft. Jenni Murray and Stephen McGann)

Over the past month, I've attended a variety of talks across Sheffield as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words. The festival invites authors of newly released books to come and talk about their latest work and this year has included the likes of Mark Haddon, Robert Webb and Brian Blessed to name but a few. The festival encompassed both fiction and non-fiction, although the events I attended were mostly about books of a non-fictional, specifically historical nature.

Entertainment | Theatre Review: Cabaret @ Leeds Grand Theatre

With Chicago being one of my favourite musicals of all time, it was a real joy last night to see another Kander & Ebb musical in the form of Cabaret at the Grand Theatre in Leeds. Usually starring Will Young and Louise Redknapp, our performance saw Young's understudy Jordan Livesey take the reigns as Emcee - and what a fantastic job he did too!

Entertainment | We Started a Podcast?!

Hello, hello! So, it's been a while. University started hectic and I'm sure it shall remain hectic in the months to come. Thus, the blog may be taking something of a backseat whilst I wade through pages of dissertation research, run a university society and try to retain a social life. But I did want to check in to essentially plug a little something my housemate, Jonny and I are working on.

Entertainment/Travel | The Treehouse Board Game Café, Sheffield

Last night, I attended the press launch of Sheffield's first ever board game café, down on Boston Street (near the St Mary's Gate Aldi and Waitrose). Being just out of town gives it more of an air of being a hidden nook in the city of Sheffield, and it certainly sits in a convenient location for us - I imagine my housemates and I will probably pop by it on our way to Aldi some days!

Entertainment | Theatre Review: The Addams Family @ The Lyceum, Sheffield

Last night I caught the first Sheffield show of The Addams Family tour. Of course I was very excited to see it in action having watched Carrie Hope Fletcher's (Wednesday Addams) backstage vlogs over the past few months and it was all the fun I'd come to expect of it.

Entertainment | Book Review: 'The Penguin Lessons' by Tom Michell

"The penguin, meanwhile, was quite unperturbed by the dramatic appearance of the hound, and continued sniffing some wayside buttercups that had caught his attention"
The Penguin Lessons tells Tom Michell's true story of his time in 1970s Argentina as a twenty-something schoolteacher with a pet penguin, Juan Salvado. Having rescued Juan Salvado from a terrible oil spill, the pair form an unbreakable bond of friendship and what follows is a wonderfully charming tale.

History | History in an Object: The Elephant

For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of doing a 'History in an Object' on the blog. Whilst I wouldn't really call an animal "an object", it seemed the best catch-all phrase for the series as I have a few actual objects lined up for future posts. I'm of the opinion that you can learn a lot about history by picking one thing and broadening it out. Thus, three small tales of elephants actually reveal quite a bit about the societies they lived in.

Kirsteen Thomson Exhibition Launch @ Knight & Garter | Leicester

Last Thursday, I attended the Knight & Garter's re-launch, accompanied by the launch of an art exhibition in the pub's basement bar. Whilst not a permanent exhibition, the idea of an art exhibition in a bar intrigued me and I thought I'd head along.
As you're probably aware, I'm no expert on art. But by placing an art exhibition in a bar, I feel that the Knight & Garter are trying to break down the idea that you have to be an art critic to enjoy art when really it shouldn't be so exclusive.

History | Odd Things That Happened in History: Part Two

I had a lot of fun writing part one of Odd Things That Happened in History and it proved to be quite a successful post! I love discovering little pieces of anecdotal history and I think it's interesting how much they can reveal more widely about the context in which they occurred. Today's post features two anecdotes rather than three as the pope/anti-pope one turned out quite long. Hope you enjoy!

Entertainment | Theatre Review: A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Curve, Leicester

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the press night of A Midsummer Night's Dream* at The Curve Theatre in Leicester. "Made at Curve", this was a community production and it certainly had that warm feeling about it. A Midsummer Night's Dream, being one of Shakespeare's most performed plays can sometimes seem a little overdone. Thus, there is a demand to constantly reinvent the play whilst still keeping true to its original script and ideas. This community production did a wonderful job at that - bringing a modern twist without any kind of reckless disregard for the original play.

'What the Artist Saw', New Walk Museum's Joe Orton Exhibition | Leicester

This post is rather new for me as I've never reviewed a museum exhibit before, and it's not something I read much of either. However, as a history student passionate about the importance of public history, I figured that my blog would be the perfect place to talk about museums and other heritage hotspots in my ever ongoing (albeit sporadic) efforts to get people engaged in the past.

What the Artist Saw marks the 50th anniversary of Joe Orton's murder at the hands of his partner, Kenneth Halliwell. However, the exhibition does not focus on his death but rather, more positively, upon his work's cultural impact. Orton was a Leicester playwright of working-class origins, whose work helped to subvert both the classist and homophobic status quo of 1960s Britain. He was also the inspiration for many socially-conscious art pieces which make up the bulk of this exhibition.

History | Stuff People Used to Believe: Sex Edition

If I were to ask you to name a strange thing people used to believe, you'd likely go for "the earth was flat". You probably wouldn't say that people believed a woman could essentially think her way into birthing rabbits (unless you have to put up with me in real life, in which case I've probably mentioned it several times). A whole range of weird things were believed back in "the olden days", and ideas of sex and reproduction were no exception.

Entertainment | Doctor Who: Thoughts on the new Doctor

So if you've somehow missed the news (how?), yesterday it was announced that the Thirteenth Doctor will be portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who is in fact a woman. Whilst this has provoked a very mixed reaction across the many corners of the internet I personally am super excited as I feel that after Moffat, this was the regeneration the show needed both with regards to lead actor and head writer. For a while now I've been toying with the idea of writing a post on why I stopped watching Doctor Who shortly after Matt Smith's exit when Moffat's writing seemed to go from bad to worse. This seems the perfect time to summarise my thoughts on that and my thoughts on my hopes for Doctor Who's future.

Entertainment | Book Review: 'All That She Can See' by Carrie Hope Fletcher (spoiler-free)

All That She Can See's protagonist, Cherry Redgrave has the gift of being able to see people's bad feelings physically manifesting as monsters that follow the characters around. Although Cherry uses this power for good - baking cakes with positive feelings in them to help people - other characters she encounters are not so benevolent.

Travel | My Disneyland Disaster! (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back to my disastrous tales from Disneyland [part 1 here]. Whilst I actually did have a really wonderful trip, it's much more fun to write up what went wrong. So buckle up, it's time for the tale of the time we had our luggage misplaced. Did we get it back? You'll just have to read on and find out!

Travel | My Disneyland Disaster (Part 1 of 2)

My first trip to a Disney Park was certainly an eventful one. In fact, I had a really wonderful few days away and Disneyland Paris was all that I expected it to be and more. But my gushing about how magical it was is not what you came to this post, with its mildly clickbaity title, to read. Instead, this is one of two tales [part two here] about the nail-biting delays we faced on our way to catch our trains.

Entertainment | Film: Let's Be More Like Legally Blonde's Elle Woods

Somehow, in all my 20 years of life, I had never actually seen Legally Blonde. But a few nights ago, one of my housemates and I decided it was high time we had a movie night, so, wrapped in fluffy blankets and armed with snacks and decaffeinated tea, we stumbled upon Legally Blonde on Netflix. We soon discovered that this film is absolutely brilliant and that we'd been missing out for far too long. I found myself rooting for Elle so so much throughout the film and absolutely loving everything about her character. As I'm really (really, really) late to the party on this film, I figured a review would be quite redundant. Instead, I decided to write about why I love Elle's character so much and why we should all be more like her.

Entertainment | Just Five Really Good Albums

Those who know me in real life probably think of me as that-one-friend-who-really-likes-musical-theatre. Whilst this is definitely true, as you may have gathered from certain posts of mine, I am also a big lover of "regular music", particularly alternative and indie bands. With this post I've tried to go for albums that aren't hugely well-known because, as much as I love Favourite Worst Nightmare by Arctic Monkeys, for example, I hope you can instead come away from this post with new music recommendations, rather than just nodding through me gushing over albums that you've known about for years. I'm also going to recommend three songs from each album that I feel best give you the overall feel of what that album sounds like - a taster, if you will. Enjoy!

Entertainment | TV Review: BBC Sherlock - Series 4 (with spoilers!)

The recent series of BBC Sherlock left me very much inclined to disagree with the popular saying "no sh*t, Sherlock" because there was, quite frankly, a fair bit of sh*t. This post will probably end up focusing most on The Final Problem as that's freshest in my memory as I write, and is the episode where many of my issues with this series lie. Sadly, it seems, gone are the days of grippingly mysterious cases and the cleverly faked suicide that kept the nation guessing for 2 years - as Sherlock has declined into a bit of a mess.

History | Odd Things That Happened in History

Hello all! I realised recently that, although I'm a History student and History is one of my favourite things, it's never really made much of an appearance on my blog, a place where I aim to write about "whatever interests me". I was a little unsure about how popular a History-themed post might be on my blog, but after I aired my concerns on Twitter and many of you encouraged it I thought I'd go for it! This post contains only a few little anecdotal tales as I wanted to test the water, as it were. But if you'd like to see more posts on History, please let me know as I had lots of fun writing it!

Money | Better Alternatives to Spending Bans

January. It's the calm after the financial storm of Christmas and the Boxing Day sales, and the month where many of us, often inspired by new year's resolutions, put ourselves on spending bans. I personally have never liked the idea of a spending ban. It's - simply put - not fun, and it creates a feeling of punishment, which isn't a particularly positive vibe to be surrounding yourself with. So what are some good alternatives?

Entertainment | Why Good Girls Revolt Deserves a Second Season

I recently finished watching the first season of a show called Good Girls Revolt on Amazon Prime. The show is set in USA and loosely based on the true story of a group of women researchers who sued Newsweek in 1970 for denying equal opportunities to their female staff. After I'd marathoned the ten episodes available, I was saddened to learn that Amazon Prime had cancelled the series and whether it gets a second season depends entirely on whether another network picks it up. Whilst there's nothing I can do about this, I have nonetheless decided to do what we bloggers usually do with our opinions, and write a blog post.