“I don’t want to marry a fool.” “Then you will have to take a husband over thirty, Blanche” – Widowers’ Houses, George Bernard Shaw (1892)

Happy Monday, readers! Welcome back to the library! My first piece of info this week is that my newest short story is out for publication – HERE – It’s called ‘Sleep’, about a woman who has had her child taken away from her due to… well I hope you can figure that out when you read it! It’s not long at all, and won’t take you any time to read! Please check it out!
Anyway, thank you all for letting me have a day off, I had a great birthday weekend, which meant no time to write! We did something a bit different for it this year, and went to see an outdoor play, at a famous author’s house – George Bernard Shaw’s house to be precise! I studied him in my undergrad, so we thought we’d go see something in the outdoor theatre. It was a really lovely evening too, and I didn’t get cold once, which is a shock as I am always cold!

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Shaw when he wrote the play. At this point he was a young man! – George Bernard Shaw, Wikipedia

Shaw’s play begins as romcom (yes they existed in the late 1800s). On a holiday in Germany, on the Rhine, a young doctor, Henry Trench (along with his friend William Cokran), falls in love with Blanche Sartorius – she’s on holiday with her father Mr Sartorius, who feels like holidays are a great way to learn! The play really gets going in Act 2, after Trench realises that his prospective bride’s income derives from her father’s profits as a slum landlord (A slum landlord is a derogatory term for a generally absentee landlord with more than one property, who attempts to maximize profit by minimizing spending on property maintenance – you can min-max anything!).  This play is a debate about socialist ideas vs that of the conservative. Whilst no one in the play says they are socialist, and Henry is still willing to prosper for those who are less fortunate than him – he is very upset about having to do so. In the end it’s all happy families, but Henry and Blanche’s love is tested throughout. She’s a real fierce woman and he can’t take that. Nor can he take that his soon-to-be father-in-law is profiting off of those who are less fortunate than them, and he does not want to take their money. This is awkward as Mr Sartorius has told Blanche that she will have anything she wants, whether she is married or not! Blanche refuses to live off of £700 a year (around £20,000 a year nowadays if my calculations are correct. Sorry if that’s wrong.)

5687429-MI really liked this play. As it was in three parts, there was ample time to chat about it with my parents and @sebonthesilvermountain who tagged along for the ride! Even though it was based in the late 1800s there are things that still ring true for today! For instance, landlords will still abuse their tenants by refusing to do any work to their properties, and kick them out if they complain.
There were a few lines that still run true to day too – Marrying someone over 30 if you don’t want to marry a fool, everyone has a right to their own opinions even if they upset someone else – small quips like this that I really engaged with.
It was really nice to sit outside, have a picnic and watch something be performed in front of your eyes. The actors did amazingly in the evening warmth – I would have needed sunglasses! I really did feel like I had been transported back in time to the 1800s!

I really think you should all go and see an outdoor play. In the summer they’re beautiful, and they really bring you into the story!
Watch an adaptation HERE – It looked quite good from my brief look at it!

Have you ever seen an outdoor play? What about a George Bernard Shaw play? Would you ever go see one? Leave a comment down below!

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‘I wish somebody spoke his language’ – Isle of Dogs, 2018

Good Monday everyone! How are we all? I am drowning in deadlines, but my library door is always open, so I can’t forget about you all! I’ve been with Seb (@sebonthesilvermountain) this week, and we decided to have a date night. Both of us wanted to see this movie, so after a very filling Wetherspoons we toddled down to his local cinema and cuddled up to watch. Wes Anderson is one of our favourite directors; we both loved The Grand Budapest Hotel and I really liked Fantastic Mr Fox. So, without further ado, here’s our thoughts on Isle of Dogs!

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Cover art for the Dvd box – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Isle of Dogs is a stop motion animation, with an all star cast. Set in a dystopian near-future Japan, the film follows a young boy who goes in search of his dog after the whole species is banished to an island due to an illness outbreak… and the fact that everyone likes cats more. The prologue explains the downfall of dogs and the uprising of cats – dogs were only saved by the daring deeds of a young samurai.
The film is split into acts, four if I remember exactly. Most of the film takes place on an island of trash, just off of the coast of Megasaki City, Kobayashi. The humans speak in their native tongue, and are translated by interpreter, machine or subtitles. The dogs have been pre-translated – it highlights the struggle between man and beast when trying to get them to play fetch. As I said before, it’s got an all star cast. The main dogs are played by names like Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton and Scarlett Johansson, whilst there are human characters played by the likes of Frances McDormand.

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Wes Anderson and his figures – Isle of Dogs, Fox Searchlight Studios, 2018

Overall, I really really enjoyed this film. Like every second of it. I felt like I learned something about the culture of Japan, I found it to be a respectful depiction of such – it wasn’t being forced upon me that this was correct. It also brought up the idea about being environmentally friendly – Trash Island isn’t exactly a sustainable solution. I think it shows Anderson’s worry for the future, a dystopian world who’s leaders get rid of the things that they hate through mass cullings. It shows that if people band together, they can make things better for everyone – and the epilogue shows that. I won’t spoil it for you, you need to go see it for yourself.
The only qualm I had with it was that the man in front was so tall (or I was so short, either way) I struggled to see over his head. It made me remember why I disliked going to the cinema on a regular basis.

Have you seen Isle of Dogs? Do you want to? What’s you views on it’s portrayal of our future? Do you believe we’re heading for a dystopia? What about it’s portrayal of Japan?Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Isle of Dogs, Searchlight Studios, 2018]

No Review this Week! – 12/02/18

Hello everyone! I have been struck down this week, quite badly, and therefore have not had the strength to do anything then watch My Little Pony on repeat – yes, I will admit to that, just this once! As much as I would love to, I know you guys wouldn’t want a review of that – especially when it could just be a drug-fuelled mess! – so I won’t be giving you guys a review this week! I am sorry!

Next week you’ll have to tune in for Seb’s (@sebonthesilvermountain) ‘Top 10 TV shows and Movies’ – things that he’s really liked! Some I have spoken about, but I’ll let him explain them better! I’ll be out of the UK, enjoying some winter sun.

See you in a couple weeks!

Sorry I’m sick guys! Any of you feeling the winter flu? While you’re here, why don’t you tell me what things you want to see here for 2018? Leave a comment down below!