‘The Dinner Party Game’

After spending last night writing a pretty dull essay, I’m feeling the need to write something flippant and silly.

So. We all know the game. If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you choose?

I have to tell you I struggled. There’s just so much choice. Finalists who narrowly missed out on the chance to spend an evening with yours truly include Diane Keaton, Mark Shenton, Beyoncé, Winston Churchill, Jennifer Lawrence, Audra McDonald and William Shakespeare. But in the end they just weren’t up to scratch.

So here are the lucky few who made the grade:

1. J.K. Rowling

One of the most incredible creative minds that ever lived. From some of the darkest moments in her life she (literally) created magic and worked her ass off to acheive her dream of becoming a writer. She has taken life’s adversities aand transformed them into words, characters and stories. Her past struggles with money are expressed through the character of Ron Weasley, whose family experiences similar hardships. Her personal insecurities are shared with the character of Hermionie. And of course, from the loss of her parents she created the most famous boy wizard the world has ever seen. There’s something remarkably inspiriting about somebody who creates their own light from out of the darkness (and also makes millions of pounds in the process).

And of course I also just wanna ask her those geeky Harry Potter questions. Why did they cut so much genius house elf material from the films? How did Hagrid’s giant mother and shorter-than-average father consummate their relationship? Why can’t Harry just use Google to find out who Nicholas Flammel is instead of spending literally months in the library? All important questions.

2. Louis Theroux

The guy’s seen some weird stuff. Hell, the guy’s done some weird stuff. For the sake of documentary making the guy has had plastic surgery, spent the night in a Texas brothel, and gone picketing with the Westboro Baptist Church. A master of manipulation he can extract answers out of the most reluctant subject. I watched this amazing interview with him the other day where he somehow manages to completely turn the conversation around and ends up interviewing the host. And he just KNOWS SO MUCH about the world. Who doesn’t love a good anecdote at a dinner party? And if said anecdote is about that time he made a cameo in a porn film for a documentary then that’s more interesting than anything I’ve got to say.

3. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley

Ok so I cheated a little bit, but can you really invite one and not the other? Who wouldn’t want the stars of Ab Fab at their dinner party? I simply think they would be a hilarious (and fabulous) addition to the table. And also I just enjoy listening to Joanna Lumley speak. I thought about swapping out Joanna for Dawn French, but I just need to know if real people talk like that.

4. Stephen Sondheim 

What’s a party without a little music? Especially from one of the most stunning composers and lyricists of all time. Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with him, and there are many reasons I feel I need to have a chat with him. I need to pick the brains of the man who thought up the words ‘Oh, if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one. But if life were only moments, then you’ll never know you had one.’ I need to ask why he feels the need to make his songs so bloody difficult. Also the stagey side of me needs to hear all the stories like that time when Steve, George Furth and Bernadette Peters performed a spontaneous trio version of Rose’s Turn at Liza Minnelli’s place after a wild night out (I just made that up but I hope that it’s true).

5. Ariana Grande

This invite was actually Beyoncé’s until the One Love Manchester concert happened on Sunday. I’ve always been a massive fan, but I (along with the rest of the world) was so super impressed with her courage and her actions that unfortunately Bey had to go. She’s an incredible vocalist. She’s performed on Broadway, so we can talk about stagey things with Steve. And she’s also great at impressions which personally I think will add some flair to the evening. But she can only come if she promises to bring all of her dogs.

Well there you have it. Thanks for reading this most random of posts.

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A video for stageys and Ariana Grande fans


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