This Mojo’s Working

After much excitement me and KPH finally got to see Mojo.  We actually went on Thursday, but this week has been so crazy busy that I’ve only just had time to write anything down about it.

untitledFirst things first. If profanities bother you, then perhaps Mojo isn’t the play for you to go and see. I could say that there is some swearing, but more accurate would be that there are some normal words, connected into sentences by quite a lot of very bad words. Secondly, you get to see Colin Morgan in his pants (that’s underpants, just to be clear). For quite a long time.  Now, there has been many a daydreamed hour about witnessing that moment, but when faced with it from 3 rows off the stage and when it features some grubby fifties style Y-fronts, it’s rather off-putting.

The subject matter is the blackest of comedy, and the ending of the play will leave you speechless, particularly the penultimate scene. All the performances were typically amazing, though some were worthy of a mention: Rupert Grint in his first stage run was impressive and did a fantastic comic turn as Sweets, partnered with Daniel Mays who was manic, Ben Whishaw was suitably unhinged as Baby and Colin was a very twitchy, whiny club doorman called Skinny Luke.  None of the characters were what you could call likeable, but the actors got this across perfectly. KPH and I both agreed that Baby was so horrid that you were actually glad when he wasn’t on stage, but that’s got to be a testament to the skill of the man playing him.

There is so much I want to say about this play but can’t for fear of spoilers.  The Harold Pinter theatre is small and intimate and has a sort of grunge feel all of its own that lends a great atmosphere to what’s happening on stage.  This is not my favourite play that I have seen Colin in, probably because the era and subject matter don’t appeal to me personally, but I can appreciate that this is excellent stuff.

4178-1384515481-mojo7We went to a matinee, and there was a sign up at the stage door saying that no photos with the actors were allowed after matinee performances. There wasn’t many of us waiting, and not many of the cast came out, so perhaps people already knew that they wouldn’t. Daniel Mays emerged, and I’ve never seen anyone run so fast from a stage door! We would have stopped him for an autograph but it didn’t seem like he wanted to be stopped (I will never ask someone who seems like they’re reluctant), although some people further up the road collared him.  We came away from the stage door after while, as neither Colin nor Rupert came out, but as we were checking out the posters at the front door of the theatre, the guy who played Silver Johnny, Tom Rhys Harries, came up the street looking very relaxed and happy so stopped to talk to a few of us.  He posed for a few illegal photos (naturally, I had to get one) and was really very adorable (cue fangirling as I go to investigate his other work), so all in all, I was glad we waited around. Someone asked him if Colin was coming out, and Tom said that he was sleeping, but as Colin has never emerged at any other matinee I’ve been to, and after seeing some of the photos of him being mobbed on the web, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he really just didn’t want to.

colin-morgan-skinny-in-mojo-at-the-harold-pinter-theatre-photo-credit-simon-annandA great day, only marred by the fact that all the trains home were delayed and it took forever to reach the comfort of my bed…

 

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Five TV boyfriends

Since Victoria from Victoria Loves Books did her fantastic book boyfriend feature (and you can see my choices here) it got me thinking about other characters that I’ve fallen for on TV and film, because as much as I love books, I’m all about TV too. I’m the sort of person who tends to fancy an actor in a particular role, rather than the actor themselves (there are one or two notable exceptions, Colin Morgan I’m looking at you…) but generally that does seem to be the case. So it must be the character they’re playing that is the biggest factor in the attraction. I’ve only listed five here, because we have actual lives and I could be here for a lot longer. I’ve resisted the urge to list Father Dougal Maguire (don’t ask) and Vince Noir (purely because I think he just is Noel Fielding) but if you think those are weird choices, spare a thought for one of my best friends who had a crush on Edward Woodward in The Equaliser. After that particular revelation, it’s a miracle the friendship survived at all.

merlin betterMerlin (Merlin 2008 – 2012 played by Colin Morgan)

Where do I start? From episode one when he walked into Camelot, wide-eyed but full of hope (and incredible cheekbones) I was sold. He still remains my all-time favourite and I can’t imagine anyone coming close. Why do I love him so? Because he’s quietly brave, intelligent, does what he believes is right, even when he’s misguided, is willing to sacrifice himself time and time again, not just for Arthur, but for others too, he’s just a little bit nerdy… oh yeah, and that really hot thing he does when he gets all manly and COMMANDS DRAGONS…

Connor Temple (Primeval 2007 – 2011 Played by Andrew-Lee Potts) connor

I adore Connor. Every time he’s on the screen I just want to squeeze the life out of him. He’s such a geek, but he’s really brave and incredibly clever. Just the way he spouts stuff about dinosaurs and sci-fi techy stuff makes me go all weak at the knees. And his massive crush on kick-ass Abby is just so cute that you’re just shouting at the telly ‘kiss her for god’s sake!’ It helps that he’s pretty darned attractive too, and he just gets better as the series go on; when it got to series five, he was a bona fide hottie.

casaonova

Casanova (Casanova 2005 played by David Tennant

The first thing I really remember David Tennant in and I totally fell for him. I didn’t know the story of Casanova, particularly, other than the famous reputation for womanising. His Casanova was a quick, clever, cheeky chappie, starting out with optimism and a thirst for adventure. He justified his womanising reputation in a way that, far from being sleazy, made you understand his addiction and feel so sorry for him that you could forgive it. His devotion to a woman that he could never have was heartbreaking and every time he got close to happiness elsewhere, fate snatched it from him. It was no wonder he turned so bitter. DT shared the role with Peter O’Toole, who played him as an older man, and those closing scenes flitting between the two of them… I wasn’t sure my heart would ever mend.

Jeff Randall (Randall and Hopkirk Deceased 2000 – 2001 played by Bob Mortimer)randall

Yep, this is a weird one. Maybe only Bob Mortimer’s wife can call him a bona fide hottie, but I just loved him in this. I think it was just that he was so hapless but so sweet, and the adorable loyalty to his dead mate, and the equally adorable devotion to Jeanie, who he was quite clearly head-over-heels in love with but who had been almost married to said dead mate and so was morally slightly out-of-bounds. He was just the cutest thing and I was sold, bald patch, dodgy trousers and all.

ecclestoneThe Doctor (Doctor Who, like, forever… played by Paul McGann, Christopher Ecclestone, David Tennant, Matt Smith)

I don’t know where to start with this man! How can it be that vastly different actors have all played him in vastly different ways and yet all have managed to elicit feverish crushes in me? It must be something deeply fundamental to the Doctor’s character that pulls me in, but what it is is anyone’s guess. But from the TV movie (awful, but a fabulous Doctor) to its subsequent return to our screens, I’ve developed an unhealthy interest in every single one. There’s McGann (foppish and vulnerable), Ecclestone (damaged and angry), Tennant (cute and cocky) and Smith (weird and… nope, just weird). Maybe it just demonstrates the old adage that ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’. Or is that a song from The Mighty Boosh? Now then, back to Vince Noir…

Oh no! I forgot Sam Tyler from Life on Mars! And Sam from Quantum Leap! And Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! I’ll just have to do another feature. What a crying shame…

Desert Island Books are back. And this time it’s personal…

The moment you’ve been eagerly awaiting… drumroll please… five more of my desert island books. Ok, so maybe you haven’t been eagerly awaiting this moment. Maybe you just stumbled on this blog by accident looking for dessert recipes. Ah well, I’m posting them anyway…

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickensphoto

The first time I read this book, aged about fourteen, I stayed up the entire night (and I’m not exaggerating) to finish it. It’s long, like all of Dickens’ tomes, and takes a fair bit of commitment before you start it, but I’ve still managed to read it a couple more times since. And if I’m marooned, then at least with books this long I’ll never get bored. Most people will be able to quote the iconic opening line (I say line, some might call it a novella). Most people will be able to quote the closing line too:
‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’
Unless you’re like me, because I’m usually too distraught to be able to focus on the closing line! Either way, you can’t deny that the man knows how to tell a story.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I know, I know, another Dickens. At uni I had a reputation for being slightly odd as the only girl who actually read them for fun. I adore Oliver, truly, and maybe, if I think really hard, I can trace my love affair with young adult protagonists back to him. Everyone knows this story, even people who’ve never picked up a book, even people who’ve never seen one of the hundreds of adaptations, and this is a testament to the endurance of the tale and the vividness of the creation.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The trouble with this choice is that, although I love the book and would happily read it forever, I adore the film and have watched it practically every six months since I can remember.  Since the film is only a fraction of the complexity of the book, I forget things when I’m telling people about the book. The main difference, for those who don’t know, is that while the film is a story within a story, the book is a story within a story within a story. The addition of a dysfunctional narrator undergoing some kind of mid-life crisis whilst searching for an elusive copy of his favourite book adds another, sharper, more contemporary layer. But, for all that, you still have to love Inigo, the vengeance obsessed swordsman, the best.

Island by Jane Rogers

This book, aside from being fantastic, has special meaning for me. I make no secret of my obsession with BBC’s Merlin, and the recent film adaptation of this book starred one Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin in the TV show. I was lucky enough to attend the premiere in Glasgow and to meet Colin and the film’s producers. Sad as I am, I took my well-loved copy of Island along. Now it’s even more precious, containing the autographs of Colin and the film’s producer/director/screenwriter. I take it to bed every night and hug it as I sleep. The book is a dark tale of one young woman’s unravelling mind. She travels to a remote Scottish island to track down the mother who abandoned her to a life in care, with the intentions of killing her in order to exact revenge. What she finds on the island is not only her mother, but a strange half-brother who shows her a new way of viewing the world. While the ending is far from happy, its uplifting message, that salvation is possible for anyone, stays with you weeks after you’ve closed the book.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

I love this series, except for the first book, which drives me insane! Luckily, I began reading the Dark is Rising first (the book for which the series is named) and, in my opinion, this is the best one. It can be read as a standalone with no problem. It’s full of ancient British mythology and magic, and a great protagonist in Will Stanton. I just wish someone had done a Harry Potter with it, instead of that awful film version that we ended up with; it could have been the start of a franchise to rival the best of them.