I’d like to thank my aunty for opening her plastic packages and paper bag, sorting through all her deliveries and then wrapping them all back up during the program I was watching, when she said herself she knew she was annoying. You have a room…I don’t have a room because you’ve got it. Use it.
I’d like to thank my mum for having a go at me for leaving the scissors out on the kitchen bench… this was after she’d given them to me to cut my sachet open, and I left them by her for her to use when she went to open hers. And then for having a go at me because she knew I’d have left them out if she didn’t have a sachet to open…starting an argument over something that hasn’t actually happened, nice touch!
I’d also like to thank my mum for making a big deal out of the fact that I used the tin opener the wrong way today. I didn’t realise it was wrong. It’s not an average tin opener, just because you know how to use it, doesn’t mean we all do. I really appreciated you laughing at me, telling whoever was around, and then telling me you’d give me a lesson because at 21 I should really know how to use it.
And I’d like to thank my brother for screaming at me that I’m a fucking selfish bitch because I had my laptop and my tea in my hands and therefore would not - because I could not - pass him the television remote and he had to get up and get it.
You’ve all made my evening truly magical, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Next time one of you are having a bad day, I’ll be sure to do the same.
I’ve got a feeling that by the time I add cheese, salami, mayonnaise, dip, crisps etc to my salad (I say salad, but I mean lettuce…it’s all we’ve got in the house) it’s going to be decidedly less healthy.
Really really into my copy of Sally Beauman’s Rebecca’s Tale - a sequel to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.
I enjoyed the other sequel of Mrs de. Winter, by Susan Hill, even if it didn’t properly get going until the last hundred pages or so, and was once again narrated by the ever annoying second wife of Maxim. But this one is fantastic.
I had thought it was going to be narrated by Rebecca, but only one of about four parts appears to be. This did put me off initially, especially as the only other narrator I knew was Colonel Julyan…the others being a historian friend of his, and his daughter, however, upon getting stuck in to part one, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I find Colonel Julyan quite amusing, and I love Beauman’s writing style.
While it is a sequel, it is focussing a great deal on what happened before Maxim brought his second wife to Manderley, and even Rebecca’s life before her marriage, of which we know nothing about. It raises the question Who was Rebecca? Which, aside from saying she’s Maxim’s beautiful murdered wife, we can’t answer. We never knew her surname, where she came from, who her parents were, what she said to Maxim on their honeymoon which made him hate her… I’m hoping this book answers all of those questions…but I’m about 200 pages in with roughly 420 more to go, so we shall see!
And, true to creepy du Maurier style, Terrence Grey (Julyan’s historian friend) has gone to visit the old boathouse and found a wreath of azaleas propped against the door in memorial. I’m hoping it’s Mrs Danvers again…you can’t have a story about Rebecca without Danny! And with any luck, she’ll enjoy toying with them even more. I love that this element of mystery, suspence, fear is kept throughout the sequels. It’s what made Rebecca such a success.
I also like how it looks into the history of the de Winters - it talks of the Grenville sisters, one of whom married Lionel de Winter, the pair of them becoming parents to Maxim, and talks of his grandparents, of his friendship with Colonel Julyan…etc. There’s a whole family tree developing, and it really brings the characters to life - I keep forgetting that none of them are real; I keep thinking “wouldn’t it be interesting to get hold of some of the Manderley documents?” or “I’d love to read up on the de Winter family”. Of course, I can’t, because they aren’t figures in history, and there are no actual books in publication trying to solve Rebecca’s murder. But, it is very well written so far, and immensely enjoyable.
This damn Rebecca thing has taken over my life. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I’d say thank god there only appears to be two sequels to du Maurier’s novel, but then there’s a modern version, the Rebecca Notebook or something, and a load of biographical/autobiographical work on du Maurier herself, which also seem interesting….Damn it!
Note: If you ever decide to read the sequels (and they are worth it,) then read Mrs de Winter first. Hill’s novel is set roughly ten years after Maxim and his second wife fled England when they returned to find Manderley in flames (as encouraged by Julyan), whereas Rebecca’s Tale is set twenty years later, and does follow on from the first. It’s nice to see that Beauman has actually read Hill’s novel and not decided to exclude everything she wrote for the sake of her own, but has actually brought certain aspects into it - there are brief mentions to things that happened ten years ago that if you’ve read the first, you’ll pick up on.
oh, i'm such a good child. i don't smoke, i don't drink and i don't do drugs. i don't sneak out to go partying. my grades are quite good. when i compare myself to those in my class..wow, i'm almost a role model. my parents must be so proud of me!
WHY DON'T I EVER SEE YOU STUDY? ALL YOU DO IS SIT ON THE INTERNET! YOU SHOULD LOOK AT OTHER STUDENTS! YOU DON'T EVEN HELP ME WITH ANYTHING! NO ONE IN THIS HOUSE CARES ABOUT HOW MUCH I HAVE TO DO! NONE OF YOU HELP ME! YOU ARE ALL SO UNGRATEFUL!
My Mum may have a point in that I don't do as much as I should around the house, but as for the rest of it...this is so accurate it scares me.
I think my brother may become his generation’s David Cameron.
He’s about to pick his A-Level options, and he’s considering law. Or at least contemplating it at university level (they don’t like you to do it at A-Level apparently, because they have to reteach you everything) and he’s a bit of a Conservative fan.
This amuses me, with half of his family being gay and very non-traditional, but he’s a fan of the man himself. Apparently, he likes some of his policies and he’s a good orator.
I pointed out that so was Hitler.
I apologise in advance if he becomes an arse-hole politician and screws the country up even more! Oh me of little faith!
I completed the antibiotics the hospital gave me about a week or so ago. I went to the doctors today and my infection - shock, horror - is back! So, back on another batch I go. These are smaller than my last ones but four a day rather than three. Yippee!!! This comes after having my bloods done on Monday, which I’m still awaiting the results for to see if I have some disease in my intestine (yay), and have to go back in 2 weeks for a check up to see if the antibiotics work. Oh, and I’m still in pain after the hospital gave me no answer as to what was wrong, so I have to have yet another doctor’s appointment to try and get them to finally give me the ultra sound they keep promising. Getting a little bored now. Sigh!
i went to middle school with the girl with the mohawk in the first picture!
I also don’t care if they are asexual, pansexual, or any other sexuality on the whole fucking planet.
I seriously couldn’t care less what sexuality or identity anyone is. It’s the way your born - being straight isn’t a choice, and neither is being LGBT or any other sexuality. As long as your happy, why should it matter?
Hi :) I've just read your post about La Cage, and, if I may, I'd like to make one or two comments: it's true that the musical is about a flamboyantly gay man, but there's another gay equally important: his partner, Georges. And Georges so does not fit the gay stereotype; and the gay stereotype Albin fits probably exists because he owns a gay gaudy nightclub. I really think that La Cage is more about the love than the characters themselves, more about their relationshio. Bye!
Completely fair comments - I’ve never seen the show so I can’t comment on it with experience, so it’s good to hear from someone who has. It’s a popular show so it’s got to have done something right. I guess it’s just not really my cup of tea. Sounds a bit Will & Grace - or Jack and Will, rather…one is gayer than the other, if that makes sense. I think it’s good that it’s more about their love, as you say, so in that respect it is teaching people to be accepting. I guess I just object to the fact that there has to be one of those flamboyantly gay characters to make it successful - that’s the kind of person people want to see, because the other gays are “boring”. So maybe it’s the fault of the audience, rather than the producers/writers who are just playing to what they like…but maybe it’s their responsibility to break away from that too? Thanks for the comment :)
There was an interesting discussion on Twitter yesterday between MusicalTalk and theatre fans about the representation of homosexuality in theatre. It was eye-opening to see what straight people loved compared to what gay people loved, and I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who doesn’t necessarily think that the big “gay” shows are a good representation of LGBT life.
Someone in the discussion mentioned how they had gone to see La Cage Aux Folles and had loved it. They were straight. Their gay friend, however, hated it. Knowing next to nothing about La Cage, apart from the fact that that god-awful song “I Am What I Am” is part of the score, I decided to look up the synopsis and see if I agreed with the straight or gay person. I can see where both party was coming from. On the one hand, we all love a bit of camp whether we’re gay, straight, bi, male or female, and this show would definitely provide that. But on the other hand, it sounds to me as though the show is making a bit of an exhibition of gay/trans people. I know a lot of people would probably lynch me for that, but what I mean is, the plot line is about a gay couple, a drag club and their son (or one of their sons, either/or) bringing over his fiances conservative parents to meet his Dad, who he needs to pretend to be straight in order to receive their approval. You can just see how it’s going to pan out, and that’s not my cup of tea. I must say that I do object in some ways to people writing musicals about our lives and struggles which they don’t necessarily know anything about. To be a real raging lesbian, I could say “If we want a musical, we’ll write one ourselves!” At least then if we portray ourselves as the stereotypes then that’s down to us. On that note, I cannot stand the sound of the character ZaZa - he/she has been described as flamboyantly gay in the synposis I looked at. Now, if that’s how someone is, then that’s fine…there are flamboyantly gay people out there, of course there are, but we are not all like that. We still seem to be portrayed in that way quite often, and this musical seems to make a big thing out of the FABULOUS, Darhling! Surely by making ZaZa the stereotype (which can be annoying and in your face) we’re basically telling small-minded people that they’re right to stereotype, and therefore, they can carry on being homophobic. And as far as “I Am What I Am” goes…of all the musical songs out there, this has to be one of the ones that I despise the most. Mostly because it’s overplayed and overused - when I went to university, I met a lot more gay people than just myself, and it was amazing to see how many of them had “I am what I am” on their Facebook somewhere. That was great and original when the song first came out, but just like when everyone got “carpe diem” tattooed to their bodies after Dead Poets Society, it lost its uniqueness. And I find the lyrics a bit…I don’t know what you’d call it…asking for trouble, maybe?: “I don’t want praise, I don’t want pity” - no, I agree, I don’t want either, and I think there are a lot of LGBT people who would agree too…but by writing a camp song defining yourself and how fabulous you are is just drawing that kind of attention to you, surely?
These overtly camp themes, these “omg I love drag queens/gay men, I want one as a best friend” ideas are what also puts me off of going to see Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. I guess in a way it’s still making us a minority - a somewhat cooler minority that people want to befriend and take home to their mums - and a bit of a circus act. When my Dad came out, people at school used to want to come round and see him because they thought he was like this. Actually, most people don’t know my Dad’s gay when they meet him. He hams it up because he likes a good audience, but most of the time he isn’t camp. So much was the attention that he received at school that I considered charging people to come and see him. That’s pretty much what we’re doing with these shows; pay to see the gays. People used to pay to see Erik Destler at the circus before he became the Phantom. Just saying…
An interesting qustion was asked that seemed to get left behind - how many musicals can you name that has a homosexual character/couple who the musical isn’t about? Or that the musical doesn’t make a big song and dance about due to their sexual preference or what clothes they like to wear? The person asked didn’t have an answer, and actually, neither did anyone else.
I’m a RENT fan, though I know there are a lot of people who can’t stand the show. I think this did pretty well at representing gay people, especially when you consider the time in which it was written; back then, it was still pretty radical to be liberal and accepting of gays/lesbians/bisexuals/trans or “faggots, lezzies, dykes, cross-dressers too” to quote. Not every character was gay (half and half admittedly), and it didn’t just center on their sexualities. The show, like Moulin Rogue, is a “story about love”, and the struggles these people encountered. I think it’s a reasonably fair representation of the time, and tackles some sensitive issues, especially with half of them also being HIV positive…but, impressive,y it’s not just the gay characters who suffer from this disease (huzzah!) I didn’t feel like this show was a “pay to see the gays” musical; it was about a group of friends made up of people from all walks of life which, once you grow up and move out, or go to uni, you find yourself a part of. You can identify with it far more than you can with a bus load of cross-dressers.
And just to throw it out there, I think the insinuations regarding sexuality in Wicked are pretty good too. No, I’m not about to go all “Defying Gravity” on you and say I identify with that song because I decided not to let the bullies “bring me down” *punches broom into the air*…I’m talking about good ol’ Gelphie. Yes, Elphaba runs off with Fiyero, yes Glinda is left alone, yes there is more Gelphie in the book than in the musical, but I think the subtlty in the musical should be commended. I’ve heard that McGuire has said that there is no defined sexuality in Oz, so it’s not ridiculous or inconceivable to say that something could have happened between Elphaba and Glinda. Unlike La Cage and Priscilla, a song and dance isn’t made about it. It’s hinted, it’s left up to the audience, but at the same time it plants the seeds of acceptance into the minds of young fans.
I would like to see more positive representations of the LGBT community in theatre - I’d like us to be characters who are part of the narrative as a son, a daughter, a friend…but maybe we live with our partner of the same sex…and it’s only something mentioned fleetingly…because that’s what real life is like - us gay people lead normal lives; we do all the normal, boring things straight people do, and have the same dramas straight people do, too - it’s not all about promiscuity, AIDS and feather boas.
The best representation I’ve ever seen of a gay character is Valerie in V For Vendetta - she plays an important role in the narrative, and is a lesbian. This is mentioned when her little autobiographical piece i found, but her story is an inspiration, a drive for Evie (straight) to survive. It’s not all about her, and it’s not all about her sexual preferences. It’s a shame it’s a film! Maybe we should be considering V: The Musical?
I realise I now sound like a raging militant lesbian, and that’s what I get for getting on my high horse about gay representation in theatre and ranting about a load of shows all in one go. But hey, it’s out there now!
Trying to cast an English version of Rebecca in my head. Can’t think of a Maxim. Want a guy who isn’t amazingly famous, which leaves me with no one. I know who I’d like for the roles of Mrs Danvers and “Ich”, but that’s it.
I think if it comes to England, it should be made up of actors and actresses who aren’t particularly famous. That said, the person I would consider casting as Mrs Danvers is quite theatrically famous, but certainly isn’t in every single show with an army of fans screaming at stage door.
Sadly, I know this won’t happen. If it comes to England, we’ll probably use the Broadway cast (excellent, a load of young fangirls licking Sierra Bogess’s face and stage-door whoring) or we’ll just cast famous English people.
This means someone like Earl Carpenter would be cast as Maxim. While I think he would be rather good, he’s famous in the theatre world and would bring all of the three phantoms fans to the yard, and they’ll be like “OMG EAAAAAARL HAVE MY BABIES!!!” and that makes me want to kill myself. That’s largely why I rarely stage door anymore.
I fangirl on tumblr over Pia Douwes and Lucy Scherer, but I couldn’t actually behave like that at stage door.
Why are we so god damn obsessed with stunt casting? There are plenty of people out there who are exceptionally talented and not ridiculously famous. Give them a chance, they’ll probably surprise everyone. The best performances I’ve seen have been from people who aren’t famous, and who are usually stuck at the back in the ensemble.
Whether I’d see Rebecca if it came to England with a star cast/without Pia Douwes I really don’t know…
"…After that came a walk along the coastal path that climbs up over the cliffs towards Gribbin Head. I followed the trail through tall beech hedges tangled with rain-soaked briar roses and honeysuckle, before the path dipped down into tiny Polridmouth Bay (pronounced Pridmouth). This is where Rebecca country begins. A notorious blackspot for shipwrecks, the bay had a strangely brooding atmosphere - perhaps because the weather was so bleak. The beach of slate-blue pebbles backed onto a waterfront lake, fed by a stream emerging from high above, from within the dark woods of the Menabilly estate. The only signs of habitation were a small cottage and boat house. This was the cottage where Rebecca held her romantic trysts, the boathouse from which she launched her sailing boat, and the bay where the scuttled craft was washed up.
The climb from Polridmouth Bay to the gates of Menabilly was to be my Road to Manderley….The ascent towards Menabilly was lovely. First I walked through another leafy tunnel of hedgerow and trees, with the wind whistling through the foliage all around me….To the right were the mysterious woods of Menabilly; to the left was the cheerful normality of Menabilly Barton farm…Menabilly itself remains out of sight, its ribbon drive winding tantalisingly into the woods. Privately occupied once again by the descendants of its original owners, du Maurier’s “house of secrets” has - perhaps fittingly - retreated back into itself. But, truly, it’s enough just to take the walk.” [A Cornish Romance, The Independent, Linda Cookson, 2007]
Menabilly is the name of the house which was the inspiration behind du Maurier’s Manderley. It was in 1943 that du Maurier aquired the lease for what she referred to as her house of secrets, though the novel was written before she and her family moved in.
I think in some ways it’s a shame that you can’t visit Menabilly; du Maurier is a national treasure, and internationally famous for her novels - especially Rebecca - and I think there would be a lot of interest in visiting to the house. That said, at the same time, I find it fitting that not only are you not able to visit it, you’re also unable to see it. Manderley is part of a ghost story, and by it not being accessable to the public, I think it maintains that gothic mystery; you can imagine it being shut off to the world, inhabited by no one but the ghosts of Rebecca and Mrs Danvers. You can imagine them roaming the gardens, the woods down to the beachhouse, can imagine them stood together at the window of the West Wing looking out at the sea. Perhaps, if you could visit, it would lose that magic and that power…like when a novel is turned into a film and the characters don’t match up to what you have in your head.
Maybe one day Menabilly will open its doors to the public, but until then I’m content with the annual du Maurier festivals, the “Rebecca Walk”, my copy of the novel and the various film and musical interpretations. Oh, and my imagination, of course!