Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Blog Break"

I'm cleaning our moat for a few days ....but shall be back ASAP!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"A Glimpse For You: Little Theatre's New Menu"

Come to the Little Theatre and glimpse the menu for 2009/10......
Some of what's offered is spicy. And some of it IS pretty meaty.
And there's a bit of experimenting too.
And yes, of course.... there's a reassuring dollop of well loved comfort food...
Yesterday I went to a tasting session of next season's plays at the Little Theatre.

Chairman Jane introduced 3 of the eventual 6 plays which will be cooked at Chester Theatre Club from September, and their Directors gave us quick samples of each. The final 3 plays are still brewing and will be officially announced at the start of the season.
There's " Kindertransport" by L'pool writer Diane Samuels. It's based on the true story of the transportation of over 10,000 European Jewish children to UK ( 1938/39) and it tells of Eva Schlesinger, evacuated at 7. This provocative drama uses mainly actresses... and just one actor who plays several parts, including that of a rat catcher. It's an international story as well as a moving family one and it promises to be quite something... I very much look forward to it.
There's also "Holiday Snap" a comedy by Michael Pertwee/John Chapman.
It's genuine farce, set in a Portugese timeshare, but this timeshare is doublebooked ( how DID you guess!)...and pandemoniom follows ....amongst other mayhem, there's blackmail, the turning of many tables and the frantic donning of disguises....
It's a huge helping of Classic Farce and this will be the Club's opening play late September/early October.
Another play is Denise Deegan's " Daisy Pulls It Off"...OR should that be " Orff" ...
It's set in a posh girls private school in 1927. There's lots of japes and pranks and yarns and much " saving of the day" .....There are hotwater bottle fights, midnight fun in dorms.....and there are girls called Sybil and Monica prancing about in gymslips, with French Mademoiselle, rich Headgirl and school caretaker who turns out to be ...well, enough said.

Like this season, it's a mix: The last 3 plays I've seen were " Hard Times" (adapted from Dickens by S.Jeffries ) Yasmina Reza's " Life Times 3" and only last week, David Hare's "personal" play about family and its relationships:" Amy's View".
The last play of 2008/09 season is "Ladies Day" (Amanda Whittington ) very aptly performed in a city with such a famed race course as ours ...the play gallops off from June 29th to July 4th.
Tickets being gobbled up fast..
SO will there be a stampede...
AND I'm getting a bit mixed up with my gobbling and my stampeding.. ...
BUT PS: The snap: The gendarme I know well!

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Jay Was A Great Pretender!"

Talking of Parish halls (well, Village ones in this case) .....we had a lively evening in our own village hall last week.
Elvis impersonator Jay Ashton appeared. He's a very convincing and most entertaining us several crazy hours of Hits/NearMisses ( including GI era, Las Vegas....the lot) culminating in a mix of great music 60's, 70's, 80's.
The audience ranged from aged about 12 to probably about 82....and many of them were on their feet lots of the time...
The Village Hall ROCKED!
AND snap (above) is, of course, the REAL snaky-hipped blue eyed Mr P...quite something, wasn't he?!

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Rhythm/Rhyme At The Laureate Circus!"

Last night, a trip into deepest lushest Cheshire with a friend and her daughter, Zoe.... who shall remain full-nameless, but this won't be the case for long: Zoe has the makings of a very fine actress. Watch this prediction...
Our destination: a pretty Cheshire village called Great Budworth, where nothing, in fact, IS great ( I mean "size-wise") ..apart from a solid serene dove-grey church standing in dignified fashion mid-village. Everything else seems miniature: the black/white cottages, the gardens, even the pub. It's a slice of old England...minstrels, feudalism, serfs, the lords of the manor, tithe cottages came to mind....AND I bet the houses cost a fortune nowadays in this lovely place.
We were in Gt Budworth to see 4 Cheshire Poet Laureates in action in the Parish Hall. The Laureates all "reigned" for a year and they've recently devised their own travelling poetry show "Fourpenny Circus" ( ) touring the NW this summer/autumn, in places including L'pool, Kendal, Knutsford. Website gives details.

The Laureates play a cast of colourful Big Top characters....(although they say their Big Top is their Little Top).... There's Alberto ( Escapologist) played by John Lindley, Diana the tightrope walker alias Joy Winkler, Jo Bell plays ring mistress Sally Zucchini ( courgette?!) and Andrew Rudd is the exceedingly mellow soft voiced Androcles the liontamer.

There's lots of their poetry, lots of telling of lots of tales. And there's an equal measure of tear-jerking sadness mixed in with spicy gutsy farce.....
AND it was particularly good to see this bond that's formed betwixt 4 Cheshire Laureates
So GOOD ON Cheshire for instigating this post several years ago....lots of Cheshire folk must appreciate it.
AND Psssst:
ANY 2nd homes available in GT Budworth for the odd Tory MP, I wonder...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"A Local Literary Hero!"

LitFest Friends and the Uni had a very welcome guest last week. Writer Tim Firth ( came to chat to us about his work and writing.
At present, his play "Sign of the Times" (starring Stephen Tomkinson) tours the UK and his stage play of his brilliant film" Calendar Girls" ( one of the most succesful UK films EVER) is in the West End ( including Sian Phillips, Patricia Hodge, Lynda Bellingham)
He's a great guy, focused, talented, yet his feet are very firmly on the ground.
And he seems to like the ground of NW England too....he was born in my city and despite his success, he's stayed faithful to his locally still with his own family. In fact, he says, he writes in a room with 3 goldfish and little light in it, overlooking the countryside where he grew up..
We had a great evening and hope he enjoyed it as much as we did!

Friday, May 01, 2009

"ANOTHER First Time For Everything..."

She's asked for her " butt of sack" ( ie. 600 bottles of sherry: a Poet Laureate perk!) to be delivered up front.
AND That's Good Thinking: Andrew Motion was ( until today) Poet Laureate for 10 whole years and the poor fellow STILL hasn't received his.
SO I hope new Poet Laureate ( from today!) Carol Ann Duffy has got either vast cellar, big garage OR capacious wine rack...
It's fabulous news: yes, the Laureateship, but also the sherry.....
AND we now have our 1st woman Poet Laureate in 400 years...Elizabeth Barrett Browning ALMOST made the grade, as did Christina Rossetti , but until now the role has stayed eminently masculine.

A First Time For Eveything. This is lovely news.
** The snap is CarolAnn at Theatr Clwyd ( see my post of March 18th ) signing a book of children's poetry for my grandchildren!