Review | Oliver!

On Tuesday I was delighted to be invited to see Oliver!, the story of an orphan who runs away to join a gang of pickpockets in London, at Curve theatre in Leicester and I took my sister along with me because she loves the classic tale as much as I do.

I, like many others, am someone who grew up watching the 1968 adaptation of Oliver! every single Christmas. Thanks to my love of the novel by Charles Dickens, and to my love of the film adaptation, I’ve always been hesitant to watch any stage adaptation because of my high expectations. In contrast, my sister had so such reservations and has previously been to see the West End adaptation of the show. Therefore, she really did have a high standard, in terms of quality theatre adaptations, to compare Curve’s efforts to.

When we entered Curve, it was evident to see how universal the tale of Oliver was because there was a great mix of people in the foyer. Also, near the Ticket Office, you could hear the sound of galloping horses, which was a nice touch and sort of set the scene before the audience had even taken to their seats. It actually made me feel like I had walked into an interactive installation or something!!

Anyway, once we found our seats, I was able to fully appreciate the set up inside the auditorium. The sound of the galloping horses sounded slightly louder here and the stage looked dark, smoky and mysterious, which only served to increase my excitement.

Curve Production Photo by Pamela Raith

The show kicked off with the much-loved ‘Food, Glorious Food‘, which was choreographed really well and held the whole audience’s attention throughout. I thought it was a great way to begin!! I love it when there are loads of people on stage because it just gets the whole audience pumped and excited – okay, it gets ME pumped and excited!!

The whole cast performed brilliantly, specifically the little kids who really were especially fantastic. However, the stand out performers for me were the actors who played Oliver, Nancy and the girl who was the first to sing in the song ‘Who Will Buy?‘. The actor behind the character of Oliver had such a beautiful and innocent kind of voice – dare I say that it sounded somewhat angelic?!

The girl playing Nancy, the ‘tart with a heart’, really blew me away. She was feisty, energetic, charismatic and innocent, and she had a great voice that was stunningly showcased in ‘As Long As He Needs Me‘ and ‘Oom Pah Pah‘.  Her take on the character of Nancy was exactly how I envisaged Nancy to be.

Most of my favourite parts of the show were the show tunes, specifically ‘Who Will Buy?’. The girl that was the first to sing had the most beautifully haunting voice, which totally captivated me whenever she sang. I was also super impressed with the harmonies of the four singers who started off singing the song first, before the rest of the actors joined in. Seriously impressive stuff!!

Curve Production Photo by Pamela Raith

I also really loved the performance of ‘You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two‘ because of Fagin and the orphans, one of whom was so tiny and adorable. I’ve always thought of Fagin as being a much darker character, but I’ve noticed that he’s been more comedic in most of the adaptations that I’ve seen and was only really dark in the original novel.

I also thought that Mr Bumble could have been a bit more scary, especially considering the young orphans are meant to be extremely fearful of him. However, Kieran Sutcliffe has a great voice and I liked his jovial portrayal of the character nonetheless.

The only criticism I have of the show is that Act II didn’t seem as strong as Act I, with a lot of audience members getting lost when everything kicked off on stage towards the end of the show. The girl sitting next to me was quite baffled, and had I not been so familiar with the story, I probably would have been confused as well. I think the second Act just seemed rushed, with Oliver sidelined more than I feel he should have been.

Visually the show was amazing and, according to my sister, it was similar set up to the West-End adaptation. I loved how the stage was easily transformed, with a lot of detail (hanging clothes, a mini London Bridge, the basement with the coffins, etc) going into each stage change. Plus, I loved how the depth of the stage was taken full advantage of, particularly in Act II. Oh, and the lightening really helped change and create different atmospheres. My sister and I were really impressed!!

All in all I would give this Curve Community Production a massive thumbs up because it impressed me a lot, which is definitely saying something because I had such high expectations from the onset. I thought the amount of effort, in terms of staging, costumes, lighting, etc, was incredible. However, I was most impressed with the cast, who were all from across Leicester and Leicestershire – Go Leicester locals!!!

For more information or to book tickets for this show (or any other), please visit Curve’s website by clicking HERE.

Priya

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Life After The Final Exam

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it feels so good to be writing posts for my personal blog again – boy, have I missed it!!

As promised, this is the first of my student/graduate-related posts. Now, I know that this post isn’t going to be to everyone’s liking, and if it’s not relevant to you, feel free to disregard it. However, considering the fact that I recently graduated from university, and you know how I love to write about things that I know, it’s only natural that I write a few posts that sum up what I’ve learnt as a university student. The focus of this blog post is going to be life after those final pesky exams, which isn’t always as rosy as you might think.

I don’t know about any other students other there, but I thought that I would feel a huge sense of relief after I sat my final university exam. However, I really didn’t feel like I thought I would once that exam was over. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy that I wouldn’t have to revise for or sit anymore exams, but I felt quite sad as well. My feelings might have something to do with the fact that because I’d been in education for so long, I got used to the routine of being a student. You know, working flat out between October and May and enjoying five months off for summer. Ahh, the good life!!

Anyway, I didn’t have much time to dwell on the fact that my life was going to change in a massive way because I was due back at work the day after my last exam. It was good for me to get back to work because I knew I had a lot of things to do like tying up projects and finishing reports before my last day.

In addition to working, I was also applying for a ton of jobs because I knew that my contract as a Frontrunner for De Montfort University was coming to an end. Whilst I was revising for my exams, I didn’t apply to very many jobs and I didn’t even bother with graduate schemes because I knew that I wasn’t flexible when it came to my location. At the time I thought the best thing for me to do was to just concentrate on my revision because I knew that I’d be gutted if I didn’t achieve the grade that I knew I was capable of. I also had my heart set on a local opportunity, so I thought it was silly of my to waste my time applying for anything else. In hindsight this was a massive error on my part and I would totally advise all students, graduates and general job seekers not to place all their eggs in one basket. I didn’t get past the assessment centre for the job and I was totally miserable for a week or so afterwards. So, never ever place all your eggs in one basket like I did!!

Once my Frontrunners placement came to an end; that’s when the pressure to find a job really intensified. It was horrible when I realised that I had no idea where my next pay check would come from, when I would get a job, if I would get a job, etc. It’s like there was suddenly all this uncertainty and there were all these questions that constantly ran through my mind – questions that I had no answers to. It was quite tough for me to deal with because I’m someone who, when it comes to stuff like employment, likes to know exactly what’s going on and job uncertainty, as you’re probably aware, is extremely stressful. I wasn’t sleeping very well and I felt extremely anxious all the time. I’m a bit of an anxious person at the best of times and I can normally cope with it, but it’s a bit hard when it comes to employment and the lack of a job or money.

Anyway, I kept applying for local jobs in my area and sent out a ton of CVs. That’s all you can really do, isn’t it? Just keep on applying for vacancies and eventually an employer will bite if you keep at it. That’s exactly what happened and I was very fortunate to secure a job that would not only develop skills that I already had, but it would also allow me to gain some brand-spanking new ones.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, it’s simple really. I kept putting off my job hunt and refused to apply for graduate schemes, putting all my eggs in one basket and setting my heart on a job that I didn’t even get called to an interview for. Obviously I wouldn’t want anyone to make the same mistakes that I did, so if this post encourages just one person to take applying for graduate jobs as seriously as gaining a good grade at university, then it’s worth it for me.

I’ve put together some tips that I think final year students might find useful.

  • Take applying for jobs as seriously as studying - I knew that applying for jobs was important, but I lost interest in searching for suitable graduate opportunities as soon as I secured a Frontrunners placement. In my mind I thought that I would be successful in securing the local opportunity that I set my heart on, which was around about when my placement would come to an end anyway. Boy, how wrong was I?! This was a massive mistake and what I should have done was sourced suitable jobs in my local area, without relying on one specific one.
  • Set weekly job application targets and stick to them - Being realistic with yourself is the key here. Don’t promise yourself something that you can’t really commit to, and be consistent with your applications. My sister had the right idea when it came to balancing job applications and final year. She allocated Saturdays to applications, focusing on applying for jobs 9-5 (with a one hour lunch break in between!!).
  • Don’t be desperate - Employers know when you’re applying for a job just because you need a job and they obviously wouldn’t want to hire you because they want someone who will be with them for a while. So, it’s probably more of an effective use of your time to just apply for jobs that you actually want and would accept they were offered to you.
  • Apply to graduate schemes - After Christmas (I think!!) it seemed that all anyone could talk about were graduate schemes and literally everyone assumed that I would be applying for some. However, at the time the restrictions of a graduate scheme didn’t appeal to me, and in hindsight I think that was another mistake that I made. I didn’t consider just how much you could learn on a graduate scheme, most of which is invaluable. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to network with people who are working in the field you want to go into. So, I’d definitely suggest you search and apply for relevant graduate schemes.
  • Volunteer - I absolutely love volunteering!! I learnt so much when I was volunteering, especially in my second year when I was involved with so many things. I just think it’s a great way to gain new skills and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s also something that a lot of employers have asked me about in interviews and it’s great when you need to utilise real life examples in competency-based interviews. As a student, volunteering opportunities are endless, so take advantage of them whilst you can. DMU have an excellent Volunteering team who will gladly help you find an opportunity that’s right for you, so go and speak to them.
  • Time management is key - With studying, working, volunteering and applying for jobs, time management and discipline are the two keys to your success when trying to juggle it all. Make a plan, stick to it and don’t get distracted.

I hope you found this useful. Obviously I’m just writing about my experiences and what I’ve learnt, which you may or may not agree with. Like I said before, if this post helps just one person then it’s worth writing. 

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Good luck!!

Priya

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Where Have I Been?

Wowsa, how long has it been since I last posted on this blog?! Boy how I’ve missed rambling writing about something other than beauty!! What? Hmm what have I been up to I hear you ask? Well…

The day after I sat my final ever exam I went back to working as a Marketing Assistant as part of my Frontrunners placement at De Montfort University (DMU). It was really good to get back to work because I had taken three weeks off for my exams, and I missed doing things like compiling the weekly newsletters, designing posters and updating social media accounts. So, I was very sad when my contract came to an end but I was optimistic about finding another job and continuing my learning.

Even though I was applying for jobs whilst I was working at DMU, the jobs that I could apply for were fairly limited because I was restricted to Leicester. You see, my sister is getting married in October and I want to make sure that I’m around as much as possible until then. Therefore, there was really no point applying to graduate schemes or anything like that because everything I wanted to apply for was based anywhere BUT Leicester. However, I kept trying and I must have sent out hundreds of applications. I did have a couple of interviews and assessment centres that didn’t really go well at all because I was so nervous, but eventually I managed to land a job and I start working there on Monday 13th August 2012. Funnily enough, my new job is at DMU – they just can’t get rid of me!!

I think the stress of looking for a job was the main reason why I didn’t really write any posts for this blog. As I’m sure you’re aware, the stress of not knowing when or where your next pay check is coming from can be difficult to deal with. I, for one, found it really hard to cope and I felt like the only thing I should be doing was looking and applying for jobs – all day, every day. However, there comes a point when you feel like you’ve applied for all the jobs you can and you just keep seeing the same ones advertised again and again. That’s why I decided to start a beauty blog called One Product Too Many, which turned into my haven away from the ‘joys’ of job hunting. Writing posts for that blog didn’t seem to take as long as writing the posts for this blog or for The Huffington Post, which is why I’ve posted on my beauty blog every single day since I started it.

Since securing a job, I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I now have more time to do other things. I really want to get back to writing posts for this blog and for THP, so that’s what I’m going to focus on doing. The next few posts are probably going to be student/graduate related because I officially graduated on Tuesday (17/07) in a spectacular ceremony at my favourite place in Leicester; Curve theatre. After those posts, I want to get into a routine with my blogging and I’m aiming to  write a minimum of two posts per week for this blog – fingers crossed!!

Anyway, that’s enough for now. Please, please, please bear with me whilst I sort myself out and thank you very much for your patience so far.

Priya

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Review | Game Face – Curve, Leicester

Picture taken from Curve theatre’s website

Finally, after months of title changing, structure changing and script polishing, Curve Young Company’s Young Production group were finally ready to show the world their Game Face.

Inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination and equality, and carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, Game Face explores the luck element of life, the quest of the underdog and the fate of the fallen star. The story follows a group of reporters trying to get an Olympic scoop but who don’t anticipate exactly how hard it will be to attain. Eventually, they’re drawn into the real life stores that emerge along their quest.

We’ve all read the press release and the information about the show on Curve’s website, all of which have basically said what I’ve just told you above. However, what does it all mean? That’s something that I couldn’t really get my head around when I was working with the Young Marketing Forum to promote the show. Was it going to be funny? Was it going to be serious? Was I going to have to opt to wear my waterproof mascara instead of my regular one? I really had no idea. Obviously I knew enough about the show to promote it, otherwise I’d be a bit of a rubbish marketer, but I was still in the dark about exactly what to expect from the show itself. In short, I wasn’t sure how the Young Productions were going to bring the Olympic values to life.

However, all the worrying was for nothing and they did such a great job with Game Face. It was performed in The Studio, which I think made the stories have more of an impact on the audience. For example, the lady next to me went from roaring with laughter one minute, to dabbing her eyes with a hanky the next. I just don’t think that would have happened if it was staged in The Theatre. I also really liked the fact that the seats were unassigned, so me, my mum and my sister managed to get some seriously enviable seats. “Best seats in the house” my mum said, and she was right. Another little detail that I noticed as soon as I walked in was the projector that was set up to play interviews with the great people of Leicester (I’m assuming) about the Olympics coming to London. Although, there were some strange responses in the mix, but they did make everyone giggle.

The show itself started with the members of the Young Productions running on stage, which was so loud that it kind of startled me. I think that had something to do with the fact that I was talking to the lady sitting next to me – the one with the hanky – about David Beckham and the Olympic football team.

One thing about the show that I really liked was the way that it was staged; it was so versatile and flowed really well if that makes sense. I’m so glad that the Young Productions decided to set the show in Leicester because it was nice to see their take on Leicester locals’ mannerisms and on well-loved places such as Leicester market. In terms of performances, overall I think the group were so good and that they all worked extremely well together. The performers that stood out for me though were the guy who played the Scottish journalist because, I don’t know if he’s actually Scottish or whatever, but he did an amazing accent – and it was consistent!! I also really liked the poor guy, who had me and my sister in hysterics all the way home. He was jokes!! Oh, and how talented was the girl who was playing the piano (amongst other things). What a voice!! To be perfectly honest, I could probably identify something I liked about most of the performers because they were really good and we were super impressed, yapping about the show all the way home.

It was really nice to see just how much Game Face had developed from its origins as two separate plays with two separate titles. I’m so glad the group decided to work together instead of as the ‘younger’ and ‘older’ group, as I really feel that all the performers in the group complemented each other well.

I can’t believe it’s all done and dusted, it’s bittersweet really. Next year’s Curve Young Company have a tough act to follow, that’s for sure!!

Priya

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Get Your Game Face on with Curve, Leicester

Following the success of last year’s sell-out Curve Young Productions show 3AM; this year’s group are devising a daring production called Game Face, which runs from Thursday 5th July 2012 until Saturday 7th July 2012.

Inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination and equality, and carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, Game Face explores the luck element of life, the quest of the underdog and the fate of the fallen star. The story follows a group of reporters trying to get an Olympic scoop but who don’t anticipate exactly how hard it will be to attain. Eventually they’re drawn into the real life stores that emerge along their quest.

Photo by Emma Kesterton

This bold and original piece has been devised by a group of 26 young people in Leicester, under the guidance of the professional and highly talented creative team at Curve. The Curve Young Productions members have explored what the Games mean to the country, to Leicester and to individuals, taking real life stories and framing their ideas to create a fresh piece of drama for Curve’s Studio. In addition, Game Face will have an original soundtrack, provided by a live band made up of Curve Young Company members.

Photo by Emma Kesterton

Now that I’ve told you all about our exciting show, let me tell you a bit about the theatre itself. Curve is a state of the art theatre in Leicester, based in the Cultural Quarter on Rutland Street in Leicester’s City Centre. Designed by world renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, Curve offers a new theatre experience for audiences and I can definitely say that it’s really unlike any other theatre that I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to quite a few!!

What I like about Curve is that it’s a theatre that is really committed to the community in which it is situated. For example, there are numerous opportunities for young people in Leicester to get involved with things like Curve Young Company, drama workshops, after show discussions and ‘In Conversation With’ events where people can meet directors, choreographers and other experts to find out about their work and take part in discussions.

On a personal level, I’m currently volunteering with Curve Young Company’s Young Marketing Forum because marketing communications is where my passion lies and I am having a ball. The work that we as a Forum are doing is that we’re handling all the promotional activities for Game Face. So, we’ve recently split off into three groups – print, online and media/PR – and I am a part of the latter. I think a number of people expected me to be more involved with the online aspect of promoting the show but I think it’s important to widen your skill set and experience new things, so choosing to be in the online group would be me staying inside my comfort zone and I kind of just wanted to challenge myself. Does that make sense?

So far the Forum are trying to ensure that we’re communicating effectively about the production and utilising all of the appropriate platforms that are available to us. It’s definitely challenging because there’s a lot of pressure on us to ensure that the show sells well and obviously no one wants to fail, but it is manageable pressure now that I’ve finished university and all that’s left for me to do is graduate, which is actually taking place at Curve.

To find out more information about Curve, please visit the website. For information specifically about Game Face, including purchasing tickets, please click HERE. Finally, to keep up to date with Curve Young Company, please feel free to visit our blog. Oh, and one more cheeky thing; if you’re on Twitter, tweet @CurveLeicester and show us your game face using the hashtag #CYCGameFace

So if you’re in Leicester, check out the show and make sure to let me know what you think of it because I would LOVE to hear your feedback. So, feel free to pop your thoughts in the comments box below.

Please Note: Game Face is running Thursday 5th July 2012 – Saturday 7th July 2012 and all tickets are £5.

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Let’s Catch Up

Wow it has been practically forever since I last posted on my blog, or any blog for that matter!! Rest assured I had a pretty darn good reason for being MIA and that reason, as you can probably guess, was assignments and exams. Actually, they were my final assignments and my final exams because I have officially finished my Business Studies degree (yay me!!). I feel like such a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, one that I have been carrying around for a VERY long time. 

Although I haven’t posted much for the past few weeks, I do have a few things that I wanted to update you on. 

So, let’s get on with it.

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The Lion King

Those of you that know me will know that I love a good ol’ trip to the theatre and I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few shows. However, I have to say that ‘The Lion King’ is most probably the best show that I have had the pleasure of seeing.
I can’t remember exactly when my friend Steph and I made the trip down to London to see it, because it was quite a while ago, but I do remember the show itself pretty well. The parts of the show that I particularly liked were:

Creative use of spacethe show made good use of the aisles in the theatre and the various balconies, which in turn made the audience fee a part of what was going on. In addition, the actors would sometimes try and engage the audience by appearing to direct questions at us, at which point many of the children in the audience would get so excited.

SingingI have to say that the singing in ‘The Lion King’ was uh-maze-ing!! Seriously, the last time I heard singing that good was probably when I went to see ‘Wicked’. A particular favourite of mine was Brown Lindiwe Mkhize who played Rafiki.

Props & costumes – the props and the costumes that the actors used to bring the animal characters to life are so imaginative and creative. After watching the show for a while, you kind of forget that you’re watching people and just see them as the animal they’re portraying. I think my favourite animal characters were the giraffes and, at first, I was so amazed because I was trying but failing to differentiate between where the actor’s lips ended and the giraffe’s limps began 

The New York Times once write ‘There is simply nothing else like it’ and I completely agree.

Check out the YouTube video below to see a glimpse of the show.

Gypsy

Speaking of theatre shows, I also managed to catch Curve’s production of Gypsy, which starred Caroline O’Connor as the infamous Mama Rose. I don’t want to go into too much detail about this show because I have previously written a review about it for the Curve Young Company blog, which you can read HERE, but I will say that I never fail to be impressed by Paul Kerryson and the rest of the talented people at Curve. 

Curve

I’m still volunteering at Curve as part of the Curve Young Company’s Young Marketing Forum and I am having a blast. The show we’re working on is called Game Face and we recently split off into groups to focus our efforts into one area of marketing communications (print, online or media/PR). I am part of the media/PR group and I love it!!

Well, now that I’ve got your attention I might as well tell you a bit about the show. It’s completely devised and original and it’s inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellent, friendship, courage, determination and equality. Carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, Game Face explores the luck element of life, the quest of the underdog and the fate of the fallen star. 

Curve Young Company encompasses Curve Young Productions, Curve Young Technicians and the Young Marketing Forum, bringing together young people in Leicester who are interested in theatre.

For more information or to book tickets to the show, which are priced a £5, please click HERE to go to Curve’s website. 

Documentaries

I don’t know about any of you other students, but whenever I’m working on an assignment or writing out my revision notes, I have to have something stimulating on the television/laptop as background noise. I know there will be some people reading this who will think it’s ineffective to have something on in the background whilst you’re trying to work, but I think it’s ridiculous to work or revise in complete silence. You see, even in an exam is it rarely dead silent and those people who aren’t used to working whilst there is some noise are the ones who get easily annoyed whenever someone turns a page in their exam booklet or drops a pen on their desk by accident. So, I think it’s definitely a bonus if you can produce a good piece of work whilst you’ve got the television on or whatever. 

Anyway, enough rambling and back to the topic. The one thing that I loved to watch whilst writing up my revision notes was crime documentaries. It started off with me watching the odd documentary here and there, but then my obsession took on a life of its own and I would often watch documentaries back-to-back. After a while I noticed that I was quite jumpy and more on edge, and sometimes I’d even wake up in the middle of the night because I’d be too scared to sleep. It sounds silly now that I think about it and I’m smirking as I’m typing this, but I was really anxious all the time and just couldn’t relax when I needed to. Obviously, I immediately stopped watching crime documentaries and switched to watching something a little more light-hearted (aka cartoons such as Arthur!!).

Apple iPhone 4S

Another development is that I have finally got rid of my Blackberry and invested in an iPhone. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t take the plunge sooner because I am literally in love with my new iPhone 4S; it’s such a fun little phone. As you can probably guess, I’m an avid Draw Something player now and you can add me (Priya M_) if you’d like to have a game.

Being Paid to Blog

Strangely (well I think it’s strange!!), I’ve been contacted by a number of companies who have asked me to write posts about their products or whatever, and sometimes they would even offered me a fee. I just want to make it very clear right now that if I don’t use a product or whatever and if I can’t write freely about my experiences of a product (or whatever), I won’t accept any offers to write about them – even if it’s for a fee. 

The End of an Era

As I previously mentioned, I have now officially completed my degree and all that’s left for me to do is graduate. I have mixed feelings about leaving De Montfort University (DMU) because I’ve had the best and the worst experiences of my life whilst studying at the university and it’s going to be strange leaving after all this time. I’m going to write a separate post about my overall experience at DMU, so I won’t waffle on, but I do want to say that I’ve loved being a student at the university and I won’t forget the inspiring people I’ve met on my journey.

* * * 

Woo now you’re practically up to date with what has been going on with me. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to writing regular posts ASAP and I have a few other things that I’m working on as well, so watch this space!!

Also, be sure to check out Curve’s website because they’ve got some great shows coming up (I really want to seeing Finding Neverland The Musical!!) and the Curve Young Company blog for all the latest info on Game Face, which is going to be uh-maze-ingg!!

Priya x

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“There is Only One Tree Hill…”

I have a little confession to make before I launch into this post, and it’s a confession that I’m sure will come as no surprise to those of you that know me. Basically, I’ve been putting off writing this post because I’m not quite sure I know the right words to use to even begin to sum up the love I have for ‘One Tree Hill’ (OTH). I know, I know; it’s just a show, what’s the big deal? Well, the big deal is that this show is (or was) seriously something else, something special (does that sound cringey?!). Like I said, I don’t know where to begin with this post, so I am warning you that it may be as coherent as someone who has drunk himself under the table (so not very!!). However, I will attempt to make what I have to say as easy for you to read as possible, just bear with me. 

Logically the right place to start this post would probably be at the beginning and in the beginning there was no OTH for me, there was just ‘The OC’. Yes kids, I’m ashamed to admit that I was one of those fans who jumped ship from ‘The OC’ to OTH. What happened was that I was all about ‘The OC’ and my sister was all about OTH (thanks to Chad Michael Murray). However, once I brought myself the first season of ‘The OC’ on DVD and watched all the episodes back-to-back, I kind of made myself sick of it. That’s when I noticed a moody looking hot guy (CMM) in a red t-shirt and I eventually, thanks to my sister (or so she claims!!), became hooked. The rest, as they say, is history!

I know I am probably romanticising my whole love affair with OTH, but I feel about it how I feel. I’m not silly, I know that OTH is fictional, but the emotions and the life lessons and the relationships between many of the characters are all very much ‘real’. I think that’s the main appeal of the show; it portrays common situations (alongside not so common ones) and addresses real issues that many individuals face (friendship deterioration, death, single-parent households, divorce, teen pregnancy, teen marriage, etc). 

Now, I can’t go any further without drawing your attention to the talented cast and crew behind the show. Obviously, behind the scenes is where all the magic happens; scenes and characters get written by the talented writers, shots are set up by the cinematographer, music (oh the glorious music) is selected, etc, but the people that the audience really identify with are the characters that they see on-screen. That’s Brooke, Hayley, Nathan, Lucas, Julian, Peyton, Mouth, Keith, Dan (on some level, maybe?) and the list goes on. Each character has something about them that the audience identifies with, some more than others, and the cast are just generally a bunch of super talented people. 

There’s something special about the entire cast, but those of you that know me will know how much of a soft spot I have for Sophia Bush and her character Brooke Davis. The thing that I liked about her at first was that she was just so much fun and carefree, especially when you contrasted her character when she was first introduced to the rest of the cast who all seemed to be dealing with a lot. From watching an interview with Mark Schwahn, the creator of OTH, that was his intention when Brooke was brought in. However, when you delve a little deeper, chipping away at her carefree and sometimes tough (or bitchy!!) exterior, there’s something so vulnerable about her and that’s what makes Brooke a firm fan-favourite (in my opinion).

In addition, what makes me love Brooke even more is the fact that I have so much respect for Sophia Bush, who is a personal inspiration to me, especially with all her philanthropic interests. Who doesn’t admire someone who has made it their mission in life to try and save the planet, whilst trying to inspire others to do the same?!

Now a lot of girls who watch the show and immediately say ‘Oh, I am so like Brooke’, which sometimes makes my eyes roll right out of their sockets. However, . I think, perhaps, I am most like Lucas – except I’m a girl, I can’t play basketball to save my life (neither can CMM by the way – kidding!) and my parents are happily married (most of the time). However, I am quite introverted – now more than before, totally geek-out over a good book and I want to write something great. Although, having started watching the first season again, maybe I’m like Peyton – she wants people to see her art but she doesn’t want people to know that it’s her behind it. That’s me down to a T, although this blog has helped me try to overcome that particular issue.

For me, the thing with OTH is that it has always been there whenever I’ve gone through either a difficult or a great time in my life. I know, I know; how lame, but it’s true. In a way, it’s like I’ve been watching my friends grow over the past ten years and they, in turn, have been there for me whilst I’ve grown. Does that kind of make sense? I know there will be people reading this and think that I’m off my rocker, but I know there are also people out there who completely understand what I mean and why I feel the way I do. I don’t need to explain myself to these people because they feel exactly the same, and that’s the beauty of a show like OTH; it can bring a multitude of different people together and unify them.

In a way, it’s quite sad that there are some folks out there who question the impact that OTH has had. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that these people didn’t see the relationship between Lucas and Nathan Scott turn from hate to love, they didn’t see Nathan fall in love with Hayley, they didn’t see the look on Lucas’ face when Hayley told him she married Nathan, they didn’t see Bryan Greenberg steal our hearts as Jake Jagielski, they didn’t see Dan kill everyone’s favourite uncle, they didn’t see the drama between psycho-Derek, Peyton and real-Derek, they didn’t see Mrs Wesley (aka Nanny Carrie) turn from Mary Poppins to the nanny from hell and they didn’t get to fully experience a show, what has been described as, ‘the little show that could‘.

Okay, I think I have waffled on enough and I have a feeling I’m losing your attention. What I will say to conclude this post is that One Tree Hill will continue to have a special place in my heart.. Always and forever (yes, that’s a quote!!).

Priya x

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