2013- this is what you looked like
2013 is about to down a shot, turn around and walk out the door without so much as a backward glance and a tip of the hat to us all. This past year has been a a bit of a jolly funny one. This is what it looked like.
- a celebration of two years of my beloved book club, The Bookie Monsters (I know). Those ladies make me so happy and for one Sunday afternoon a month we get together and shout and laugh and drink and discuss words, books and life. Never have I met a group of more ballsy, gobby, brilliant, clever and funny women. WELL DONE YOU LOT. This year we read: Doppler by Erlend Loe, Blindness by Jose Saramago, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, NW by Zadie Smith, Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl, The Fault in our Stars by John Greene and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago.
- I lost my bedroom key on arriving home late one night and had to call a locksmith out from the East End at 1am to effectively break down my door. Dave, you were a dream.
- A man stopped me in Covent Garden one day purely to tell me he thought I was beautiful. People are nice sometimes.
- I saw the following productions: Loserville at the Garrick, Honk at the Tabard, Get Aladdin and Nunsense at the Landor, Julius Caesar at the Donmar, Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace, Fuertzabruta at the Roundhouse, Lion King at the Lyceum, Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s, Six Pictures of Lee Miller at RADA, Privates on Parade, Peter and Alice and The Cripple of Innishmaan all at the Noel Coward, A Chorus Line at the Palladium, And the World Goes Round at GSA, Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at the New Wimbledon, The Pajama Game at Chichester, Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter, Curious Incident at the Apollo, Once at the Phoenix, The Play that Goes Wrong at Trafalgar Studios, West End Men at the Vaudeville, Clybourne Park at the Lyric Hammersmith, Only On Sundays at Waterloo East, Avenue Q at The Gatehouse, Josephine and I at the Bush, Halbwelt Kultur at Battersea Mess & Music Hall, The Color Purple at the Menier, Miranda Sings at Leicester Square, Another Way at the Cockpit, Valley Boy City Life and On a Clear Day both at the Union, Briefs at the Wonderground, Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model at Soho, Blue Stockings at the Globe, Blood Wedding at the Courtyard, Chicago at the Curve, Jack and the Beanstalk at Derby Assembly Room and Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Pleasance. Phew.
- I voluntarily played ping pong and drank beer at Bounce, swooned at the romance at Ronnie Scotts, moshed (well, more technically correct- stood bopping at the back trying not to look too terrified) at a Camden heavy metal gig. There were also about a thousand drinks, hundreds of coffees, and too many good dinners with a whole host of excellent people that I am lucky enough to count as chums.
- We took my Dad in a limo (so white trash) to the Fullers Brewery for his 50th and learned all about BEER.
- Moved out of the Crouch End Wonder, bade the fondest cheerio to 6 of the best housemates and people I’ve ever had the pleasure to share a shower curtain with and moved into ArchWAHEY which is just proving to be DELICIOUS. I also felt my heart break as I said goodbye to the first pet I ever had, but knew that his new family and home are the best place he could ever be. My heart still beats for you Toby, you massive lad.
- I had some interesting twists and turns in matters of the heart and bedroom which led to me feeling a little romantically bruised but altogether more wise, and incidentally which allowed me to share what I’ve learned about sex and dating, my musings on online dating and provided me with more material for my upcoming Valentines show, Song of the Single Girl (see that seamless self-promotion? God I’m a pro.)
- I worked with some absolute BABES this year on some deeply exciting projects. We told the most charming story of Winfield and his girl at 23B in ‘You Obviously Know What I’m Talking About’ and celebrated all things community and carnival in ‘Futurespark’ with How it Ended, performed some stonking new MT writing in ‘Postcards, Problems…and Penguins’ at Jermyn Street, workshopped a wonderful new musical retelling of ‘Wuthering Heights’,rejoiced in the glory of choirs and danced in fountains in the closing event of the Chorus Festival and the Festival of Neighbourhood at the Southbank Centre, sang the guts out of a Jule Styne review ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’ in Guildford with PH Productions, got crafty performing at Crafternoon Cabaret Club, got all serious and lawyerly in For Short‘s ‘Anatomy of a Murder’, flexed my Brecht muscles at Soho Theatre, performed on a boat for the first time, and got to wear sequins and make a Beanstalk grow for two months in panto. Not too shabby.
- Cultured it up at Lichtenstein at the Tate, Man Ray at the National Portrait Gallery, Pompeii at the British Museum, the Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, The Roald Dahl Museum and the Museum of London.
- Took my first turn on the London Eye and stared down in wonder at my beautiful beloved bonkers London and felt my heart swell with pride and love.
- Toasted my pals who made big life decisions this year- to all those being wed, moving houses, buying property, emigrating, being promoted and generally achieving goals and dreams WELL DONE YOU HEROES. I hope some of your success and drive rubs off on me in the new year.
- Taught for the third Summer running and remained PASSIONATE and INSPIRED about the importance of THE ARTS. I also was lucky enough to land two lovely temp jobs. The bits in between acting work is the worst bit if you’re a performer, and I am so grateful to have had three lovely offices with nice people while I attempted to make ends meet.
- Gambled at horses at Ascot and picnicked in the rain.
- Saw in my 26th year as is only right- hammered off my tits on gin, surrounded by utter beauties and singing along to a piano player at Players bar.
- Frolicked in drunken gay abandon around the Edinburgh Fringe and fell more in love with in than ever. Edfringe, if I could snog you, I would.
- Had a fully fledged quarter-life crisis in the Spring which terrified the life out of me and made me feel very glum indeed. However, the moment passed and although nothing has really changed that much in terms of where I am in my life, my outlook has as I reminded myself that we are actually being brave and to be honest, we’re okay. Keep battling through these tangly times with a song in your heart and a gin in your hand.
- Flexed a new-found love for writing. I didn’t know I could write, or that I would love it so much, and in February I just thought on a whim that I would give this blogging malarky a go. I didn’t realise I would bum it so much. In turn, it led to opportunities opening up elsewhere with theatre reviewing, feature writing and even a few photography bits and bobs. Thanks all of you for sticking with Bloody Hell Brennan, through all the caps lock and sweary bits. Without getting all soppy on you, your comments, encouragement and sharing of everything makes my COCKLES SO WARM. You’re all really fit, and I love the fuck out of you.
I made some really really bad decisions this year, but in turn some excellent ones too. I felt very low at times and on top of the world at others. I panicked, I relaxed, I wooped, wept, laughed and lamented. At the time, it often felt as though 2013 was a mixed old bag indeed, yet writing it all down like that has made me reflect that actually, 2013, for the most part, you were really quite lovely.
I hope this year has treated you well my chums. I’m going battling into 2014 with a blazing heart, busy mind, a full glass and my hopes flying sky-high as always. Let’s dive in pals. Let’s smash 2014 in the face with brilliance. And don’t do anything stupid like pretend you’re joining a gym in January. hahahahahahahahaha we all know you’re lying.
Merry New Year Team. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx