Ever since I started my dedicated theatre blog, this original one has been a lot quieter, but I've continued to use it for my Twitter roundups and occasional book and TV reviews. I want to continue having a personal blog but even though Livejournal hasn't been quite as bad lately as it has been in the past, it can still be a mess of regular downtime, horrible design, and So! Much! Spam! So having done a year of Partially Obstructed View on blogger and got used to using that platform, from the start of 2013 I'll be taking So anyway, over there as well and have set up the blog, ready to go. I can't promise to actually do that much blogging on there any more than I have here, but if you've liked what sometimes crops up here I hope you'll follow me over. Of course I'll be leaving this original archive where it is and who knows, if things change I may come back to it, but for now this is me signing off from LJ and having a fresh start for the new year!


The five year itch

Finally, Merlin ends, and the most frustrating thing remains that this was all supposedly planned from the start. When the programme started the writers said they had a specific five-year story arc planned, and indeed the series went on for those five years. It's baffling to think that "almost zero development for five years, then Collapse )

Twitterball 41: Never mind the Apocalypse

This week on my Twitter feed was the week before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. At least I hope I don't have a vermin infestation. Also, the world was supposed to end, and then it didn't.

So that BBC3 trailer suggests Wooton's in the new series of Being Human. Unfortunately this means I now have to destroy the earth.
4:55 PM - 19 Dec 12

Sleb Spot: Lindsay Duncan at Soho Theatre.
7:19 PM - 19 Dec 12

Not Dorota = no1curr #gossipgirlfinale
1:22 PM - 20 Dec 12

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Twitterball 40: "EVEN fatter" = "win"

This week on my Twitter feed, I get excited over a little free chocolate with my latte, as you would.

I'd consider adding "Jessica Christ!" to my vocabulary of exclamations, but Jessie J might think I meant her #privatesonparade
11:14 AM - 12 Dec 12

Frozen spider-webs this morning http://twitpic.com/blbci4
12:53 PM - 12 Dec 12

More frozen spider-webs in Greenwich http://twitpic.com/blbcta
12:54 PM - 12 Dec 12

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Shot in genuine mediaeval lighting

Last week's Merlin ended with Morgana definitely declaring all-out war on Camelot, for realz this time, honest. So "The Drawing of the Dark" will definitely involve massed armies of warlocks and dragons going against Arthur, and not just another lone druid titting about in the woods, right? LOL WRONG!

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Book review: Voices from the Past

The last couple of Christmases I've made a habit of reading collections of ghost stories. Having used up M.R. James and Charles Dickens, I went for something more contemporary this year, a charity collection of short stories written to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Actually Voices from the Past isn't as much a ghost story collection as the title implies, with mainly sci-fi shorts. Although some stories like Juliet E. McKenna's "The Wisdom of the Ages" and Andrew Smith's "The Lab Gang" do provide an interesting sci-fi take on the collection's title. They're among the best stories - a lot of the contributions I found a bit perfunctory, but I also liked Joseph Lidster's "Success" and Robert Shearman's grotesque "The Runt." Best of all, Paul Magrs has contributed a Brenda and Effie story, "The Curious Package." The collection ends with "The God Confusion" by Toby Hadoke, a satire on religious intolerance that's pretty effective until about halfway through, when I guessed the story's big twist ending - because I used it myself for a University piece 17 years ago. And I stole it from an episode of Red Dwarf in the first place.

Twitterball 39: Alas Poor Yoricking

This week on my Twitter feed, oh the relief as this year's X Factor limps to an end, and the even greater relief as I miss most of it.

Just about stopped myself from yelling "CUNT!" as I woke up at about 6am. (Ricky Gervais had just shown up in a nightmare.)
10:56 AM - 6 Dec 12

Attention: Girls Aloud just rhymed "basin" with "washing my face in." Des'ree's quaking in her boots.
9:47 AM - 7 Dec 12

Woman on train's INCREDIBLY URGENT series of phone calls turns out to be about exactly how she wants her nails done.
8:43 AM - 8 Dec 12

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The Mildly Diverting Statistic Factor

Because I still persist with watching Merlin of a Saturday night, I usually record the overnight ITV2 repeat of The X Factor so I can do these recaps on a Sunday morning. But I was theatreing rather a lot this weekend, and when I finally got round to watching Saturday’s first leg of the 2012 final, it turned out all I’d recorded was hours and hours of home shopping. Far superior, as entertainment goes, I’m sure you’ll agree. Now, I could try the dubious joys of the ITV Player so that this year’s commentary is complete, but let’s face it, I’m not going to. I’m going to take the PVR fail as a sign that my life is a better one without it. Which means we can now look at Sunday’s final-bit-of-the-Final with no trace of THE MILKY CORNFLAKE whatsoever. A bit like the show itself, which got out the Vim and scrubbed away any sign that The Mersey Strangler had ever had any part in proceedings.

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LOL u iz well emrys innit

Hey, so, can you tell one episode of Merlin from another nowadays? Can anyone? I'm pretty sure they've not actually been repeating the same episode every week and slapping a different title on it, but I couldn't actually swear to it. This one had Sorcha Cusack in it, I don't think that's happened before.Collapse )

Book review: Purge

Earlier this year, I really enjoyed Sofi Oksanen's stage version of Purge, about Estonia between the end of the Second World War and the early nineties, so when the original novel became a Kindle daily deal I figured it was worth a download. Starting at the end, when Zara, a prostitute who's escaped from her pimp, turns up at the isolated forest home of the elderly Aliide, we get flashbacks to the old woman's dark secret from the Soviet years, Zara's horrific recent experiences, and how their stories are connected. I still found it an interesting story, with the novel giving a much clearer picture of just how twisted Aliide's actions were. But I thought the play handled the plot's various twists better, the novel tending to give stuff away a bit too early.