Maybe I’ve fallen out of love with the West End.

I have always loved theatre, I attend a drama school for crying out loud- that’s taken as a given. I first came to London’s west end at the tender age of 7, and the sheer scale of the production (Hairspray) had me hooked like an alcoholic. I saw Wicked the year after that and then Mamma Mia, Grease, Singing in the Rain, Lion King, Chicago, Blood Brothers… Each on satisfying and drawing me in deeper into this theatre obsession. I took part in plays, and musicals with the local ‘am-drams’ and used drama at school to satisfy my cravings for song, dance, costumes and set.

Since moving to London I have seen several lower budget productions at a tenner or less, ‘Merchant of Vembley’ (The Cockpit), ‘Germ-Free adolescence.’ (at CSSD) and ‘Trainspotting’ (King’s Head) to name a few. They have made me think, and drawn me in with two or three pieces of set, no more than 6 or 7 actors and basic costume that didn’t take my breath away- but it didn’t matter. I felt more enriched and enthused walking out of the theatre (or studio) than I had for a long time- like an addict needing harder or larger quantities I find I need theatre that provokes me, and makes me think rather than simply entertaining, or presenting me with a simple story and a happy ending. Upon leaving Wicked for the second time I still sang the songs and discussed the actors and actresses, the sound and way the audience reacted, just as I usually do when leaving a show now. But it didn’t make my chest swell with excitement and inspiration like it had the first time- yes it gave me goosebumps but I missed the kick, the will to go back- the spark. It was at that moment I realised that maybe I have fallen out of love with the West End- maybe this is the end of my childhood, maybe it’s a growing up thing- but I’ll let you know if that’s true in a few years time.

-Kim

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First Thoughts

When your really fucking shocked about how much the world needs feminism.

 

My name is Kirsty. I am a cisgender, ‘straight’ (hate that word) heterosexual, 18 year old woman. And I am really fucking angry.

 

Sorry about the swearing, normally I kick off when people use curse words in written prose, but sometimes only one of these will suffice to verbalise your inner anger.

 

Today something happened. Something a bit too close to home for me to appreciate until a good few hours after it happened. I am quite open about how very single I am at this particular moment in time, and really quite cynical and sarcastic about that fact. Why am I single? `I’m 6 foot tall and my legs are 3 foot long, I am blonde and take great pride in my winged eyeliner every day. It sort of creates who I am. But I am fully aware that I am a challenging personality. I’m as stubborn as an ass, and it takes a lot for someone to change my mind if its set on an opinion, or an action I am going to take. I’m loud, clumsy and sometimes completely miss the point… But I’ve got a bloody big heart and am a hopeless romantic when the occasion arises. But I am sick, and I mean sick to death for being taken as a sexual object, because I have D cup breasts and a vagina.

 

It feels too much like girls and women are beaten down to the ground, as a sort of cultural ritual – being told by society, by so called friends, family members and social media, the press that they are not beautiful. Lose weight, make your tits bigger, lips bigger, waist smaller, hair longer, hair blonder, hair darker, hair shorter, voice higher, height shorter, height taller, shorten your skirt, lengthen your skirt. And take the seat on the tube when the ‘gentlemen’ offers it up. That annoys me – and saddens me. They only think they’re being polite. And sometimes I do really want that seat (say I’ve done an 8 hour shift waiting wine, or if I am on my way to my second rehearsal of the day – or am just a little bit hungover) but under no circumstances do I expect it.

 

I try to love humanity and humankind. Were pretty cool like, we’ve done some pretty awesome stuff. But at the same time we’re really, really thick. Weve forgotten about some of the most fundamental stuff that makes us human. That not everyone is submissive into sexual activity as easily as others choose, or are forced to be. Consent is a two way street kids. Don’t make me feel guilty mate, you have a lass and maybe if she wasn’t there I would feel differently – because it is nice to be told your attractive once in a while – but I’m not gonna get in the way of a relationship I was never part of originally.

 

Which brings me back to my original point – yes (I stray from the point a lot) – that women are ground down from too young an age to believe that they are really quite worthless without another humans verbal blessing. Why? Why this when we are living in an age where third wave feminism is a thing? I’m sick of it. I am not an object, and I need to learn to accept myself for the body, personality and human that I am. This needs to change. Cause it annoys me.