Get the hankies out. Romance ‘The Notebook’ headed for Broadway

The novel was turned into a 2004 movie starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a couple who fall in love in the 1940s, then part and later reconnect. (The Notebook)
Updated 05 January 2019

Get the hankies out. Romance ‘The Notebook’ headed for Broadway

  • The novel, which chronicles a couple’s passion-filled and sometimes turbulent relationship, was published in 1996
  • Book author Nicholas Sparks said he was thrilled to be working on the Broadway adaptation

LOS ANGELES: Romantic drama “The Notebook,” which sparked a real-life love story between movie stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, is headed for Broadway as a musical.
Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson told NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday that she has been developing the musical for more than a year. Bekah Brunstetter, a producer on the NBC family drama series “This is Us,” is writing the show, which will be produced in collaboration with Nicholas Sparks, author of the book on which it is based. The novel, which chronicles a couple’s passion-filled and sometimes turbulent relationship, was published in 1996.
It was turned into a 2004 movie starring Gosling and McAdams as a couple who fall in love in the 1940s, then part and later reconnect. Despite mediocre reviews, the weepie turned into a favorite and has since appeared on multiple best romantic movie lists.
The on-screen chemistry between then little-known Canadians Gosling and McAdams was real. After meeting on set, they dated from 2005-2007 and again for a short period in 2008.
Sparks said he was thrilled to be working on the Broadway adaptation, saying in a statement that the story “is near and dear to my heart.”
No casting or opening date was announced for the Broadway show, which follows recent musical adaptations of movies “Mean Girls” and “Pretty Woman.”


Syrian student who failed GCSE English exam praised for poem about homeland

Updated 24 August 2019

Syrian student who failed GCSE English exam praised for poem about homeland

  • Ftoun Abou Kerech wrote “The Doves of Damascus” shortly after arriving in the UK

LONDON: A Syrian student in the UK who failed her English GCSE exams has gone viral with a poem she wrote about her homeland.
Ftoun Abou Kerech wrote “The Doves of Damascus” shortly after arriving in the UK aged 14, in which she writes about the sadness she felt about leaving Syria and what made it special to her.
Her teacher, Kate Clanchy — who is also an award-winning poet herself — posted it on Twitter and it was quickly picked up and praised by social media users.
Clanchy, speaking to the UK’s The Times newspaper, said she posted the poem in frustration that the current GCSE system did not recognize “literary talent and imaginative use of language.”

She said: “The new GCSE is the last straw in a bundle of shallow thinking.
“It is over-determined syllabuses and bullying of teachers which has been getting heavier for a long, long time,” she added.
Syrian student Kerech achieved a 4 in her English Language exam, but 5 is considered a good pass.
Her poem was picked up by notable authors like Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, and Sir Philip Pullman — author of His Dark Materials — who hailed the student as a “talent.”
 

 

 

— — —

The Doves of Damascus

I lost my country and everything I
had before.

And now
I cannot remember for sure
the soft of the snow in my country.
I cannot remember
the feel of the damp air in summer.

Sometimes I think I remember
the smell of the jasmine
as I walked down the street

And sometimes autumn
With its orange and scarlet leaves
Flying in the high Damascus sky.

And I am sure I remember
my grandmother’s roof garden,
its vines, its sweet red grapes,
The mint she grew in crates for tea.

I remember the birds, the doves
of Damascus. I remember
how they scattered. I remember
Trying to catch them.