My essentials: Michael Mangion’s cultural picks

98 | Michael Mangion, 56, Teatru Manoel Head of Production and part-time actor

1. Book

I’m ashamed to say that I hardly read books anymore as I’m more of a newspaper and blog reader nowadays. Having said that I picked up My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell from the airport recently, which turned out to be an excellent holiday read. Interestingly it was always on my reading list when I was quite young, which is where it stayed, because, being more of an urbanite, I would always choose a city novel over it.

2. TV

Something I watched recently which really stuck out for me was not quite a film but the TV series It’s A Sin by Russell T Davies. It follows the lives of a group of young friends in London during the 1980s and the AIDS crisis. It resonated with me because it reminded me so much of my experience of moving to London in 1985 as a naive 18-year-old gay man fascinated by this new life in this great city whilst also living through such a scary health crisis.

3. Internet

My reading source nowadays is predominantly the internet. I do follow, although not religiously, a few travelling social media influencers. I’m a bit of a news junky so I’m usually scouring the news sites with the BBC being my first port of call. “If it’s not on the BBC site it’s not news” is my mantra. Another daily visit is also made to the Stage section of The (UK) Guardian where I read all the latest reviews of all the new theatre productions opening in the UK.

4. Music

My musical tastes are quite varied but unsophisticated. I’ve never actually been fanatical about any type of music, singer or song although given the choice musical theatre would be my preferred genre. I also go through phases and if I had to pick a current singer on the scene I guess I’d have to say I always stop and listen if an Adele song comes on. All her songs, like most great musical theatre songs, tend to tell a really good story.

5. Place

Having lived there for so long and because I know it so well, London is now my number one holiday destination. Not only do I get to catch up with old friends but it has the best theatre scene in the world so I always binge watch all sorts of shows when I’m there. I’m also gradually falling in love with Rome which is my partner’s favourite city and he insists on going there a few times a year and each time I get to see a different part of it.