ramblings on the world from a baby faced teen

REVIEW – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Birmingham Hippodrome

Hola Internet!

Last night I was lucky enough to watch the Music & Lyrics & West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Ian Fleming’s book ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (1964). I received the tickets as a gift for my 19th birthday and I was so excited to see the show, especially as my favourite actress was performing!

From start to finish, the show boasted an infectious happiness that immersed the entire theatre. Having watched the film regularly as a child, seeing the famous story brought to life in front of my eyes was an absolutely phenomenal and magical experience. The production stayed true to the film and the majority of the book (as all good productions should!) which was commendable.

The protagonists were played by Lee Mead (Caractacus Potts) and Carrie Hope Fletcher (Truly Scruptious), along with Matt Gillett as the infamous Child-Catcher. All performances were outstanding – singing, acting and dancing out the magical story we all know so well. Fletcher’s performance of ‘Doll on a Music Box’ was particularly wonderful, as well as Mead’s rendition of Hushabye Moutain.

All in all, I would recommend this show to anyone. Whether you’re nine or 90, you will undoubtedly enjoy this sensational masterpiece.


PS – Scott Paige is too fab for words

GRADES – are they important?

Yes, I’m fully aware that this has been debated time and time again; though in light of the release of GCSE grades across the UK today, I wanted to give my perspective as to why I believe grades are so important, but are not the be all and end all.

Back when I received my results in 2013, I attained a so called ‘mixed bag’ – 2A*, 3A and 6B. Was I happy? Delighted. I knew that what I had achieved wasn’t perfect and that I probably shouldn’t have chosen to study certain subjects (ahem music), but I knew that I had done my best, and that gave me a great comfort. I was satisfied – passing English and Maths gave me a secure place in the sixth form I aspired to attend. So simple, right? Nope.

Many others don’t have the success stories that numerous news outlets choose to focus on, and getting one grade lower than you are hoping for shatters you. If someone’s goal was an A* and they got an A, let them be upset; they have every right to be. The same goes for someone who aimed for a B and got a C; the feeling would be mutual.

Whatever grade it is, whether you do fall short by a grade or two or narrowly miss going to the college you’ve been looking forward to, there are always options, and the chances are that you won’t even remember your grades in 10 years time. The media always chooses to focus on those who did attain perfectly – and of course we should celebrate these people! But that’s not to say that those who didn’t attain or exceed their targets didn’t do well. Doing your best is all you can do and that’s all that anyone should want.

(Also it is key to remember that exams! and! grades! don’t! measure! intelligence! just! memory!)

I hope you are all happy, and if today didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, there are always options 🙂

SUMMER IN THE CITY – 13th – 14th August 2016

Over the past weekend I attended ‘Summer in the City’ (SitC) at the ExCel Centre in London, and had a pretty darn fabulous time. This year the event turned eight years old, and continues to grow in popularity amongst YouTube creators and viewers each year.

As this was my first year attending, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I have been watching YouTube religiously since I was around 14 years old so I knew what the craic was, though understandably had no clue what format the event would take and just how many people would be attending. When I first arrived at the ExCel I was astounded at the multitude of young tweens, teens and adults, all anticipating a fabulous weekend; if they’re thinking in any way like me, they will most certainly not have been disappointed.

The security provided at the event was astounding, both at the entrance to the event as well as inside the arena halls. SitC successfully managed to create a safe haven for YouTube creators and viewers alike, as well as a fair few number of parents and guardians who more often than not were seen enjoying a coffee by the main stage.

Through the ballot system, I was most fortunate enough to meet two of my favourite YouTubers, Rose and Rosie. After waiting around two hours to meet them, both women still had so much enthusiasm and energy as if I was the first member of their ‘internet family’ that they had met. I have so much respect for them – their kindness and general awesomeness was just amazing and I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to thank them for just how much they have helped me.

I was also lucky enough to meet Laci Green, Hannah Witton, Hazel Hayes, Sav Brown, Bertie Gilbert, Alex Bertie and Jake Edwards across the weekend, whom were all extremely welcoming and loving (I have so much respect and love for all the people I met this weekend lol words can’t exactly describe).

Though the conference isn’t solely meet and greets; merchandise tables dominated the expo hall, followed by three panel rooms which seated well overIMG_5112 100. Across the weekend, creators had the opportunity to discuss certain topics with their fellows. I attended three panels across the weekend, and was particularly in awe of Riyadh Khalaf and Melanie Murphy – having heard of them before I generally knew the content on their channels but hadn’t watched many of their videos. After watching them speak on the ‘Importance of Coming Out online’ panel, I decided to check out their channels and watch their videos – SitC allowed me to find new faves and I appreciate that so much (Riyadh and Melanie you are both mega awesome).

All in all, SitC 2016 was such a fantastic experience (currently facing all the blues). Bring on next year!

BOOK REVIEW – All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

The best way to start a blog is by doing a book review, right?

carrieWhen I was sixteen, having just finished my GCSE’s, I stumbled across Carrie’s YouTube channel ‘It’s Way Past My BedTime’, where as of July 2016, she has over 600,000 subscribers, whom Carrie refers to as ‘Hopefuls’. As you may know, Carrie played young Eponine in Les Mis on the West End, and returned in 2013 to play Eponine once again, following her dreams. Whilst balancing time through rehearsals, shows, vlogging amongst many other things, her debut text was released, outlining her own ‘wonderings and reflections on growing up gracefully’.

I read ‘All I Know Now’ by the aforementioned awesome cool human bean shortly after its original UK release in Spring 2015, and since then, have continued to read the odd chapter now and then. There are so many fabulous reasons why I admire this book, and cannot stress just how important the text is to me, and how I truly believe it could help so many people.

The first thing to mention is the structure of the book; it is cleverly designed and very easy to understand (theatre lovers will undoubtedly appreciate this part).  Upon opening the ‘Programme’ , each chapter is clearly titled under eight different ‘Acts’
– this simple yet effective organisation of topics and themes allows the reader to dip into sections as and when they wish. From ‘Internetiquette’ to ‘Let Yourself Feel Pretty’, Carrie covers a range of different topics that affect teens and young adults across the world, giving her insights, opinions and advice regarding how to survive ‘the Teen Age’.

Often ignored or even absent from many non-fiction books, the illustrations used throughout the text aid understanding and also provide light humour, especially during heavier topics that are covered. ‘All I Know Now’ is one of a kind really, as I have not yet come across any other non-fiction book, specifically addressed to teenagers and young adults that used illustration in such an effective way – all sketched by the author herself.

Referred to throughout, and possibly the most important thing to note during the text, is the ‘Props’ section. Located towards the end of the book, Carrie has listed helplines, support websites and specialist help outlets where readers can reach out for help if facing such issues.

Fletcher reiterates to her ‘Hopefuls’ that we are all human beings who make mistakes in life, whilst trying to make sense of our weird and wonderful world. The advice and insights given through her book are of great use, not only to those facing these issues, but also to those who are possibly less educated about a certain topic and are willing to learn.
Carrie is the epitome of Equality, Acceptance and Happiness – ‘a kind, caring and witty big sister…who always has a wise and hopeful word to share.’


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