Our second chance at a 'Happy New Year' has finally rolled round to give some of us the kick up the rear we've needed as the temperatures begin to dip and more frequent showers begin to dampen our streets. And now that summer is quite truly behind us - well, for those of us living in the UK at least - and the Bank Holidays have nearly fizzled out, it is down to us to seek out ways to make our days that more enjoyable despite spending most of them indoors.
Be it rereading an old favourite (currently revisiting HP & the Philosopher's Stone myself), watching a captivating TV drama (finished watching Stranger for the second time yesterday and have now started Dr Foster - both can be found Netflix; definitely worth the watch!!), planning a holiday (did someone say Barcelona?), queuing for a film at your local cinema (AMC may have abandoned me but have no fear American Assassin & Kingsman 2, I'm still coming for you) or attending a few shows at a jazz club or theatre, indoor activities are my jam.
Actually, speaking of shows, there are a handful that have already made it onto my calendar. First up, we've got Oldham Coliseum's 'Oh What a Lovely War' (8th - 30th Sep '17): a musical written by Joan Littlewood and directed by Kevin Shaw that sheds light on some of the highs and lows of the First World War. I was fortunate enough to interview some of the crew behind this show and will share my intel once I see it.
Next, we have 'The Wedding' (12th - 16th Sept '17) by the internationally acclaimed theatre company, Gecko. Exploring the nuances of marital obligations and the emotional dynamics involved in such contractual matters of the heart, I have a feeling this production will be a major eye-opener to the labyrinthine connections that hold our societies together and the gravity of the promise we all know that ends in, ‘I do’. I will be seeing it at HOME next week so if you are too, we may very well be sat next to each other.
Then there is Gary McNair's new piece, 'Letters to Morrissey' (12th - 16th Sept '17) which was loved by those at Edinburgh Fringe this year and will also be performed at HOME next week. Having seen his show, 'A Gambler's Guide to Dying' last year, I have a sneaking suspicion I will really enjoy Letters to Morrissey as well. In this show he'll be delving into the consequences of being honest with the worst and best parts of you - with a healthy dose of humour - as he shares the tale of man who discovers a bunch of heartfelt letters he wrote as a young boy to a man whom he felt understood him and the world best: Morrissey.
And lastly (for now... ha!), we have Sarah Frankcom’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning OUR TOWN (14th Sep - 14th Oct) by Thornton Wilder (first published in 1938) at The Royal Exchange. In this intimate, contemporary adaptation of the play set in Manchester, the stage will be such that the audience is allowed to become part of the community of characters and explore the everyday realities of our existence on this planet. I know, I am equal parts intrigued and nervous at the idea of audience participation but here's to being bolder this month!
There are other things, of course, I will be trying my hands at this September like creating halfway-decent watercolour paintings that do not require one to be a genius to decipher; staying far away from all biscuit aisles and; successfully sticking to my monthly budget - goodbye spontaneous art supply purchases?... I am sure the list of things to keep us company as we roll on into Autumn will continue to grow as the days go by but for now, I am pretty pleased with what I have got on my plate so far.
Hope your first week of September is off to a great start!