Preview: Eurovision Song Contest 2017 (Semi-final 2)

EurovisionStageKiev2017So here we are again. I hope you’ve adequately recovered from the triumphs, trials and tribulations of the first semi-final. Personally I’m still getting over the loss of Finland (one of my favourites this year) and Montenegro (how on earth did Slavko – basically Eurovision in human form – not go through?!). But rather than dwelling on the sadnesses of semi-final 1 I’m reminding myself that we have Azerbaijani man-horse-stepladder to look forward to again on Saturday, along with lovely Salvador from Portugal. So it’s onwards to my preview of what to look out for during semi-final 2! Continue reading

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Preview: Eurovision Song Contest 2017 (Semi-final 1)

Eurovision-2017-Celebrate-Diversity-logo-5-7

Guys. GUYS. It’s that time of year again. The time of year when we willingly sit around the TV watching a baffling array of singers we’ve never heard of performing songs we’d never normally listen to, followed by several hours of voting during which endless countries lay bare their astonishingly bad taste in music, or their neighbourly affiliations, or their political hostilities… or all of the above. It’s Eurovision Song Contest time! And I for one could not be more excited! Continue reading

Review: Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (Semi-final 2)

© JessicaGow/AFP/Getty
© JessicaGow/AFP/Getty

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…

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Review: Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (Semi-final 1)

Eurovision_Song_Contest_2016_logo-sm-blCan 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.

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Review: The Pianist of Willesden Lane (St James Theatre)

PianistWillesdenLane-AlastairMuir
© Alastair Muir

SheSeesStars: ★★★★☆

A couple of friends spotted this show, which is currently playing at the St James Theatre near Victoria, and invited me to go along with them. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about it, but reading the blurb on the theatre website it sounded an interesting prospect. I’m so glad I took a chance on it and joined my friends – it was a beautiful and very emotional night at the theatre.

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Review: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Semi-final 2)

© ORF/Roman Zach-Kiesling
© ORF/Roman Zach-Kiesling

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.

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Review: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Semi-final 1)

Eurovision-Austria-2015-sm-blI 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!

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