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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Hofflin

What I'm listening to and watching at the moment!

When did you ask? You didn't really, but here is what I am listening to and watching in this strange time.

I've been on a lot of really long drives recently (we are talking eight hours or more) and the way I get through it, especially if I'm alone, is by listening to musical soundtracks.

I do this thing, where I conduct each number, listen for different cues etc and learn as much as I can from each song.

Musical Soundtracks / Studio Cast Recordings:

- Dear Evan Hansen -- this is for when I need to belt or let some feelings out. The songs are beautifully written and Ben Platts vocals are angelic and unparalleled.

- The Book Of Mormon -- this show is funny, racy and just fun and listening to the soundtrack gives you the same experience.

- The entire of the Hamilton Soundtrack -- predictable I know, but the whole thing is a piece of art. It's so well written and due to the nature of a through composed musical, you can hear and be a part of the whole story by listening to the soundtrack through.

- SMASH the TV series top hits including: Broadway Here I Come, Let Me Be Your Star, Don't Forget Me, I Never Met A Wolf Who Didn't Love To Howl and The 20th Century Fox Mambo.

- Sara Bareilles' Waitress, which is so gorgeous to listen and laugh to.

- Legally Blonde - which again has so much music, you can almost follow the whole story along.

Some honorary mentions should of course go to:

- The Lion King Soundtrack - Hans Zimmer, Elton John and Tim Rice - what more could you want?

- The Heathers Soundtrack

- Rent

- Bettlejuice

- Mean Girls

- Hairspray

- Grease

- Disney Soundtracks in general

You get my point...

When I get to watch something, I have found myself overwhelmed by all the content and options!

Some highlights in lockdown have been:

- Ben Platts Netflix Special at Radio City Music Hall (2020)--honestly if we didn't need another reason to adore him, his Netflix special is truly that, it is so special.

- The Get Down (2016) - Baz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis's 11-episode drama, cut with real footage from 1970s New York, is a kind of fictionalised retelling of the beginnings of hip-hop. It is everything you would expect from Baz, dramatic and super fun!

- Daft Punk Unchained (2015) - A BBC Worldwide production, Unchained follows the story of electronic music duo Daft Punk, from their impact on the French house scene to expanding horizons, worldwide influence and Grammy Award recognition. Alongside archive footage, talking heads such as Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers give their insight into one of music's most secretive acts.

- Quincy (2018) - Quincy Jones is the subject of this two-hour documentary created by Netflix, celebrating his extraordinary life as trumpeter, producer, conductor, composer and arranger as well as discoverer of some of the last century's biggest artists.

- Whitney: Can I Be Me - Using archive footage from Whitney Houston's 1999 World Tour mixed with testimonies from the singer's family, friends and musical collaborators, Nick Broomfield's documentary aims deep at the troubled yet celebrated life of its subject. Though touching upon her beginnings as a gospel singer, as well as breakthrough hits and her role in The Bodyguard, this is more a character piece than chronicling of a career.

- and to finish off with the Queen of Pop herself, Beyonce: Homecoming - This intimate, in-depth look at Beyoncé's 2018 Coachella performance reveals the emotional road from creative concept to cultural movement. Fans can watch the work that went into the performance as well as see the iconic set in full which features hits 'Drunk In Love', 'Formation', 'Love on Top' and Destiny's Child classics featuring members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland.

This is such a short list of films that are available to us all online, I still can't quite comprehend that we have so much incredible content available to us.

The final thing that has really captured much of my attention and heart really over the past couple of months has been the National Theatre's At Home Archived Collection.

I streamed these plays at home, and it really kept me feeling connected to theatre in a time where it feels so lost and unknown.

Not in any particular order:

- A Streetcar Named Desire - Gillian Anderson plays Blanche DuBois in the critically acclaimed Young Vic production of Tennessee Williams' classic play.

- The Barbershop Chronicles - A never-before-seen archive recording of Inua Ellams’ smash-hit play, about the places where banter is barbed, and the truth is telling.

- Frankenstein - Academy Award -winner Danny Boyle directs Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, alternating the roles of Frankenstein and his creation.

- Twelfth Night - Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible in Shakespeare's classic comedy. Featuring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia.

- Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson’s story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life in this thrilling stage adaptation.​ Featuring Arthur Darvill as Long John Silver.

- Coriolanus - This Donmar Warehouse production features Tom Hiddleston in the title role of Shakespeare’s searing and political revenge tragedy.

- Small Island - The National Theatre’s epic, sold-out production of Andrea Levy’s novel traces the history between Jamaica and the UK through WWII to 1948.

- The Deep Blue Sea - Terence Rattigan’s devastating masterpiece contains one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama, played by Helen McCrory.

- A Midsummer Night's Dream - The London Theatre Company's immersive production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy features Gwendoline Christie and Hammed Animashaun.

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