Saturday, 23 November 2013

Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime [sic]

(Picture courtesy of Shinfield Players
Theatre website)
So, this evening, I went along to the Shinfield Players Theatre to see their performance of David Tristram's Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime [sic]. Going in, I knew literally nothing about it except for the fact that it involved a detective of some kind. Seriously, I didn't even actually know the title. The bitterly offensive title. When I saw the poster, I realised it was a comedy and panicked just a little.

In the end, I was very pleasantly surprised. It is genuinely very funny. It isn't the sort of humour that I would set out to view, I'm more of a dark and sarcastic kind of girl, but I found it very funny and I'm pleased to note that I wasn't the only person in the theatre laughing. Except at one point, when I thought there was a joke about the TV show Pointless. Either I was the only one who got it or it wasn't actually a joke. I'm still not sure, but I suspect it wasn't a joke.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, because I hate when people say too much about the plot, but essentially a woman is missing and Inspector Drake, pride of Scotland Yard, ends up on the case, mostly because of a little harmless bribery. Though resistant to the idea of working on a missing persons case, Inspector Drake soon realises he might well be investigating the Perfekt Crime [sic]. The plot has more twists than, as Inspector Drake himself says, a really twisty thing. You won't guess the ending. Don't even try. Just enjoy the twists, the turns and the further twists.

Sadly, there is only one more showing of Inspector Drake and the Perfekt Crime - tomorrow night, Saturday the 23rd November, at 7.45pm. If you're in the Reading area and looking for something to do (or either, or neither) you should definitely try and get to it. Their website is here, and I hope some of you manage to get along to see it. Despite the bitterly offensive title.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Christmas in a Day

I've been ignoring Christmas adverts quite passionately since they all hit our screens on November 1st, but then my mum said something about how the new Sainsbury's Christmas in a Day one upset her, so I was looking out for it. Now I feel compelled to say something about it. For those of you who haven't seen it, this is it:

Now, I can see why that would move and upset people, I really can, but honestly it just made me angry. For one thing, I feel that it's manipulative to use the fact that many families are separated at Christmas in an advert for a supermarket. To me, that feels exploitative. This feels like a step too far.

My main problem with it, though, is the message it sends to children who might be in the position of the kids in the video, though not as lucky. Can you imagine how it must feel to be told that your mum or dad isn't going to be home for Christmas? And then you might see an advert like that and think that, really, your mummy or daddy is coming home for Christmas and it's a surprise. The disappointment when they really aren't coming home doesn't bear thinking about. That upsets me a lot more than the advert, the idea that children might see this and think that their parent is going to come home for Christmas when in reality that's just not going to happen. I think it's incredibly irresponsible of the people behind the advert, and really very distressing.

I might be reading too much into this, it is after all just an advert, but it bothered me and I felt compelled to say something about it. It wouldn't bother me half as much if Sainsbury's were donating money to a charity related to the armed services or doing something to help families who are separated at Christmas, but I strongly suspect that's not the case. It's just a cheap, manipulative advert designed to get us into their stores. And I'm actually not okay with that.