THEATRE | MY BRILLIANT FRIEND AT ROSE THEATRE


Rose Theatre's production of My Brilliant Friend is the very first stage adaptation of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels. The original series is split into four books and so the story is condensed into a two part play, with each part running for 2.5 hours. I was lucky enough to be invited back to Rose Theatre to watch this and was properly interested in what it'd be like as I'd never experienced a play in two parts before, though I'd heard this is the same case with the insanely popular Harry Potter & The Cursed Child right now. The production started at 2:30pm on a Saturday and having most recently visited for The Wind In The Willows, the stage set is a far cry from what lingers in my memory: it's dark and bare, a fresh platform for a very intense next five hours.

My Brilliant Friend tells the story of the relationship between two girls, Lenù and Lila, and follows their lives for the duration of over 50 years, starting in Naples. Right off the bat, the two characters are as different as the sun and moon, with Lila coming across as the much more dominant one even though the entire story is narrated by Lenù and therefore told through her eyes. Despite this, they compliment each other like soulmates and formed what would become an unbreakable bond against all odds.

What stood out to me and what I loved most was how they executed this play. The set design, choreography and use of props combined were cleverly inventive, simple yet eerily effective. There was a scene where they replicated waves on a beach with the actors manually billowing plastic sheets and it looked absolutely beautiful. The two leads Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack were both absolute powerhouses as Lenù and Lila repectively and gave such intense, passionate and memorable performances. However, the amazing acting and set could not stop the play from feeling entirely too long for me. Maybe it's because I'm not used to sitting in a theatre for that length of time but even after the first interval, I was already starting to lose attention and then after more than an hour's break before part two, I wasn't feeling that urge to continue and discover what happens next. I may have just been having an off day though because honestly, I can't fault any aspect of the production itself. I did hear a couple of audience members voicing that it would've been better to further condense the story but then again if you feel like you wouldn't be able to sit for five hours, there's an option to watch parts one and two on different days.


My Brilliant Friend is a lengthy life story accurately filled with highs and lows that could rival even the most extreme rollercoaster. You'll be swept into it's powerful energetic storm and it will wreak havoc with your emotions. At the heart of it all though, is the remarkable, enduring friendship between two women. 

My Brilliant Friend - Parts 1 & 2 is at Rose Theatre Kingston until the 2nd of April. More info and tickets can be found here.

*Complimentary press tickets to watch this play were given to me courtesy of Rose Theatre but as always, all thoughts and opinions voiced are my own. 

OUTFIT | ROOK

Y'all have probably been living under a rock if you hadn't managed to realise how obsessed with Rogue One I've become. And that's just the thing, I never expected it but then at some point along the way it kinda took over my life? Let me explain, I never was (and probably never will consider myself) a Star Wars fan. I watched the earlier films when I was a child but never warmed to them, plus a contributing factor is that I have this weird fear of outer space and wide open places so I tend to avoid any intergalactic films in general. After managing to avoid all the hype of The Force Awakens, I finally sat down to watch it on the sofa one day, about six months after it's initial release. Unfortunately, as I had predicted, it wasn't my cup of tea. So when Rogue One started getting promoted late last year, I ignored the buildup of excitement (when I first saw the trailer, I actually thought that Diego Luna was Michiel Huisman from Game of Thrones... I laugh about this now) and acknowledged that I had no plans to see it. Despite this, I had an influx of friends, from varying degrees of Star Wars nerd to casual cinemaphile, spout out that it was single-handedly the best Star Wars film they'd ever witnessed. Naturally I was intrigued, I'm always willing to give anything a chance. I bought a ticket on a day off, walked into the dark cinema with zero expectations, sat through the film for it's two hour running time and then... walked out. COMPLETELY. SHOOK.

First and foremost, the film just felt so real. Not only was it comparable to a military war film (which I usually love), it was also extremely testing and eye-opening, especially in this period of political upheaval, and for me, without the wishy-washy pretence of lightsabers to distract me, I was totally immersed in a world I never thought I would have a connection with. Perhaps it had something to do with how these new characters had been written, and how much I found myself relating to them, which of course meant that I cared for them. Why though? Why this particular bunch of characters that make up the Rogue One team? I've thought about this a lot and what I've come to the conclusion is this. The reluctant heroine that Jyn Erso was, spoke more to me than the stubbornly brave fighter Rey is portrayed as. In a world of Reys, I would be a Jyn, and I've always found that I gravitate towards characters that reflect certain aspects of my own personality (think my love for Sansa Stark as compared with a huge majority of the Game of Thrones fandom). Also, without speculating about my own family issues, the father/daughter relationship between Galen and Jyn really struck a chord within me and I found myself crying harder during the hologram scene than I did towards the erm, end.


So with that analysis aside, let's move on to my favourite character in Rogue One: Bodhi Rook. Initially taken for a coward, but in my humble opinion, he is the bravest character in the story. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for one good man to do nothing. If Bodhi hadn't defected, not only would Rogue One never have happened, the entire Star Wars trilogy would never have happened. Enough said? Once again I've noticed a pattern with how I choose my favourite characters, is it just me or can you start to draw all these parallels between Bodhi Rook and Sansa Stark? That quiet kind of unassuming bravery has always just appealed to me. I guess as a shy and introverted person, it's something I aspire to have.

Bodhi Rook t-shirt / Urban Outfitters skirt / ASOS belt / Office boots / ASOS fishnets

So that turned into a pretty long spiel to accompany an outfit post but I just felt like I needed to get that out there because now a lot of people seem to assume that I'm the biggest Star Wars fan ever. There you have it, that's my personal stance on the franchise. I'm really curious if there are others that might feel this way too? To me it seems that liking Rogue One yet not being a fan of Star Wars in general is the most unpopular opinion ever, but then again I have heard a lot of SW fans voice that R1 doesn't have that 'Star Wars feel' so maybe my views are justified? Let me know your thoughts please! Okay so now finally on to this look, which I wore to go see the Star Wars Identities exhibition that's in London till September this year. Along with this Bodhi t-shirt which has become my equivalent to your favourite band tee, I wore this plisse skirt that I've been super obsessed with. From the fit, colour, material, and awesome sales price, it's all contributed to making it the best purchase I've made in a while. Plus I've been loving wearing red since it doesn't clash with my hair colour anymore (though we both know this probably won't last long at the rate I change up my hurrrr).


GET THE LOOK



OUTFIT | MANDARIN

H&M x Kenzo jumper / Very skirt* (similar) / Zara boots (similar)

I do love a good colour block! Don't think I've ever paired these two colours before but when I was thinking of what else I could possibly wear with my bright orange Kenzo jumper besides black or blue jeans, my eyes just so happened to land on this green pleated midi I had picked out at a Very event a while ago, so bless my past self for deciding to hang this skirt at the front of my closet (or the reality that my closet just had no more space left, I was forced to hang it outside *nervous laughter*). Anyway now I'm thinking I'll consider this colour combo more often. I finished off the look with these Zara boots that reminded me of the Louis Vuitton ones albeit with a much more manageable heel height.

YOUTUBE | PIERCINGS + BURBERRY MAKERS HOUSE

What I got up to over the weekend: my friends and I all got piercings and then I visited Burberry Makers House.



OUTFIT | FRILLS & FLORALS

ASOS blouse (similar) / Zara trousers (similar) / ASOS loafers / Givenchy bag

A head-to-toe Gucci inspired look I put together with pieces I already had in my wardrobe. It's always fun to play around with trends but I've actually been thinking of investing in a pair of the actual Gucci loafers because all these knockoffs have been slowly murdering my feet. The back of my heel is oddly flat so I've never had any luck with shoe styles that don't have any support or straps around the ankle, but upon trying the real Horsebit loafers I was taken aback by how perfectly they moulded to the shape of my feet from the moment I slipped them on. Rather than purchasing a cheaper pair yet not being able to walk in them for long periods of time I think it would make more sense for me personally to invest in the latter. Though I do wish I just had a normal shaped heel so I could wear any type of flat. Anyway this has turned into a bit of a side ramble for me to justify a designer purchase but let's just end on the note that I totally luuuurved this outfit and how relaxed and flowy it was: just like going out in pyjamas!

YOUTUBE | BLOGGING, MEETING CELEBS, LIVING IN LONDON? Q&A


Thought it'd be fun to do a little Q&A video! Thanks to everyone who asked a question and let me know if you'd be interested to see more of these in the future.


OUTFIT | ACANTHUS

Zara dress / ASOS brogues / Gucci bag / Primark keyring

I've always had a great love for velvet dresses. The material feels luxe and is conveniently warm for London weather most of the year. It's stretchy enough to be comfortable yet thick enough to be flattering instead of flimsy. The only downside I find is that it's an absolute magnet for all manner of small particles such as crumbs, pet hair, or erm, dandruff. Luckily it's not too noticeable on lighter colours like this champagne gold dress that pretty much already had me singing all the praises at it's William Morris-esque botanical print.

Speaking of flowers, if all goes according to plan, I may be headed for a short trip to Japan around the time that cherry blossoms/sakura will be blooming next month! I've never seen them in real life so I couldn't be more excited.