#PyarActually – a Theatre #Review #MondayBlogs

A few weeks ago, on a night out with my girl gang, the Tootie Frooties, we discovered that there was a new play about to be performed at our local theatre.

It was an Anglo Indian production, small, with two actors, one of whom who had written the play.

Pyar Actually.

This means Love, Actually.

Reading a basic synopsis of the story, I readily said Yes!

Polly has a reliable husband, two bright children, a well-paid job at the council and detached house with a double garage. She’s got it all. She may not be living the life she dreamed of back when she was a teenager, but who does?

Bali is a successful businessman. Loving his jet set lifestyle he swore he’d never return to the small town he grew up in. So why is he back? Is it too late for second chances? And is love, actually, all you need?

Then I slowly realised that this was actually written by someone I already followed on Instagram, Sukh Ojla or @forsukhssake. She is a brilliant stand-up comedienne too, and has featured in TV programmes and is even in the recent cinema release, Victoria and Albert!

And best of all, she is a local girl, with roots in the town I was married into!

I was excited.

We were watching the last show of the run here in the local theatre before they went off to various other towns and cities in the UK. Several other friends of mine had been to see it already and were raving about it.

 

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Obligatory shot with the Poster!

As it was a small production by Rifco, “an award-winning British Asian Theatre Company that develops and creates vibrant, accessible and high-quality theatre which reflects and celebrates the contemporary British Asian experience”, it was in the smaller theatre studio, and there was unreserved seating.

With this in mind, we arranged to meet early so we could get good seats.

I was there ten minutes earlier than planned because that’s just me. Slowly the group assembled…

 

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Part of the Tootie Frooties!

 

 

 

Before long most of us were there and the queues started to form to get in. We were in there, but without one key member… the one with the tickets!

With moments to spare she arrived, but the front was all filled up. Still, we grabbed cushioned seats at the side and had a great view!

 

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Present and correct!

The set was simple, and something that was easily manoeuvrable by the two actors, to create the atmosphere required.

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And what of the play?

I really enjoyed it! It was a humorous look at the life of a married British Asian woman, and what happens when she gets contacted by her ex-boyfriend.

We laughed at the typical Indian jokes, “Innit!” and cringed at the depictions of clandestine meetings with boyfriends past, not because they were badly portrayed, but more because we were able to relate to them!

The use of simple Punjabi phrases littered within the dialogue created an authenticity within the portrayal of the life of a woman who was essentially every one of us women in the audience, to an extent.

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The ex-boyfriend was excellently played by Simon Rivers, a successful businessman whose life is unravelling due to alcoholism, and the loss of his mother. Reaching out to someone who meant something in his past, initially to absolve himself of guilt, cascades into a waterfall of emotions.

Polly, the lead character, played by Sukh Ojla, was someone we all knew. A married 40-something woman with two kids and a nice house, who was content with life, but not really happy.  Deciding to meet this blast from the past could go one of two ways… which way did it go?

Sukh also doubled up as Auntiji, the typical Indian Auntie/friend of mother, who somehow knows everything that is going on, and even plays Call of Duty!

A little set of twists at the end, made for a thoroughly enjoyable story. I’m not about to give the story up to you guys! You need to go watch it yourself!

And at the end of the performance, we hung around for a group photo with the main girl. and I had my own fangirl moment of selfie-dom with her!

 

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Me and Sukh!

A fun afternoon for all of us who went!

 

 

 

A TRIBUTE/SHOUT OUT TO AN AMAZING BLOGGER: Ritu Bhathal

Thank you so much Rae for this most touching review of my blog and book.

FYI… Peeps… short for my ‘People’!

Source: A TRIBUTE/SHOUT OUT TO AN AMAZING BLOGGER: Ritu Bhathal

#Bookreview – Poetic RITUals by Ritu Bhathal

Woke up to a most touching review for my Poetry book, this morning!
Thank you Robbie! ❤

Robbie's inspiration

Poetic RITUals by [Bhathal, Ritu]

What Amazon says

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

My review

This is a delightful book of poetry with a lot of variety in the tone and content of the poems. They are all written from a very human perspective and cover the day-to-day life of a Mother of two, wife and employee with a lovely twist of humour. As all of these things myself, I found the verses to be very relatable. The book is divided into four sections which each deal with different aspects of life, namely, Family RITUals, Life rituals, Rituals of the heart and Rituals to make you smile.

Who could not enjoy…

View original post 509 more words

Marjorie Mallon – Poetic Inspiration #TheCurseOfTime #BlogTour #Author

Hello there Peeps!

Today I am host to a wonderful blogger who I count as a friend too, especially after having endured the London Underground with her after the Bloggers Bash this year!

Marjorie Mallon!

The purpose of this post is actually that I am supporting her on a Blog Tour for her first book release! Yay!

I asked Marjorie what inspired her writing, and to answer, Marje (that’s what us friends call her!) has penned a poem!

Ritu at But I Smile Anyway,
Asked me ‘What inspires you?’
I scratched my head and replied…..
‘Everything!”
‘Everything?’ She repeated.
‘Yes.’
‘What’s everything?’ She asked.
So I said,
‘The sun, the moon and the stars,
Sunsets, Crystals, Cats, Shadows,
Art, Puzzles, Mysteries,
Books, Music, Film, Sculptures,
People, Photography and chit chat.’
‘What kind of chit chat,’ she enquired?
‘The kind that keeps me listening!”
‘Are your ears big?’ she said.
I laughed, grinned and nodded.
She stared at me wide eyed,
So I confessed, ‘My ears eavesdrop.’
‘Blame your lugs,’ she replied.
‘Yes, my lugs are criminals,’ I agreed.
‘Where do your rapscallion ears eavesdrop?’
‘On the bus, on the train, anywhere.’
‘Even at the bloggers bash?’ she cried, in shock.
‘No! Never there! Bloggers code,’ I replied. 
Ha ha, she giggled. ‘Mum’s the word!’
Lol, I tweeted.
‘So that’s it? Inspiration’s end?’ she asked, unsure.
‘No, never!’ I cried, aghast.
‘This is only a beginning and a middle.
Inspiration never stops,
It just grows and bloody grows!’
Retweet, hashtag, Retweet, hashtag.
‘Inspiration bloody grows!’

Isn’t that just a perfect poem? It’s true! Inspiration really does sprout from everywhere!

And now, for the main event…

Marjorie has penned her first book!

The Curse Of Time

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The Blurb

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

Now, tell me, doesn’t that sound like an amazing book to get a hold of?

Well, luckily for you I have the link for you to pre-order! (I already ordered mine!)

http://amzn.to/2tRPqmn or click here!

The Curse Of Time is available on August 26th… as in tomorrow!!!!!

And I know you would like to know a little more about our lovely featured author, so here you are!

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Marjorie or M.J. Mallon!

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years – https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, and middle-grade fiction as well as micropoetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald.

I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters.

After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses!

When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

What’s not to like Peeps? And the best thing? This is Book One! So that means there is sure to be more fabulousness to come! So, go, get ordering!!!! Watch out for a review on here soon enough!

Beneath The Apple Blossom – Kate Frost #BookReview

Another week of the holidays done, another book read.

A while back (possibly even a year back), I read an interview with an author called Kate Frost. Her then newly released book, Beneath The Apple Blossom, looked to be something that would be of interest to me.

The Blurb:

Four women, linked by blood ties, friendship, betrayal, loss and hope, struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.

All Pippa’s ever wanted is marriage and kids, but at thirty-four and about to embark on IVF, her dream of having a family is far from certain. Her younger sister Georgie has the opposite problem, juggling her career, her lover, a young daughter and a husband who wants baby number two.

Pippa’s best friend Sienna has a successful career in the film world, and despite her boyfriend pressurising her to settle down, a baby is the last thing she wants. Happily married Connie shares the trauma of fertility treatment with Pippa, but underestimates the impact being unable to conceive will have on her and her marriage.

As their lives collide in a way they could never have predicted, will any of them get to see their hopes realised?

As I read it I was amazed at how emotional it made me feel. I remembered the time when we were struggling. The anacronyms like 2ww and BFN and BFP flooded back, as I remembered the wonderful forum I had joined when we were struggling with conceiving, and after, for the support of others in the same situation.

It’s true though, not every woman wants to be a mother. And not everyone can make a good one either.

But the pain that accidental pregnancies can cause to others, I’ve experienced that too, while we were in the midst of our own journey. Hearing about someone talking about a baby that wasn’t expected or wanted, was like a knife being plunged into my womb, and twisted. Yes

Yes.

It felt that extreme.

Yet when there were others who were expecting, and it was a much longed for baby, I was overjoyed for the parents-to-be.

Deep down I knew that one day, our turn would come. And it did, twice, with two angel babies in between.

Beneath the Apple Blossom: The Hopeful Years Book 1 by [Frost, Kate]

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My reviews on Amazon and Goodreads:

What a great book!
Having been through fertility struggles of my own, it was amazing how I related to a lot of the issues faced by 2 of the main characters in this book.
It’s very true, that as much as some women crave to be mothers, there are those that really don’t feel it’s for them, and this book explored both sides of the same coin.
The realistic writing brought back some painful memories for me, but also that sense of camaraderie that I too felt in a very special online forum that I had also joined while trying to conceive.

Buy it on Amazon here.

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