July 18th, 2012

Raks New Profile Pic Square

Birthday, by Joe Penhall, Royal Court

Photo credit: http://unitedvoices.tv/birthday-royal-court-until-4th-august

Cut and pasted from the Royal Court Website:

Birthday by Joe Penhall
Until 11 August 2012

Lisa and Ed are having another baby. Determined to do things differently this time, it’s proving a bumpy ride. This is a whole new birth plan.

Joe Penhall’s audacious new play arrives kicking and screaming at the Royal Court.

For full production information, including the trailer, and to book tickets, follow the link:

Raks's Reaction

This review can be very short.

I was really looking forward to this as I LOVE Joe Penhall - Blue/Orange, Landscape with Weapon, and Haunted Child. Love them!

However, I was massively disappointed by this play, which was dull, tedious, very boring, and not at all funny. It is a one trick pony - the conceit being a man gives birth. If you want to go to the theatre to spend one and a half hours in a room watching a man give birth, this play is for you! For me, personally, I can't think of anything more tedious and boring. And no, this is not how I would choose to spend an evening given a choice! To top it all, the characters were unengaging - they did not interest me in the slightest - except for Joyce, the Black African midwife, who was a joy.

Topline Summary
Very poor, not recommended at all.
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Chasing Cotards DVDs, starring Andrew Scott, for Sale

I am re-running this feature because the Chasing Cotards film makers have just tweeted that there are still a few limited edition Chasing Cotards DVDs available for sale. Get yours in now!

Photo credit: http://twitter.com/chasingcotards

Chasing Cotards is available to buy as a DVD. They are very limited edition DVDs and this is what you get for your money:
- A DVD copy of Chasing Cotards starring Andrew Scott, signed by Edward Dark the Director,
- ‘Making The Biggest Shorts Film Of All time!’ A Feature-Length Documentary about the making of Chasing Cotards, Directed by Rob Garwood and Stu Kershaw, and
- Official Chasing Cotards Photography.

Full details re how to get hold of the Chasing Cotards DVD are here:

Cut and pasted from the Chasing Cotards Website:

Sometimes, believing your dead….
is easier than knowing your alive.

Once a successful artist, Hart is now a shadow of his former self, his world torn apart by loss. He is consumed by a haunting portrait of his deceased wife and spends every moment studying her face, unable to forget. Knowing that she was taken away from him too soon, all he wishes is that she would return to breathe life into his world once more.

As context, I am re-running my review of Chasing Cotards:

Raks's Reaction

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to yvaine24 for telling me about this short film. I was completely oblivious to its existence until she told me about it.

Having seen this short film, I just HAD to write a review promoting it. I took more notes on this short film (with a running time of 13 minutes) than I do on most full length feature films.

The film affected me and moved me, very deeply and profoundly.

It is about a young man whose wife has died and focuses on him, two weeks after her funeral. The film explores the reality of grief, as experienced by the new widower.

His life is in shreds, and is suggested by the chaos in the room, eg heaps of post piling up and clothes strewn and scattered across the room.

From the film, this is what I thought he was feeling:

The inability to do anything else or distract yourself eg reading,
The inability to deal with daily life and daily activities,
The feeling of falling apart at the seams,
Anger at how and why did this happen?,
Despair and hopelessness,
The feeling that life is absolutely and utterly pointless and futile without that person, whom you loved so deeply and cared about so much,
The feeling that you are unable to carry on with life,
The searing pain of loss, and
All consuming grief.

His wife reappears, and he has to say goodbye for the final time and let her go. He is letting go of something that he loved above all else in the world. The feeling conveyed is that of wanting something that you had, and have lost, back. But that is impossible. The pain of losing that person again is unbearable. The scene is heart-breaking.

Andrew Scott conveys in his face and, critically in his eyes, very powerfully the feelings of unbearable pain and all-consuming grief.

I am not a widow. However, I connected with this film very strongly because I have been through a separation and a divorce, and the feelings of pain, grief and loss, are very similar. Definitely, when my husband left me, I felt very strongly the feelings of falling apart and being unable to carry on with, or face, life anymore.

If I had to sum this film up in a line, I would say that it is a beautiful Shakespearean sonnet about love, loss, and grief; about a cherished love, lost and gone forever.

Highly highly highly recommended.

Follow the link to the Chasing Cotards website to get all the details, watch the trailer and download the film:
The Biggest Short Film of All Time (literally)

Photo credit: http://www.sloaneuren.com/
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Terrence Higgins Trust, Walk for Life 2012: Final Fundraising Total

Walk for Life: Supporting people living with HIV in poverty

Walk for Life, Terrence Higgins Trust's (THT) annual 10k sponsored walk through central London, took place on Sunday 20 May 2012. I took part in the Walk - it was the only fundraiser I am doing this year. It was the fourth time that I had done the Walk for Life (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012). THT it a cause that is special to me and is very close to my heart. My final personal fundraising total was £357.50.

All funds raised from Walk for Life go towards providing vital grants for people living with HIV in severe financial need through their Hardship Fund. The Fund will offer invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable people with HIV, allowing them to afford basic necessities like warm clothing, healthy food and the fare to get to the hospital - helping them to keep their dignity and stay healthy despite severe financial difficulties.

Cut and pasted from an email from the Walk for Life team which arrived into my inbox today:

We're proud to announce the grand total for Walk for Life 2012 is:


We’re absolutely thrilled to have raised this majestic amount which will enable Terrence Higgins Trust to continue making a real difference to people living with HIV in poverty through the Hardship Fund.

Thank-you so much for joining us and raising such a fantastic amount. We wouldn't be able to carry on and provide the vital services that we do without the support and dedication from amazing people like you who have walked and donated.

We hope that you enjoyed being regal for the day, and are treasuring your medals!

Warmest wishes

The Walk for Life team