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‘My Cultural Life’ – Lauren Durose

‘My Cultural Life’ – Lauren Durose

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!

View all of our entries here.

 

Our next entry is from Lauren Durose, Year 13 at Stamford Sixth Form.

The box set I’m hooked on…

I have been watching Broadchurch on Amazon Prime with my family; it is about the murder of an 11-year-old boy in a small seaside town. With names like Olivia Coleman, David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker starring in it, there is no denying how the quality of the acting on show. Having finished series one and having begun series two, I can say that the show is always suspenseful and leaves you on a cliff-hanger at the end of each episode; when, at the end of the first series, you discover what happened, it is truly shocking. For anyone who likes gripping detective shows, I would thoroughly recommend this one.

 My favourite play…

My favourite play that I have seen live is Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. I saw it in London in 2018 when Tamsin Greig was playing Malvolia; she was absolutely hilarious and had the whole audience laughing throughout.

A play that I have read but have yet to see is Game Plan by Alan Ayckbourn, which is a dark comedy where a teenager resorts to prostitution in order to stay in London whilst her mother wants them to move to a cheaper place to live. There are many unpredictable events that occur; its satirical and dark humour complements the plot and allows the controversial play to be wholly entertaining.

My favourite author or book…

Sarah J. Maas and her series The Throne of Glass is easily my favourite book series. The series starts with a competition to become the King’s assassin but as the stories progress, things soon start escalating. The series comprises eight books, including the prequel, and has an ending that is both satisfying and wholesome.

Another favourite book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ which explores the life of Lale Sokolov who, whilst imprisoned in Auschwitz, had the job of tattooing the prisoners with their numbers. The book is both enlightening on the horrors of Auschwitz but also contains official documents and evidence of the events that have in the book as well as an account of when the author met both Lale and his son. It’s a true tale of compassion and love that is wholly inspiring.

The book I’m reading…

A Gentleman in Moscowby Amor Towles is an extremely enjoyable tale of Count Alexander Rostov’s house arrest in the Metropol Hotel. The Count is one of the most engaging characters I have ever read and the story is written beautifully; it is definitely one of the best books that I have read in a long time.

The book that saved me…

Before reading Knife by R J Anderson, reading did not engage me in any way. It would take me months to read a book and I rarely enjoyed them. However, after reading this book when I was in year 5, I soon found myself reading all the time. The fairy tale depicts the dying faery world at the bottom of your garden, and it explores the journey of one particular faery who, upon becoming the Queen’s hunter, discovers a world outside of her own. It is probably thanks to this book that I have grown to love English and reading for pleasure.

The book I couldn’t finish…

The only book that I have ever not finished is ‘Beautiful Creatures’ by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It is a 600-page book and once I reached 350 pages and realised how very little had happened, I gave up. I do not regret putting it down and I have no intention of picking it up again.

The book I’m ashamed I haven’t read…

A book that I have had on my list to read for a very long time is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

My favourite film…

The Only Living Boy in New York’ is an independent film released in 2017, directed by Marc Webb and written by Allan Loeb. Its star studded cast including Pierce Brosnan, Kate Beckinsdale, Jeff Bridges and Callum Turner is just part of the charm of the movie. The plot has multiple twists and turns leading to an ending that is heart-warming whilst also shocking and unpredictable.

My favourite TV series…

Whilst there are many including Friends and Death in Paradise (a show that both my brother and I know far too well), my current favourite TV show would have to be Modern Family, which can be found on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The comedy is about the Pritchett family consisting of Jay, the father, and his children Claire and Mitchell, as well as their own families.  The show, whilst hilarious, also has many heart-warming moments mainly revolving around the theme of the importance of family; I would recommend it to anyone.

My favourite piece of music…

Classically, my favourite piece is ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ by Tchaikovsky; having danced from a young age and done ballet since the age of 3, I find this piece both nostalgic and beautiful. My favourite pieces of modern music are probably ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen or the Hailey Reinhart cover of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’.

If I could own one painting…

It would be The Marilyn Diptych by the American pop artist Andy Warhol which depicts Marilyn Monroe.

The instrument I wish I’d learnt…

The drums. I have no explanation other than that I always wanted to learn how to play them.

The place I feel happiest…

Probably on a walk across the fields by my house whilst listening to music, or when dancing, whether in rehearsal, in classes or just for fun.

I’m having a fantasy dinner party. I’ll invite these artists and authors…

Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Lauren Bacall (the latter two being my namesakes.) I feel that the four actresses would have interesting stories to tell and would share good advice. I also think they’d be pretty inspiring to listen to. As a more modern pick however, I would choose Banksy (even if it were just to discover his identity), Sarah Langford, the barrister and author of ‘In Your Defence’, and Roger Taylor and Brain May from Queen.

And I’ll put on this music…

Jamie Cullum, in particular his albums ‘The Pursuit’ and ‘Twenty Something’.

Underrated…

The Musical ‘SIX’ – it puts a comical spin on the story of Henry VIII’s six wives.

Overrated…

Dracula’ by Bram Stoker or ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley. Whilst both are highly acclaimed and considered classics, I found them tedious and predictable. They are both far longer than they needed to be and contain vast passages of unnecessary description. I personally find the more modern Gothic classics better than the more traditional ones.

 

Read all of our ‘My Cultural Life’ entries here. 

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