It’s been a wild week! On Wednesday, I got the pleasure of seeing Jack Whitehall on his “At Large” tour in my hometown. On Friday, I connected with Emilia Fox thanks to social media. On Saturday, I saw Gemma Arterton in Saint Joan on the West End.

Rather than bombard you with posts, I thought I’d share a little run down with you…

Jack Whitehall

What is usually a dull Wednesday evening in January, turned into one full of fun and laughs as I saw Jack Whitehall “At Large” in Ipswich.

Not only is this my first time seeing Jack, but it’s also my first taste at a live comedy show…

Read the full review here on GrapevineLIVE. 

PS I was lucky enough to quickly grab a photo with Jack after the show and he was super sweet! 

Emilia Fox

To those that know me well personally, know I’m a fan of Emilia Fox. To many it may seem lame and I won’t go into the finer details, but I feel inspired by and slightly connected to her. I enjoy her work, and through social media she shows me a lot of kindness that makes me smile over the past few years.

She had her opening night of a play, and she was pretty nervous so myself and a friend/fellow fan who I run a fan page with sent her flowers for good luck. We were both very touched by her response as she was extremely grateful, and said she felt lucky, we made her day and that we helped get her through the show.

To hear that from someone who helps you to smile when you feel like you need it, even if they don’t know it, means a lot and made me very happy. It also just goes to show how powerful and positive social media can be in connecting and communicating with others – be it your favourite celebrity or a person with similar interests. Not everyone will understand what I mean here, but I just felt like sharing for those that do.

Saint Joan

I was initially sold on this play due to the star casting of Gemma Arterton, and I know you shouldn’t be sold shows by the stars as you can’t always guarantee them to be there, but having seen Gemma in two other shows and several films, she’s easily one of my favourite actresses. That said, I was just as sold by the simple yet cryptic description and the venue, as I’ve been intrigued by the Donmar for a while now.

I have to say, this is a piece of theatre unlike any other that I’ve seen. It throws this iconic historical story of “Saint Joan” (aka Joan of Arc), into a modern reimagining of Bernard Shaw’s play. Initially I was puzzled by the modernised setting, however I quickly realised that it’s been adapted like this in order to keep audiences from all generations engaged and to give them a better level of understanding.

The story is slightly intellectual, yet not inaccessible. It tells the tragic yet powerful story of how Saint Joan ended up being burned at the stake. A story which feels poignant, and somehow still relevant in the fact there are still feminist issues being debated. She was a women who dared to go against convention, and we all side with her for it. My only issue is that I feel some scenes could be fractionally reduced in length.

A stellar cast hold the play together. Arterton is the only female on the team, but naturally that is representative of the times and the story revolves around her, and of course she shines. This is yet another strand of proving how diverse and talented she is as an actress. I also commend them for creating a very diverse cast overall, each bringing something very different to the table. Fisayo Akinade as the Dauphin was another performer that stood out to me, I think mainly as he was the one bringing the most light and laughs into the show.

I adored the costumes for Joan, and the set was cleverly formed. The use of screen graphics and technology was particularly interesting. The Donmar is the perfect setting for this show, and is a wonderfully intimate theatre.

Overall, I was very glad I got to see this show and it was refreshing to see something different to what I normally go for. It’s powerful, inspiring and poignant. If you like your theatre a little more off-the-wall in intimate spaces and have an interest in history and religion this would definitely be a show for you. ★★★ Saint Joan runs at the Donmar until the 18th February and will be screened in Cinemas via NTLive on the 16th.

PS, I was also lucky enough to meet Gemma before the show, (a second time!) and she’s super lovely! 

Here’s a snapshot of the week!: 

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Hope you enjoyed reading what I’ve been up to, as always share your thoughts in the comments! Hope to see you again soon…