Diary #5 – Under Circe’s Spell

I made a new discovery this week, BorrowBox, the audiobook lending service, which I’m hoping will help me get through my INSANELY huge TBR. I also visited the National Theatre for the first time in what feels like forever to see Under Milk Wood. I still haven’t finished any physical books and to be honest went through a bit of a reading slump, but listening to audiobooks has definitely helped.

Because I am due to start working in the office again soon, two days a week, I decided to look into Audible. I can now walk to work so can no longer read on the commute, that’s not a complaint by the way, I’m very happy about not having to cram myself onto sweaty humid trains anymore. So I thought my walk would be an excellent opportunity to listen to either books I don’t have with me in the flat or those I don’t own at all. For some reason I was under the illusion that Audible was like the Netflix of audiobooks, I did not realise that for £7.99 a month you get just one audiobook. You do get to keep it forever, but this just didn’t seem like a good fit for me. I remembered my friend telling me that the library offers audiobook loans online and you can borrow 7 at a time and return them as soon as you’re done with them to get more. I had a look into it and couldn’t believe how many recent titles were available, well a lot of them were on loan, but you get what I mean!

I couldn’t wait to start listening and chose Circe by Madeline Miller for my first listen. I absolutely raced through it in a couple of days. I was completely captivated by the beautiful writing and the wonderful way in which the story was brought to life my Perdita Weeks. Circe’s story is not one I was familiar with apart from in Percy Jackson so it was lovely to hear a new (to me) Greek story that weaved in and out of the ones I was more familiar with. It was also obviously incredibly refreshing to hear these tales from a female perspective!

Next up is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky which I am actually already over half way through!

Thursday June 24th:

I still can’t quite believe that it’s possible to visit the theatre again so I was beyond excited to go to the National Theatre to see Under Milk Wood on Thursday. There was of course a little bit of COVID protocol, but it was over quickly and being inside the building felt wonderful.

I’ve not read any Dylan Thomas so all I knew to expect was a story about a sleepy Welsh village with the main role being played by Micheal Sheen. I enjoyed the show, but if I’m completely honest I felt it was somewhat lost on me. There were some beautiful passages of language and lots of jokes and brought everyone to laughter, but the nature of the story requires constant attention which I found quite difficult to maintain. This in part was due to a positive reason, there was always something happening on stage with the supporting cast, either those that were involved in the present action or those in the background extending their characters. This made for a wonderfully rich visual, especially considering the stage was circular with no major set pieces, but it meant I was constantly distracted from the main story.

I can almost hear Thomas fans yelling at me through the screen, to which I will say I am definitely still interested in reading Under Milk Wood as I think I’ll get more out of it this way. Also I’d like to add that I don’t think this is down to anything being done badly and I did still really enjoyed myself, I just wished there had been pauses and changes in pace that would have helped me to keep up with the story.

The acting was wonderful, each character completely defined with characteristics and costume, supported by a deceptively simple set of tables and chairs that were wheeled on and off stage with secret hinges that turned an empty desk into a fully laid dinning table. Although it may not have been one of my favourite plays of all time I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was wonderful to be back in front of a stage again.

Have you been back to the theatre yet? What have you seen and would you recommend it?

Published by The Page and the Stage

A girl writing about the things she loves to do most - read and go to the theatre Recommendations and requests welcome

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