The weekend that saved me from revision hell: Buxton’s Bowie and Billy Elliot.

Since handing in my last essay, I’ve been sat in the same position on my bed, going over and over the four texts I’m going to write about in my exam. In fact, because I’ve barely moved, my arse and the bottom of my back feel bruised. So when I got the opportunity to go home for a few days, I grabbed the chance to see something other than the four walls of my revision prison, and jumped on a train back to Leeds.

 

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I have also been lucky enough to see some great shows over the past few days as well (in between revision, of course). On Wednesday evening, my mum and I took a trip to Leeds’ O2 Academy to watch the wonderful Adam Buxton in his BUG Bowie Special. I’ve loved Adam ever since he guest-presented an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks a few years ago (still gutted that they axed that, btw), and it was ace to see him create a show about Bowie that was not only informative, but also bloody hilarious. I’m a huge Bowie fan, particularly of his earlier stuff like Ziggy Stardust and Diamond Dogs (but you can read about that here). Adam clearly favours the Berlin Trilogy, and it was interesting to get a new perspective on an era of my hero’s life that I previously knew very little about. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and would see it again in a heartbeat (also, a special shout-out must go to the staff at the O2, big thumbs up to you guys for all your help!).

 

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Having just told you about how much I love David Bowie, now is the time that I have to admit I am a massive Musical Theatre fan. Ever since I was little, I’ve been crazy about the theatre: I was part of a youth theatre group for over a decade, and sitting in a darkened auditorium, watching a show is one of my favourite things to do. This weekend was the turn of Billy Elliot. I’d already seen the stage version of this at a Vue Live cinema screening a couple of years ago, but nothing beats sitting in the audience of a beautiful old theatre and watching it first hand. The cast were incredible: I’m always amazed at how talented ‘Billy’, ‘Michael’ and ‘Debbie’ are, right down to their perfect little Geordie accents! Billy Elliot is a show that will have you in hysterics one minute, and floods of tears the next. It’s hard-hitting but so so funny, and combines the innocence of childhood and dreaming big with the grounded reality of the ’84-85 miners’ strikes (note: maybe don’t bother going if you’re a Tory or have a thing for Maggie Thatcher).

 

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So although I may not have spent every waking moment revising for this damn exam, I have combined my revision with welcome breaks and enjoyable experiences. Both shows were amazing, and I highly recommend going to see them if you get the chance!

You can find details of Adam Buxton’s BUG Bowie Special here, and of the Billy Elliot UK Tour here

Thanks for reading,

Soph x

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