Saturday, August 12, 2017

"LOUD HAILERS!"......has its initial read through....!

VERY Excited! 
I've written a 2nd play for the Adult/Youth Theatre at Chester Theatre Club...which will be given its first airing in November. 
Here are some of the cast...we've 6 Adults/6 Teenagers...that's great!.... having our very 1st Read Through in the Salisbury Studio at CTC with Paul, who is Directing. 

And HERE'S Herbert Henry Asquith with Emmeline Pankhurst...big clue as to topic  of my play!?


We stayed end of last month in a lovely villa in the Sierra de Tejeda Mountainsts....well above Nerja.. last here 5 years ago

3 books read in one week.... top notch: " Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" ( Gail Honeyman) PLUS " The Awkward Age" by Francesca Segal.

R locked into " Crisis" by Frank Gardner..... 

Spacious sitting room indeed....

Majestic beautiful mountains...that SHAPE! ...

Avocado...lemons....peaches...and more

Fabulous idea... to cover a baking hot square in Torrox town....

Spot the Goats...we spotted them twice daily...ringing their bell
AND sorry you can't catch the amazing call of the Goat herd .....

                         Amazing what sun/red wine/absolute relaxation can elicit in one's psyche...
                                            never knew I could dance a credible flamenco,,,,


Returned to the Cathedral for ARK exhibition...this time with Grandpa, O and H. First time for all of them...keen to go again before the ARK sails off at the end of October.....

Fabulous preying/stalking cats by Deborah Van Der Beek

AND O's favourites..... Steven Gregory's Skulls....far right: "MIDNIGHT RAMBLER"...said by the sculptor himself to be a: " A flashy character, NOT to be trusted...! ( I can hear the Stones singing/playing as I write (!)....
also 2nd left: " WHAM BAM!" ...said to show we're always wearing masks...look closely and you may spot the glittery gold tooth replacing an incisor....

" FRIENDS! ROMANS! CESTRIANS!.....Lend Me Your Ears!".."

                                         " Julius Caesar" , directed by  Loveday Ingram,
                          one of STORYHOUSE'S 2 Shakespearian plays for their Opening Season.

AND WHAT a superb start!  Cast of 16, large Community Chorus..brilliant idea...with Caesar played by Christopher Wright, Mark Antony by Natalie Grady and a cast who couldn't be faulted...just praised....and praised admirably!
So very relevant too....a play written long ago for a time  in which we hold our breath a dozen times a day......


Grandson G with new friend after the End Of The Week Show


A week long THEATRE TRAIN workshop at the Forum, Chester, led to the creation of great songs and dances from the musical HAIRSPRAY...good to see so many children enjoying their Summer Hols so obviously...and showing their talents too!
Parents and siblings and grandparents delighted in the End Of The Week Show...looking forward to another Summer Show next time!


                         Scarrrry Evening last Saturday in the Garret Theatre at STORYHOUSE!!

Kim Finn's Monologues...performed through Ed Green's Urban Trendz Theatre, by 4 actors, including Kim herself...on themes of HORROR! HUMOUR! HOMICIDE...all in a vastly different setting/with vastly different characters..... who revealed their intriguing lives..... through Kim's sharp yet sensitive writing....

The monologues were followed by Kim's " Left Luggage!"......a murder mystery featuring all the right elements..... AND particularly good to see Kim plus lots of Chester Theatre Club members performing at Chester's brand new Theatre...!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017


In Nerja last week, we visited a wonderful Exhibition. 
Nerja is the nearest town to our villa.... and last week, we saw the work of Jose Luis Martin Garcia. 
The Exhibition was called: "Torsions And Forms". 

Garcia's work consists of ceramic forms...and bas-reliefs...about the female nude ...with geometric and abstract forms.  

The Exhibition has both his paintings AND his sculpture....where Garcia explores themes such as 

BELOW is the the centre of Nerja...and Garcia himself  warmly welcoming his visitors. 


ARK: an immense and important Exhibition of Sculpture at Chester Cathedral, on until Oct 15th. 

There are 90 Exhibits......3 dimensional Sculptors of international repute....

Sculptors include Damian Hurst.....Sir Antony Gormley......Barbara Hepworth....Sarah Lucas

It's the first time these marvellous works have been grouped together...and the result is MAGNIFICENT..

It's great to see our ancient lofty
beautiful Cathedral supporting the Arts in this way.......
and the Sculptures are shown in a place full of peace ...of open spaces....of quirky alcoves....places where light flickers through stained glass....where candles are lit while choristers chant....all this seems to illustrate their beauty, their the most marvellous of manners.... 

                                   On until mid October: I shall certainly pay my 2nd visit ASAP!

" Falling Down A Rabbit Hole...."

A couple of weeks ago we went to STORYHOUSE's " Alice In Wonderland"....adapted from Lewis Carroll's Classic, by Glyn Maxwell.....and set in Grosvenor Park... 
AND here (ABOVE)  is the audience waiting to go down the Rabbit Hole....

And the story starts...there are huge brilliantly colourful blocks of letters....... for the cast to play on, move around on....these represents the wonderful "play on words" much loved by Carroll....this idea brings wordplay to life for us....a brainwave , whoever had THAT idea! 

THIS "Alice" is a vivid new take on Carroll's book.......At  Chester, we had TWO Alice's....another  superb that Alice, who is on the cusp of growing up, can be a child version of herself, AND a grown-up one! 

AND, says Director Derek Bond:" THIS version of the story is a  Nightmare version of school!" There are bullies, plus a Caterpillar for a Science teacher...and OF COURSE, there's a Duchess because all productions of " Alice" MUST have Duchess ...however, this one turns out to be the P.E. teacher! 

AS EVER, we had a great time in the Park....watching in sunshine, sipping wine, nibbling tasty morsels, chattering to each other..... and familiar passers-by....and once again, we were VERY AWARE how amazingly lucky we Cestrians are to have all this....! 


Bishops Blue Coat School performed a fabulous Show at the end of term..........main part of it was Roald Dahl's " Matilda"...but the Show included pieces from "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory", along with others. 
Fabulous evening, brimming with both talent and happiness...great combination! 
And lovely seeing grandson George as the hilarious Bruce in " Matilda"... with his gorgeous solo.... made us very proud! 
Look forward to more of Bishops Music and Drama! 


Last Saturday, we enjoyed " BETTE AND JOAN" , a play for 2 characters, at the Forum, Chester. It starred Sally Dillon, left,  and Gwen Cowan........both of whom produced a great performance for Tip Top Productions.

The writer, Anton Burge, specialises in writing for women....often about celebrated women!.... AND the play went on a national tour in 2012..... and now opens in venues across Europe and S America this year. A Broadway production is planned for 2018.

"Bette and Joan" has been described as " AN EVENING OF POLISHED MALICE!" Brilliant definition (!) .......and it has perfect roles for the slightly more mature actress!   LOVED IT!


Once again, the talented Youth Theatre at Chester Theatre Club performed another original play....researched and written by Jenny and Paul...telling the most moving of true stories.

The play tells of Private Harry Farr, who was "shot at dawn" for cowardice in 1916.

WHILE researching, Jenny and Payl visited the War Museum to hear recordings made by members of Private Farr's family....they learned about the fight to pardon 306 soldiers who were court-martialled and shot...and they actually met Janet, Harry's grand-daughter.

The result was a triumhp buy the Youth Theatre....everyone seeing it felt both moved and exhilarated....devastated at what happened...yet so thankful the Pardons came...

Superb evocative acting. Great Direction. A wonderful evening telling a story we all should know...

Monday, July 31, 2017


GrandDaughter, Alice, ready to start a week long course at the Forum Theatre today....And I always DID like " Purple Haze"...!


My brother recently exhibited his paintings via Warwickshire Open Studios...and made a fair bit of cash too! Well deserved indeed. 

Lucky fellow has his own's some of his prolific and talented work...


Elder son, G, and longterm friend, Tim. Both lived in London for years...had a Band together...and now back to their roots...musical and otherwise....

HOW did this Lot become OLD BOYS??????

Seems like yesterday...sorry to sound Old Crone-ish....but it really does seem like yesterday ...when this lot were teenagers playing for Kings School Chester...and I cut the odd sarnie in the they're lovely young men who have just played as Old Boys.
That's son R, looking suave in his shades with the lovely RVD and Jon C.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

"THE HOMECOMING"...PINTER's Classic comes home to CTC

Harold Pinter wrote this play in 6 weeks...and as Director Marian Newman, at this week's CTC production says: "The characters are ODIOUS ....(YES!) ......but they make you laugh ...their relationships are dysfunctional...( You could say that!)....and although the situation IS bizarre, it's also ( weirdly!) believable.....
AND there's lots of room for you to make your own decisions about this play......what the subtext is...what is really happening....
Hugely enjoyed it. Great cast, amazing touches..... sprinkled liberally. 
And Marian's delight in Pinter's work is clearly evident! 

In 1975, Peter Hall directed "The Homecoming" , starring Ian Holm, Cyril Cusack and Vivien Merchant. 

Richard Steventon (Sam) and Ray Bengree ( Max)..... thoroughly out of their dysfunctional characters...relaxing in the Bar after the Show....

Best Heads Of Hair in ChesterTheatre Club: jet black Phil Cross with red head Kat Tancoz . 
Loyal Bar Staff!  

Ray with Marian  ( Director)...she played character Ruth over 20 years ago....


THEATRE IN THE QUARTER'S Musical Theatre Group  "JIGSAW" performed " The Promise" at St Mary's last week. 
It was a tale of a city called Barleycorn.... which had been wickedly plundered. 
The play was written by the cast themselves, with help from Millie, Sarah, Matt, Erin..... and other wonderful folk who do SO MUCH to support these youngsters...THANK YOU! 
Grandson George,  far right, behind all those boxes!  

AND here's granddaughter Alice....with fellow actor, Eddie....expressing her part with her usual brilliantly expressive face!