‘My Cultural Life’ – L Monahan
Mr Mark Zacharias, Head of English at Stamford High School, has started our latest lockdown project – ‘My Cultural Life’. Inspired by the Times newspaper, amongst others: the Schools present interviews from individuals across our Stamford community, considering their cultural interests, loves and shortcomings.
We hope that these interviews help you to find inspiration during the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in, and that you enjoy learning a little more about us here at Stamford!
Read more about the cultural life of Old Stamfordian (OS 19), Lara Monahan:
The box set I’m hooked on…
Where to start! Lockdown has led to a definite increase in my bingeing habits. At the moment, I am watching ‘Z: The Beginning of Everything’. It allows a bit of escape from the madness of 2020, albeit in exchange for the madness of the 1920s. And the costumes are fabulous.
My favourite play…
I love ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, particularly the 1993 film version with Emma Thompson, and anything from the practitioner Frantic Assembly has the capacity to bring me to tears. I was also thrilled to see ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ featuring Gillian Anderson through the National Theatre streaming service a few weeks ago.
My favourite author or book…
At the moment it is Iain Banks’ ‘The Wasp Factory’. See next question for what my favourite book will be in a few weeks…
The book I’m reading…
‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker.
The book I wish I had written…
‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney; I’d be quids in by now.
The book that saved me…
‘Museum of Thieves’ by Lian Tanner. I was lucky enough to meet her in Tasmania at the end of last year, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Do meet your heroes.
The book I couldn’t finish…
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Truman Capote.
The book I’m ashamed I haven’t read…
‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. But I’ve got time.
My favourite film…
Taika Waititi’s ‘Jojo Rabbit’, which came out earlier this year. Every scene is beautifully filmed. It is about love triumphing over hatred and is an important reminder that what is normal is not synonymous with what is right.
My favourite TV series…
‘Sex and the City’; funny and honest about the female experience, it can lift my spirits no end. Even the fact that it can sometimes seem a little outdated works in its favour – this is only evidence of how far the amplification of women’s voices has come, even since the 1990s.
My favourite piece of music…
I love ‘Moonlight Serenade’ by Glen Miller, the main title of ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Comptine d’un autre été, l’après-midi’ from Amelie. Also, anything by Angèle.
The last TV programme that made me cry…
‘Fleabag’ made me bawl.
The lyric I wish I’d written…
While a certain lyric of Stormzy’s ‘Vossi Bop’ is probably most suited to my political inclinations, I love pretty much every line in ‘La Vie Boheme’ from the musical ‘Rent’.
My guiltiest cultural pleasure…
The Hannah Montana Movie. Enough said.
If I could own one painting…
While I’m not too bothered about owning a painting, a Jackson Pollock is probably the safest one to have around the house.
The instrument I wish I’d learnt…
The piano. I grappled with it for five years on and off, and for some reason I didn’t have the patience to properly learn, despite always wanting to be able to play. My repertoire remains at ‘Three Blind Mice’ and the ‘Jaws’ theme.
The music that cheers me up…
Joan Jett, Lady Gaga and U2.
The place I feel happiest…
Menthon-Saint-Bernard, Annecy in the summer with my brother and sister.
I’m having a fantasy dinner party. I’ll invite these artists and authors…
David Attenborough, Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, Caitlin Moran, David Oyelowo, Geoffrey Chaucer and Reese Witherspoon.
And I’ll put on this music…
A mix of Lizzo’s biggest hits. For some reason I think Chaucer could really get down to it.
I wasted an evening . . .
Watching ‘La La Land’. Considering how much everyone else loves it, maybe I should give it another go.
Underrated . . .
‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith.
Overrated . . .
Read all of our ‘My Cultural Life’ entries here.
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