Monday, 31 August 2015

The Reviews Hub: 'Extravaganza at Exeter Phoenix' (27 Aug 2015)

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub 

Devised: The Company
Reviewer: Christy Ku

Four men, two unicycles, one unitard. Le Navet Bete and their troupe of modern clowns bring out their craziest show again.

A company in residence at the Phoenix Arts Centre, the stage is their home. They become unruly adolescents whose parents are away for a holiday, opening the house for a madcap party. To warm up the crowd, Hans wanders among the seats and the bar, greeting everyone. He does a fantastic job – with his charisma, the audience connects with him immediately and feels comfortable. This later becomes crucial due to the amount of audience participation in this show – expect to be serenaded at some point.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Writing Update #13

Contain your excitement - this writing update is actually going out on time.

I've written SO MUCH! Here's a run down:
  • Finished a poem, currently reworking an old one and working on a new one. I've signed up to compete in my university's poetry slam (my first ever one) so I'm both excited and terrified. I'll try and record my performance(s) to share. 
  • Screen scripts; I've been working on a series and I just need to finish off all the drafts. If all goes well, it'll be made but that won't be for several months. Also, I have an idea for a satire on student politics, but that depends on if I can work with a team of writers - felt this wasn't a one person job. 
  • Radio scripts: I'm revamping the old jazz cafe idea (again). I've stripped it down (again) as I think I've finally found a way for it to work. More on that another time. 
Lots of writing makes me happy. Although, now there's a little voice saying my drive will soon run out and I'll be lying on the floor making carpet angels of uninspired misery. Thanks dude. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

The Student Journal, Review: 'The Honeymoon Hotel' by Hester Browne

Originally published on The Student Journal, November 2014.

Christy Ku reviews The Honeymoon Hotel by Hester Browne: 'predictable but fabulous'.

Welcome to the Bonneville Hotel, a former refuge for royalty and movie stars. Full of beautiful suites, ballrooms and a glamorous history, the hotel is being transformed into the wedding venue with the work of Events Manager, Rosie. Focused and ambitious, she tries to live her ideal London life. She has a respected food critic, Dominic, as a boyfriend and is in charge of the biggest, high-profile wedding the hotel has ever seen; there's nothing to stop her. Until, of course, she stumbles across a half-naked man in the honeymoon suite; Joe, the eccentric and outspoken son of the hotel owner...

The Honeymoon Hotel was the perfect book to be reading on the train home after attending a London wedding show with my sisters (the eldest is to be married, Miss Austen). Upon reading the blurb, I was worried that it would have a generic business-woman chick-lit plot. We know what that is: the typical ‘I-have-no-time-my-for-own-love-life’ female protagonist suddenly meets the gorgeous (but annoying) guy and they argue for every chapter...until they ultimately end up together. The plot was exactly that, and entirely predictable. And it was utterly fabulous.
We know what’s going to happen in the story. Browne addresses the problem of this clichéd plot commonly found in so many similar books by challenging it in the very first paragraph of chapter one; “People make a lot of assumptions about wedding planners. Either we’re hopeless romantics (I’m not). Or we’re terminal singletons (I live with my boyfriend)”. She sets the story up to be different, but ultimately it falls back into the typical plot line anyway. But, everything is written and created so amusingly that it makes the book such a fun read.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Writing Update #12

Haven't done one in a while, so let's go!

  • I've set myself a target of writing 5 scripts this summer - I've written 3 so far. One was for radio, a sci-fi set in space and the other two are for TV; a series of Halloween themed sketches and another one set in the future where clean air is a commodity.
  • Still writing for The Public Reviews, been going to Edinburgh previews and providing feedback for companies before they went up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sadly, I'm too southern and poor to go up there. 
  • I've had an idea for a novel for a very long time, and I've finally started on it. As it's early days, I won't disclose too much, as new ideas are always fragile. But, I'm announcing that it exists so I commit to it. 

  • My uni's male acapella group, Semi-Toned are really good. One of my friends is in it, and their mash-up of Rich Man by Gwen Stefani and  Eve & Fiddler on the Roof currently has over 55,000 views on YouTube. They won Overall UK University Champions at this year's Voice Festival and are selling out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Check them out:

Real Life and Other Nonsense
  • I have a real job now! I work in an office and basically help everyone. Lots of filing and photocopying. Paper cuts sustained: 2. 
  • Suffering from envy as everyone is going to Summer In The City or Edinburgh Fringe. 
  • Been playing around with shooting videos and editing, so look out for things related to that!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Exeposé Features: 'Waxwork Zoella in Madame Tussauds: Has YouTube fame gone too far?'

Originally published on Exeposé Online, 5 May 2015. Click the image to read the full article.

Christy Ku shares her thoughts on YouTube fame and to what extent it is truly deserved…
1 May 2015 marked ten years of YouTube. This video sharing platform has transformed many people’s lives, becoming a place to share music, original films, videos of animals – and has allowed the rise of the ‘vlogger’ (video blogger).

Vloggers generally earn money through ad revenue (the bigger the view count, the more money earnt), and occasionally through sponsorship with companies. For many, the income earned from what started as a hobby has become enough for vlogging to be their full-time job. Notable British vloggers include Dan Howell (danisnotonfire), Phil Lester (AmazingPhil), Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe) and of course, his big sister Zoe Sugg (Zoella) and her boyfriend Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog).
Vlogging has also given YouTubers many different opportunities including their own merchandise, presenting on Radio 1, launching makeup ranges and securing book deals – you may have heard of Sugg’s notorious ghost-written debut book.
Now, Sugg’s and Deyes’ fame is being cemented (well, melted and moulded) in the form of wax figures for Madame Tussauds in London. The same criticisms are surfacing again: “Do they really deserve this kind of – or any – fame?” “Why don’t they get a real job?” “Aren’t they all just rich white kids with a camera?” It’s just like old people tutting at kids these days with their new gadgets.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Exeposé Music, Album Review - 'Emilie Nicolas – Like I’m a Warrior'

Originally published on Exeposé Online, 7 July 2015. Click the image to read the full article.

With its release due this Tuesday, Christy Ku reviews the latest release from rising Norwegian vocalist and composer, Emilie Nicolas, Like I’m A Warrior. 
“Don’t call me lazy, I go down on him daily”

Emilie Nicolas
Like I’m A Warrior
RCA, 7 July 2015

“It will get stormy”, Emilie Nicolas croons angelically on the opening track to her upcoming debut album Like I’m a Warrior. Tipped to be the next big thing in Scandinavia, and with stamps of approval from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Greg James, her ice-cool sound is coming to the UK shores. 

Grown Up - Emilie Nicolas

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Exeposé Music, Interview - 'An Interview with David Craft'

Originally published on Exeposé Online, 27 Nov 2014. Click the image to read the full article.

Could you tell us about yourself and your music? How did you get into it and what influences your work?
I’m a songwriter from the hills of Perth, Western Australia. I think growing up in a small town shielded me a bit from the commercialism and capitalism of the modern world which taught me a lot about appreciating timeless music and art. I spent most of my youth listening to old folk and blues records, which I think still shines through the songs I write today.

How do you feel about winning the Best Folk Act award from WAM?

I’ve spent most of my life admiring folk music and the history of folk in general so it feels pretty nice to be considered a “folk singer”. Folk music to me is songs about people and sharing ideas. I try to execute those exact qualities in my songwriting. Sometime I fail and sometimes it works.

Smokey Lungs and Dirty Puns

Saturday, 8 August 2015

First Impressions: BB Seaweed, Fresh Face Mask from Lush

I'm in love, I'm obsessed.

The very nice lady in Lush recommended this one to me after I described my skin type (sensitive, dry and I'm currently having a little outbreak across my face).

Key ingredients in this little pot of magic:

  • Seaweed - strengthens and revitalises.
  • Honey - an antiseptic, which is super important as keeping your skin clean and healthy will prevent infection and help the spots go away.
  • Aloe vera - soothing. Basically in every soothing/sensitive skin product ever. 
  • Rose - moisturises and it smells gawjus.