Dawning Realisations | Uniform 28

Altair sat across from Kiara in the dimly lit room, separated only by an old wooden table. He sat still, held in place by Kiara’s fierce glare. Both of them waited for the other to speak, unwilling to be the first to bend. Eventually Altair spoke, fed up with the prolonged silence.

“Why did you ask to speak with me?” Kiara took a moment to continue staring at him, collecting her thoughts.

“You were once a 1-star were you not? Before your time as a government lackey?” Despite his irritation at her wording he nodded. Kiara hummed in acknowledgement before continuing.

“Why then, if I may ask, would you aid in the capture of the figurehead of a revolution aiming to give rights to the group you were once a part of?” Kiara’s voice was low and dangerous. Both of them knew she could not do anything to Altair without being punished but Altair knew exactly how much danger he would have been in were they not being watched.

“Ms. Westwood, I can assure you that my actions had nothing to do with my allegiances to my fellow 1-stars, or with Matthew. I have never wanted to put him in any danger. The be truthful I owe him a great deal, he helped me out of a tough situation. Had it been up to me his fate would be a more peaceful one. Sadly, the cards were never in my hand and like many around us, I am simply following the rules in a game that others play.” A look of realisation appeared upon Kiara’s face as Altair spoke.

“You were one of the 1-stars Matthew gave a job to, weren’t you?” she could see by the look that he gave her that she was right and continued speaking.

“What then, could have driven you to betray someone who had risked so much to help you?” Altair looked conflicted before sighing and answering Kiara’s question.

“They have my family.”

Hamilton | Review

The phrase ‘written for the stage’ can be said of many productions over the years. However, this has perhaps never been truer than in the case of Hamilton. I confess that the album never captured my attention much on its own. I thought the concept was interesting, the rhythm enticing, and the lyrics incredibly well written. Despite this, I felt something was missing and was therefore never as spellbound by the musical as many around me. When Hamilton came to London’s West End however, I felt I had to see it to better understand the hype.

Though the theatre is under construction it is still clear to anyone walking by that Hamilton is performed here. Its name is proudly displayed on the walls in large bright letters, warding away confusion and inviting theatre lovers far and wide. As people enter the lavish foyer tickets are quickly printed and audience members are guided to their seats where they can marvel at the stage.

The lights go down and the crowd erupts into thunderous applause and cacophonous cheering. The music starts and slowly the cheering dies out as people focus is drawn to the singing on stage. Waves of excitement and cheer run through the audience with each new character’s entrance. The excitement could be due to this only being the second night of the performance, however it seems more likely that many in the audience are big fans of the show, evident by how they are mouthing along to each line of the performance.

The cast is made up of a myriad of ethnicities: a welcome respite from the history the show brings to life. Each cast member perfects their role and the audience is enraptured. Lyrics are brought to life through incredible acting and given additional meaning. Words once thought of as throwaways are now crucial to the performance. Lines once thought to be unrelated are now reflections, parallels, or contrasts. The slightest message and image is thought of and claims of the show being genius can now be confirmed by this audience.

The show is enrapturing from start to finish but even so a few numbers shine, even in comparison to the rest of the production. ‘You’ll Be Back’, which introduces us to king George, makes the audience laugh vehemently and each subsequent appearance by the king elicits matching laughter. ‘Satisfied’ is performed so powerfully that the audience sits bewildered and as it ends applause begins, so loud that it is nearly unmatched for the remainder of the show. It is visually stunning as scenes are re-enacted, rewound, and altered, and audibly bewitching as stock melodies are matched and used to transcend the song and tell us a deeper story of anguish, regret, and remorse.  ‘Guns and Ships’, as well as ‘The Room Where It Happens’ are both showstoppers, each is acted so expertly and despite the difference in energy between the songs, the audience is no less enthralled by either. ‘Hurricane’ is probably the most impressive song visually. Set pieces are carried around the revolving stage to create the illusion of a real hurricane as Alexanders life falls apart around him.

The show ends to a standing ovation. After the long applause, the spectacle is over and individual conversations of praise and enchantment emerge throughout the audience. People can’t wait to discuss the show and their favourite moments. The audience rushes to the stands to buy show memorabilia and then to the stage door to meet the cast and congratulate them on an incredible performance. The night soon ends and people are ready to spread word of what proved to be an unforgettable night.

The Lion King | Review

Two wineglasses clink, white wine threatening to spill over. People are taking their seats in the lavish theatre. Spirits are high throughout the crowd. Word of the production has spread and spectators are sure that their expectations will be met and perhaps even exceeded.

Carefree conversation turns to hushed whispers as the lights begin to dim and the excitement grows. The curtain rises and a spectacle of colour begins. The audience leans forwards in their seats to get a better view as their senses work tirelessly, unwilling to miss a single thing. Notes are hit with a seeming effortlessness and the actors don’t seem to tire as they leap across the stage with perfect timing and grace. The opening number is familiar to most people in the theatre but no amount of familiarity with the show or its songs can compare with the scene in front of them now.

The energy in the theatre remains high for the rest of the show, a feat that seemed impossible considering the standard set by the opening number. Joy, sadness, shock and a myriad of other emotions flicker across the faces of audience members in the theatre and each scene elicits a new emotion in the audience.

The actors perform stunning dance sequences, breath-taking vocal displays, and heart-stirring acting. No matter their age, audience members fall in love with the show and its actors. The children inspire sounds of fondness and admiration and their charm makes up for the occasional mistake.

The highlight of the show is not the story, the acting, or even the music. It is the stage. The rising, tilting, and shifting of the stage aides the performance in an unmistakable way. Without the stage rising to create pride rock, tilting to show distance and landscapes, or shifting to allow for new set pieces such as the wildebeest stampede to come out the show would not be as enrapturing. Each set piece is so clearly thought through and meticulously placed to create maximum effect and the effort put into the show shines through the performance and resonates with the audience.

This same effort is evident in costume, choreography, and music. It is evident in each bead sewn onto a lioness costume, each movement or jump made by a character, and each note played by the talented musicians or sung by the actors. Nothing happens in this production by accident and the time and effort put into the piece is clear from start to finish.

Wonder shines on the faces of spectators throughout the theatre at the perfectly crafted production and the praise and applause it receives is well deserved. Smiles remain on the spectators’ faces well after the curtain is lowered for the final time. Murmurs of reverence and affection spread through the theatre as people leave, many with the intention of returning.

Preparations | Uniform 27

Preparations for Matthew’s plan were well underway by the next time the council convened. Weapons were being collected and people were being trained for battle. Matthew knew that when the plan was executed, regardless of the result, there was a chance that the army would react violently and attack the 1-stars and Matthew was making sure that they would not be caught unawares. Contingency plans were being made for every possible scenario and every possible outcome was being calculated. The hope was that if they prepared enough, they would be able to catch the army unawares and survive an assault long enough for the dust to settle after the assassination attempt.

As for the assassination, ideas were flying between the council members. By now they had all accepted that the assassination attempt would become a reality and they were determined to make sure that the best plan was made. Ideas ranged from trying to steal a bomb from the government and planting it by the president’s office, to sending in a spy to infiltrate the president’s council and isolating him from his security team so that someone could kill him.

The plan that they settled on was long and complicated. Each step had to be done exactly on time and according to plan or the assassination would fail. First, groups of 1-stars would be sent around the city where they would simultaneously launch attacks on government buildings around the city. With the army spread out to stop the attacks Matthew and a specialised team would start a prison break to save Kiara and any 1-stars that had been captured throughout the revolution. At this point the plan could take various paths depending on how the president reacted. They needed some way to find out where he was at any time. Matthew knew there was only one way they could get close enough to the president in time.

“I’m going to give myself up.”

So Matthew’s plan is falling into place and Kiara might soon get rescued, but will it happen soon enough? Will Kiara’s meeting with Altair get in the way of Matthew’s plan in any way?

Hypothermia | Uniform 26

Freezing would be an understatement to how Kiara felt. Three hours had passed since she had been doused in water and left in cold stone room. The only marker of time would be the visit she received every hour where she was asked about Matthews whereabouts. Each time she replied that she wouldn’t tell them anything. The smirk she received as the door was closed let her know how much her suffering entertained the government workers.

Kiara was sure that the fourth hour was coming up based on how much time she thought had passed but she wasn’t sure if she could trust her own judgement anymore. Her thoughts and movements were becoming more sluggish with each passing moments and her skin began taking on a dangerous blue hue. She wanted nothing more than to close her eyes and let sleep overtake her but a small part of her kept shouting for her to fight her sudden fatigue and survive for a little bit more until they saved her to torture another day.

She was beginning to fear that she would lose the battle with her body when the door opened again. The woman who had led her torture sessions previously walked in. She stood in front of Kiara and spoke slowly, as if knowing that Kiara needed more time than usual to understand what she was being told.

“I hear hypothermia is quite a peaceful way to die. Certainly, not the fastest but quite painless. You don’t even feel death nearing, only a tiredness slowly creeping closer with each passing second. At one point your mind begins drifting, you can no longer control your thoughts. I wonder how well you’ll keep your secrets when this happens. When you start seeing talking birds and your loved ones make appearances, will you let anything slip? I guess you’ll find out soon. If you wake up tomorrow we’ve saved you. If not, you will have told us the information we want. Of course, we could bring you back just for the fun, but you’ll never know if that’s the case.” Despite her clouded mind, Kiara knew that the lady was telling the truth, and Kiara knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep the secret of Matthew’s location for long under these circumstances, but she might be able to delay the reveal. With a glare, Kiara spat out her reply at the lady.

“Fine I’ll tell you, but I will only speak to the 1-star who betrayed us.”

So Kiara’s might be meeting Altair soon! What will she tell him? Why is he helping the government? Hope you enjoyed this instalment and remember to subscribe to receive notifications for each post!

A Death Foretold | Uniform 25

The room exploded in bursts of shock and outrage as the council members stood up screaming. Their faces red as they each began shouting to be heard. The once collected council now acted more like a group squabbling children than respected political advisors. Matthew slammed his hands onto the table between them and the room fell deathly silent once more.

“I know this seems crazy, but it is our only option. We don’t have the manpower or the resources to take down the government if all we are doing is trying to limit their supplies. Guards are being posted at every important storage facility around the country as we speak and even if we were somehow able to get past them, another storage facility would be built and filled within a few weeks. We can’t cripple them from the bottom. We have to take out their leaders and let the rest of the government spin out of control.” The council was divided by the end of Matthew’s argument. Some agreed with him that killing the president would be the quickest and most direct way to ensure their revolutionary plans became successful. Most council members however, still believed Matthew’s idea to be ridiculous. A council member who had not been convinced by Matthew’s viewpoint stood, faced Matthew, and spoke.

“Each day people join our cause across the nation. Soon our numbers will be equal to those the national army has. Surely when this happens we will be able to overpower the government without resorting to such drastic and dangerous methods. Think about it. If we fail to kill him, the president will stop entertaining our revolts and send all of his troops to destroy us.” The council members turned to Matthew again, wondering if he had any plans to ensure their success or if their chances of failure were as high as they feared.

“I know that there is a lot at stake if we aren’t successful, but It is only a matter of time before president Payne’s patience wears thin. He could send his armies to our doors any day to kill us and the day he stops finding amusement in our revolting, he will. We have lost so many people to the revolution already and each day it continues we lose more. Brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, parents, children, everyone has lost someone to the fighting. Is it not worth it to try? If it means a possible end to the deaths and fighting, do we not owe it to our people to do it?”

Hey! So the last few days have been a bit hectic so my posting schedule wasn’t possible but everything should be back to normal and I should be able to post something every day again. Anyways, how do you guys think Matthew plans to have the President killed? The next post will be from Kiara’s P.O.V. so if you haven’t read punishment be sure to do so!

Punishment | Uniform 24

“Where is Matthew Sinclair?” These words woke Kiara every day since her capture followed by some punishment for her lack of cooperation. Today they had opted for dousing her in cold water. Kiara did not know how they managed to move her each morning but assumed that they had used a muted version of the sedative that kept her unconscious when she was first brought in.

“How should I know?” Her answer remained the same every day and she had no idea why they thought getting wet would make her change her answer. Yesterday she had been hooked up to 6 clamps attached to different sized batteries. Each unsatisfying answer made a flip switch and a wave of searing pain would shoot through Kiara. If she could go through that without breaking Matthew’s trust, then being wet would be easy.

“Humans are so fragile did you know?” As Kiara was pulled out of the tub the lady who had first interrogated Kiara spoke.  Seeing that Kiara wasn’t going to respond the lady continued.

“We can’t survive in conditions beyond our bodies’ comfort zones for long. If we push ourselves too hard we might pass out. If we don’t have enough to eat we might die. There are a number of reasons why our bodies might shut down. We might have had too little to drink, or not slept enough. It might even be for reasons as simple as being too hot or cold.” At this point one of the two men who had submerged Kiara in the water opened a window. A cold breeze whispered gently across Kiara’s damp skin. Goosebumps rose and her pulse quickened as she realised what they planned to do.

“It is so funny how large an impact something as simple as turning down a person’s body temperature can have.” The lady moved closer to Kiara and whispered into her ear.

“In a few hours, when you are begging for sleep and the death that will surely come with it I will decide whether to grant your wish. Who knows, maybe I will flip a coin to decide. Regardless of how it is done I want you to remember this in a few hours and realise how little I care about whether you live or die, and how insignificant I find your pitiful life.”

Hey guys! So it looks like Kiara might be in trouble. Will she get out if it somehow? The uploads the next couple of days should be a little more diverse in terms of categories they fit in rather than just being short stories. That said, Uniform will still be updated at least every other day. Remember to follow if to get notifications regarding posts! Especially now that updates might not be daily.