Sunday, July 09, 2017

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


Harold Pinter wrote this play in 1964...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 JIGSAW MAKES A "PROMISE"!


THEATRE IN THE QUARTER'S Musical Theatre Group  "JIGSAW" performed " The Promise" at St Mary's last week. 
It was a tale of recovery...in 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! 

"DEBUT NOVELISTS....SEEN LURKING IN WAVERTON!

Tamara Harvey, Artistic Director at Theatr Clwyd, with Gwen Goodhew. 
Gwen is one of the "inventors/creators"  of the popular Waverton Good Read  www.wavertongoodread.org.uk 

Tamara came to a special night recently.... when Readers voted for their favourite book......after they'd  read from a superb selection of debut novels published over the last 12 months..
Tamara next directs at Theatr Clwyd Chekhov's " Uncle Vanya" running from Sept 21st until Oct 
14th. 


On voting evening , I "championed" this fabulous novel: " The Words In Her Hand" by Guinevere Glasfurd ( Faber/Faber) ...telling the love story of a young Dutch maid and the philosopher, Rene Descartes...
BUT the overall winner was Harry Parker's " Anatomy of a Soldier"( Two Roads) ...so hope we meet this fine debut novelist at the annual dinner at eaton Golf Club in October...

OTHER Waverton Winners have been ( to name a few):
The fantastic " Boy A" by Jonathan Trigell.....a personal definite favorite......" A short history of tractors in Ukranian", by Marina Lewyeka....Rachel Joyce's " The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and Mark Haddon's fabulously succesful " Curious dog..."
                                                              Excellent choices...

Saturday, July 08, 2017

"CRYING OUT LOUD! WHERE'S OUR MP???!"

Here's Chester's popular Town Crier, David Mitchell, standing before one of our city's  landmarks.....the Eastgate Clock.  

AND a couple of weeks ago, we had a lively evening in StoryHouse.....David performed his One Man Show. It was full of hilarious anecdotes...often involving foreign tourists....who had stopped at the Cross to hear his " Crying"....and also brimming with amazing bits of history about Chester.......facts which were clearly new to lots of us...
In the audience was our newly re-elected MP, Chris Matheson, along with his daughter...clearly enjoying the Show...WHEN suddenly my son, G....plus another strapping fellow.....grabbed our amiable MP, marching up to the stage with him....where they promptly locked Mr Matheson in the Town Crier's scary set of Stocks! 
The Interval was duly announced.. or rather "CRIED"...by David, of course, and Mr M was, for a few short mins, left in the Stocks...HOWEVER, his captors relented...and he WAS let out...in time for a very welcome, well deserved drink! 
WHAT a guy! Chester is very lucky to have him! 
AND we're also lucky to have such an amiable raconteur as our Town Crier! 


" 20 Holidaying HOOLE-IGANS ....!"


                     Here with a battered old suitcase is Sue, a talented member of my Hoole-igans**......

She's photographer/painter/writer....and here, she's leading a Summer Session at Hoole CC. She gave us a great morning last week!

We  have a super-friendly venue......access to lovely Amy's "Hobsons Caff"....in the next room...for drinks and cakes and biscuits and sometimes lunch...

I've led the class for ages ...always Sept to March...and during Summer, class members take turns leading. Fun...discussion.....great work created...several very successful published and/or prize-winning writers in class too.

Last week, my Friend From The North, joined us.......shared her own poetry from her recent anthology: " Words from the Wardrobe"...we really enjoyed it...and BTW, I KNOW that very wardrobe!!

" HOOLE-IGANS"   is our personal alias for my WEA course: " Write Stuff"....it's  for prose writers/poets.......we look at modern writers......workshop relevant exercises...share our stuff...

We frequently have "guests"...eg. Canal Poet Laureate Jo Bell, John Donahue ( 2016 Waverton Good Read Winner.......SEE  www.wavertongoodread.org.uk)... .....Margaret Murphy ( crime writer).... Jon Mayhew ( Young Adults)...... and lots more!

VERY MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO MY NEW COURSE STARTING LATE SEPTEMBER!

                                                 

" BACK ROW VIEWING IN STORYHOUSE......"...



WHAT an asset.... having a fine new Cinema at STORYHOUSE.......in the centre of Chester....with comfortable seats too......( the back row is great!)...... .and so far, I've gorged on 4 films...
Here's a scene from the new film version of Daphne Du Maurier's " MY COUSIN RACHEL" starring Rachel Weissz...as the enigmatic Cousin Rachel.
Did SHE?...OR DID SHE NOT??? THAT is the ultimate question... 




LADY MACBETH" starring Florence Pugh...the film was inspired by other writings...Shakespeare.....yes!......also " Lady Macbeth Of The  Minsk District"..a Russian novel....
This film is  a beautiful and wickedly subversive sensual treat! ....


AND NEXT: " THEIR FINEST".......

YES! This was Bill Nighy at his Bill Nighy best! 
Love his casual, disarmingly laid-back humour...including some lovely cameos with HelenMcCrory. 


THEN " SENSE OF AN ENDING".......




           BEWARE SHOCK TWIST at the end...but I'd read the book, so saw it coming! AND Jim Broadbent, like Bill Nighy, was at His Best!  Some great ( whisper!) elderly male actors are still giving their all....!

"How To Be A Kid....in a ROUNDABOUT way!"


Last week, a trip to Thear Clwyd to an amazing POP-UP Theatre called ROUNDABOUT....built by a national theatre company called Paines Plough. 

Along with Theatr C and The Orange Tree Theatre, they presented a short play by Sarah Mcdonald-Hughes, called " How To Be A Kid". 
Actually I don't think I need much help in that direction...but along with my friend, we loved this performance....featuring 3 young actors...who portrayed children... brilliantly...one MUST'VE  studied my youngest grandson!.....plus several other characters each.

A highly energetic, colourful Show.