Skip to main content

On my week with Christian Slater and Amy Sherman-Palladino


As I settle back into a fulltime writing routine (the need for employment sated by savings from a recent contract position), I find that I have also thrown myself back into the cultural pulse of London. The last few weeks have been a rush of theatre, literary events, screenings and exhibitions, each event offering injections of inspiration that get me through the highs and lows of my writing stints at the library.

This week was no different. Except it was.

There is a reason for the lateness in my posting. There were two events I was scheduled to attend this week and I knew I needed to experience both before writing my latest blog post. Because this week, of all weeks (what with women raising their voices against abuse and thus causing the patriarchy to whimper and begins its implosion) I attended events that were very much led by the different sexes.  

I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened.

Firstly, Monday night. Months ago, I secured theatre tickets for Glengarry Glen Ross. I did this for one reason only.

Christian Slater.
 
Does what it says on the box
Seeing him onstage was not something I was going to pass up, my teenage self wouldn’t allow it. And so I headed to The Playhouse Theatre with my heart in my throat and my teenage self chanting ohmygodohmygod over and over again as I blocked out the fact that winter was very much in the air.

Cut to 9.45pm, the play done, my eyes satisfied with images of a still ridiculously attractive Slater and an overwhelming feeling of… meh. The all-male cast and their salesmen characters felt like they no longer belonged to today’s world. Their laments sounded laughably glib, their privilege oozing with each word they uttered. The production was terrific, as were the actors, but the material was.tired. And I was over it. I couldn’t connect with the characters or the story and I didn’t want to. This isn’t the play for now.

(As a sidebar, because I haven’t managed another blog post about it, the play Venus in Fur with Natalie Dormer and David Oakes very much IS a play for now. Brilliant.)

And so to Thursday night where I attended a screening for the new show from Amy ‘Gilmore Girls’ Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino. My twenty-year-old self was a walking lightning rod of expectation and excitement. Not only was I about to watch the pilot for a show I knew would offer strong female characters and strong female relationships, but I was going to be IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE WOMAN WHO GAVE US LORELAI GILMORE. Ahem. I was looking forward to the night’s festivities.

Two mini bottles of (free) champagne later and the night was anything but ‘meh’. I’m holding judgment on 'The Marvelous Mrs Maisel' for now as we were just shown the pilot, but I could at least breathe a sigh of relief in that, yes, strong female characters and their relationships with each other was front and centre. Thank f*ck.
 
And it might have been the champagne, or the good will a goodie bag brings, but my goodness it was an event to lift the spirits. Women working together, championing each other and creating content for a wider audience.
Life is better with a goodie bag, not gonna lie.

I only hope it continues.

As ASP rightly said, until there is more balance at the top with women in just as many seats of power as men – and this is true of any industry – nothing will really change. The expectation of privilege will still lead to the abuse and unfair treatment of those with less power, the cycle spinning on and on. It’s no longer time for tired material that holds a mirror up to how things used to be. It’s time for a new vision. A new way forward. A new way of working together. Of creating a world that isn’t the clusterf*ck it is right now.

It’s time to expect, to want, to demand more. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On accidentally becoming a cat person

Building a new life in a new city can throw challenges at you both big and small. Most challenges are to be expected; learning a new public transport system, setting up a bank account, finding the local pub, getting a job, making friends. Some are not; Brexit, realising your old winter clothes are a laughing stock when compared to ACTUAL winter clothes, Brexit, knowing your phone calls home will always mean one side of the conversation is just waking up while the other is on its way to being drunk and never the two wavelengths shall meet, Brexit.
What I hadn’t planned on were challenges that would fundamentally change who I was. And in that respect, there is one challenge needs addressing, and has needed addressing for some time. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you will have noticed a certain someone who has crept into my Twitter feed and onto my ‘currently reading’ page. And for those of you who have spotted this certain someone, and also know me well, will surely be wondering WHAT TH…

On the privilege of seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (no spoilers, promise!)

Beloved characters from books, films and television shows are often sacred ground for us fans. We have journeyed with them, taken them into our hearts and think about them when our real lives are being a little less than spectacular. And so, when these characters are revisited for what sometimes feels like a money grab, and what sometimes is (I’m sure) a form of closure for the creatives, we wait with the duelling emotions of hope and fear, wondering if those in charge are about to wreck everything. Most often than not, they do wreck things, a lot (Mitch Hurwitz and your Arrested Development season 4 shambles, I’m looking at you!). While I always want more Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy didn’t quite do it for me and I’m terrified about seeing Bridget Jones’s Baby for fear that watching it will forever ruin the first film and first two books for me. Similarly, I’m nervous about the upcoming Gilmore Girls episodes even though I’d give my right arm to go back to Stars Hollow. And maybe…

On buying toilet paper in a new city

It’s the little things. They’re the parts of life that can offer the greatest moments of joy or send you into the darkest depths of despair. This is true never more so than when you’re trying to create a new life away from the comfort, security and familiarity of home.
The first time I moved to the UK was ten years ago. I was in my mid-twenties (read: actual mid-twenties) and I was lucky enough to have arrived with a job and friends to stay with until I got my own place sorted. Nevertheless, I still experienced some sharp learning curves and long, dark moments of doubt about the choices I’d made. Thankfully, I came out the other side a better, more learned, more experienced person who could often be heard remarking how living in the UK for two years was one of the best things I’d ever done.
On my second move to the UK, which entered its one-month anniversary this past Sunday (hence the reflective tone of this post), I expected things to be very different. I was at a different stage of m…