Ten Things About Who: the book

So the fourteen Ten Things About Who posts that I wrote about Doctor Who series 7, from Asylum of the Daleks to The Name of the Doctor, are now available to buy as an ebook on the Kindle platform. That means you will be able to read it not only on a Kindle hardware device, but also via the gamut of free Amazon Kindle apps for various computing platforms.

It’s my first ebook, so this is as much a learning curve for me, finding out what the platform can (and cannot) do for me as an author prior to using it for slightly less frivolous publications.

What’s in the book

Each chapter of the book contains ten points for discussion raised by an episode of Series 7. Why does the Doctor go on about needing milk for Oswin’s soufflés, when the obvious ingredient to ask about is…? Where on earth did Rory go to get coffee in New York city? Would there really have been a black priest in the American West town of Mercy? Why was The Rings of Akhaten so blooming dreary?

In taking the blog posts I was writing each week as the series aired, I’ve revised, and often expanded, many of the sections. To keep things simple, any included videos and audio files have had to be dropped, which is unfortunate – but thankfully they were mostly incidental to the points being made. What I’ve tried not to do is lose the immediacy of the posts. Some of the thoughts about who Clara is, or could be, for example, are way off-base now that we’ve all seen The Name of the Doctor – but to remove that speculation would have been to abandon the journey just because we know now the destination.

And online…

The original blog posts remain in place for free, and will do so for as long as the blog itself exists. I probably won’t go back and add in the expanded information from some of the sections, although some of the more glaring spelling mistakes that I somehow missed the first time round may find themselves getting corrected!

And of course, I’m now in the process of revisiting Series 1 in the same format. Next weekend, I’ll be up to Aliens of London. Depending on how my experience with this first ebook goes, I may well collect these retrospective Ten Things… posts in a similar format.

Do let me know what you think – as I said, this is a learning process for me, and opinions from people I trust is going to be invaluable. Thank you.

Ten Things About Who is available to buy, or to borrow for free for Amazon Prime members

Little Fish, Finborough Theatre

Escaping from a destructive relationship with her creative-writing tutor, Charlotte flees to New York to pursue a career as a writer – but rapidly finds herself a little fish in the Big Apple.

Michael John LaChiusa’s new musical follows Charlotte’s life in a freeform fashion, jumping backwards and forwards in time but cleverly using her changing relationship with cigarettes to help the audience keep track of the chronology. Maybe as a result of the source material (a series of short stories by writer Deborah Eisenberg), the overall effect is rather more of a series of interrelated vignettes than the strong narrative line that seems to be intended.

Julia Worsley’s accomplished central role adds much-needed cohesion to the various story strands. Around her, a strong cast is dominated by Laura Pitt-Pulford as the perky Kathy. Nick Cunningham’s choreography provides some impressive routines within the Finborough’s limited space, most notably as Ashley Campbell’s womanising John Paul adds heat to a theatre which already feels more like an oven.

Bec Chippendale’s ingenious foldaway set, decorated in a range of aquatic blue hues, provides an elegant frame to a collection of technically accomplished, well-performed songs. Ultimately, though, the professionalism of cast and crew cannot dull the feeling that there is something missing where this show’s heart should be.

Reviewed for The Stage

Finborough, London, October 29-November 21
Author: Michael John LaChiusa, based on short stories by Deborah Eisenberg
Director: Adam Lenson
Producer: JQ and Treasuretrove in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited
Cast: Ashley Campbell, Michael Cantwell, Katie Foster-Barnes, Nick Holder, Alana Maria, Laura Pitt-Pulford, Lee William-Davis, Julia Worsley
Running time: 1hr 35min

I Love You Because, Landor Theatre

Editor’s Rating

Witty tales of New York romance are a staple of both musical theatre and TV sitcom, and I Love You Because stands up favourably in comparison with the best of them.

Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman’s musical examines the love lives of geeky Austin (Daniel Boys) and devil may care brother Jeff (Richard Frame), one trying to win back a girlfriend by feigning disinterest and the other trying to have a good time without getting emotionally involved.

Apart from the opening number, where his vocals are overwhelmed by the stronger voices of his five cast mates, Boys delivers an impressive performance, rising in confidence and stature throughout, both as character and performer. Jodie Jacobs and Debbie Kurup excel in their roles of potential love interests, ably backed up by Mark Goldthorp and Lucy Williamson. But even among such an impressive ensemble, it’s Frame’s exuberance and comic timing that shines.

Rob McWhir’s direction ensures that some of the songs’ knowing Vaudevillian excesses are counterpointed by acutely observed small moments throughout. And, while the show may not end on its strongest musical number, the message that the show conveys – one should love someone, or something, because of their faults rather than in spite of them – applies equally well to this little gem of a musical.

Reviewed for The Stage

I Love You Because, Landor Theatre4Scott Matthewman2012-07-11 16:47:17Witty tales of New York romance are a staple of both musical theatre and TV sitcom, and I Love You Because stands up favourably in comparison with the…