Review: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (UK Tour) – Mayflower Theatre, Southampton (26/04/16)

BAT_Salford_500x411_NEW
Source: http://www.thelowry.com/event/breakfast-at-tiffanys

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a play with the addition of songs. It’s most known for the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn. I admit a play was not something that I would normally consider, but I fancied a change partly because I have not been to the theatre since February! Breakfast at Tiffany’s is about a young writer ‘Fred’ and a girl ‘Holly Golightly’ who lives on the floor below. Holly is an enigmatic, glamorous and charming girl who has no job, but spends time with wealthy individuals. She is the kind of girl that every guy falls for, including Fred. She wants to marry someone with money, but over time she starts to fall in love with Fred. Unfortunately, some of her past catches up with her before she properly falls for him.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a good following, particularly from the older generation – I was the only person I could see under the age of 40 (of course this is not a problem!). Holly Golightly (what a name!) was played by the award winning Pixie Lott. Whenever I see a big name, I am never sure if they were casted due to talent or by, as my friend calls it, the ‘bums on seats’ approach. The role of Holly is a demanding one, requiring huge amounts of energy and maintaining a high pitch American accent. Amazingly, she prevailed and did an excellent job. Although her voice was required to be high, I found it to get slightly annoying at times, but this is not her fault.

‘Fred’, despite the audience never being told his real name, was played by Matt Barber. His stage presence brought huge amounts of life to the show. With very quick and clever changes from character to narrator, he was perfect in conveying basically the whole storyline. As the show went on you could only like him more. He had very lovable qualities, including loyalty, as seen at the end of the show when kept his promise to Holly about finding her cat and looking after him. It was a shame the character was not opened up more in the script.

There were various plot twists throughout, involving pregnancy, miscarriage and the downfall of Holly. These kept my concentration and focus going! There were three songs: ‘Moon River’, ‘People Will Say We’re in Love’ and ‘Hold Up My Dying Day’. Pixie Lott performed all these songs to the highest calibre! These said a lot about the character that the play could not convey, whilst also slowing the pace. The end of the first act ended with the huge news that Holly is married. This left me in slight shock and an immediate sense of confusion, needing to see how this would progress. The props and backdrops were visually stunning, in particular how they reinforced the idea that Holly lived below Fred by the fact any scene in her apartment, had his apartment above. ‘Doc’ (Robert Calvert) was Holly’s husband. After Fred was told, they went to a bar and talked. This scene was extremely informative about Holly’s past and helped answered a few of the many questions I had. Doc was portrayed brilliantly and the scene itself was full of emotion, which at this point was very needed, also slowing down the pace and allowing me to take a breather!

The cat (Bob the Cat), who’s technically Holly’s, was very well trained, especially in one of the scenes when he was placed (on purpose) onto the stage and ran off to the side, rather than anywhere! Even whilst on stage, he remained still in both Holly and Fred’s arms. The bartender, Joe (Victor McGuire), was easy going and brought new energy to the mix. The show ended on somewhat of a dilemma. Holly has taken off to Brazil and Fred had not had any real contact with her. In the back of his and the audience’s minds, you know she is okay, but of course you could see his difficulties letting go.

All in all, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a fast-paced play with lots thrown at you, but with enough slowing songs and scenes to keep you going. The storyline had me hooked and, with the addition of big plot twists, often led me to the edge of my seat. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly was mine, despite having never seen anything like this before. I now have to go the rest of my life without knowing what happened to Holly Golightly!

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My ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 Team of the Tournament

 

ICC-T20
Source: http://twenty20wiki.com/

After the T20 Cricket World Cup 2016, the ICC released their team of the tournament which, I have to admit, I did not agree with and so wanted to make and write about my own. So here it is:

 

Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)

Quinton De Kock (wk) (South Africa)

Virat Kohli (India)

Joe Root (England)

Jos Butler (England)

Shane Watson (c) (Australia)

Andre Russell (West Indies)

Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

David Willey (England)

Samuel Badree (West Indies)

12th Man: Ish Sodhi (New Zealand)

 

  1. Tamim Iqbal – He was the leading run scorer of the tournament with 295 runs and one of two players to make a century (103*). He was highly consistent with an average of 73.75. With such consistency, he was one of the best batsmen in the tournament. He even had the most sixes, with 14.
  2. Quinton De Kock (wk) – He is the first choice keeper and opening batsman of South Africa, so I picked him for mine. He was consistent with the bat, with 153 runs in 4 matches and a good strike rate of 142.99. He scored in every game and was able to score off the opening bowlers.
  3. Virat Kohli – He was named player of the tournament and it was clear why. He had more fifty’s than any other player with 3 and an amazing average of 136.50. Not only that, he scored 273 runs (highest runs in Stage 2/Super 10). India’s top order was not in particularly good form and it was frequently left to Kohli to see India through, which he did.
  4. Joe Root – He was the back bone of England’s batting with an average of 49.80 and 249 runs in 6 matches. He showed tremendous consistency and that he is a top player in the world in all 3 formats. He did not only star with the bat, but in the final picked up 2 wickets in his over.
  5. Jos Buttler – He scored 191 runs in 6 matches with an average of 47.75. He had one of the highest strike rates with 159.2, meaning he was someone who really took it to the bowlers. He was extremely useful at picking up the run rate and I cannot recall a score of less than 20 from him, again showing consistency.
  6. Shane Watson (c) – He is the one of the best and most experienced all rounder’s in all formats. He averaged 48 with the bat and took 5 wickets at 20.60 with an economy rate of 7.35. He actually retired from International Cricket after the tournament, which saddens me considering I was a big fan of his, and he has been the heart of the Australia team for quite some time! He will captain my team with all his experience.
  7. Andre Russell – He is another all rounder. He averaged 30.33 with the bat and has a strike of 142.18. In terms of bowling, he took 9 wickets and had an economy rate of 7.87. He was the West Indies death bowler who handled those handled high pressure moments, like bowling the final overs.
  8. Mitchell Santner – He is a left arm orthodox bowler who was extremely affective with getting wickets and slowing down the run rates. He took 10 wickets in 5 matches with a economy rate of only 6.27. Not only that, he is an all rounder who may not have scored many runs, but with how New Zealand were playing and his bowling, he was not required!
  9. Mohammad Nabi – He bowls right arm off breaks and took a staggering 12 wickets (highest of any player) with an impressive economy rate of 6.07. Furthermore, he was handy with the bat, scoring 52 against Zimbabwe.
  10. David Willey – He was the pick of the English bowling attack attack by not only opening the bowling, but he seemed to always pick up early wickets, taking an impressive 10. Being a left arm swing bowler, he had a lot of success swinging it into the right handers and with his swing being late, he was a handful!
  11. Samuel Badree – You could argue he was the best bowler of the tournament and a big part of the West Indian success. For a right arm leg spinner to open the bowling is strange. Despite this he took 9 wickets with an outstanding economy rate of 5.39.
  12. Ish Sodhi – He is right arm leg break bowler who took 10 wickets with an economy rate of only 6.1. He showed real consistency and success for New Zealand. As much as I would like to put him in my starting 11, I would have too many spinners.

 

I wanted to end with honourable mentions: Jason Roy was great throughout, and in particular his 78 for England to advance them to the finals. The only reason he did not make the first 11 was that he was out for a duck in the final. Another mention goes to Chris Gayle, who made a century against England for West Indies, which was incredible and undoubtedly the best innings of the tournament. Unfortunately, this was his only good score. Finally, Mohammad Shahzad for Afghanistan in Stage 1 was easily a top two batsman with Tamim Iqbal and showed Afghanistan to be a force not to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, when he came into Super 10/Stage 2, he was unable to replicate to the same extent.

My ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 Overview

West Indies Final
West Indies Winning Celebrations (Source: http://www.icc-cricket.com/world-t20/news/2016/news/94586/west-indies-v-england-icc-world-t20-2016-press-conference)

Since the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 finished not long ago (as a write this) and the fact that I wrote a blog earlier with predictions (see here), I thought it would be a good idea to give an overview of what happened, how close my predictions were, who performed and underperformed and so on. The outcome of the tournament, as I am sure most of you are aware, was West Indies beat England in the final. The full results were as follows:

1st West Indies

2nd England

3rd – 4th New Zealand and India

5th – 6th South Africa and Australia

7th – 8th Sri Lanka and Pakistan

9th – 10th Afghanistan and Bangladesh

11th – 12th Netherlands and Zimbabwe

13th – 14th Oman and Scotland

15th – 16th Ireland and Hong Kong

To find out the format of the tournament see here. In my predictions, I was correct in picking Bangladesh and Afghanistan to make it into Stage 2. Then I had England, South Africa, India and New Zealand making the Semi-Finals, where the only difference was I picked South Africa instead of West Indies. Finally, I had India winning the Final against South Africa, which I got completely wrong. All in all, I was happy with how close I was and clearly my logic for the most part paid off!

The final was very close, which required the West Indies to get 19 runs off the final over, which for any team is no easy task, besides Carlos Brathwaite who decided to hit the first 4 balls for 6 to win! Both teams prior to the tournament were probably not expected to reach the final and it was nice to see something different! Both teams played extremely well throughout the tournament, beating very strong teams on the way, so it was well deserved and it gives both the teams some credibility that, England in particular, they were starting to lose.

The biggest let-down for me was South Africa. They have been a top T20 team for quite some time and I was shocked when they did not advance through to the Semi-Finals. In terms of the players, some performed very well like Quinton De Kock and Imran Tahir, but more than half did not perform as well as they should have such as AB De Villiers and Francois Du Plessis. I am sure they are highly disappointed, but then I guess what is in their favour was the two best teams in the world were in their group. I still expected more and believed they could have gone further.

New Zealand in the group stage were amazing! To win all their games was impressive especially in what I considered to be the toughest group. I was very surprised when Tim Southee and Trent Boult (two well known and brilliant seamers) were not picked for any of the games, which at the start I did not agree with. They went with a spin heavy approach which clearly worked out in their favour. Some very clever captaining. Their bowling attack in the group stage was unmatched. It was a surprise to me when they lost to England in the Semi-Finals. I thought they were unstoppable. It seemed their batting may have let them down. I always feel for New Zealand, as they have a habit of coming out strong and falling in the final moments like they did before in the ODI World Cup 2015 final.

Bangladesh and Afghanistan came into the World Cup with little to no expectation on their shoulders. They were the underdogs. Although they both did not go far, they proved to the world that they are both very good teams and can put on a show even against the best. If you look at Afghanistan, they are the only team to have beaten the champions, West Indies. A great achievement for any team! A lot of their games I saw were close. A few players had breakout tournaments as well and are starting to become more well known and considered some of the best players in the World like Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Nabi and Tamim Iqbal.

It was Oman’s first World Cup. Although they did not make it through, they put on a fight and did very well for themselves. I fully expect in the future to see them go further in the future as they have a lot of talent. The West Indies are the first team to win the World Cup twice. It was made even more special when the West Indies’ Women won their World Cup as well! Congratulations to them both!

The tournament itself met all my expectations and more. I was glued to my twitter feed keeping up with the scores and there was so many memorable moments that I personally will not forget for a while. I can only imagine the emotions all the players will be going through and how privileged they must be to have been a part of it!