Endgame & Rough for Theatre ll [Theatre Review]

A few weeks ago I went to the Old Vic Theatre in London to watch Samuel Beckett’s plays Endgame and Rough for Theatre ll performed on stage! It makes me sad that I’m publishing this post now, at a time when theatres are now shutting due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it makes me feel even more grateful for getting the chance to see this show before it was cancelled.

I’ve been a fan of Beckett’s writing for a few years now – ever since I first read his play Krapp’s Last Tape in my first year of uni. Since then, I’ve read Waiting for Godot and am making my way through his collection of works.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Samuel Beckett, his plays are absurd and most of the time, do not make sense! But that’s what makes them so great. Both Waiting for Godot and Endgame have a distinct repetitive element (although majority of his plays do) where a few characters converse as they remain within one setting – life outside that setting equivalent to death. If I had to describe Beckett’s writing in one sentence I would say it is a crazy philosophical rambling about both the mundane and the emotional depth of life simultaneously. In other words, it presents meaning in the meaningless.



Endgame Overview: 

An empty room with two high up small windows. Hamm (who is blind and unable to stand) converses with his servant, Clov (who is unable to sit). Hamm’s parents, at unexpected intervals, pop their heads out of the two dustbins where they live.

Rough for Theatre ll Overview:

Two characters enter an apartment to find a person standing over an open window, presumably about to jump. They carry out an investigation, discussing whether they think he should take his own life or not.

As you can see, the plays are very simplistic in terms of plot – there isn’t really any plot!



Watching Endgame and Rough for Theatre ll on stage was a totally different experience to reading the plays from a book. Personally, I find it hard to interpret the comedy through reading Beckett’s writing, but on the stage the comedy came to life. I think part of the reason why was when I saw it in front of me, I realised how absurd it really was, in the same way that a lot of things seem more extreme when they happen in real life, than when you think them inside your head. For example, the parents poking their heads out of dustbins in Endgame – I already knew it was weird, but seeing it live was a whole different experience!

I think what made the play so good was the exceptional acting. Alan Cummings, who played Hamm in Endgame, portrayed the character in such an insanely intriguing way. It reminded me a lot of James McAvoy in the film Split, only because he equally portrayed this mad personality that had so many distinct intricacies that it was amazing he managed to pull off all the mannerisms so consistently and with so much depth. Alongside him, was Daniel Radcliffe playing Hamm’s servant, Clov. His role was very physically demanding in that his character walked funny, with legs that weren’t quite working properly, and had to keep climbing up and down a step ladder. How they both managed to remember all their lines and keep up with their roles, considering they were on stage for about an hour and a half without any breaks, still amazes me.

Overall, I really enjoyed seeing Beckett’s plays come to life on the stage. I think reading something and then seeing it live or as a film is always such a meaningful moment, especially when it’s something you found interesting or really resonated with. If you’re reading this Dad, thank you so much for taking me!



Have you read anything by Samuel Beckett?

Would you like to see his plays on stage?

Let me know in the comments!

You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

Dear Evan Hansen [Theatre Review]

A week ago I went to see Dear Evan Hansen at the theatre and it was my favourite theatre show I’ve ever seen!

I first became interested in Dear Evan Hansen when I heard someone singing a song from it on Britain’s Got Talent last year. I really connected with the song and it’s lyrics, so wondered who it was by. When I found out it was from an upcoming theatre show I knew I had to see it!

Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a high school boy with social anxiety. One of his peers at school commits suicide and Evan finds himself lying that they were best friends. The plot follows the fabrication of this lie and the consequences that follow.

The show surprisingly had a simple set, but it didn’t need to be elaborate to make a point. There were various screens dotted about the stage with projections of social media feeds and messages; it was very effective in the way that it made me feel part of the scrolling and the masses of information that come flooding at you when using a phone. I thought the acting was brilliant – it was very personal and intimate, in that most of the scenes were family and friends conversing, and I think they did a great job of making it feel real.

I thought the show was written with so much heart and understanding. I like that it touched on important topics: loneliness, anxiety, drugs, and suicide. It was difficult to watch at times, but it was nice to see something so eye-opening and honest. I think in a world of social media, where we should feel more connected, we actually feel more lonely than ever, and so Dear Evan Hansen has come at the perfect time – to remind us that people care even when we feel like they don’t, and that none of us are ever really alone, even when we feel like we are.

This show hit particularly deep for me because I used to really struggle with social anxiety. I used to feel like I was invisible and that every time I tried to speak up anxiety would cause my hands to sweat, voice to shake, just like Evan’s. I felt alone because I couldn’t share my voice in the way I wanted to. It felt like being stuck behind a window, tapping on the glass (exactly like in the song on the show). And that’s partly why I created this blog in the first place. I’m glad to say that I’ve worked hard to overcome this and I’m in a much better place now, but in my heart I still remember what it feels like to be that person. It amazes me how well they’ve put this feeling on stage, and I think if I’d watched it at my lowest, it would have reminded me that people really do care. I hope it helps a lot of people out there.


Have you seen Dear Evan Hansen? What did you think?




You can find me on social media here:

Instagram: @mymindspeaksaloud

Twitter: @mindspeaksaloud

‘A Monster Calls’ Play in London!

At the weekend I went to see the play of ‘A Monster Calls’ at The Old Vic Theatre in London and I was mega hyped! I am a huge fan of the book and the film, so it was only necessary that I go to see the play too. You could say my expectations were already pretty high considering all this, but the play was absolutely outstanding! The best I’ve seen (not that I’ve seen that many, but still).Image result for a monster calls play

What I love most about ‘A Monster Calls’ is the concept of the monster and how it represents the internalised struggle of Conor – a 13 year old kid who is dealing with bullying and a mother with cancer. It’s already a very sensitive topic and so watching it live in front of me was beyond emotional. The acting (of Conor especially) was insanely good and I know this because I literally felt it all. Plays and theatre in general often get to me a lot because I just really admire it – the way actors and actresses can pull off lives of made up characters so realistically – and it somehow feels close to home. But ‘A Monster Calls’ took this to a whole new level and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the audience sobbing. But what was interesting was watching the face of the actor who played Conor at the end of the play. It ended on a very intense last scene and the fact that he could barely smile when bowing to the audience showed how much he was zoned into that role and how much it can really affect you – to take over someone else’s emotions like that. It’s just so incredible.

I loved how the staging was so simple. They used chairs and music to change scenes and it was surprisingly effective. I liked that the music was live and that you could see the musicians too. Of course, this was necessary so that they could keep in time with the actors, but it was nice to give them recognition. Especially since I thought the music played a huge part in the emotional effect.

When I watch plays (as you can already tell) I tend to start analysing them, but it’s not in a bad way at all! I just love thinking about the ways the director interpreted certain scenes to display particular emotions more effectively. One part which I found really clever was when the monster danced with the mother to portray how the monster was trying to heal her. The dance was tranquil and to slow music and yet ironically the healing of the mother wasn’t so peaceful. It is scenes like this that really reflect the conflicting state of mind when dealing with illness and mental health.

Image result for a monster calls play

I thought overall, the use of ropes for the monster was such a fantastic idea! It was crazy how they not only had to act, but climb up the ropes and some of them even sing. It made me think how being in charge of casting must be a pretty cool job. You’d read the script and watch all these auditions and it must be amazing when you find the right person and you’re like ‘oh my god that’s the one’. It must be a great feeling.

Overall, I would rate ‘A Monster Calls’ 5 stars because it somehow managed to exceed my very high expectations. I think it’s only in theatre for another week so if you want to go out and see it you’ve got to be quick! But it will 100% be worth it!

Trip to see Phantom of the Opera! (and Waterstones of course)

Today I took a trip into London to see Phantom of the Opera which was seriously cool! I love going to the theatre so this was something really fun to do over the summer (although it feels like winter with this weather).

Image result for phantom of the opera

Phantom of the Opera has been in the theatres for a long time now and although I’d heard of it, I never really knew much about it. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the music score and I really loved it! I recognised the main theme song so it was nice to hear something familiar, but I loved hearing the other songs too. The guy who played the Phantom was really exceptional I thought and suited the role well, however it is hard to fault any of the actors really! I love how they sing with so much expression.

I tried to predict the ending however I didn’t get it quite right – I won’t spoil it for any of you, just in case! But it was a really good show and I enjoyed watching it. There was even a little girl who screamed when one of the firework things were set off on stage so that was pretty entertaining in itself.


Before the show, I also took a trip to Waterstones because if you’re in Piccadilly Circus and you love books as much as I do, taking a trip into Waterstones is an absolute must. It has 5 floors which is literally insane and I found this really cool section full of stationary and notebooks and little gift-like things which is my new favourite place. I bought this cute book to the left in the attempt to practice some drawing, which is split into sections with a random object name for you to sketch.

So overall it was a pretty good day 🙂 How is everyone’s summer going?

Lion King at the Theatre!

Yesterday I went to see the Lion King at the theatre and it was so amazing! Despite the room being full of little children and me being pretty much the only teenager there (as it was an afternoon viewing rather than an evening one), it was still really great.

There are a few things I love about the theatre and one of them is the costumes and staging. Considering all the characters were animals, the costumes were really well made. They had this person walking with both their feet and hands on stilts so they looked like a giraffe and it was actually so realistic. It must have taken ages to practice without falling over. They had the hyenas run up the rows from the back of the theatre and all the children’s lit up faces were so cute.

I also love the singing in theatre, not just the moments where the stage is packed and full of life but also when it’s empty and there’s one person singing and they sing with so much expression. One of the actors was a boy who could only have been about 9 (he played Simba) and it’s amazing how someone so young can remember so many lines and pay attention for so long to pull off a role. He was really great.

Overall I really enjoyed it and would definitely go again 🙂

Have any of you seen something at the theatre? How did you find it?