If you're a long term DA reader you'll know I love a bit of retrospect. And if you aren't and you don't, now's probably the time to learn. Thus in the spirit of this being the end of the year and all that, I proudly present DA's Review of 2006.
What can I say but - it's been fun.
The year started with the one of the greatest acts of rock and roll madness in history (almost) in a New Year trip to Dublin where I discovered the powerful pull that is a balloon. I turned - eek - 23 and felt quite grown up looking at art at the Baltic in Newcastle. DA turned - eek - 1 and I felt slightly less grown up enlisting some of DA's readers to write a blog for the occassion. I also thought that I might go insane if I watched Alice in Wonderland at the WYP one more time.
If this month had been a song it would have been: Anything from Alice in Wonderland.
Favourite live event: Dead Funny at the WYP - I didn't expect to love it, but I really did.
Memorable for: Yelling 'happy new year' in an eighties club in Dublin without an Irish man in sight.
If you just read one blog it should be: The Mounting of James Joyce. A huge blog for a huge event. And - feels pretty chuffed - I think it's rather well written. It makes me laugh anyway.
I suspect I was a bit poor in February (see January for reasons why) as I spent quite a bit of time as an Admin Monkey. I also settled down to writing a new draft of The Four Right Chords, got the idea for my next play and was accepted on the WYP's 'So You Want To Be A Writer?' course. I saw the lovely Riccardi boys at my one and only trip to the Bedford this year and met the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum. I gained a spectacular crush on John Barrowman and probably had cold.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'One Of Those Days', Riccardi.
Favourite live event: Riccardi at the Bedford.
Memorable for: Accidentally non-stalking Kanye West.
If you just read one blog it should be: 'She Gets All Her Facts From The Latest Smash Hits' because you can't under estimate just how influential Smash Hits was on me.
Fox had his West End debut in Movin' Out and of course I was there, complete with my own wardrobe malfunction. I got scared in the middle of nowhere on a trip to see Griffin and started the SYWTBAW? course, re-discovering my intellectual arrogance in the process. I tried to write a new play in two weeks and very nearly succeeded - even if it did almost kill me. I got down to the last two for a job at the WYP losing out to what I affectionately call the 'HMV effect'. More importantly, I decided that it was time to take the other Corinne to task.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Summer Highland Falls', James Fox.
Favourite live event: Movin Out, Apollo Victoria Theatre. Not every day that you get to go to a West End opening night.
Memorable for: Fox's 'London State of Mind' on opening night. In the West End. If you hadn't gathered.
If you just read one blog it should be: Depending on your preference either The Stars and The Gutter or West End State of Mind.
I had my gig shoes on this month seeing the other Corinne, Kaiser Chiefs and Riccardi (with only the latter one, ironically, being in Leeds). I even managed a bit of a Beatles trail in Liverpool. The SYWTBAW? course culminated in a showcase which I nearly missed because of the state of Leeds buses and where my piece 'REM's Back Catalogue' actually got some laughs. Phew. I was interviewed for another job at the WYP which I didn't get. Oxford won the boat race, I won the Grand National and, even more triumphantly, I became a fully paid up member of the National Trust. I honestly didn't see that one coming.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'You Can Have It All' Kaiser Chiefs.
Favourite live event: 'I Predict A Riot' Kaiser Chiefs, Birmingham NIA. Genius.
Memorable for: Ending up in a lock in - and arguing about Shakespeare - in a pub in Liverpool.
If you just read one blog it should be: Every Girl Needs A Mug With Her Name On or, just for how prophetic it turned out to be, Occupational Hazards.
Much of May was devoted to either planning, thinking about, taking part in, blogging or coming down from Radio One's One Big Weekend in Dundee. There was karaoke with the Radio One Breakfast team, VIP wristbands and the nice toilets. There was also a bewildering array of bands and meeting Comedy Dave, one of my long term not-quite-a-secret crushes. I saw Snow Patrol and would have been quite happy to have died at that moment. Away from Dundee there was 'tablegate' at Griffin's Boro Gig, getting a little tipsy at the Thistle Hotel and the little matter of going to Paris for Nik's 21st. It's a hard life.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'I've Had The Time Of My Life', Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.
Favourite live event: 'You're All I Have', Snow Patrol, One Big Weekend.
Memorable for: Either yelling 'Daaaave' at Comedy Dave from the VIP gates, running around the Thistle bar at 4:30am in triumph or being escorted to the toilets during Nik's birthday dinner.
If you just read one blog it should be: I'd point you to all of the Dundee blogs but if I have to pick one out: "Put Sufjan Stephens on and we'll sing your favourite song"
The sun shone, Bad Girls The Musical was in the theatre and I had the one year graduation panic. I attended feedback session for SYWTBAW? which thrilled and appalled me in almost equal measure and a writer's workshop which just left me somewhat bemused. It was the World Cup so I had a fantasy football team and Wimbledon so Tim Henman (almost) made me cry. Triumphantly (for now at least) I drew a line under my Admin Monkey days. And then there was the whole holding David Tennant's hand thing.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'The Day We Caught The Train', Ocean Colour Scene.
Favourite live event: 'Why?', Griffin, Masham. "Good question".
Memorable for: Getting lost in Masham. The difficulty of this only being apparent if you know that Masham consists of two streets.
If you just read one blog it should be: First Stop: Regency England. Or if you're after something less facetious try School Reunion.
England got knocked out of the World Cup and I summed it all up in one of my more articulate blogs. I started working on the WYP reception and got caught up in a bomb scare. I saw - and adored - Snow Patrol and PYFB, argued with Shed Seven's drummer and got rather drunk whilst watching Illyria's production of Pride and Prejudice. I started working at Kirkstall Abbey for the British Shakespeare Company where I was much taken with the rather attractive cast. And - sob sob sob - Dr Who reached its season finale.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Loving You' PYFB.
Favourite live event: 'Run' Snow Patrol, Leeds Millenium Square.
Memorable for: Being in the audience the day that PYFB's album got to number 3 and he got plastered on stage and took his top off.
If you just read one blog it should be: "I'm Still Dubious About The Buzzer". Laugh? I almost cried.
My BSC adventure continued as I got rained on, had to remove people's pants from toilets and almost bled to death after cutting myself on a broken beer bottle. Perversely I loved it (not the pants bit because that was just skanky). There were cocktails for lunch, my pretending to be Juliet on the balcony and a wrap party which I wish I could remember more of. Then there was C - an actor with a book deal and an accent to die for. He probably should have come with a neon warning sign. Ah, well.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Chocolate' Snow Patrol.
Favourite live event: Griffin singing 'Bring It On' at the Purple Mountain acoustic night. How wonderfully retro.
Memorable for: I guess vomitting into a bin in a 4* hotel room (modesty covered by nothing other than a duvet) watched by C and Famous Actor's Son, whilst the actor playing Snug had a bath in the ensuite might just edge it for retrospective comedy value.
If you just read one blog it should be: "You have but slumber'd here/ While these visions did appear". A very special blog for lots of reasons, not least because it captures my feelings on the summer so perfectly. And should anyone be wondering then, yes, C is in the photo.
I drunk rather a lot of cocktails this month. I swore about actors [see August]. I also had a playlist on my laptop that consisted of a high proportion of songs by Coldplay, David Gray and Damien Rice. Any conclusions drawn from this about my emotional state are probably fairly accurate. I went back to work at the WYP where - foolishly - I ended up with lots of newbies shadowing me and I tried not to teach them my bad habits. Away from work I dressed as a chav, got caught up in glamorous indie rock and roll and non-stalked My Richard at York Theatre Royal. Some things don't change after all.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Fix You' Coldplay.
Favourite live event: The Overwhelming, [Out of Joint], West Yorkshire Playhouse. One day I'd like to write a play which is as important as this.
Memorable for: Being filmed at silly o'clock in the morning whilst performing 'Semi Charmed Life', something which I hope will never see the light of day on YouTube.
If you just read one blog it should be: "I've Two Tickets To Mecca Bingo Baby" just for the bit where I got shushed. If you want to read something I will one day put into something fictional then it should be "And the waves broke on the shore"
Officially the month of the gig, October saw me seeing Orson, Embrace and PYFB (twice). I adored Kneehigh's Cymbeline, was enchanted with the National Theatre of Scotland's Wolves in the Walls and wasn't quite as keen on Sheffield Crucible's The Caretaker, though the fact that I got to (almost) party with Nigel Harman made up for it. I was Duty Manager for the children's show 'Trouble' at the WYP, where I managed to get through 8 performances without anyone throwing up on me. This made me quite happy.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'No Tomorrow' Orson.
Favourite live event: Difficult one but Embrace's 'Ashes' at Birmingham Academy probably just edges it, if only for their brilliant lighting.
Memorable for: Dancing through the streets of Newcastle to a snippet of 'No Tomorrow', complete with rock hands.
If you just read one blog it should be: "I got the movie script but don't know what it meant" . Ah, Nigel Harman's bottom.
This month started with the unexpected - I went to a Lily Allen gig and actually enjoyed myself. It progressed through the slightly less unexpected as I fell head over heels in love with Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' and developed actor crush of the year number 47 in the shape of Dominic Cooper. There was a birthday/ anniversary celebration at the Evil Eye where I drunk a lot of shots, showed my love for Harry McFly and subsequently ended up on a bathroom floor. And even though it felt like we'd just gotten rid of Alice, it was time to welcome The Wizard of Oz to the WYP.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Stargirl' McFly.
Favourite live event: The Duchess of Malfi, West Yorkshire Playhouse. Stunning in every way possible.
Memorable for: Sitting in our bed at the Evil Eye asking everyone if they knew McFly songs.
If you just read one blog it should be: "Read it now, learn it now and you'll know it whenever" - initially about 'The History Boys' but in reality about something much deeper.
There was culture aplenty this month as I saw PYFB getting drunk and triumphing in Leeds, Judi Dench displaying the most perfect timing I have ever seen in the RSC's The Merry Wives of Windsor - The Musical and Griffin jumping out of a giant paper mache christmas pudding in the upstairs room of a pub in York. I think you could say some moments were more sublime than others. I had another interview at the WYP and this time I actually got the job, something I cemented by buying 'management clothing' and guaging which member of staff had the best reaction to the news. And then it was Christmas which meant three things: i)I'd get flu ii) there was a WYP Christmas Party and iii) that I'd want to hold David Tennant's hand in the Dr Who Christmas special.
If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Patience' Alistair Griffin.
Favourite live event: So, so difficult. Judi Dench's solo in Merry Wives will probably be the one I will never forget.
Memorable for: Either confusing lots and lots of people with the adventures of Mini David (Tennant) or dancing to a very drunken PYFB's version of 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' with some of my favourite people in the world.
If you just read one blog it should be: It probably should be this one, but since you've already read it and I don't want you to go without, try Even Though It All Went Wrong