Wednesday, 25 February 2015

THEATRE REVIEW - ‘Antigone’

Creo and his son Eamon argue
Actors Mark Monero and Gamba Cole
Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles first written sometime BCE. Compared to her beautiful and docile sister, Antigone is portrayed as a heroine who is committed to her family. Stubborn and fearless, she makes a firm decision to take a certain matter into her own hands despite knowing the consequences she will face. Press Night for Antigone at Theatre Royal; Stratford East was a buzz of excitement for what it was hoped would be a spectacular production. Did it live up to the expectation, or was it a messMore shade than light, this version by award-winning Playwright Roy Williams was more of a miss than a hit!

THE UGLY
Over saturated with scenes that were always one or two monologues too long, the set stayed the same for the entire duration except for a few of the same props wheeled on and off by the actors and so, visually you're left unfulfilled. For some reason there are ill-timed, ill placed and the unnecessary use of the odd slip into Caribbean tongue that simply grated on my ears! Whenever there was laughter in response to the use of this accent I couldn't tell if it were uncomfortable laughs, or the laugh one does when utterly confused! It seemed to be the latter...  

The young lovers, Eamon and Antigone
played by Gamba Cole and Savannah Gordon-Liburd 
It would also seem that the director may have thought certain aspects of the play might not make sense, even to those familiar with the story because, most scenes, which could've easily been those cut from EastEnders Live (Who Killed Lucy?), were practically spoon fed to the audience! Take for example a scene where the two young lovers quite slowly and carefully, in sync, kneel facing one another then lay down to look at each other only to then roll over and both lay on their tummy in the direction of the audience and then proceed to discuss the 'fact' that they just had sex... Wait, what? Was that little movement supposed to have been a choreographed representation of a night of passion?


The sisters, Esme and Antigone -
Actress Frieda Thiel and Savannah Gordon-Liburd
THE BAD
I lost count of how many times certain actors gave their back, or side profile, to the audience resulting in us not being able to see any facial expressions... This was just shocking to me! "Are they wearing their own clothes? Or, are those actual costumes?" said one student to another who were both sat in the row behind. Apart from the Soldiers and one other character, what the actors wore appeared to be a case of 'whatever you can find at home' and, together with the set design, this made the production look more budget theatre than critically acclaimed! Speaking of the actual set design itself I did like it, until it came to life (with projected images that actually spoiled some otherwise decent scenes), I just felt more could have been done with it overall. There were so many contradictions with the set too, for example - one minute two Soldiers were needed to open double gates to where a body was being kept, the next Antigone is able to open the very same gates with her bare hands without it having been suggested (prior) that she possesses some sort of hidden hulk-like strength... Hmm..? With more young people in the audience than adults, or press for that matter, there was quite a lot of mumbled conversations happening which had me itching for an interval that never arrived. Choopse! That's right, folks... There is no break in between the long, tiresome, tense Antigone complete with verbatim line deliveries from most of the cast!!! 
Roy Williams OBE, Playwright

Gamba Cole, who was so good in the dreadful Kingston 14 also by Roy Williams, appeared to have been directed to the point of overacting and I just did not believe him as Eamon. Mark Monero is an undeniable talent however, in his role as Creo, he almost never stopped rubbing the tips of his fingers with his thumb (each hand to its own) which was such a big distraction! I've no idea if it was to be seen as a character trait, or a habit belonging to the actor himself! I've always enjoyed the wonderfully talented Monero however, not this time although he is one of three strongest cast members performance wise.

THE POSITIVES
Although her voice (perhaps adopted for her role) is somewhat jarring, Savannah Gordon-Liburd as Antigone is a visual delight. She has a rich, healthy complexion, a lovely figure and a face very pleasing on the eyes. Frieda Thiel as Esme showed real, genuine emotions. Frieda is a special talent and the main reason I wanted to see the play. There is something so more-ish about her and, for me, she always nails her performances. Sean Sagar in the role of Sentry was such a treat each and every time he graced the stage! I had not seen this actor before however, I hope to see him on stage, or on screen, in the near future. He gave such an authentic, natural and believable performance and was a joy to watch. Oliver Wilson who took on a Soldier role and that of Tyrese had some lovely moments and was fluid in many of his scenes. He is another actor I had not seen before whom I'd like to see again. The comedy elements in this play, albeit often misplaced, were fab. It's always good to get an audience laughing.

THE CONCLUSION
I so badly wanted to enjoy Antigone because, I really like the story which is so very inspiring however, while the story itself will always be a great one told through various adaptations over many, many years to come, Roy Williams so-called "contemporary version speaking urban street poetry" was a complete let down more so by the 'street' language used which saw too much of the dialogue between Creo and his soldiers drenched by an over-use of the word "fam" (not sure why) and therefore most lines sounded like diarrhea instead of poetry! It's such a shame but, it just wasn't very good and such was confirmed by the loud snoring of one male audience member who fell asleep sat in the same row as Broadcaster and Journalist Brenda Emmanus who looked on in disbelief! Antigone was less modern day effects of social media (as mentioned in the Director's Introduction of the published script in book format) and more, is this really theatre and am I actually sat here watching it?

Quote from anonymous audience member
"Essentially a great tragedy but, let down by awkward staging and humour in the wrong places"

RECOMMENDATION
Not since Funny Black Women on the Edge in 1995 (when I was all of 15) have I seen an all round production staged at Theatre Royal; Stratford East brimming with pure genius and excellence from cast and crew! That said, different theatre strokes for different theatre loving folks, right? Go and see Antigone for yourself. While I didn't enjoy the overall production, the story is powerful and riveting and there are many good messages shared. Everyone will have a different take on it!


You can watch the trailer for Antigone here:

Photo Credits: Robert Day, not including the final image.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Shades of Eve-Yasmine!


This beautiful, young, London songstress has established herself as a credible up and coming soul singer and presenter. 


Like most, Eve-Yasmine Saoud-Easton discovered her passion for arts and entertainment as a child however, unlike most, she has remained steadfast in her pursuit of success within her field and, folks, the girl is quite literally everywhere! 


Professionally, her career began at the age of 16 and she has since gone on to work in journalism, as a presenter (interviewing high profile personalities such as Alicia Keys and Quincy Jones) and is a firm favourite of many as a strong vocalist who has also penned her own music as well as covered many well known songs.


CHECK OUT her cover of 'Crazy in Love' by Beyoncé from the 
Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack: 


Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer:


Twitter: @EveYasmine

CATCH EVE PERFORMING LIVE!!!!


TICKETS and DETAILS

All images taken from Google / Artist 

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER  @CharleyRealTalk

Saturday, 7 February 2015

MAYBE YOU JUST NEED TO CHILL!

Okay… So, we women, yes (it seems) all of us, have way too many issues. Some of those issues/problems are through no fault of our own (circumstances, ill treatment from others, media brainwashing and the alike) however, there are a number of things women do; a type of behaviour demonstrated that is defo down to ourselves and it is about time we took responsibility!



Too quick to judge a man for whatever his shortcomings may be, a lot of us women very rarely seem to check ourselves, pointing out our own faults and thereafter seeking ways we can improve before giving such an order to men. Now, I am not just speaking about the above in relation to heterosexual couples although I will speak from that perspective... This applies to all women - mothers of males, sisters with brothers, aunts etc… Women are not superior, we are not controllers, we are not necessarily smarter or more mature and we do not have the right to laud such over men (and vice versa).

Regardless of your age, where you are on your life map, what you have or haven't achieved, it is not the business of any woman to dictate to a man, to tell a man over and over again where and how he is failing. If your partner does not stop doing the things that upset you and/or lets you down why do you stay when (no doubt for long enough) he has shown you that he will not change, love or no love? I’d say the fault is yours not his. He knows he is stubborn and so do you. You might have felt that you've made the necessary changes on a personal level over time (which he may acknowledge) but, if you both agree (or you quite evidently see) that he remains unwilling to try or do the same to keep you, you should walk leaving him available for whichever woman can accept the things you can't. Are you aware of just how much another man; The Right man, will value and respect you? Do you know your worth? Get to know!!

See, here’s the thing: If women would give men more breathing space and men were more attentive, a lot of the issues (mainly trust) would cease. Real talk!! Think about it… Men and women usually say and do what they THINK the other wants. Rarely are the relevant questions asked with the necessary conversations being had (at the very beginning) and so, as time goes on and personality traits become apparent, certain behaviour patterns emerge which cause confusion, arguments, refusal to then be questioned, distance, infidelity and then the inevitable separation. Generally speaking, a lot of the time, this is the case for those who (on 'paper') are “meant to be”.

Obviously I write from experience both personal and that which I have been exposed to. I'm not about to embarrass friends who have confided in me about their relationship problems, or someone I have dated or am currently dating however, I will say this:

If your partner will not acknowledge their part in the breakdown of the relationship (usually because they are stubborn and/or have issues that they've not shared with you), instead of calling them out on absolutely everything they do wrong, all the time, accept that, because of this, it is unlikely the relationship will improve and then decide what to do with that acceptance. Ever heard of 50/50, meeting each other halfway? Surely it’s not that hard to give the respect you want in return… I mean, that’s how it works. We all know this, right? If you are not respected and do not trust them I cannot understand why you stay...

Within relationships there should not be a tit for tat thing, some sort of one-up-on-you game that is played, and where that is the case it is a sure thing that it will not work out. If a woman expects to be listened to why does she then find it difficult to listen? I, myself, have been so guilty of this!! Sometimes I still am and it is not okay on any level… If a man knows that he would hate to discover his woman has been flirting, sexting or cheating why does he not know that she will feel the same should he do that to her? Rocket science it isn't yet so many of us fail so terribly at relationships. Bottom line: If you know you would not want them to do it to you….

So, what do we do when we first get into a new relationship to ensure it will work, or how do we go right when we have gone wrong with it? I think it is so simple that it is beyond embarrassing when I think about it considering how badly I've done in relationships myself!!! (Cannot believe I just put that out there… It's real talk though….)

I think both individuals must play by the same key rules; the things that you want are what you must also give! That’s it! Be honest, explain your actions and choices, answer the questions posed (nothing to lose if you have nothing to hide), allow yourself to be held to account whenever you mess up, accept responsibility for any problems you cause, try and adapt, stop being fearful, do not treat the next as though they are the last (no two people are the same). Support one another wholeheartedly, remember that tomorrow could be too late and so live for today. Always, always keep the lines of (effective) communication open and keep dating each other! Be a unit, a team that nobody can come between, take time to understand one another, pay attention, do not blame one another for your insecurities, hear each other and listen to what is being said, don't assume, praise where it’s due, appreciate the differences, celebrate the similarities, forgive their past and if the past has any uncomfortable place in the present perhaps try to bring it to a place where it does not and will not affect your future together.

Am I an expert? Hardly! LMAO!!! However, I do know for sure that, if what you're doing isn't working you should try the opposite, or something else, (within reason) and see where that gets you. All we can ever do with anything is try however, we have to know when it’s time to let go. Not every relationship you will have is one you should commit to with or without its problems.

Women, we are not always right! We cannot change a man and if we want to we shouldn't be with him because, when we met him and took him on, in doing so, we agreed to let him be himself!! We must not think we can call the shots and give instructions; we do not have the right to shut down a man and leave him without room to breathe, speak, or be the one to make a decision about the relationship. Ladies, putting him down does not keep him at home and pointing out all that you think (because, he will never agree) is wrong with him might just push him in the very direction you believe your (failing) efforts are preventing him from going. The bed of another woman, real talk!

Men, to you, I must say this: get off the high horse you chose to put yourself on! You're not always right simply because you disagree with what your partner says, thinks or feels! No you cannot do as you want when you have chosen to be in a relationship, yes you must consider the feelings of your other half before making certain decisions and it is essential that you BE AFFECTIONATE and not only when it suits you, or when you want the two of you to make love/have sex! Show a bit of sensitivity, send her a sweet text each morning or before bed (even if you live together because, it’s such a lovely thing to do and will mean so much more to her than something like taking out the bins or washing the dishes). Be her number one supporter – be that through sharing her projects via social media, attending her work functions, family events or by championing her efforts to change her body shape, change her hairstyle, or being a great mum and partner etc. Be with her and about her!!! It is a lie that you men have been sold (by whoever) for so many years that tells you women want a macho, egotistical, selfish, nonchalant, shady, bad-boy too secretive for his own good type! No! Women would rather the complete opposite and while she might afford you that stereotypical behaviour “on road”, behind closed doors she will defo appreciate you showing her your softer, compassionate and loving side. That is what will score you points not ignorance, a my-way-only attitude and mahoosive muscle arms so big you cannot drop them by your side! Real talk!! 



Again, I am no expert but, I have learned a lot over the years about myself as a woman, as a partner, friend, sibling etc and, although I am still learning (willingly), I know better than I did so I try my very best to apply myself the way I ought to instead of the way I would prefer to, or believe to be right based on the occasional muchness swirling around in my head! We all need to do more of what we know is right not what we want, especially if we are not seeing the results we seek, or if doing what we want is hurting those we claim to love! This is where you need to park your ego/pride for a minute… Is it not the way of a loving heart that it will want to do right by its loved ones? If what you are doing is hurting them, YOU are the one who needs to fall back! Get a grip and check yourself! Either improve your ways or let them go so they can be with someone who will treat them better; someone who is clued up and will commit the Right way...

Do yourself and your prospective partner a favour by knowing what you want before you step out on the dating scene and when you meet, make sure you take the time to go on many CONVERSATIONAL
dates with one another to see whether or not the two of you are compatible; if they meet your key requirements - have THE ALL 
IMPORTANT CONVERSATIONS FIRST! Bedroom antics can happen later when you know it’s worth getting attached/connected in that way. Without a doubt, feelings change after two people have slept together. While some can remain detached and see it as nothing more than sex, there are those who view intimacy as a bonding experience; a way of connecting on a deeper level and so, for them, naturally they may start to want more – commitment. Dating can save a lot of heartache and the sharp, shooting pain one can get across the forehead as a result of severe frustration!! Make decisions based on intellect not your anatomy!!! Date and talk for several weeks, or even a couple of months before you exchange bodily fluids ;)

Here’s to all couples, families and friendships around the world. May you afford one another the same respect you would like to receive and in doing so go the distance. Love is so, so amazing. I feel great when I know someone cares about me or loves me and it also gives me joy to be capable of loving others. We need to learn how to keep a hold of it because, it is so important. 


Ps. there is nobody that can or will ever be perfect so, allow your prospective life partner some flaws and CHILL! Give the relationship time to grow as well as yourself within the new union. Work together to find both harmony and balance with your careers, the relationship, your families, friends and hobbies. For as long as there is love between the two of you there is every reason to try!

HAPPY LOVING ;)


All images taken from google

Sunday, 1 February 2015

FALSE WEB PROPHETS!

Definition of a False Web Prophet:

From the fake story about a 7 year old boy (in America) who used his dad’s credit card to “buy hookers”, to the reports that certain celebrities who are very much alive and well have passed away, there are one too many business moguls, bloggers, journalists and vloggers who have used such fakery, in a not so discreet attempt, to be recognised as some sort of new school Perez Hilton and/or boost hits to their site!

American Blogger/TV Personality, Perez Hilton
2013 was the year when it was to be expected that almost every article or post shared was likely to be a hoax however, this is something that has been going on for a long time and it looks like it will continue by those desperate for fame both on and offline…

Some go as to far as to instigate a would-be fake post about themselves to achieve notoriety (would you believe) only to then attempt a u-turn that still goes wrong and sticks like super glue!! Madness! In 2011, I believe, there was a female blogger who uploaded her own ‘sex’ tape as a way to promote an event aimed at young people except it was more of a suggestive video than the
actual doing of the do! Erm… Okidokey! Suffice to say, the media attention which followed had her receive more visits to her blog than she had seen previously. Nobody appeared to be remotely concerned that the post was aimed at the youth. Go figure! *rolls eyes/shakes head*

Here's the thing.. For many, regardless of what their interests are, especially those who post about personal grooming etc, fake or not, most do well from their not-so-truthful or outlandish online shenanigans, going on to receive huge followings and big mainstream opportunities! Crazy!! I guess, where fashion related, the fact is: there will always be a spot for those interested in clothes, accessories, styling etc so, anyone writing or making videos about such things is going to do better than someone like myself who blogs about all-things modern day! I have never and will never be a woman who goes all doo-lally for Mac, Maybelline, Dior, Zara, H&M, TopShop and the rest. I’d sooner read a book than spend money (whether I can afford to or not) on products too expensive to ever be justified of which the excitement will be short lived and where certain products are to be applied to my skin I will probably have some sort of breakout afterwards that has my face look like a very badly made pizza with an unnecessary amount of toppings! No, thanks!! Although I know the growth of the fashion/beauty industry is never ending and the majority are all over it like a permanent rash, it just doesn't appeal to me. If it did, my reviews etc would defo be authentic!

Not a photo of the female vlogger mentioned
As much as I find a certain fashion, beauty, make-up vlogger to be all sweet and innocent, as she has been so carefully packaged; a very likable young girl, finding out that she did not write her first book about how she turned her passion into a business was a real let down (and because of this I didn't buy it). Do I believe she needed to have been taught or just somehow have the skills of a potential best-selling author? No! I just know that I am someone who (no matter how rubbish it may turn out) would either a) pen the book entirely by myself seeking only to have it proof-read and checked for research accuracy etc, or b) state from the get that there will be other contributors to the book. How hard is that? Or, is it that there is value in lies these days? Is the truth now overrated? We won't talk about the vloggers who are actually sponsored by the brands they claim to "just love" and so want to share their "best buy's" with you!

Twitter is the playground of all who so badly want attention and so will tweet absolutely anything with that goal in sight! From those who will tweet positive quotes then later share a series of foul words directed at the world as though they have forgotten that, to the same followers, only minutes earlier, they were encouraging everyone to “aim high and stay on your path, be thankful, you can do it”, to those who use real life tragedies as reported on the news to propel themselves into the spotlight, fakery is definitely on another level of insane!! Some months ago somebody tweeted false claims of a friendship with a young man who had been murdered (as correctly reported via mainstream news) so as to promote a music video! There have been fake suicide posts via instagram as well as twitter and even a video shared which had showed a girl supposedly dying after receiving a severe blow to the head which later turned out to be a prank!!! I mean, really?

Make no mistake here, folks. I'm a champion of those achieving and succeeding. I just do not support those who “make it” doing the things (or similar) that are mentioned in this post. Fake hair, eyelashes, boobies etc I get (each to their own) but, sharing inaccurate or false stories etc (for personal gain and/or fame) is going way too far!!

Regular readers of my posts will know that I do not expose people (using names) because, I just feel it is so irrelevant and not my place and that’s why, although I felt strongly enough about this matter to blog about it, I have not included names and links referring to those mentioned. The bottom line is this: whatever you are to receive will be yours when the time is right and not before, no matter what! Should you rush things, or take matters into your own hands in a way that is distasteful, as it were, you will do yourself out of such blessings and then some. You may see success, fame and fortune as is no doubt the aim but, due to the way you would have obtained such things, they're likely to be short lived and the eventual backlash you'll face will not ever be worth it. Keep it real! By doing so, you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain. Is achieving a hot minute as someone widely recognised worth your dignity or seeing others upset by your fake posts? I don’t think so… Better to reach any aim through genuine effort, hard work and talent than deception! Nobody in their right mind would want to be known for anything other than that which is real, right? *shrug*



'Lips Are Movin' by Meghan Trainor


All images taken from google unless otherwise stated