Spurred on by my blog receiving its first ever visits from readers in the Czech Republic, Croatia and Armenia (and The Gambia!?) after Semi-final number 1, I’m back with a round-up of Semi-final number 2! I found Tuesday’s first semi a bit underwhelming, finding it tricky to pick even 10 out of the 18 songs that I thought deserved to qualify. I guessed that Moldova, Croatia, the Netherlands, Armenia, Russia, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Iceland, Malta and Bosnia would qualify. Of my picks, 7/10 made the cut, with Moldova, Iceland and Bosnia losing out to Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. Anyway, based on Tuesday’s slightly disappointing offerings, I had high hopes that the songs drawn in Thursday’s semi-final would bring a bit more interest, musical flair and, ideally, hilarity to the proceedings…
Can you believe it’s already been a year since the last Eurovision Song Contest? Some would say it’s come around again far too quickly, but not me. I LOVE it. Even the awful stuff. Especially the awful stuff. Eurovision would be on twice a year if I was in charge. This year’s Contest is taking place in Stockholm after Måns Zelmerlöw stormed to victory for Sweden last year with the absolute corker Heroes, and this blog provides a sideways glance at the songs featured in the first semi-final.
This time last year, I was sipping champagne on the Royal Opera House outdoor terrace prior to perching (literally) on my high-chair seat to enjoy the 2015 Oliviers ceremony. This year, unfortunately, having not had the same privilege of being a panellist for the Awards, I am instead lounging on my sofa and have to wait, like the majority of the theatre-loving world, to watch the highlights on TV later tonight. However, a fellow 2015 panellist and I couldn’t quite resist the temptation to rustle up our own predictions for who will win this year’s Awards…
The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in South Kensington is one of my favourite places to visit in London. The museum is home to a huge variety of galleries full of gorgeous stuff, from furniture to fashion and sculptures to silverware. Since I enjoy going there anyway, I was excited to learn last year that the Theatre & Performance galleries were going to host a new exhibition in 2016, timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Olivier Awards.
Since I’d like to maintain a modicum of credibility for this blog of mine, I probably shouldn’t publicly admit to watching the X Factor… but I do (when I’m not at the theatre on a Saturday night, obviously). Nobody’s perfect, after all. And it’s a couple of recent comments by new judge/mentor Nick Grimshaw that have inspired me to write this short post in praise of musical theatre singers.
My post on Tuesday night about the first Eurovision semi-final was pretty popular, so I’m back with another one about the second semi-final. Hurrah, I hear you cry from all corners of Europe! (Truth be told I would’ve written this anyway, but I’m very glad someone’s reading.) In tonight’s blog, after a round-up of the semi, you also get a special bonus feature: my thoughts on the performances of the ‘Big 5’ countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), plus our Austrian hosts (who I suspect don’t have designs on holding the party again next year) and the intercontinental Aussie gatecrashers.
I bloody love Eurovision. To me, it’s an event still unique in the world in its bizarre, camp, multinational wonderfulness. The more people say ‘I don’t get it.’ or ‘But it’s crap!’, the more wonderful I’m convinced it is. I also think that although it’s not traditional ‘theatre’, there’s a lot of theatricality about the whole thing. For these reasons, I’m afraid I’m going to blog about it. If you’re not a fan, feel free to ignore my next couple of blog posts – but rest assured that normal service will be resumed shortly afterwards!