Friday, 28 October 2016

The Singalong Society for Singletons - The Rocky Horror Show

Despite the best of intentions I've not managed to keep up my weekly musical blog posts.  I'm sorry!  Life's become rather busy lately - the day job has been hectic and I've also had deadlines for editing and proofreading the novella I wrote over the summer (more news on that very soon.  I had a sneaky peek at the cover art for it this week and am totally in love.  It's the perfect sibling for the cover of 'Singalong').  The first draft of next summer's novel is also due with my editor at the start of December so I've been fervently tapping away on my laptop to try and get it ready to send.

However, I'd have loved to have found time to write about Grease as it's one of my very favourite films and also Chicago, which my husband and I saw on Broadway during our honeymoon in 2005.  I wish I'd had chance to write about how West Side Story makes my heart hurt, and how when I watched South Pacific for the very first time during the research period I was reminded of how I'd sung along to the Captain Sensible version of 'Happy Talk' as a tot.

Me selling popcorn at Grease Open Air Cinema
But although I've been incredibly lax on the blogging front, there was no way I was going to let today pass without writing a few words.  Friday 28th October is a pivotal date in The Singalong Society for Singletons - the day the group venture away from Cardigan Close and head to Sheffield's Crucible Theatre to watch a low budget production of The Rocky Horror Show

And the bride danced the Time Warp (with my sister-in-law Jill)
Although I'd planned to base as much of the book as possible in Mon and Issy's living room (taking inspiration from TV shows such as The Royle Family and Friends which are based predominantly in one living space) it was refreshing to write about parts of my adopted city through the eyes of Mon and the gang.  It was an absolute pleasure sharing the beauty of the Winter Gardens and Tudor Square with my readers, and of course the world famous theatre, too.

Part of the attraction of Rocky Horror is the costumes and this is a week where the Singalong Society go to town in every sense.  I loved imagining them all dolled up, mixing with the children dressed in Hallowe'en attire at the temporary funfair in the town centre.  Liam in a corset and heels just worked and it was when I started writing this scene that I fell in love with him as a character.  It gave him a depth to go with his cheeky, cocky charm, and me as a writer the opportunity to think about what he might be hiding behind his confident façade.

The Rocky Horror chapter is the one readers most want to talk to me about, and I hope I managed to successfully capture the spirit of the show...even though I've never seen it live myself!

The Singalong Society for Singletons is out now in ebook format from all major retailers and available to preorder in paperback prior to release on December 15th. 

Amazon UK  Kobo

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

The Singalong Society for Singletons - The Sound of Music

The third meeting of The Singalong Society for Singletons has the group gathering to watch one of my very favourite films.  The Sound of Music is a musical my mum and I watched together on the small screen many, many times throughout my childhood and teens.  She first saw it at the cinema with my dad, and as well as the film we also had the soundtrack (on vinyl, naturally) and the sheet music - these were songs I knew inside out from a young age.  It's probably why I still hold them close to my heart.

Julie Andrews is absolutely spectacular as keen-but-hopeless nun Maria and I never fail to be moved by the blossoming romance between Maria and Captain von Trapp.  Add to that the humour, the heartbreak and the beautiful score, and it's plain to see why The Sound of Music has lasted the test of time.

Treating my mum for her 70th birthday

Whilst the film remains ever-popular, I've also been fortunate enough to see the stage show during its tour of the UK.  I bought tickets to see the production at Birmingham Hippodrome for my mum's 70th birthday and we were blown away by the emotional performances which had us leaving the theatre in tears.

And I apologise in advance if you end up with The Lonely Goatherd as an earworm after reading the chapter based on The Sound of Music, but it had to be included - that's one of my favourite scenes!
The Singalong Society for Singletons is available to preorder now in ebook and paperback format.

How Am I Gonna Be An Optimist About This? (Or Why 'Boyband Indie' is NOT destroying Guitar Music)

This blog post is a response to Mark Beaumont's NME article entitled ' Mark, My Words : want to save guitar music? Kick out boyband...