How Shakespeare and his work have remainded relevant for 400 years

As we celebrate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death (and 452 years since his birth), the literature and theatrical communities begin to reflect upon how they’ve experienced Shakespeare’s work and when they’ve enjoyed it the most. My personal favourite encounter with The Bard’s work was the 2013 revival of Othello at the National Theatre starring Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear; there was something so special about that modern setting they put it in that made it so great, never mind the incredible performances that made me realise what good acting really was. While I’m lucky enough to have had many different experiences with Shakespeare’s original texts, a lot of people who aren’t fans of theatre and literature don’t get that kind of exposure… or do they? In the 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, so many of his stories have been repurposed to tell other tales that the wider community might well be more familiar with and it’s this way of telling Shakespeare’s stories that helps him live on even further into history.
Film is a simple place to look for Shakespeare stories set in the present day and teen movies are a good place to start looking. She’s The Man – a 2006 romcom starring Amanda Bynes – is based on Twelfth Night but is instead set in an American high school. Also, little do people know but Channing Tatum is actually in this film too as Duke (the names of the characters from the original play remain in this movie). Set against the back drop of The Taming of the Shrew is fellow teen rom com 10 Things I Hate About You released in 1999 and starring Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The year before that came Shakespeare in Love by Tom Stoppard which was a film led by Shakespeare while he was writing Romeo and Juliet and directly borrows quotes and plot lines from several of Shakespeare’s plays of the time. The film was turned into a London stage play in 2014 and was received positively by critics. A couple of years later in 2000 saw Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke which followed the play’s original story but was set in a modern day New York City instead.
A few years before that came what is perhaps the strangest interpretation of a Shakespeare story, the 1956 American science fiction movie Forbidden Planet. Borrowing themes from The Tempest, the film presents chunks of the plot in a serial style set on an interstellar planet far away from Earth, the first film to have ever done that. Decades later in 1991, My Own Private Idaho starring Keanu Reeves – an American adventure film – was released based upon four of Shakespeare’s Henry plays. The story follows two friends, Mike and Scott, as they embark on a journey of personal discovery that takes them to Mike’s hometown in Idaho and then to Italy in search of Mike’s mother. More recently, we were offered up Gnomeo and Juliet in 2011 with an all star cast for an animated kids movie (one of the best kids movies ever!) and Warm Bodies in 2013 which in turn is based upon the book which is loosely based upon Romeo & Juliet, but about vampires instead. Other timeless adaptations of the famous tale of love include the Baz Luhrmann Leonardo DiCaprio/Clare Danes-led movie of the late 90s and the recent 2014 adaptation starring Hayley Steinfeld.
The theatre also have several offerings of musicals that are based on works of the Bard’s. In 1948, Cole Porter penned Kiss Me Kate as a response to the rise of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals with this show being based upon The Taming of the Shrew. It was extremely well received and took home the Tony Award for Best Musical that year on Broadway. Almost a decade later in 1957, West Side Story premiered on Broadway based upon Romeo and Juliet. With music by Jerome Robbins and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the show is one of the most successful musicals in history with the movie adaptation still being a cult favourite to this day. In 1971 many years later, The Two Gentleman of Verona became one of the first majorly successful American rock musicals. Boasting an ethnically diverse cast and a Tony Award for Best Musical, it’s now seen as an incredibly good under-appreciated show. Speaking of forgotten shows, the 2004 Elvis Presley jukebox musical All Shook Up was based upon Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. It was well recieved but the piece has since been rewritten and reworked for future productions. 
The most successful Shakespeare adaptation of all time though has to be Disney’s The Lion King. With a timeless 1994 movie adaptation and an uber successful 1997 stage adaptation – which continues to play in both London and New York to standing room only as well as across the Globe – the franchise is the second most commercially successful franchise in history. Based upon the story of Hamlet, the tale is repurposed as an animal fable and it continues to capture the hearts of audiences until today. Most recently, we have Broadway’s Something Rotten! which opened last year. While it isn’t based upon a true story, the funny tale about Shakespeare and fictional rivals The Bottom Brothers offers a reason behind why Shakespeare’s future work might well have been so successful… The show continues to play until today and plans on moving to London next – Christian Borle who portrays Shakespeare even won a Tony Award for his performance.
With all of these modern adaptations and reworkings of Shakespeare’s stories in the world and his work continuing to be produced in schools, at Shakespeare’s Globe and at the National Theatre among other places, it’s no wonder that this man and his work will never truly die. He is undeniably one of the most timeless and talented playwrights to have ever walked this Earth and without him, it’s hard to imagine what the face of playwrighting and relatable storytelling would look like today.

A Love Letter to Saigon

I love Miss Saigon and I have always been very vocal about it: I’ve already seen the show several times and am delighted to be seeing the final show tonight, but it’s a day like today – when an iconic and favourite show closes its doors – that a rift is left in the face of the West End. One of the West End’s heavyweights is about to leave Theatreland and it’s leaving a little helicopter silhouette-shaped hole in my heart.
It’s the magic of Miss Saigon that seems to have captured so many hearts: it’s one of the only major stage Musicals that ends with a properly tragic ending and a cliffhanger and it’s the drama of it that makes it so unique. Matched with the gorgeous score by Boublil and Schoenberg, the raw material itself is a winner before you’ve even put it on the stage and it’s that which I originally fell in love with. With a version of the original cast album on cassette tape in hand, I fell in love with every inch of the score at a young age. Fast forward several years and when news broke of a 2014 25th Anniversary revival coming in the West End, I was ecstatic. I saw the show, my love for the show was confirmed and have basked in the glory of having this amazing musical at my fingertips ever since. It’s a revival packed with an incredible cast, incredible staging and true beauty overall: it’s musical theatre at its finest. Be it the opening notes at the top of the show, the recurring theme in The American Dream, or a song played on a solo saxophone: you’re iconic and gorgeous and not many other shows can claim to be those things.
Thank you Miss Saigon for being such a fantastic piece of work and for gracing the West End once more. You are a true spectacle of beauty through and through and it breaks my heart to be saying goodbye. Best of luck around the country next summer and on Broadway next March – “one more kiss, and then we say goodbye…”

Being Inspired By Others

To me – a creative person – being inspired is the key to success and happiness in what I set out to do. Without inspiration, I lack an end product that I should be aiming for and without that, I’m lacking drive and motivation, which has a knock-on affect on my success. I’m inspired by many things and people, but it seems to be that three people (nay, women) in particular always seem to be my inspiration on more occassions than others; three totally different women no doubt, but three very similar women at the same time.

Two-time Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster is inspiration in many more ways than one. Not only is her very successful Broadway career a reason for her to be held with such high regard in my mind, but her personal attitude towards life is a jewel in her crown as well. In fact, her Broadway career is so successful that she has been at least Tony-nominated for every single leading role she has ever originated on Broadway, a feat that not many with as big of a career as she can boast about (she won her Tonys for Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002 and Anything Goes in 2011). Not only is her award-winning history impressive though, but her ability to choose roles that stretch her at the same time as reflecting her so well is admirable. For example, Princess Fiona from Shrek The Musical different massively to Violet from Violet, but her performances in both were stellar and both were deeply intertwined into her personality (and both were Tony-nominated). She’s also very active when it comes to her hobbies outside of the world of her career – which includes artwork and travelling – and its wonderful to see someone successfully make time for enjoying everything they do, despite their very busy schedule.

If you’re talking about award-winning actresses though, then Audra McDonald really is your woman. Of course, her Tony Award-winning history comes to mind when you think of the name: she is the only actor in history to have taken home as many as six competitive Tonys for acting and is also the only actor in history to be able to say that she has won a Tony in every acting category she could possibly win in. I also find this incredibly inspiring because she is a woman of colour; the show business is still ignorant when it comes to both women and actors of colour (look at the Oscar’s this year for God’s sake!), so it inspires me to see someone who had these “odds against her” and still manage to be so incredibly successful – it’s moving. This of course isn’t the only reason why she is so inspiring: I think her dedication to her craft is something that is incredibly telling of her character as well. She’s doing a new Broadway musical next Spring and is then taking a three month leave of absence – to perform her one-woman show Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in London. Amazing dedication.

Last but not least is a woman we all know I have admired for a very, very long time as well: Ms Lea Michele. After she made her star turn on Glee back in 2009 when I first identified with this woman and the character she played on the show, I’ve fallen in love with everything she manages to do. In my eyes, she is a woman with such grace and perfection in what she does; she really likes everything she does to be wonderful and just right. She is also another woman with incredible talent that manages to hone it into doing whatever she wants to do, be it release an album, be on Broadway or write a book – it’s nice to see someone with many talents be able to juggle them and not look indecisive about it. No matter what way I look at it, Lea Michele will always be an incredible role model and inspiration for anyone – not just myself – and it’s great to see her continue to grow as an actress now that Glee has ended its run.

Who inspires you? Tweet me @shaunycat to let me know!

The January Roundup

I was worried that having a pretty quiet start to 2016 would make me dislike it; on the contrary, I actually enjoyed having a relaxing month a lot! It’s quite unlike me to have had two weeks to myself entirely where all I’ve been doing other than school is watching a load of Big Brother and considering I know for a fact I have a very busy four or five months ahead of me when it comes to theatre and other plans, it’s been nice to have even more quiet time. It’s almost as though my break that began at the start of December has run through into the end of January, which has been a pleasant surprise and has made easing into a slightly altered routine enjoyable.
Despite the fact that January was generally quite a quiet month, I got to see a couple of shows over the space of the second week of the month. I started by seeing a cinema screening of the Kenneth Branagh Season’s first play The Winter’s Tale with my friends Em and Chaya – Chaya and I are seeing the full set of his Plays at the Garrick season and considering TWT sold out so quickly, it was nice to be able to see it in a different medium. The next day, I took my older sister to see Bend It Like Beckham at the Phoenix Theatre: I love this show so much and I’m so sad to see it go in March, but it was just as enjoyable the second time around and I’m sure it will be even more enjoyable come my third and final trip on closing night. Finally, a week after that, Chaya and I went to see the second play in the Plays at the Garrick season: Harlequinade/All On Her Own. It was actually fantastic and Harlequinade especially might be one of my favourite comedy pieces I have seen on stage in a long time – it was just a lovely evening of great theatre.
Outside of the world of theatre, I updated my blog layout on both this blog and on Shaun’s Musical Musings as well as rebranding: ‘Shaunyland’ is no more and ‘Shaun Nolan’ is where it’s at! I’m absolutely in love with the new designs I’ve been working so hard on and it’s made me feel even more motivated to blog more frequently. As a result of this, January 2016 has been the month I have posted the most on SMM in history and the most I have posted in a month on this blog since March 2014! It’s been so much fun and it’s so nice to be back at it. 
This month also saw a few tragedies in my family. My Great Uncle passed a few weeks back which has meant that my Grandma, who I normally see extremely regularly, has been very busy and morale on that side of the family has just generally felt rather heavy-hearted. We’ve also had upset in the household as well with our youngest cat Casper being hit by a car a few weeks back, meaning that his leg has had to be amputated. I spoke more about it in a blog post the other day and it’s still going the same way really: his stitches have now been taking out,  but he still needs to wait around in a cage for them to heal. It’s becoming tiresome just for us to tend to him in the best way we can so we can’t imagine what it’s like for him! We just have to hope that we’re doing the right thing and it passes over soon.
Other than that, I’ve just done a lot of relaxing if I’m honest with you. I popped over to Em’s house a couple of times this month and had some proper LOLs with Em and her sister Megan as well as indulging in my new favourite thing ever thanks to those two: Mary Portas Secret Shopper! Let’s just hope that I don’t get so obsessed with finding old episodes of that and Queen of Shops online that I get distracted from my busy month ahead because trust me: February is not one to miss.

On The Mend: The Casper Update

I have been deeply touched by how many people have been concerned about Casper ever since he first had his accident last Monday (it’s crazy that it’s only been a week!?) As weird as it may sound, it’s been so sweet to have so many people ask how he’s doing and see how he is – our cats are as important as the humans in our house so it’s nice for other people to recognise that. As a result of my gratitude for all of that and for the sake of me having something to look back on when this time has long since passed, I thought I’d keep you all in the loop with what’s happening with him since the accident.
For those who don’t know because you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, my youngest cat Casper was unfortunately hit by a car last Monday afternoon and as a result of his injuries, was forced to have his leg amputated. He was in at the vet’s for the better part of three days and when he came home, he was forced to live in a cage most of the day on doctor’s orders. It’s such a shame to see a cat, that was once the most lively of the two, be reduced to such a state after such a big incident; Casper is only just coming up to 9 months old and he’s already faced a trauma that will surely make him fearful of going outside and playing for at least the foreseeable future, if not the rest of his life.
‘Luckily’ (and I use that word very loosely), his leg was broken so clean out of the socket that the procedure was very easy for him and when the hair grows back, damage will be invisible bar the missing leg. He has had stitches put in where his leg once was though and with that comes his intrigue – we had to have a cone put around his neck yesterday to stop him trying to bite at them because he finds them so strange. It’s actually a heartbreaking sight to see him in a cage with a cone collar on like some sort of shamed and humiliated animal, but the stitches are due to be removed tomorrow (Wednesday) so we should have some sort of normality running again as of then.
Other than that, it’s all about trying to get him to walk again and eat properly to build his strength back up. Both the vets and us as a family are certain he will learn to be as mobile as four legged cats in the not too distant future but until then, we are banned from picking him up because of the stitches on his side and from letting him run around the house as he wants when we’re not watching (not that he’s really in the mood for that anyway). Let’s just hope he gets better soon; his brother Charlie is getting lonely!

Three Years And Counting

I know it’s a pretty cliche thing to say but I genuinely can’t quite believe that I have been at this blogging malarkey for three years now – we all know that I’m nearing 17 in the coming weeks, so this means I was only 13 years old when I started out at this, which I think is absolutely mad! I’d started YouTube before then though with a YouTube channel called ShaunyInWonderland. I posted three videos that I only had the intentions of sharing with friends (I remember very notably that one of them was filmed in my Grandma’s downstairs loo using my laptop’s webcam… I fail to remember quite why!) After a short while, I decided I didn’t like that any more and I deleted it before I got the bug and, with inspiration from Zoella and other megabloggers-that-once-were-not, I started up my own blog and YouTube channel. According to my first blog post I ever wrote, my blogging days actually began on January 16th, but my first YouTube video on my ‘old’ channel (more about that in a moment) was actually uploaded on January 21st… much discrepancy in how old my blogging world really is, but at least I know that it’s three this week!
As I said, I started my blogging world for real in January 2013 and decided to name my little universe ‘Shaunyland’, which we all know is a name that stuck until literally the end of last week as a way of celebrating our third birthday. The reason I chose Shaunyland was purely because ShaunyInWonderland was no longer available so I decided to shorten it instead and it stuck. I happily blogged continuously for a solid year and a half almost every week and was uploading YouTube videos like there was no tomorrow: I was having great fun and it was so nice to have a project to always be working on and be sharing with people. Probably my number one highlight from my first year of blogging was when I did ‘The Ma Sisters Series’ with my friends: we used to be in a friendship group that we somehow named ‘Ma Sisters’ (where that 12-year-old joke came from I don’t know) and every single Wednesday throughout the summer holidays, I posted a different YouTube video with a different one of my friends; you can see all of the video thumbnails in the top right hand corner of this post’s picture. It was just so nice to involve my friends in something that I loved doing and, though the videos are now super cringey, they were great fun as well.
After a year and a half of blogging like a maniac, I had an awakening: I was branding myself as a sort of beauty blogger and that was it and considering beauty was very new to me when I started my blog, I panicked and deleted everything. I lost hundreds of followers and thousands of YouTube video views overnight and spent six weeks twiddling my thumbs. It got to me too much after a while and if it wasn’t for that moment of sudden despair, I don’t think I’d be here today; it was that six weeks of waiting that made me realise how much blogging meant to me. I got back on my computer, recovered this blog which you are reading this on today and set up a new ‘Shaunyland’ YouTube channel. From there, you know the story because it’s all still here and up and running (despite the fact it’s now my name instead of ‘Shaunyland’) – I’ve been blogging about anything and everything I want to, my dreams came true in New York and I even relaunched the Makeup Shakeup series, as well as starting #Shaunymas!
When I restarted my blogs in 2014, I also set up a seperate theatre blog for myself called Shaun’s Musical Musings which I only intended on ever using to write reviews of shows that I went to see instead of putting them on Shaunyland. Luckily for me, the idea caught on and I’m now lucky enough to be a very regular blogger and vlogger for the theatre company LondonTheatreDirect, as well as being an established standalone theatre blogger myself. I’m lucky enough to go to events and shows complementary and it really is a dream come true for a theatre fan like me and without blogging, it really wouldn’t be possible.
I’ve also been very lucky to have made some amazing chums along the way like Emma and Zoe and Rebecca, and even my wonderful friend Em who despite the fact I didn’t meet over the interweb, I do think is very likely that I wouldn’t be as good a friend with her now if it wasn’t for blogging and our shared mutual interests. Blogging has also opened me up to wonderful frequent readers and Tweeters that I wouldn’t have ever had had the chance to speak to had it not been for blogging, and I have an internet following that actually gives a sh*t about my opinions and what I have to say whenever I decide to share it – it’s wonderful!
I really am truly and deeply thankful for every single view, hit, share, like, tweet or whatever you decide to do to interact with me – it’s that kind of appreciation for me doing something I love that I live for. It’s been an amazing journey these past three years in the world of blogging and I seriously do look forward to the years that are yet to come.

Out With The Old; In With The New

This coming Thursday marks three solid years of my internet presence, and I’ve come such a long way during that time for so many different reasons. Though I’ll touch on the time I’ve had when Thursday comes around, I thought I’d try and actually do something to celebrate my bloggiversary this year – not just a soppy post I write every January. This year, I really wanted to try and upgrade both this blog and Shaun’s Musical Musings and to do that, I needed to rebrand in more ways than one (if you’re reading this blog post on desktop then you will definitely get the best effect when it comes to the visual changes).

As you can see, ‘Shaunyland’ is no more. I mentioned a while ago that that name stemmed from the YouTube channel I had around four years ago called ‘ShaunyInWonderland’, but I was 12 at the time and that was a name that suited then. I adopted Shaunyland as the name for my blogging environment a year later and it had stuck since. I’m almost 17 now and with my writing spanning wider across the internet with SMM growing on the daily and my work being published on LondonTheatreDirect‘s website very regularly, I thought it was time to smarten up. Now; this blog is simply called ‘Shaun Nolan’ and I couldn’t be happier about it. It sounds silly but I didn’t even realise that my own name was the tool I was looking for – a name that didn’t in any way shout what ‘kind’ of blogger I am; I’m not a beauty blogger or a fashion blogger or an essay writer. On this website, I’m just Shaun, plain and simple.

I hope you can all appreciate the immense amount of work that I’ve put into relaunching my two blogs over the past few days. I started with two very basic blogger theme kits and I’ve genuinely spent the better part of 24 hours HTML coding it to death to get exactly what I want and I love it. If you remember my blogs from before, you’ll agree that they weren’t ugly, but nor were they anything special. Now I have a wonderful new ‘carousel’ at the top of this blog’s homepage, as a way of easily selecting the best of what I’ve blogged about recently, as well as ‘Continue Reading’ options on every blog post on the homepage as a way of tidying up the overall look. If you look to the top of the page, you can see the tabs are now situated up there as a way of making navigation around the blog even easier; and the search bar in the top right hand corner works so smoothly that I can’t believe I never thought of adding one before. As well as that, you can see that the tags are once again back in use and you can access a full list of them at any time on the sidebar on the homepage – you’ll also see that you can pin any images you see to Pinterest by simply hovering over an image and pressing ‘Pin It!’, and sharing buttons are littered everywhere if you wish to share posts with friends.

As for Shaun’s Musical Musings, you’ll be able to see a very similar tabs bar at the top, which will also make navigation around that site much more simple, too. There are also tags now in use on that site as well, so feel free to click on them to discover more, in addition to using the sharing icons that are also over on there. As well as this, I’ve reinvented @smusicalmusings on Twitter with the hope of using that much more in 2016 as a way of sharing my love for theatre on a much more regular basis, so fell free to follow me over on there, too. Of course, my YouTube name has also changed from ‘Shaunyland’ to ‘Shaun Nolan’ with a few switcheroos of headers and stuff here there and everywhere to keep in with the theme. And for those who use Bloglovin’: if you already followed ‘Shaunyland’, you’ll automatically by following ‘Shaun Nolan’ instead. As well as all of this, the ‘blogspot’ will be being dropped from both of my blog URLs in about a fortnight’s time so keep an eye out on Twitter for when that occurs.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m so excited for 2016 and my third year of blogging. I finally feel like I’m getting into the proper swing of things once and for all, and I look forward to everything it has in store.

Shaunyland in 2016

I make one of these every year and end up saying a load of really specific bullshit on my upload schedule and my ideas and plans for the year ahead and I never end up doing it; I know I said a heap of stuff in my post like this one last year and the serious lack of content throughout the majority of the year goes to show that I really didn’t stick to it. In fact, 2015 might well have been the year I posted the least content ever on my platforms (if you ignore what I’ve done with LondonTheatreDirect that is, because 99% of what I’ve done with them was in 2015). Despite this fact though, 2015 was most definitely the best year of my life so far. Even though the year started off with exam stress, I weirdly began to enjoy it when the exam season hit and I was revising with friends and finally saying goodbye to a wealth of subjects that I never really enjoyed. Of course, I did have a big trip to look forward to just a week after my final exam: I made the trip of my dreams to New York this June as well where I saw every sight I’d ever wanted to see, took in all the culture I could dream of, and of course I indulged in the comfort of Broadway on five separate occasions. My time in New York alone made this past year mindblowingly good. I then came back from that holiday and went to my school prom with great friends, where I sadly said goodbye to so many but reminisced with so many more. Fast forward through the very long and relaxing 12 week summer and it was a great feeling to be able to step back into the school I called home for my next step of education in September where I’ve been throwing myself at every opportunity I possibly can – much like me stepping into a local production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel this year alongside Em (from OhMyMusicals) when they needed someone to fill in. That, in turn, led to me being awarded my NODA London Flame Award for Inspirational Contribution in the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre for my performance in Fiddler on the Roof last year. Then I ended the year with a bang with many friends and loved ones just feeling so good about the year gone by. 2015 was a fantastic year in the eyes of both my accomplishments and my personal life, and I loved every second of it.
As per usual, it is my aim to make the next year even better than the one before and I’ve already put some fantastic plans in motion behind the scenes (watch this space). I’m already trying to better myself by being more dedicated to my blogging, namely by reawakening my @smusicalmusings Twitter account and re-inventing that over the next few days as well as a blog redesign over on Shaun’s Musical Musings in the coming weeks and perhaps some changes around these parts as well. I then think it’s really important to make sure that I stick to blogging regularly, but when I feel passionate about blogging about something. That way, I’m not producing a load of absolute crap for the sake of saying I’ve made extra content. It’s exciting and what I have planned is exciting and now I just can’t wait to get it started.
I’ll be uploading a new vlog and video on my YouTube channel today with the video being about my New Year’s Resolutions so keep an eye out in your subscription boxes or on Twitter for that. But in the meantime, I give myself the promise of striving for at least a little bit more in 2016 – who knows what it may bring!

A Note: I Won An Award!

I like to think that I’ve made how much I adore performing very clear (I even wrote about it earlier this week) and that was made very apparent yesterday afternoon when I was presented with the award that you can see pictured above. On this day last year, we played our final performance of Fiddler on the Roof at our local community theatre and I was delighted to be singing my lungs out and dancing the bottle dance as Perchik. It was a pretty tough ride actually as not only was I a 15 year old who was tackling an entire song to a paying audience every night for a week, but I was also dancing a bottle dance with my friend Chris every night as well – for those who don’t know what a bottle dance is, it’s a dance performed with a bottle balanced on your head… yup. It was exhausting but I loved it and it was genuinely my favourite performance experience I’ve ever had.
Earlier on this year though, I found out about the NODA London crew properly. I’d heard last year that they’d come and seen the show and reviewed it but I didn’t really understand (all I knew is that they’d written something very nice about me!) Turns out that NODA is the main amateur theatre unity group in the United Kingdom and representatives see amateur productions in over 2.5K venues across the country, review them and then give out awards at a ceremony each June – the company’s patron is even Andrew Lloyd Webber! Unfortunately, people at the head of the society I did Fiddler with were in hospital at the time of this year’s awards, so it wasn’t until last month that I got word of the fact that I had been given one of these amazing awards – eeeeek! At first, I thought I’d won in one of the acting categories because I couldn’t imagine what I could’ve been eligible for. Turns out, I had been awarded the NODA London Flame Award for Inspirational Contribution for the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre and I could not be more chuffed to have that title to my name. Fast forward four weeks and our local NODA representative came and gave me the award following the matinee performance of the show we did this year, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.
I’m elated to be able to call this award mine and to be able to say that all that hard work I put into that show last year really paid off. It’s wonderful to have your passions and interests recognised in such a significant and poignant way and I’m so grateful to have amazing opportunities like this presented to me.