‘Let The Right One In’ happened. And now my theatre brain is in overdrive.

Having spent the past five years making (and critiquing) theatre, I’ve found myself hardening to the standard forms and techniques of the craft. Be it textually, visually, or mentally, my brain autopilots on the dissection and analysis of a show, despite a production’s best efforts to capture my emotional response, often taking both inspiration and offense from a show, at least creatively. It is rare, therefore, that I find myself in this theatrical coma that is currently occupying my mind.

The last show to affect my brain in this way was early last year, at the Trafalgar Studios during their Trafalgar Transformed season. Jamie Lloyd has, for several years now, been high on my top Directors to aspire to list, and his dystopian staging of ‘Macbeth’ was easily the most breath-taking production of The Scottish play (or any Shakespeare for that matter) that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Taking it back several years, Michael Strassen’s production of ‘The Fix’ at The Union Theatre was equally awe-inspiring. With powerful imagery and slick physicality, Strassen’s shows consistently combine beautiful aesthetics with gut-wrenching vulnerability.

This week, I was lucky enough to experience something entirely new.

The Swedish cult classic, ‘Let The Right One In’ (adapted for stage by Jack Thorne), has been transformed into a compelling and exhilarating performance. Beautifully staged, with exhilarating physicality, Director John Tiffany transports his audience into an emotional limbo, unable to respond coherently to the brutal love story strewn, bloodstained, before us. With real trees stretching high into the lighting rig, and a heavy snow frosting covering the stage, even the air-conditioned atmosphere of the auditorium kept up appearances in this chilling performance.

My view. The cast crossed the stage pre-show to create a maze of footsteps through the snow.

My view. The cast crossed the stage pre-show to create a maze of footsteps through the snow.

Haunting. Breath-taking. A soul-crushing portrayal of adolescence and existential anxiety, complete with murder, paedophilia, and vampires.

The weightlessness of the cast’s physicality, accompanied by a heavy, echoing soundtrack creates a visceral image that questions everything you think you know about the human body and it’s limits. Rebecca Benson’s performance as ‘Eli’ is alone enough of a reason to see this show. Her haunting vocal work and exquisite physicality manage to bounce between horrifying and helpless; her staccato twitching screams and writhes like an exorcism gone painfully wrong, whilst her flawless fluidity creates a terrifying ability to glide across the stage and scale the trees without second thought. It is, however, the glint in her eye that was the most exceptional aspect of Benson’s performance, both menace and dead at the same time, she captures the true essence of the Eli’s vulnerability; trapped, a victim within the ruthless killing machine of her predatory nature. Equally, in his professional debut, Martin Quinn carries the only warmth of the show, just as ‘Oskar’ carries the weight of the world in his naïve shoulders, encompassing the ever-optimistic nature of a troubled child who just hopes to find the good in the world. And in the pool scene, well, I won’t spoil it, but I was equally as breathless.

Benson as 'Eli'.

Benson as ‘Eli’.

New to this story, I was unprepared for the brutality of truth behind every idea it poses. Of humanity, of childhood, of morality and trust. It, and in particular this production, manages to suck the life out of your every idea of love, and then rip out your soul for good measure, before offering the simplest and most beautiful of ideas: love doesn’t care. Raising questions of sexuality (“What if I’m not in love with a girl?”), gender (“Would you love me if I wasn’t a girl?”), and identity (“I’m [just] Eli.”), we find ourselves in a hopeful place as the final sequence ends. Although it proves difficult not to taste the bittersweet foreshadowing of the previous two hours, and only hope that life won’t simply repeat for Oskar and Eli.

The tranquillity of the set, the beauty of the movement, the innovative staging and stunning, horrifying death sequences. From hanging, to blood work, to drowning, to free falling, with each scene I found myself convinced that I had seen it all. And John Tiffany’s production just kept raising the level of theatre. I’d never sat unable to comprehend the beauty of the show I’d just seen; attempting to fight back the tears streaming down my face, as audience left around me; struggling to find the right way to express the feelings taking over my brain and limbs before seeing this show. It’s worked its way into my twisty brain and taken route amongst the theatre making cogs, taken on a whirlwind of words and images and mind twinges inside my head and gut. My own ramblings no longer make sense to my own brain, and no doubt don’t do the haunting of this show the justice it deserves. Do yourself a favour, and book a ticket now.

‘Let The Right One In’ is the most breath-taking, awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching, soul-destroying piece of theatre I have ever seen. And I can’t wait to try and make a show anywhere near as beautiful.

 

Let The Right One In. The Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London.

http://www.apollotheatrelondon.co.uk/let-the-right-one-in/

The perils of writing: When you are, in fact, not a writer.

I am forever finding articles, opinions, and endless lists of how to kick-start that dreaded bastard known as writer’s block. Methods to trick your brain into writing without thinking about it. Suggestions of writing, quite literally, without thinking or reading until you are entirely dry of words. Attempts to ignore that irritating little voice in the forefront of your mind telling you that actually the use of “stupid” is as stupid as you currently look (with your face scrunched into a concentrated frown, tip of tongue poking between your teeth, and last night’s dinner still staining your t-shirt), and encouraging a process of self-correction as you go. Something I personally struggle to escape from (even with a clean t-shirt).

Another option is to, quite simply, just write. Write anything. Write everything. Do whatever you can to allow those words the breath of life as they appear on the page before you. They don’t have to make the perfect of sense. They don’t have to form coherent sentences. They can simply be word after word of gibberish nonsense. As soon as they’re written, so they say, you will feel better.

I’m finding an interesting collaboration of these suggestions to be true. Whilst, yes, I am unlikely to ever shake that nagging voice of correction and on going editing, I am also finding that writing is, believe it or not, handy. It’s almost as if it is its own breed of ironic procrastination. In an attempt to hide from the pressures of an inability to write the words I need to write, I am instead finding solitude in the meaningless, the random, the unnecessary. Regardless of this fact, I have indeed managed to trick my bitchy little brain into simply writing for writing’s sake. With no deadline, no boundaries, no structure, format, or outline.

I am not a writer. I have never intended to be, nor have I ever pretended to be, a writer. And yet I frequently find myself assuming role of writer. Be it through personal or business matters, writing, it would appear, is a part of my life. Despite this, I am in a constant battle with both the need for inspiration and the challenge of having too many thoughts. It is becoming a challenge to grasp those floating thoughts and ideas and merge them with a kick-arse selection of words, that not only make sense, but make an interesting, occasionally witty, and always coherent argument/message/narrative. So instead, I just am writing. Anything. Everything. Without thought.

Just another me-against-the-world kind of Monday

Today has been one of those days where everything points to one very clear, very vivid, very ridiculous thought: It’d probably be much easier if I were someone else. Someone taller. Someone more popular. Someone with money. Someone in a better situation than I find myself. Someone in a worse situation than I find myself. Someone who just doesn’t give a shit. Someone who cares enough to do something about it. Someone, in other words, who isn’t me.

As I suggested, a ridiculous notion. But a very apparent, very real concern for a lot of people. A lot of the time. The arts industry is one that is constantly surrounded by horror stories of clashing egos, crushed souls, and bitch after demonic bitch of power-hungry “creative types” (I’m allowed to say that, I am frequently placed in the demonic psycho bitch category myself). There are forever stories being churned out about a small-town boy or girl that managed to defy the odds and make it in the larger world, but there are rarely stories pointing out the other tens of thousands of equally driven, equally ambitious, and equally talented individuals that are just looking to make their own successes. And who will, no doubt, be unlikely to make it out of that small town.

That sounds harsh. It sounds rude, and judgmental, and unsupported, and, I suppose you’d be right in suggesting, bitter. But I am one of those tens of thousands. I am one in a very large pool of twenty-somethings trying to claw their way into the terrifying depths of the industry known as The Arts. And not just any art, but Theatre. One so elite and prestigious and god-damn-difficult-to-break, that it’s (let’s be honest) the cause of many an anxiety attack, heavy medication prescription, and psychotic breakdown for many a person over many a year. Equally, one so promising, so full of opportunity, and, on occasion, such an incredible showcase for talent and passion and mind-blowing creativity.

It wasn’t my intent to attack the theatre. Without it I have absolutely no idea where the craziness on the other side of my skull would find it’s refuge. I simply wonder how it can be such an unrivaled location for creative brain explosions, whilst achieving a stifling and unwilling environment for non-veterans, non-names, non-financially-supported-individuals.

I am bitter, I’ll admit. I am also determined, ambitious, passionate, and (most of the time) driven. Today has simply been one of those days where my brain suggests that it could possibly all be simpler if I were someone else. However, as my clock states, it’s no longer today. Now it’s tomorrow. And tomorrow is a sort-your-shit-out kind of day. One that doesn’t accept resentment, self-deprecation, or any other form that fear decides to take. Tomorrow is a dragon slaying kind of day. And dragons shall indeed be slayed.

Painting Faces again.

Despite the stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, high-levels of caffeine, and inability to have a normal/successful social life, there is something about the arts that keeps us coming back. By ‘us’ I am of course referring to the addicts. The crazy few who spend days/weeks/months feeling restless and wander around completely numb, as though missing a limb when we should be relaxing and enjoying time away from the stress of the theatre. Those of us who drop everything at the click of a finger to fling ourselves headfirst into any opportunity to have even the slightest involvement in a production.

In my final year of studies I found myself directing the University’s musical. It was stressful. It was exhausting. It almost definitely had a negative affect on my final grade. It was probably the best thing I did in the entire three years I spent there.

This week I get to relive the thrill of a University musical. Having been eagerly awaiting Sussex University’s production of Spring Awakening for the past 5 months, I agreed last week to come on board as go-to hair and makeup lady. In the truly unconventional style that I approach pretty much everything in life with however, I cannot attend all 5 of the performances. Therefore, I got to spend yesterday giving tutorials on mid-1800 au naturale style stage makeup, teach college boys how to successfully apply eyeliner without looking emo, and create fail-safe plans to hold extreme hair styles in place under stage lights and through vigorous dance routines. This, my friends, is why I love theatre.

I wish I’d gone to Edinburgh.

There, I’ve said it. Although, somehow, just putting it into tangible words doesn’t make me feel any less gutted about the fact that I’m not there. As a lover of ‘All Things Theatre’ (I have the housemate to thank for that glorious phrase), just the feeling of rubbing shoulders with fellow performance fiends is something I crave. To then be able to watch, critique, and on occasion perform alongside them is a (not-so) secret inner desire.

I caught the Edinburgh Fringe bug two years ago, the summer after my first year of uni, and, despite my degree and life ambitions being heavily theatre based, I haven’t managed to make it back. Yet.

That first summer I was up there purely as a spectator. A spectator with seriously limited funds, but with a wide-eyed ‘oh-my-gosh-I’ve-never-seen-so-many-creative-arty-minds-all-in-one-condensed-place-before’ attitude. I saw far too much comedy for my own personal liking, albeit not awful, and somehow managed to avoid all forms of serious/contemporary/experimental/undefined-genre theatre or performance. My preferred style. (Note: My degree has brainwashed me to a level where I can no longer simply write ‘theatre’, ‘drama’, or ‘play’ without following it with ‘or performance’. The same goes for ‘stage’, followed by ‘or space’. Gotta love the pretentious approach of the contemporary-theatre student, eh?)

Last year an alternative theatre-based activity (alongside a full-time job) prevented me from making the trek up to Scotland. Whilst spending several weeks helping to prepare 150 8-18 year olds in their production of Guys and Dolls was a fantastic experience (and has ensured that I will never work with school children ever), it wasn’t quite the same as sitting watching various housemates and friends perform in numerous shows and sketches at the Fringe.

This year my inner theatre-magnet was yet again foiled, this time by a fortnight escape from the country book-ended by the dreaded task of moving house. Again, whilst a whole array of my favourites are busy frolicking around in the land of the rain, and soaking in every aspect of the theatre (be it enjoyable or exhausting).

Next year I intend to be there with them. Or by myself if for some ungodly reason they all decide not to make the trek next year. I have to be there. In fact I give you all permission to throw things at me if I’m not.

Whilst I’m not there (and I’m regularly kicking myself for not just jumping on the next train up to Scotland), there are many a fantastic troupe (and many a fantastic friend) who are. So if you happen to be in Edinburgh, or on your way there for the final week, I implore you to check out the following:

Theatre. Sometimes physical, always pretty:

Witness Theatre’s ‘The Darkroom

Belt Up’s ‘A Little Princess‘, ‘The Boy James‘, ‘Outland

Rhum and Clay’s ‘A Strange Wild Song

Comedy. Dark and Twisty, or Irish charm:

Casual Violence’s ‘A Kick In The Teeth

Foil, Arms and Hog’s ‘Late Night Sketch Comedy

Dance. Physical theatre. All male group:

Edge FWD’s ‘A Beautiful Hell’

The theatre bug is back.

I didn’t sleep well last night. For someone like me, who struggles sleeping at the best of times, this was fairly irritating. However, for someone like me, who is constantly trying to come up with new ideas for theatre/performance/pretty things, it wasn’t so bad. What can I say? The theatre bug is back.

For a good six months (Sept-Feb.) I massively struggled with the sleep thing. Partly because of my daily caffeine intake, but mainly due to the fact that my mind refused to switch off. I was constantly having fights with my mind over the practicality vs. the prettiness of fairy lights and scaffolding towers and candles-in-jars and various costume ideas etc etc etc. I was in full ‘Rent’ mode. I had dreams about lighting rigs, and nightmares about stretchy white sheets. I ate/slept/breathed the show, the songs, and everything in-between. My lack of focus towards anything else (I would like to think) paid off and I was able to completely devote my brain to my degree once February had finished and I was no longer in full-blown musical mode.

Now, however, I haven’t had anything like this on my mind for a few months. Sure I had to do the degree thing – a final year performance, 3 dissertations. Y’know, the usual. But I didn’t feel my mind opening up all the nooks and crannies of crazy and experimental in the same way that it had with ‘Rent’. Not even close. Not until last night.

I literally couldn’t sleep. Everytime my eyes closed my mind would jump into a new scenario, new idea, new colours, new cast sizes, new sound montages – all for a tiny little speck of an idea that has only really been vaguely discussed. My mind likes it anyhow. The bloody thing forced me to stay awake and scribble page after page of pencil drawings and 3 word notes that no longer make sense to my conscious and awake brain: “Kneel. Fab. v/o.” Not to mention the fact that this was all scribbled by phone light as I couldn’t bring myself to jump out of the warmth of bed and turn on a light. Not at 2 o’clock in the morning.

I think the mind’s trying to tell me something. Despite being on holiday, I’m ready to throw myself into all-things-theatre. All over again.

Peter Pan. Who knew he’d inspire my future…

Growing up. It’s a terrifying prospect. When you’re a kid you’re brought up to befriend J M Barrie’s epitome of never-growing-up: Peter Pan. You want to be this boy. You want to go to Neverland, and fight pirates, and learn to fly, and never never ever have to grow up and gain responsibilities. Some people never grow out of this mindset. They do eventually take on board their responsibilities and dress in a suit and tie day-in day-out, but they never lose that feeling of resentment towards the fact that they had to lose that innocence of childhood. That undeniably amazing feeling when you don’t have a worry in the world and get to spend hours on end in your imagination. Too many people have grown up to resent that. Occasionally there are people who decide to channel this desire to never grow up. Who use their childish dreams and imagination to fuel their adult existence. I’m hoping to be one of these people.

It’s strange because when I actually *was* a child I wasn’t all that adventurous. I’ve probably become more of a child in the past three years since being technically adult than I ever was before I turned double-figures. I’ve discovered an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs and rubber ducks, I have a constant desire to paint people’s faces, and I really really want to go on a bear hunt. More than that though, I feel like I finally *get* my imagination. Sure, it’s dark and twisty, and (more often than not) really fucking bizarre. But at the same time it’s conceptual in it’s oddities, and it has the potential to be breath-takingly beautiful – provided that I can somehow work it out of my head and into something malleable. Something literal and physical.

This right here is why I know that I need to make theatre. I don’t have the overwhelming need to be a performer like many people. I don’t feel like my life would be incomplete if I never again experienced the adrenaline of standing before an audience and receiving their applause for my ability to be another character, or for my ability to hit several notes on-key. I do however feel like I would be empty if I was unable to make pretty things. (And yes I’m aware that that’s quite possibly the girliest thing I’ve ever admitted to, but it’s true.) I do have an overwhelming desire to take tiny insignificant thoughts and ideas and turn them into something that someone else can perform. I do crave the agonising stress that comes with putting a show together – I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely thrive off the back of pressure and high-stress situations. And the knowledge that I can potentially make new worlds through the form of theatre? It’s enough to make me never want to do anything else ever again.

Theatre makes me happy because I can create worlds from my mind. Theatre makes actors happy because they can become another person for a couple of hours. Theatre makes audiences happy because they can sit and forget about their own lives for a little while. Theatre allows you to revert to that childhood mindset of absorption into a world outside of your own. And that makes me bloody happy. So bloody happy.

Singing assassins? Seriously? Huh..

Every now and then (okay, so it’s pretty damn often) I see something that reminds me of everything there is to love about the theatre. The space, the intensity of choreography, the key to crucial casting and of course, the performance itself. I’m pretty sure the last time I came away *so* fired up and inspired by a piece of theatre, was after a one man performance of The Odyssey. Which was, outstandingly fantastic. Tonight’s performance however? Well that was a whole other kettle of fish.

Directed and choreographed by Michael Strassen, Assassins tells the story of 8 attempted, failed and successful assassinations of US Presidents. Not only was the show incredibly staged and performed, the accompanying music was phenomenal, allowing several (if not *all*) of the actors to flaunt beautiful voices. The cramped conditions of the theatre provided perfect acoustics for little-to-no voice amplification (microphones to you and me), as well as creating an intense atmosphere that rose and fell with the pace of the plots.

I definitely recommend everyone goes to see it. Not only do you come away with a relatively decent understanding of the assassinations (Hell, it pains me to say it but my History knowledge isn’t fab, I couldn’t have told you over half of the stories before tonight), but the show’s actually fantastic. And the songs aren’t your stereotypical show tunes. They hold a darker, more underlying sinister tone, similar to those of Sweeney Todd (It was after-all written by the same bloke), as well as sounding softly operatic in places. Even if you aren’t an avid theatre fan, or despise musical theatre, Assassins is a fantastic show, and enjoyably educational as well.

*Check me out being all clever writing-y. Hells yeah..*

In other news:

– This week has been culturally enriching (yes, I’m on a roll) what with the circus and the theatre (twice). Fan-bloody-tastic. Circus boys still win on the looks front, whilst The Tempest was definitely way up there in terms of concept and ‘different’ staging. I’d never imagined Shakespeare set in a futuristic time and place. The word quirky doesn’t quite begin to describe it. And finally Assassins was a fantastic end to the week.. Containing both beautiful staging and performances to inspire a drama geek such as myself to spend half the night plotting away..

– The hair colour ran away again. Or rather, I chased it with a bottle of funky smelling goo. Yay red hair. Well, super dark reddish-purple straw would be a more accurate description. Minor detail..

– I start painting people’s faces again as of tomorrow! A *big* squee I believe is in order. The brother’s school is performing Oliver, and I’m involved in make-up-ing. Excellent. I get to attack people with paintbrushes and eye-liner. Aha! I’m such a child sometimes (all the time)..

“This is the life..”

“-Hold on tight..” as Hannah Montana sings. (Yes, I’m cool enough to listen to her)

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t really feel the need to hold on tight. Life isn’t going anywhere fast, and the birthday’s just around the corner so I’m pretty alright just relaxing and seeing how things go.. Chilling in the sun with Pimms and The Sims (Ha, I can rhyme..) is just about fine for me right now. Having said that of course, if anyone fancies installing a pool in the garden? Well, I wouldn’t say no..

Also, the Circus is in town. A fact that surprisingly makes me insanely happy.. I’m not usually a huge fan of the Circus, clowns are probably one of the scariest inventions ever, but Gifford’s Circus is by far one of the most incredible performances I’ve seen. Being far more theatrical through the use of an actual storyline and character empathy makes the show seem closer to a beautiful piece of physical theatre, as opposed to a “freak show” with animals. Plus, the fact that it’s in my village means I’m often privy to beautiful circus boys wandering around in various stages of undress. Nice.

So aside from the alcohol induced injuries (that was my fault, I should really learn that actually, wearing shoes with broken heels – if you start singing Alexandra Burke be warned, I *will* hurt you – isn’t such a fab plan.), the newly found insomnia (which really sucks. I *gave up* caffeine for fucks sake.), and the obvious lack of those crazies I’ve spent the past 10 months with, stuff’s pretty darn good. Oh indeed..

The week the makeup attacked me, I wore more black than a particularly depressed goth, and gained RSI from sponges. Oh, and I infiltrated the fashion world. Just for fun y’know..

Time flies. They say that right? I’ve gotta say, I never really believed it, but seriously. After the past two weeks.. Oh my life does time fly. I go home in three weeks. Three weeks?! How have I been in Brighton that long? And more importantly, how have I avoided home for the past two months. That’s no fun.. (And I should really stop attacking the brother with water works every time we talk. Poor boy.. His ears must be sick of my tears..)

Okay, let’s be honest. We know where the past two weeks went. Or at the very least *I* do, which is probably a relatively good thing. I’ve heard memory loss isn’t the most desirable in the world.. But they could just be saying that?

So let’s start at the beginning (it’s a good place to start, no?). West Side Story, that wonderful time where I pretended to know something about makeup, turned every male in the cast into an oompa-loompa, and gained far too many bruises for it to be healthy. Not that bruises are generally healthy, but y’know.. If I have one piece of advice to myself from this show? Never, and I do mean never, think it’s a good idea to use glass-bottled-foundation. It forces you to hit yourself repeatedly with thick glass. Really. Who thought that was a good plan..? The colour of my hand, even after the tango-ed look had gone, well, I gave gone-off-plums a run for their money on interesting colour award. No shit.

And did I mention that I’m clumsy? No. Well, I’m not exactly the most un-accident-prone person this side of the moon.. And there were stairs. And back stage. And general scenery. And it was messy.. Oh so messy. But, on the plus side, having the makeup area next to the boys dressing room? Well, whoever thought that one through deserves a hug. Not gonna lie..

Moving on then.. LFW. The most incredible yet exhausting experience of my life. I kid you not.. But people weren’t lying when they said I was crazy. The whole intense-6-show-after-party-straight-into-fashion-show thing?? Yeah.. Wouldn’t advise it. No..

Two hours sleep. Makeup smudged on at the station. No caffeine or food for a good 20 hours. Best plan I’ve ever had.. As fellow smutian said “how are you alive?!” (Dictionary definition moment – Smutian: A member of Sussex University Musical Theatre Society. Aka SMuTS)

Aquascutum. Beautiful name. Beautiful show. So I hear.. 5 hours spent steaming sheets and then I hid upstairs for the duration. Still, I was officially the walking dead that day, and steaming ain’t no easy job. I’ll tell you that one for free.. Seeing Sienna Miller in the evening was pretty random though. I was not expecting that one, not gonna lie.. Stupidly skinny woman. With amazing shoes. And that’s possibly about all I could tell you about her..

Jaeger show I actually saw. Amazing experience, I’m sure you don’t forget your first fashion show. And the hats?! Oh. My. Life. The hats.. I could’ve cried. If I weren’t so conscience of the fact that The Saturdays were directly opposite me in the audience, next to a ridiculously beautiful (anonymous) male. Shame.. Especially as I’m really not their hugest fans. But y’know, it was something to taunt the male housemates with, so.. Tis all good.

And the Love Ball. Natalia Vodianova. Beautiful, beautiful person. Looks about my age – how does she have an eight year old son? This confuses me immensely.. But I can deal with that just from memory of her dress. What a stunner. And she dealt with the fire alarm incident particularly well. Picture it though.. 1000 guests just having seated for dinner, after we’d spent the last half hour frantically sorting out those bloody bidding cards! And they’re all asked to vacate. The amount of woman in near-to-no clothing complaining about the cold, and “I’m not going outside, do they know who I am?”. If there had actually been a fire? Wow..

But nonetheless, the evening was, I’m sure, a success. If the art work being auctioned is anything to go by. I could actually have passed out when the words “And the bidding shall begin at £10,000” were uttered. Serious money going on there..

The highlight of my evening was clearly seeing both of the parents’ favourite singers in one night – Cat Stevens (or should I say Yusuf Islam) and Sharleen Spitteri were phenomenal. And yeah Leona Lewis and Paloma Faith were pretty good n’ all.. I was just clearly born in the wrong era.

What with packing, tagging, counting, moving, emptying 425 goodie bags, and being involved in a pap chase with Kate Moss, the night was surreal as, well actually I can’t think of anything quite so bizarre.. Running around with bidding cards for Vivienne Westwood, Leona Lewis, Piers Morgan and Matthew Williamson was way up there to be sure.. But the whole 30 second eye contact with probably the most influential model of the past decade? That was awesome. Even if her shoes weren’t..

So all in all? An amazing, intense, emotionally and physically exhausting, surreal and a half couple of weeks. And what better way to end it? A scheduled break down.. Oh tomorrow will be fun.

*Several people need thanks for this fortnight of sheer and utter exhaustion. The Uncle for giving me a bed (and easily the best night’s sleep for a good 6 months), Kensi for reminding me of home even at the most surreal and overwhelming of moments, and Miss Loveday for the experience of a lifetime.. Ta you lovely people.*