I Can’t Get Into My Office

I have inexplicably forgotten the code to the my office’s entrance door.

The outer lock of the staff entrance to my building is one of those old fashioned ‘push the buttons together but in the right order’ deelies, but it may as well be the Rubix cube from hell these days. I’ll be working from home from now on, someone inform my boss.

I USED to know it. Oh yes, I pride myself in being really rather good at remembering sequential actions. I was told the code once on the first day, and remembered it instantly. In hindsight, I probably should have written it down.
Because it’s not like I ask can ask anyone I work with what the code is, is it? I’ve worked there for more than a year. I’m technically a manager in that I am an actualmanager. Managers are supposed to KNOW this stuff. I can’t just waltz in one morning, high five everyone, and say ‘hey pals, can anyone tell me what the code is to enter this building because I’m either that stupid OR I’ve had a mild stroke?’ They’d take away my biscuits again.
And also, I can’t ask my team because I can’t get into my frigging office!!!
Every morning for days – DAYS – I have sauntered up to the back door, happy and chirpy, wondering what that strange imposing sense of dread is until I reach out for the door handle, and it all comes flooding back. Yes, it’s true – I even forget that I’ve forgotten something.
The scene either plays out in one of two ways – and bare in mind that while my office entrance is not on a busy high street, it is visible to some passers-by.
The first sees me frantically punching in random combinations of code and hammering the handle with gritted teeth. There’s only so many times you can do this, before you have to pretend that you didn’t actually want to go into the building because of a very very important text message that needs addressing straight away. And lo, there you stand, pretending to text until someone else arrives for work and lets you in. Every time I act like nothing is wrong. It’s just a web of lies, day in, day out.
Scenario two is much more pathetic. In this situation, I stand for literally minutes outside the door, hand hovering in the air, staring wide-eyed at the combination pad, willing myself to remember or for the door to stop being such a bastard and just open by itself. Surely I’m due one free magical door opening by now. 
But wait. It gets more tragic.
The other day, I went out for lunch alone and returned a short while later, deeeply immersed in the music I was listening to on my phone.  I suddenly looked up, and found myself inside the building, the offending door swinging closed behind me; I had punched in the right code without even thinking about it and walked in without a second glance.  
‘Christ, I did it!’ I cried, and then cracked my knuckles and hurtled back outside of my own free will, and let the door slam shut. Nothing to fear, I smirked. The same luck would surely repeat itself and I would punch in the code again without thinking and this time, I would memorise it.
Did I bollocks.

Learning Lines Like A Boss

I’m learning lines again.
Autumn season is upon us and that means another splendid production by The Canterbury Players is around the corner. Which means I get to force people to pay money to pay attention to me. Yay! Having appeared in a smasher of a show at The Marlowe Studio in the summer, I was offered the role off Hannah in Tom Stoppard’s masterpiece, Arcadia, which will play at The Gulbenkian from 4th to 7thNovember and is directed by lovely Becky aka Miscriant.
Ahhhh Stoppard. Stoppard.
Oh Christ, I’ve just realised something…….he’s good, isn’t he?

I mean, like, really good. Like, Shakespeare good. Like all his words actually mean something. The kind of words that help the people in the audience on tenuous dates to have sex with each other because the script composition is so witty and so brilliant that you feel like nothing in your life that will ever be as beautiful or as beguiling so you may as well just have sex because you sort of know you’re good at that and why not just attempt to be okay at something for 15mins?

Yes, that level of good.
This is Ben’s script because I left mine in a car.
And I wrote a phone number on it when I couldn’t find a pad.
I think it’s the number for Port Lympne Reserve. Visit it, it’s nice

Arcadia is indeed a masterpiece, intertwining literature, sex, thermo-dynamics, gardening, academia with his usual biting humour and yes, blah blah blah the words the words are wonderful, well I HAVE TO LEARN THEM OKAY?!

But it’s okay, I’ve developed a fool proof system of notes. Some of you dear readers may be amateur thesps yourselves, or perhaps you harbour a secret desire to tread the boards.
Well to help you on your way, I’ve decided to share some of my private script notes – my method, if you will – so you might learn from my experience.


 Acting is about knowing when to act. It’s important to remind yourself of this.

You will need to be on stage almost every time that your character is on stage. It’s best to hover by the wings, making sure that you don’t go on without you.

 Physical acting can be challenging and confusing.

I should have learned the dates earlier because I sure as hell haven’t been saying these ones. I swear, I think at some point I said ‘1732 to 1485’ in rehearsal. 

 Yep, lots more of that.

Oh Jesus, that’s a lot of words. Ohhhhhhh I should really look these people up.

And also look inquisitive. Look and speak inquisitively when asking questions. And yell. Always yell questions. 

In all seriousness, here are some actual am dram tips. (If you’re a pro, go way you’re getting paid get back to your script and your roasted swan)
Try putting your script down sooner than you’d like, and lose the prompt (if you have one) for a couple of rehearsals close to curtain up. It feels uncomfortable, but it’s supposed to. If your lines are not in your head and others are waiting for their cues, it’s painful. But one thing that’s sure to make me learn my lines is the fear of looking unprofessional in front of others

Reread everything YES THAT INCLUDES THE BITS YOU AREN’T IN. All too often we focus solely on our own roles. You can’t let that shit fly. Every character, every scene, informs on the next, and you better know it inside out. That’s why it’s a play.

You can never know your lines enough. It’s an old acting cliche that you have to know who your character is, inside and out, but the reason it’s hammered home so often if that it’s not an easy job.
Anthony Hopkins reportedly examined his lines up to 200 times until he didn’t even have to think about ‘saying a line’ any more. He just knew his character completely.
Are you better than Anthony Hopkins? ARE YOU?
NEVER, EVER FORGET YOUR LINES. Not for one second. Every horrifying feeling you have about the world collapsing if you forget a line is true: if you drop a line you’re AWFUL and the world will burn and people will laugh at you. What kind of person can’t even learn a words without having to hold an itty bitty piece of paper to help them?!! LEARN YOUR DAMN LINES.
…….Oh I kid, I kid! You’ll be fine, tiny darlings. Acting is not that scary really.

Want to SEE me act? Come and see Arcadia in Canterbury this November – we promise it will have all the acting you could imagine. 
Book here please

Back Once Again

I know.
Yes yes yes, I know. 

I know it’s been an age, tiny darlings. I should have left a note, should have explained my unforgivable absence. I should have written something on a mirror, in lipstick. Or put a Post-It on a goose.
Ideally, the reasons for my many weeks’ absence would be shocking, sexy and a little upsetting. Such as being kidnapped by pirates who forced me to play backgammon for hours on end with my clothes on, despite my protestations.
In truth, I needed a hiatus to focus on work, and the play I was in, and the travelling I was doing, and the sitting I needed, and the gin sampling that let’s face it has become rather sad now.
But have no fear, I will be back shortly with many posts to come that are sure to tickle you. Such as…
  • My current gin recommendations (so good you’ll rub yourself in juniper)
  • Why I can’t get into my office
  • A magical drinking pillow
  • My search for the perfect espresso martini
  • Tales from The Duck and Bastard
  • Uhh….Belfast? Yeah, Belfast, I haven’t done Belfast yet
  • I don’t know, something about cats

All of this will be with you in good time. In the meantime, here is a picture of Django looking shocked.

The Demon Gin, surprised cat, canterbury blog, kent blogger
That bitch be blogging about what?!
And here is a picture of me with fabulous hair, annoyed that Ben is reading the paper and not commenting on the fabulous hair.

The Demon Gin

And here is picture of a cream tea I had in Devon which apparently started a war

And here’s a picture of the world’s greatest folk session in Edinburgh’s The Royal Oak, taken at 3am during the festival.

The Demon Gin, Green Diesel, Royal Oak Edinburgh, Royal Oak session, folk session

And here’s a picture of a table I painted for no good reason.

And here’s a picture of Ireland. I went to Ireland ages ago. Probably should have told you about that.
Dat pretty
And here’s me ACTING.

And here is a pizza. It was a good pizza. I sometimes weep for the loss of it.

And here’s some tigers snuggling.

And here’s a gin and tonic cake I made while bored. It looks like it’s smiling. Sort of like The Joker. So that’s something.

And a lemur taking a selfie.

View this post on Instagram

#lemur #selfie ……#lemurselfie Yep.

A post shared by Sinead Hanna (@thedemongin) on

Until next time. (Drops mic)

The Ten Commandments of Gin

It is World Gin Day, tiny darlings. Everybody get naked!

We shouldn’t need to be reminded of gin’s loveliness, of why our beloved spirit is a holy elixir of truth and beauty, but who am I to shun an entire day of gin talk/drinking/bathing?

This weekend, I shall be reviewing new gins at the sensationally sexy Junipalooza (read my write of last year’s extravaganza here, here click here now) and bringing you other gin-based banter via the blog and Twitter.

In the meantime, it is only right that we should all start World Gin Day with the sacred and ancient Ten Commandments of Gin that I just made up.

  1. Thy Lord is thy gin, thou shalt have no others but it.
  2. Remember thy garnishes, to keep them citric.
  3. Thou shalt not make unto thee any homemade gin. In a bucket, using dried juniper berries, an entire pepper grinder, spring water, magic fairy dust, and a piece of a burger. At 3am. Because this is why he left you.
  4. Thou shalt not take thy gin’s name in vain, not in anger, sadness or the height of passion.
  5. Thou shall not buy cheap tonic, thinking ‘ah it’ll be fine, it’ll be fine’. It’s like smearing fillet steak with, I don’t know, mud.
  6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s gin. Unless it’s Sipsmiths. If it is, steal it and then burn their house down to cover the evidence. (Don’t to that. But do)
  7. Thou shall sit on the stairs for no more than 5 minutes, and cry only about beautiful things.
  8. Honour thy favourite distiller, and send them biscuits.
  9. Thou shalt not, after a few gins, say “I’m not gay, but that is one fine looking woman.” Especially if you’re a doctor about to tell someone they have cancer.
  10. Thou shalt not bear false witness against the gin. It is never the gin’s fault.
  11. Thou is a funny word, why don’t we say it any more? I’m going to ask the gin, the gin will know.
  12. The thing about Christopher Lee was that he had CLASS. Layers, man, his characters had layers and OOO remember the first time you saw the end of The Wicker Man. I was all like ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?’. Seriously, I threw a cat at the screen.
  13. Oh my god, this song is all about ME.
  14. What? What? Oh shit, I’m still typing.