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Taken from OPUS (Newcastle University Magazine)
Copyright OPUS 2000

Book Review: 'Honey Moon'
Author: Amy Jenkins

Ever been in a relationship with a person and thought:'This is great, but...'?

Of course you have. In-built into our human psyche is the irrational thought 'what if he/she isn't THE ONE?' We expect our relationships to be like a Demtel ad - constantly wanting that 'Wait - there's more!' and being disappointed when we discover we can't get that free manicure set or two boyfriends for the price of one.

'Honey Moon' is the story of a girl seeking 'the one'. Problem is, she's already engaged.

As consumers, let's take a moment to compare 'love' with, say, shopping- for whether it be a brand new set of Nikes or a new boy friend, we all want to get the best quality out there. We find what's in our price range and try not to feel too stroppy when we see our mates strutting around in Nikes shaped like a space shuttle.

It's easy to trip over your ego in a pair of $20 Dunlops from K-Mart (but don't worry fellows, it's not the brand that counts, it's how you walk in them).

Unlike shoes, unfortunately, boyfriends do not tend to be upgraded every few months.

This is something Honey does not seem to catch on to. Engaged to an adorable but 'too-perfect' man, Honey dreams of 'The Love Of Her Life' - a man she spent one night with seven years ago!

Now some might say that she is putting an unrealistic emphasis on a non-existent relationship so she doesn't have to deal with the commitment 'thing' ... of course, they would be absolutely correct.

Honey, the true-love-seeker, has an 'Ally-MacBeal-type-effect' on the reader: occasionally you want to hug and reassure her - but most of the time you want to slap her round the head and yell 'Stop being so ditzy!'

Despite the heroine's emotional shortcomings, the candidly witty dialogue and almost slapstick circumstances make 'Honey Moon' a light, entertaining read.

However, if you are looking for some existential reasoning for or against the truth of 'love' - or an intricate story line - forget it. This book's about as deep as a Ricky Lake special. Go buy a new pair of Dunlops.

By Nadine Tisdell

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Review: 'FAME The Musical'

When we first walked in to the Civic Theatre to see the much-talked-about 'FAME: The Musical', my boyfriend and I were indeed surprised.

Not being (what you might call) 'regular' theatre-goers, we expected to be greeted by an audience of professors, school teachers and doctors. We were very taken aback to walk in and find a dizzying display of cargo pants, halter-tops and wildly accessorised hair.

Who knew? The theatre had become 'cool'.

We took our seats, mouths slightly agape, and listened to a giggling gaggle of thirteen-year-olds wearing platforms and clothes their mothers probably wouldn't have approved of. I suddenly felt much older than 21.

We took our gaze away from the young femme fatales and studied the surroundings.

I must admit, it looked impressive, but then again, the Civic Theatre could turn a bingo match into a cultured event.

The sets during the show changed surprisingly quickly and with a minimum of fuss - the cast being multi-skilled by changing them over between scenes.

However impressive the set designs were, my gaze was shifted to the amazing dancing and singing abilities of the cast. These guys could dance! I became fascinated watching 'Tyrone' jump into the air whilst doing the splits, as my boyfriend muttered 'ouch' under his breath.

The costumes were appropriately skimpy to keep the audiences' interest and allow greater movement during the dance routines.

Thelma Houston stole the show, playing an uptight school teacher with a bad attitude and a brilliant voice. Her mellow deep tones made even the most enthusiastic singers in the musical seem like Axl Rose on a bad day.

The acting was fairly mainstream but, let's face it, no one goes to a musical to be dazzled by an intricate plot or acting abilities. This feel-good show made up for its lack of originality through engaging performances in singing and dancing.

The audience got what they expected - a visual explosion of colour and movement, an aural explosion of melodic crescendos, and a pleasant smile of satisfaction after the show.

We walked out of the theatre, amongst the cargo pants and lycra tops, humming the theme song 'Fame' and bopping in time to the music.

I felt 21 again.

By Nadine Tisdell

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Images courtesy of Amazon.co.uk and www.famethemusical.com