Hi, The world has changed quite a bit since my last post, we find ourselves living in a very strange time, Oh how I long for the days of constant GDPR emails instead of these COVID-19 ones! I decided to self isolate last week and I’m now doing my main job from home. I thought that as most us are currently isolated/quarantining I would compile a short list of things to do while we are in this situation, I hope you find it useful.
1.Keeping in touch with loved ones via technology
Whether it is via text,call,video chat or social media, technology allows us to remain in touch with the people closest to us. Free video conferencing app Zoom is very popular at the moment, people have been hosting house parties, game nights and even virtual pubs via the free app.
Now is the perfect time to read a new book, I’m currently reading ‘The Beast Within’ by Serena Valentino the second of of series of books which slightly twists the tales of various Disney villains. They are a fun read and would recommend for any Disney fans out there. I have also recently finish Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ a hybrid memoir and self help book for those dealing with depression. This is great book with good tips for coping with these stressful and uncertain times. If you have a library card many libraries offer downloads on their website of e-books and audiobooks to read/listen to.
3. Watching TV
Whether you prefer streaming a good film or binge watching a boxset there is a plenty of content out there to watch while being isolated. As I always would recommend The OA (Netflix) its not only great escapism but also a story full of hope and people joining together. If you are looking for something a bit more gentle and light hearted recommend another of my favourites Steven Universe (Netflix,Now Kids, Amazon), a lovely animation with quirky and lovable characters. Like I said there is so much choice out there, most of the shows I mentioned in my top 10 TV Shows of the decade list are available to stream. With so many streaming services out there Netflix, Prime Video, Now TV and the recently launched in the UK, Disney +, you really are spoilt for choice!
My partner recently bought me Just Dance for Christmas and I absolutely love it! Not only is it great fun, you also get a good workout out of it which is great especially if you are confined to your home. Alternatively there are dance videos on Youtube you can dance along to and also live dance parties online, dancer Mark Kanemura has been hosting live dance parties on Instagram (link below)
5. Being Creative
I love drawing whenever I’m going through a stressful time, I find it very therapeutic and sometimes even find the stress fuels my creativity. So I encourage everyone to express themselves at this very odd time in our existence, to draw, write, make music, sew, crochet, or participate in any other creative outlet you have.
Remember we will get through this and by staying home we are saving lives. Stay Safe everyone.
See you on the next blog post – Josh 🙂
P.S below is a recent Wedding card design I created,
Yesterday Lady Gaga released her new extremely catchy single ‘Stupid Love’, a high energy, extremely danceable pop song produced by the likes of BloodPop and pop genius Max Martin. This single seems to signify Gaga’s return to an electro pop sound, after her previous two studio albums ‘Cheek To Cheek’ a Jazz collaboration with Tony Bennett and ‘Joanne’ which opted for a more analog/acoustic sound. Don’t get me wrong I love pretty much anything Gaga comes out with – She really can sink her teeth into any genre! But I am happy to see her exploring electro pop again, it seems like the kind of music we need for the highly stressful place the world is in right now. Its great to have a song like “Stupid Love” which cheers you up and takes your mind off some of the daily worries!
Also the iPhone shot video does not disappoint featuring Gaga as a member of the ‘Kindness Punks’ wearing a trio of fabulously camp bright pink outfits! Gaga’s ‘Stupid Love” look has been compared online to Power Rangers and Sailor Moon. All of the make up looks in the video were created using products from Gaga’s new beauty venture ‘Haus Labs’. This video is great fun and captures the energy of the song perfectly. The video is also very on brand, with Gaga’s message of spreading kindness. Gaga signs “All I ever wanted was love” as she tries to reunite the people of Chromatica in Harmony.
Hello! Been trying to get a few more blog posts out this month to document some of the shows I’ve booked for this month. I’ve so far been to see Sinderella which I covered in my last post, Carly Rae Jepsen and the subject of this post Be More Chill! I’ve also got Boy In The Dress booked which I also hope to write post about after!
…Anyway back to Chill!
On Saturday 15th February I went to see the UK production of Be More Chill at The Other Palace, London. I had been dying to see this show ever since my friend Frances and I discovered the opening number “More Than Survive” through Spotify and we were hooked ever since!
The cast of the London production consists of Scott Folan (Jeremy), Blake Patrick Anderson (Michael), Miracle Chance (Christine), Stewart Clarke (The Squip), Eloise Davies (Brooke), Christopher Fry (Jeremy’s Dad and Mr Reyes), James Hameed (Rich), Renée Lamb (Jenna), Millie O’ Connell (Chloe) and Miles Paloma (Jake).
Be More Chill is based on the novel of the same title by Ned Vizzini, the show tells the story of unpopular high school kid Jeremy who desperately wants to fit in. When we first meet Jeremy he is just trying to muddle through high school life, but he longs for more, he wants to “More than Survive”. It seems Jeremy’s prayers are answered when school bully Rich introduces Jeremy to a special pill called a SQUIP (Super Quantum Unit Intel Processor). The pill contains a super computer which when taken implants itself into the users brain and teaches them how to be “Cool”. The rest of the show is about how Jeremy reacts to the effects of being SQUIPped and attempts to win the heart of his crush (Christine) along with navigating the trials and turmoil of teen/high school life.
We were sat in the 3rd row so had a very good view of the show. I think the show works well with the smaller venue, making the audience feel they are part of the action.
One of the great things about Be More Chill is that many of the songs are group numbers so everyone gets their chance to shine. More Than Survive and The Smartphone Hour being two of my favourite group numbers, the latter is a great commentary on the social media age, while also providing us with one of the most entertaining numbers of the show. Renée Lamb nails the role of school gossip Jenna who kicks off “The Smartphone Hour” with a very engaging and funny performance. Out of all the songs I still think that Michael In The Bathroom has got to be favourite from the whole show, its a very relatable song (which you would probably not expect from the title!) and Blake Patrick Anderson does a very good job portraying Michael. I also enjoyed Scott Folan’ Jeremy and Stewart Clarke’s SQUIP (ALL THE COSTUME CHANGES!!!) the actors/characters play very well off each other.
The show is only at The Other Place until t14th June, so I highly recommend you go see it if you haven’t already, C-c-c c’mon go go!
Last week (Monday 4th Feb) had the pleasure of seeing the Adult Panto Sinderella at The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks. The Panto stars Divina De Campo (Drag Race UK), Rob King (BGT), Stacy Layne Matthews (Drag Race), David Potts (Ibizia Weekender) and Jamie Campbell (the inspiration for the hit musical Everybody’s talking about Jamie). We opted for the VIP tickets which included a photo op, signed poster and second row seats!
The Panto was a hilariously funny, highly entertaining piece from start to finish. David Hopper does a fantastic job as a far ruder version of your typical pantomime Buttons. Buttons arrives on stage various times throughout the panto with a cheery “HIYA GUYS!” met by a chorus of “F**k off!” from the audience, who get a witty retort thrown back at them each time.
There were a few technical issues throughout the performance and I bring this up only because of how well the cast responded to these issues. Divina and Stacy had some issues with their microphones at certain points but they powered through it and still delivered an entertaining and professional performance.
Divina De Campo does a terrific job in her role as the Wicked Stepmother, she’s got those classic panto villian expressions down! She also delivered a great vocal performance, but you wouldn’t expect any less for someone who can sing in 4 and a half octaves, in 5 different languages while doing the splits???
Jamie Campbell and Troy Harris play the ugly stepsisters in this production, who both got a lot of laughs from the audience. Julie Hutchison-Alberts plays Cinderella, who is much more innocent than the other characters in show! I enjoyed her scenes with Prince Charming (Rob King) they both have some fun and impressive musical numbers. David Potts also does a good job as Prince Charming’s right hand man Dandini, forming an amusing double act with Prince Charming.
I do urge anyone who has the chance to see this production to do so. This talented cast pull of a fab show, full of laughs, solid musical performances and lots of naughty jokes!
P.S I also enjoyed the many callbacks and references to drag race, also the reference to my favourite Youtube video the timeless and iconic “Cher Lloyd by Chery Lloyd”.
The UK’s LGBTQ History month came about after the overturning of Section 28 a law banning the “promotion” and teaching of homosexuality by schools and local authorities, This law was thankfully abolished in 2003. Glad things have moved on since then!
Since 2005 onwards the UK has celebrated LGBTQ History month, a month to celebrate all the achievements of the LGBTQ Community and to also raise awareness for the community. I hope you have a good month, whether you are part of the LGBTQ community or an Ally.
I do hope to get out a longer blog post at some point during the month!
This a directory of the events/holidays Memeow Gifts currently caters for. I hope to add more designs/cards to the list as the year progresses. You can shop the full range at: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MemeowGifts!
To celebrate the new year I’m running a giveaway for Memeow Gifts, I’m running this give away through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The prizes are as follows! 1st prize – £10 credit for Memeow Gifts 😺 2nd and 3rd Prize £5 credit for Memeow Gifts.
Hello and welcome to another Memeow Blog post! I noticed a lot of people were doing end of decade lists so I thought I do my own.
10. Game of Thrones – I know, I know! This one will probably end up on most people’s lists but theres no denying its impact on pop culture. I like many others was not such a fan of the latter seasons but the earlier seasons were enough to land it a place on this list for me. Also DRAGONS!!! The show often kept you on your toes not knowing who to trust, who to root for and having to accept that even the most popular character could be killed (brutal) This taking no prisoners approach would pave the for other tv shows to follow suit.
9. Orphan Black – TATIANA MASLANY – how just how??? I’m still amazed at how many characters this actress was able to pull off for this series! A gripping thriller focusing on mystery surrounding clones all played by Tatiana Maslany. A few times in the show a character pretends to be another clone but you can still tell that it is the other character despite them looking identical.
8. Steven Universe – An animation about a young boy and his 3 mother’s, Crystal Gems! The Crystal Gems (Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl) are aliens that have lived on earth for many years, Steven is a gem/human hybrid. Steven’s mother Rose Quartz (former leader of the crystal gems) gave up her physical form so Steven could be born. Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl all act as matriarchal figures to Steven giving him life lessons while also going on various wacky adventures. The show has fantastic amount of world building and lore throughout with tiny details inserted into even the earlier episodes. The show has some lovely representation for LGBTQ+ people with one of the best examples involving Garnet, who *SPOILER* we later found out is a fusion of two gems Ruby and Sapphire two female presenting characters. Fusions are when two or more gems fuse to become a stronger gem, gems that are more compatible can stay fused longer. This makes Garnet a fusion made from true love, awwww cute!
7. Orange Is The New Black – This hilarious and emotional prison dramedy gave some good representation for women of different ethnicities, races and sexualities as well as highlight very real issues in America. The show concluded this year with a fantastic final series which showed the realities of immigrants in the living in an ICE detention centre. Interwoven with flashbacks throughout, the series fleshed out its characters with pre-prison back stories. With many iconic storylines and episodes like “the chicken” this show really left an imprint on the TV landscape.
6. Schitt’s Creek – a rich family falls down on their luck and has to move a not so pleasant town. A show that could have easily been something completely different based on the premise is perfefctly crafted by the writers. giving all of the characters heart and personality. All of the characters in show have something to bring to the table, with my favourite being Moira Rose – a dramatic divaish washed up actress with a delightfully odd/enchanting transatlantic accent! I also particularly like the main same sex relationship which was perfectly crafted over the 3rd and 4th seasons.
5. The Good Place – This afterlife comedy from the creator of Brooklyn 99 and Parks and Recreation, really shook up the comedy genre with its twists and turns. The season 1 finale twist really impressed me as the show the went into very different direction to what I was expecting. This kind of show also demonstrates how we as an audience are tired of shows dragging on storylines for seasons. If this show premiered in the 90s you could imagine them spinning out he Eleanor doesn’t belong in the Good place storyline until the final episode!
4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – A musical dramedy with great songs, characters and a realistic portrayal of mental illness. I stumbled upon this gem on Netflix after hearing a few positive things on the web about it. The show was highly praised on the internet for the song “Getting Bi”, as Bisexual representation is sparse on mainstream television, to have a whole song dedicated to the subject was a great win for representation. Rachel Bloom does a fantastic job of portraying main character Rebecca who we eventually find out has Borderline Personality Disorder which the show handles with care. Oh and the songs are absolutely brilliant! You can read my previous Crazy Ex Post here!
3. Stranger Things – A show perfectly crafted from an amalgamation of 80s movies, tropes and nostalgia. this sci-fi series has been a massive breakout show for Netflix and with the general pining in our society for 80s media its not hard to see why! The first season alone for me was one of my favourite seasons of the decade, second was kinda meh but the 3rd season put it back on track for me.
2. American Horror Story – Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s Horror anthology series has been running for 9 seasons with themes ranging from Coven’s, Asylums, Haunted Houses and most recently a summer camp. I love the campiness of the show which has spun off various memes with the most popular being “Surprise Bitch!”. The show is not for the feint at heart which I guess goes with the territory of a horror show! My favourite seasons of the show have to be Asylum and Coven but I love seeing what the writers have cooked up annually. With the anthology format the show remains fresh with some connections to past seasons but constant changing of the setting.
1. The OA – The mark of a good show to me is the ability to stay with you long after you’ve viewed it, I do find myself thinking about the show quite regularly. (I’m not obsessed I promise!) The show asked you to believe in impossible things, to leave your mind open to what you are about to witness. Parallel universes, psychic octopi and synchronised dance moves all feature and it completely works. A Weird/crazy/epic show full of hope, which Netflix sadly decided to cancel as they seem to care more about gaining new subscribers than retaining old ones. Especially disappointing after S2’s mind bending, awesome meta ending. I believe one day we will get a conclusion to this brilliant show, we’ve just got to keep our door open! – Also BBA played by Phyllis Smith is a delight <3
I had never quite gotten into the US edition of RuPaul’s Drag Race, mainly as I wasn’t sure where to start! 11 seasons is fairly daunting for a new comer to the show! My drag race obsessed friend convinced me that I needed to watch the UK version and I’m sure glad I did!
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has to be one of the most different BBC programmes in a long time! As Baga Chipz (my fave Queen of the series) says in one episode “this is not the BBC I grew up with!”. Baga Chipz delivered the series most iconic line as Becky the maid in the drag parody of Downton Abbey, Downton Draggy. “Much Betta” Baga/Becky exclaims after successfully wrapping Lady Carey’s dead lover up in a rug (dark!), Baga/Becky swinging her fist as she delivers the now infamous line. Her Rainy Day runway look was brilliant with the rubber duck on her head, perfection. Baga really shone in the snatch game episode where the queens were tasked with impersonating famous celebrities with Baga embodying a red eyed Maggie Thatcher with hilarious lines like “thank you, thank you bring on Brexit!” and ofc “the Lady is not for turning!”
Divina De Campo was another stand out, I absolutely loved her high fashion laundry bag jump suit outfit complete with Parasol! Boasting a powerful 4 octave range, acting and sewing skills, Divina was a true triple threat!
The series spawned a hit single with Break Up (Bye Bye) by The Frock Destroyers, band made up of the queens, Baga Chipz,Divina De Campo and Blu Hydrangea. The song features some crazy high whistlenotes from Divina at the beginning and Baga’s “Much Betta!” catchphrase. All three queens did a great job on the track which also won the girl group challenge.
Cheryl Hole was another one of my faves, an Essex queen with a passion for death dropping! She may have been shady in her to the camera moments but came across as very sweet and genuine with the other girls. Also just a very entertaining person to watch!
Other highlights of the series for me were Sum Ting Wong’s Bullring look and Postage Stamp Queen Elizabeth inspired look, The Vivienne’s impeccable Trump impression on snatch game and Blu’s rainy day look! (her make up was incredible)
In the end it was The Vivienne that was crowned the first UK’s drag superstar, with Baga coming in 3rd place and Divina 2nd.