5 Videos To Watch On YouTube This Week!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It is that time of week again. Here is my 5 video suggestions for this week:

Music

Today would have been the legend Freddie Mercury’s birthday. To remember him on the day, I present to you the classic, incredible music video of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:

Music/TV

This week Canada’s Drag Race came to a close with the amazing Priyanka winning the crown. Here is the three finalists Priyanka, Rita Baga and Scarlett BoBo performing a billiant performance of RuPaul’s U Wear It Well in the finale.

More from music/tv here is a throwback to 2018 when Dalton Harris brought the house down with his version of Beyonce’s Listen on X Factor UK. Simply amazing, the best performance of the season.

TV/History

This video shows you the real-life house behind the hit show Downton Abbey and informs you about the house’s history. Very interesting.

Theatre

Last week we had the hardest theatre roles traditionally performed by men, this week we have the hardest theatre roles traditionally performed by women. Once again a fantastic selection and a very fun watch.

Monologues From A Homosexual Hazard By Edwin Betancourt Review!

Monologues From A Homosexual Hazard (2020) by Edwin Betancourt is an excellent play.

Set in New York, the play follows the stories of six gay men Marco, Saint, Jayson, Harley, Frankie and Johnny who each speak about various aspects of what it is like to be a gay man in society nowadays. Inspired by The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, the play lets us really get to know each of these men very well in a short amount of time. There is a lot packed in here with topics ranging from feelings about love, insecurity about your body, mental health, domestic violence, suicide, toxic masculinity, dating and marriage, loving yourself as you are, discrimination, TV portrayals and life and death.

My favourite character is Saint but I adore all the characters. I love how opinionated and unapologetic they are. It’s a refreshing write, very modern and totally what I love to read. So much is highlighted here which certainly needs to be highlighted. There is a great mixture of emotional content and humour. It’s like how life is, like slices of life. Very realistic and written in an excellent down-to-earth conversational way that instantly pulls you in.

I think a lot of plays/books etc … struggle with where they are going when talking about discrimination because the writer or writers go for a one-dimensional feel of either humour and happiness or pain. The truth in life is that both aspects are there and this writer has done a fantastic of putting both those elements in. I also don’t feel that this play is pandering to the masses and trying to keep everyone happy. It’s just direct, honest and true to life and I love that. They are opinionated, they are unapologetic and that’s celebrated which it isn’t always and I think that is incredible. The characters are very realistic and I therefore relate to them. This is definitely an author whose other works I would be interested to read in the future. It’s excellent, I very much enjoyed it.

A must-read.

To get your free copy of Monologues From A Homosexual Hazard by Edwin Betancourt go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1012559

For more about Edwin Betancourt and his work go to:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EddyBee

To watch the stage version of Monologues From A Homosexual Hazard by Edwin Betancourt go to:

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

Hope you are all well. Here is my five video suggestions for this week:

 

Social Issues

In this very interesting interview with Emma Thompson on BBC Newsnight, she speaks about disgraced film director Harvey Weinstein and sexual abuse and harassment of women in the industry as well as the discrimination women face in the industry by men in more powerful positions.

 

 

Music

Here is a classic music video, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. A great headbanging tune with an equally fabulously headbanging music video.

 

This is a song I really love by Tracy Chapman and the music video for Give Me One Reason is brilliant. Very understated and perfect because of it.

 

Interior Design

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita show us around their gorgeous home in this video. In the video we get to see their adorable dogs and a picture on the wall of when they were leaving their wedding and we also find out that the house was originally owned by Gwen Stefani.

 

Theatre

In this video, Mojo counts down the 20 roles traditionally played by men in the theatre which they feel are the hardest. Really interesting with lots of musicals both old classics and newer classics making the list.

Something Unspoken By Tennessee Williams Review!

Baby Doll and Other Plays (Penguin Modern Classics) by [Tennessee Williams]

 

Something Unspoken (1958) by Tennessee Williams is a great short play.

 

It follows the story of Miss Cornelia Scott who is an incredibly interesting protagonist. She has a relationship with her secretary Grace which may or may not be romantic or/and sexual. Tensions come to a height while the Daughters of the Confederacy elections occur. It is immensely intense and works superbly. A lot is packed into this, so much emotion and an atmosphere of the unspoken so the story lives up to the title.

Though it was never actually said, probably because of the times, I do believe the unspoken was Cornelia’s and Grace’s unspoken romantic and sexual feelings for each other. Williams shows the oppression they feel perfectly and I am sure it resonated with a lot of people back then and with a certain amount of people today despite times moving on. It is a gorgeous short play.

A must-read.

 

To purchase Something Unspoken (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

Summer And Smoke By Tennessee Williams Review!

 

Summer and Smoke (1945) by Tennessee Williams is a great play. This 2-part play was later rewritten by Williams as The Eccentricities of a Nightingale and put out into the world in 1964.

 

Set in Glorious Hill, Mississippi Alma Winemiller, a minister’s daughter, and John Buchanan Jr., a doctor are involved in a spiritual and sexual emotional situation with each other. That in and of itself was very modern first of all. Buchanan is Winemiller’s neighbour and she has always liked him. But she is looking for romance and he is looking for sex. He asks her to come to a hotel with him. Offended, she rejects his proposal. Undeterred, John has also an interest in Rosa Gonzales, daughter of a casino owner, and he and Rosa become engaged. Not happy about the news, Alma tells John’s father who has a fight with Rosa’s father and ends up dead after been shot. John begins to see things differently after this and becomes engaged to Nellie Ewell, a woman who is a former pupil of Alma’s and who he decides to try romance with. Alma tells him that she is up for both romance and sex but he has moved on. She decides to go have a purely sexual relationship with a salesman.

I like the way in this story Williams shows how those we meet can affect our lives and change our paths and minds. In negative, positive or neutral ways. That was very interesting. The characters are well rounded and fleshed out. Their conflicting feelings add a lot of depth to the story and show different sides and different perspectives very well. The dialogue is brilliantly done and flows with ease. The scenes are painted vividly so you can see the scenes before you. I liked the characters and the plot. It worked very well. I think it was also very interesting how Williams shows how both characters have many sides, feelings and opinions about non-platonic relationships which they explore at different times in their lives. It shows that your emotions can change and you don’t have to feel one way always because that’s how you were known to feel before, that you have that freedom to change your mind and I think that is a great message.

A must-read. Enjoyed it.

 

To purchase Summer and Smoke (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

 

 

 

Camino Real By Tennessee Williams Review!

Camino Real (play) - Wikipedia

 

 

Camino Real (1953) by Tennessee Williams is an interesting play.

 

I love Tennessee Williams’ work but this was not one of my favourites of his. I liked it but I didn’t really understand it. I would imagine it’s fantastic if I got what it was all about but it was going over my head a lot. But for a play, I didn’t really understand I liked it more than I probably should have. I do love Williams’ style of writing so that might have helped. There was as usual great one-liners and a lot of great dialogue. There was a lot of references which were cool, the holding onto humanism I liked and the poetic nature of the work.

However, it didn’t grab me the way other Williams’ works have. I was confused about what was going on a lot of the time. It didn’t feel as conversational and down-to-earth as other works by the author which I liked better. I appreciated that Williams was doing something different and it probably was good but as I said, I didn’t fully get it. This was Williams’ favourite of his works and he often tried to justify it. I love that he stood up for his baby but I can understand why it wasn’t as successful as his other work. It’s very complex. I would imagine it’s very thought-provoking if a reader understands it and I think many readers who are brighter than me will find this amazing. That’s my gut on that. I mean Williams’ work often has a thought-provoking quality to it and I love that but it is often done in a more down-to-earth style. This as I said is complex but I have a feeling for someone who understands it it could be sensational.

It’s one of those plays if you asked me do I like it?, I would say yes. But if you asked me to explain it, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I would imagine in a production it would be amazing but I think I would be sitting in the theatre confused the house down.

But I still love you Tennessee! 🙂

To purchase Camino Real (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

Orpheus Descending By Tennessee Williams Review!

Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams

 

Orpheus Descending (1957) by Tennessee Williams is the author’s take on a contemporary version of the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice.

 

This play took Williams seventeen years to write. Whoa, I know! So he was definitely extremely dedicated to this work. It is an amazing write and it is clear that a lot of work went into it. Set in a southern small town in America in the 1950s, the play takes place in a dry goods shop. It follows the romance of Val Xavier, a musician, who begins working at the shop and Lady Torrance who runs the shop. She has a husband Jabe Torrance who is dying. She begins an affair with Val and becomes pregnant. Carol, another woman in the town, is after Val too but he rejects her.

Lady feels trapped in her life. She sees freedom in Val and he makes her happier than she has been in a while but the story is not quite as simple as that. Lady finds out that her husband killed her father in the past because he was angered by her father creating businesses with black people. She plans to leave the town with Val but Jabe has other plans.

I love the chemistry between Val and Lady. I spent so much of this play rooting for them to be together forever. I found their relationship really beautiful and they seemed meant to be. The longing was intense. I was hoping all the time that they could get out of the town and start a new life together.

This play deals with many important topics. Racism is highlighted in the play. As previously mentioned, Lady’s husband killed her father because he worked with black people. There is also many other racists in the play who use racist language and Carol says she was supportive of a black man called Willie McGee who was sent to the chair for being with a white woman. The reference is to a real-life case in which a man called Willie McGee was sent to the chair after a white woman accused him of rape. He said they had been in a relationship for many years and that she accused him when he split up with her.

Attitudes to sexual relationships outside of wedlock is also highlighted. Lady is condemned by many in the town for having a sexual relationship with a man called David Cutrere before she married Jabe. Heaven knows what they would make of her sexual affair with Val!

The small-town vibe of conformity, narrow-mindedness and talking behind everyone’s backs is very well-written by Williams. The claustrophobic atmosphere is well depicted. Williams also shows that not everyone in the town is like this through Val, Lady and Carol. I was very fond of those three characters and thought it would be great if they were running the town!

I adored the play. It was amazing. It had romance, drama, tension and hard-hitting issues. Fantastic job. A must-read.

 

To purchase Orpheus Descending (which is in this collection) by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

Baby Doll By Tennessee Williams Review!

Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams

 

Baby Doll (1956) by Tennessee Williams is a great classic play.

 

Set in 1950’s Mississippi, the play tells the story of protagonist Baby Doll’s marriage to her older husband Archie Lee Meighan. She does not want to consummate their marriage. The opening of the Syndicate Plantation has ensured that Archie’s business is going badly and he is therefore finding it difficult to look after Baby Doll and her aunt Aunt Rose Comfort. He sets fire to the Syndicate Plantation and forces Baby Doll to be his alibi. The manager of the Syndicate Plantation Silva Vacarro comes to see them. While Baby Doll is lying to the man, she and Silva also have a sexual chemistry with each other that she does not feel for her husband. Soon, they are left alone together and Silva manages to get Baby Doll to sign an affidavit saying Archie set the fire. Silva is going to go after his mission is complete but Baby Doll asks him to stay which he does.

 

I really like the play. I think the chemistry between Baby Doll and Silva is very well-written. I think the way she reacts with him as opposed to Archie is so different and therefore shows different sides to her personality in different circumstances. I love the way this play incorporates a lot of feminism in it. The idea of traditional roles of women is challenged as is the view that women can’t have great sexual appetites. This play puts across the idea that women have a right to be in control of their own lives and their own desires. It challenges the idea that the only things a woman is good for are motherhood and marriage and the idea that anything else we aren’t good for or that no other dreams or ambitions would even pass through our minds.

I think Williams wrote the dynamics between Baby Doll and Archie perfectly. Archie clearly wants a very submissive wife and Baby Doll increasingly is anything but. She is a strong woman who gradually begins more and more to know her worth though she always has a little bit of that even at the start but her confidence grows throughout for sure. Unable to control Baby Doll, Archie feels insecure and inferior and their two personalities and perspectives cause a lot of conflict between them. This story has a lot of gaslighting on Archie’s part as he tries to control Baby Doll. To highlight this in 1956 was very brave of Williams to do. Baby Doll is very likeable and strong but she is put down a lot by her controlling, bigoted husband who likes to start fires of his competitors’ businesses. The message is powerful: look at who is saying it and don’t listen. But that isn’t always easy to do especially when one is put down regularly and Williams writes this perfectly with great sensitivity.

 

An excellent read. A must-read.

 

To purchase Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

 

The Rose Tattoo By Tennessee Williams Review!

The Rose Tattoo - Wikipedia

The Rose Tattoo (1951) by Tennessee Williams is a wonderful play by the author.

 

The play follows the story of the protagonist Serafina Delle Rose. She is an Italian woman and a seamstress who lives in a Sicilian community in Louisiana. She is pregnant and also has a daughter Rosa. She loves her husband Rosario to bits but Rosario is not what he seems. He is having an affair with a local woman Estelle and is a smuggler. After he is shot and killed by police, Serafina overhears some women who are neighbours discussing how they will break the news to her and her grief begins.

Her own past pain, because though she loved Rosario with all her heart she knew his faults even though she was in denial, also comes in her negative feelings when three years later Rosa meets a guy she loves called Jack. I also think the negative feelings are because she fears if Jack died, Rosa would go through the same pain she did. So it’s protective but it’s also stopping her daughter from happiness and Serafina does not communicate very well her fears through whatever. Pride? Fear to be honest about it? An I’m the Mother and I don’t have to explain myself attitude. Whatever the reason or reasons, her communication skills with her daughter are lacking severely which is unfair to Rosa. Williams brings many topics into this story such as family dynamics, immigration, sexuality and romantic feelings, communication issues, finding your place in the world, grief and mental illness.

I think it is an amazing play. I was engrossed in the characters and the plot from start to finish. The writing is gorgeously down-to-earth and the dialogue, which is especially the heart of a play, is amazing, spot-on and realistic. Williams didn’t stereotype the characters which was wonderful but not surprising either considering his boyfriend Frank Merlo was a Sicilian-American man from Louisiana and the play is based a lot on Merlo’s family history and background. The play is also dedicated to Merlo.

Beautifully written. Amazing job. A must-read. I loved it! 🙂

 

To purchase The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams go to:

 

For more about Tennessee Williams and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751.Tennessee_Williams

 

 

 

My Short Story Wedding Bells Appears In This Month’s Bray Arts Journal!

 

On Monday night my sister and I had a lovely night out at the Bray Arts night where the launch took place of the Bray Arts Journal. It is the second volume of the new journal. My story Wedding Bells was in it which was great. 🙂

On the night, there was also a very interesting talk about the Theatre Royal entitled Theatre Royal Remembered by Conor Doyle and Mairin O’Donovan, who sang at the Theatre Royal, was accompanied for a few performances by Retrofix. It was a very entertaining night.

Theatre Royal

 

Conor Doyle

 

Mairin O’Donovan

 

Retrofix