Friday, 10 June 2016

Charlotte Church - The Last Mermaid - review

★ - five stars



I'm nearly at a loss for words. I don't think I've ever been to the theatre and enjoyed myself so much. I made a  venn diagram of some of the influences I could see last night:


I wasn't aware that it was a kid's show until today. It certainly kept the adults entertained, as it worked on more than one level. 

The set design and lighting was beautiful. Shimmery shiny, gossamer silk, seaweed and water... the costumes were gorgeous. sumptuous, on point and decadent. Church was obviously moved by Dylan Thomas' words in Under Milk Wood, the whispered opening lines sounded like Thomas. The three singers/dancers who represented the sea, sang in unison, like a Greek chorus. The first movement was just beautiful: frenetic, but restrained. Energy contained, and controlled. Then when the last mermaid was released from her (shell? Womb?) the music and dancing was glorious.


The plastic bag dance was perfect, and hinted at the eco message of the play. Is it a play? It is, by turns, a dance, a play, an opera, a mime performance, a puppet show. It is all of these things, and none. A whole that is so much greater than its parts. The drowning fisherman moved like a man underwater - I forgot I was in a theatre, I thought I was viewing a huge water tank. The man who played him should be nominated for some sort of underwater dancing award.

The whale! Oh my days, the whale. I loved the tenor and bass singers who sang the whale, I loved their costumes, and I loved the projected presentation of the whale. A little boy sat next to me, tugged his Mum's sleeve and said "Mammy! Eye!" before he dropped his marshmallows. I genuinely had goosebumps when the whale turned her into a human - then laughed out loud at the bit on the beach. "My legs. My legs in the sun!"

My friend Nina described the next movement as "the Depeche Mode bit", I described it as "the Kraftwerk/Daft Punk bit". It was a spectacular spectacular.


Then things got a bit darker. The last mermaid's cries of "my whale" brought tears to my eyes. Church's voice was at its strongest and surest here, full of grief and love.

I won't give away the ending, it was beautiful. None of the story was overtold. None of it was laid on thick. You either got it, or you didn't. And even if you didn't, you were swept along anyway.

It was fucking magnificent. I want the LP soon please, Charlotte.




Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Indian wall hanging

We got a beautiful Indian (we think) wall hanging from a charity shop. It's up in our dining room, which persuaded us to theme that room as our "world" room. We have lots of lovely things from all over the world - a hand carved aboriginal lizard that my Mamgu brought from the outback in Australia; some lovely Shiva and Ganesha  statues that I got from a lovely little hippy shop I used to work in; lanterns and frames and all sorts of things.

We're also going to make curtains out of recycled saris and scarves, to match the room.




Monday, 18 April 2016

Charity shop selfie

Part of my new job is to take photographs to illustrate the stories I write. I spent an afternoon at one of our charity shops, taking photographs of a professional photographer (who is also a volunteer) taking photographs of the shop volunteers. How very meta!

One of the photos had one of those perfectly timed, serendipitous moment; an older lady walked past and looked to see what was going on just as I preess3ed the shutter release. Perfect!


I also took a selfie, but I've changed my hair again since then :)


Gingerbread & other stories

While I (finally) finish  writing my novel "Greenboy", I thought I'd publish a collection of short stories. They're all loosely based on folklore and fairtyales, both rural and urban, Welsh and English, and almost exclusively queer. They're gay re-tellings of known stories, or completely made up contemporary tales for modern fairies.



Here's the contents/tracklisting:
 1. The kissing tree
 2. Fairy tale
 3. Hiraeth and the ladybird

 4. The three sons of Gwydion and Gilfaethwy
 5. Gwydion and Blodeuben
 6. Y Gwernfrenin (The Erlking)
 7. Footprints in the Sand

 8. Finding a bible
 9. How to make an egg
10. Gingerbread

11. Days of our lives
12. Reasons


The reason I say 'tracklisting' is that everybody who buys the ebook, will get a voucher to download a whole LP of music for free. Each short story will have its own music track, evoking the mood and feel of the story.
 
'Fairy tale', 'Days of our lives', and 'Finding a bible' have all been previously published, the rest have been marked as "too weird to publish" by all of the publishing houses I've shown them to. Everybody wants me to write modern gay urban - but I'm only one and a bit of those things! I was brought up on Tolkien and The Mabinogion; I was told stories by both Grandmothers of ancient Welsh Kings, fairies and goblins; it's in my soul.

I thought that to show that I have more in me than the modern gay urban being pushed on to me (yes I'm gay, and yes I live in the big city, but I'm not very modern - my soul is green) I'd self publish this, and make an album of weird music, to go with my weird words.

I'm planning to make it free for a while before it goes up to £1.50 or something. It's not for making money, it's for expressing myself. There will also be some poems in it, and maybe a knitting or crochet pattern too. Like I said, I'm a weirdo: unashamedly so!

Watercolour sketch

I just found this little watercolour sketch I made, ooh, probably about 22 years ago!

Splott beach

Well who knew there was a beach in Splott? I've lived in Splott for nearly ten years and I first heard about it a few weeks ago. I did a quick Google and one of the first hits was Doc Mortimer's blog.  I'm not going to link to it as I didn't think it was very nice, to be honest.

Yes the beach is made up of debris from old Victorian factories that fell into the sea, yes there are wave-worn bricks and bits of glass... but it's beautiful. I'm going to make a film about it. I love Splott, it's the place in Cardiff I've lived in longest, and where I've made my home. Chris and I are currently renovating the house, and have spent the last few years really getting to know the area. Shirley Bassey used to live here, and I walk the dog down the road she used to play on as a child. I walk him past grass verges that used to be pubs where working class people spent their wages on a Friday having a pint or two.

I'm trying my best to get Cardiff Council to reopen an unused park to turn it into a community garden for the area. I run a flytipping and litter action group called Tidy STAR. I sing in a choir in Splott. My band has band practice every Thursday in Splott. I'm an adopted Splott boy!








 
The Bugs Bunny is a cereal toy from 1984 - which means it's older than Christopher!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Putz houses

I made some putz houses. I found instructions on Pinterest (though I did cheat and use a Sizzix die), and made seven of them. I love them! I made them to sell but I want to keep them all :)










Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Hallowe'en (late post)

I gothed up for Hallowe'en :)


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Currywurst - my recipe


As Christopher is part German, we've tried cooking lots of German recipes. Currywurst is a popular street food in Germany (you can even get delicious bratwurst street food in Cardiff!) so we tried it out ourselves. After experimenting with recipes I found online, I made my own.
You will need:
1 onion, chopped
2 large mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp of curry powder (I use medium, but you can choose mild or strong depending on your taste)

a shake of onion powder
a shake of garlic powder
a pinch of sea salt
a good pinch of black pepper
a chicken stock cube (I use the jelly type ones)


First chop the onions and mushrooms, and fry them in a saucepan or shallow frying pan with some oil, along with the curry powder, and onion and garlic powder. Fry them until they are starting to become translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes on a medium heat.

Next add a big splash of boiling water, the ketchup, salt and pepper, and chicken stock cube. Heat through for a further 5 minutes. Then blitz with a hand blender.


You can make this ahead of time and reheat when needed. The bratwurst we bought were from Aldi, and really delicious!

 

You need to make six or seven cuts in the brats before you put them in the oven. Slice into them at regular intervals so they open up in the oven. Lightly oil them, and put in a hot oven or about 20 minutes.


Serve them with fresh bread, and a sprinkling of curry powder.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Imagining book characters - Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite [Billy Martin]

I loved Billy Martin's novels written when he was Poppy Z. Brite, but I always had an idea in my head of what the characters looked like.

If his hair was black, here's what I imagined Zillah, Twig and Molochai to look like:



And this is Steve. Fwoargh: 



I've been gone ages!

Can't believe how long I've been away - life has been good, bad, busy, stressful, awful, amazing...

I resigned my job last week, and am about to start working for an amazing charity, in a brand new role that is a first for Wales. I am so proud, happy and excited to start! I can't say more about it until next month.

I have lots of posts written in my head, I just need to get them out of my brain and into this blog!

In the meantime, pleas enjoy (not sure that's the right word, as my aim was to scare!) my Hallowe'en ASMR video.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bruised sleep

I tried something totally different for my YouTube channel. I took a prosepoem that I wrote years and years ago, and made some experimental ASMR with it. 

 If you like the audio, then you can download it here for free: ASMR Andy - Bruised Sleep


Homemade healthy bars


I've recently discovered that I love chocolate Nakd bars, but at £1 each they're a little expensive to eat every day. I looked at the ingredients on the back of the wrapper and saw how easy it would be to make my own.

Here's what I did.

Makes 18 small bars (approximately 33g each, and approximately 130 calories)

You will need:
200g dates
100g cashews
75g raisins
2 tblsp cocoa powder

Pop everything into a blender, and pulse until it all comes together (you may need to add a teaspoon of apple juice or water to get it to the right consistency - the right consistency is like playdough!)

Line a square cake tin with cling wrap, smoosh the mixture into the tin, cover with more cling wrap, and press down so it is in an even layer. Pop in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, then remove the cling wrap and turn on to a chopping board. It should be big enough to cut into 18 equal pieces that you should then wrap in squares of baking parchment.


Thursday, 3 July 2014

ASMR - Digital clouds

I made a new video! This one is a bit different: I recorded the visuals, then stripped out that audio, then using my lovely Zoom H2n mic, I recorded a variety of crinkly, tapping, and crumpling noises to add on top.

Hope you like it.

Diolch,
Andy x

Monday, 30 June 2014

ASMR Andy

I've only gone and made a YouTube channel! It's called ASMR Andy, and so far I have two videos on there. Please have a look, and tell me what you think.

Diolch,
Andy x


Related Posts with Thumbnails