Sunday, April 21, 2013

Six New Posts...Until Next Time!"

I've been blogging away today... so hope whoever reads them enjoys these postings.
Happy Spring time!
AND I'm taking my parka and duffle to the Cleaners tomorrow....
and then I'm putting them away until the Autumn...!
Fingers Crossed.

" Waverton Not Only Reads....But It Writes!" ( And It Does Fun Concerts Too!!)

A good time was had by all in Waverton Village Hall last Saturday!

Waverton is a popular village near Chester....
and now firmly on the map of the writing world, principally due to its celebrated Good Read Award.
( SEE: for plenty more details)

WGR was instigated 10 years ago by enterprising trio: Gwen Goodhew, Wendy Smedley and Carol Archer....hence the Anniversary bash last week.

ORIGINALLY 18 Readers read a clutch of debut novels .....NOW this group has greatly that each year, literature-loving Wavertonians gorge books, eventually choosing an overall favourite new novel .
Winners have included: " The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time", " A Short History Of Tractors In Ukranian" , " Boy A", " Salmon Fishing In The Yemen"........a vast variety of characters and plots and writing styles....

AND to celebrate this decade, Wendy, Gwen and Carol produced an anthology of writing by local people.......short stories, poems, memories, pictures....lots to enjoy. It's all in " Waverton Writes" which in itself is a collection worth celebating.

AND what were we doing in the Village Hall?...
WGR were launching this great little book....and we were also enjoying a village concert...a massive variety of acts....singers, musicians and actors.....who gave its audience a very jolly evening indeed!

"Those Ladykillers........Donkeys' Years On!"

Posted by PicasaMy folks saw the original  film in the long-ago 50's. They loved it!  They laughed for days as they reminisced at breakfast over our porridge/boiled eggs/toast/ marmalade... with silly grins on their faces.
(My brother will probably vouch for it.)

SO ON HEARING there was to be a 2013 production at M/Ch's Lowry, I reckoned The Time Was find what all that joliity/hilarity was all about....

AND yes, this production was old-fashioned comedy at its traditional best....including Michelle Dotrice, brilliant as the dotty Mrs Wilberforce .....and Marcus Taylor ( stepping in last minute for Clive Mantle...I hope his ear is better now) was Just Right ....

The audience was MATURE....Hmm...there was lots of clicking of specs cases...of walking sticks to trip over....of rushes ( well, gently fast walking) to loos in the Interval.....and I can't help but think many folk  came to see what THEIR folks were giggling about all those years ago........! 

" No! No! No! Yyyyyes! .......What A LOvely Vicar!"

With friends recently, we enjoyed a performance of " The Vicar Of Dibley" at the Forum Studio Theatre Chester, by Tiptop Theatre Company. SEE  for more.

Lots of short sharp scenes featured on a cleverly designed stage set.... with Dawn French lookalike Joanne Lloyd, stunning as Vicar Geraldine.....supported ably by a great cast.
This included Kathryn Wilson, the perfect ( NOT exagerating) Alice Tinker... ..who was JUST as dottily engaging as the a posse of menfolk, wonderfully in character.

All deserve mentioning as all shone out. They were Mark Shenton as Mr Horton, Kiefer Jones, a beguiling Hugo, with Mike Heathcote as Frank and Grahame Smith playing a dopey hilarious Owen.

John Lindop was a super Jim Trott.......
AND it seems next day, my friend was browsing John Lewis.....the store, not a person, I hasten to add......only to glimpse Jim Trott, busily shopping himself...........  my friend declares it took great control on her part.... not to rush over to say: " No! No! No! Dddddon't buy that...!"

*** NEXT production: Noel Coward's " Blithe Spirit" May 16th until 25th. See website for booking etc.

" A Cracking Observer Of People"

Alan Bennett is always appreciated as a most accurate observer of the jolly old Human Race....
" Talking Heads" ( Thora Herd, Patricia Routledge et al) exemplified did his " History Boys" .....with the lately lamented Richard Griffiths.
That's just 2 thoughts in Bennett's huge archive of wittily moving sensitive writings.

Recently we headed to a local cinema for a National Theatre Live showing of Bennett's latest play " People". It's set in a stately home....where we meet Dorothy ( peer and ex model.......SOME combo!) played by Frances de la Tour...... plus Linda Bennett as Iris, her devoted "companion" .....and Selina Cadell playing Dorothy's sister June, a strident grumpo tweedily-suited Archdeaconess.

This at-1st-glance masks as comedy...but WHIP OFF that mask..... and see a provocative/thought provoking play ....with dubious heartbreaking family relationships.......past personal histories.......the power (?) of The National Trust.....a Valuer who suggests moving the whole house far away....( all the way, brick by ancient brick) from Yorkshire to the Dorset coast......INDEED, there are massive far-reaching decisions to be made......AND also  there are porn movies.......   which get filmed hilariously on stage......
A super evening's entertainment, with Alan Bennett's grip on character as strong and absorbing as ever....

" Sublime Talents"

A friend and I enjoyed a programme of Dance last night.

Theatr Clwyd in Mold  ( ) hosted National Dance Company Wales (  ) who  presented 3 fabulously contrasting works.

These were"Virtual Descent" ( dancers being " new warriors of hope, leading us towards a brighter future)  "Dream" ( a celebration of the sheer enjoyment of highly physical movement in all its forms".....and also"Noces" ( a shocking and tragic festival of brides and bridesmaids....veils and funerals.... and macabre celebration...

Neither of us had seen any dance for a while........but this delicious serving of the most spiritedly talented of dancing has made us want more!
We will be looking for more!

" A Stunning Role...... For A Longtime Star"

I thought I knew Lenny Henry.....
Long standing comic, noisy Guffawer, crazy presenter of TV shows, co-founder of Comic Relief.
That's your lot. That's what I knew, what I thought I knew.

BUT THEN  I heard how he'd made the most brilliant of Othellos for Northern Broadsides.....
How his talent for Shakespeare had emerged like sharp triumphant arrows flying to some theatrical bulleseye.

THEN someone I know saw his "Comedy Of Errors"........and she was equally riveted. AND believe me, THIS ( particular) LADY is not easily riveted...
SO when he was coming to Theatr Clwyd( )  in a production of "Fences" ( director: Paulette Randall, associate director for 2012 Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, among other things) we had to go.

" Fences" was written by August Wilson ( hailed as "perhaps the greatest American stage poet since Tennessee Williams")  and was 1st produced in 1987.

AND this play provided Lenny H with the most superb of characters and which he gave a performance that stunned us.
Movingly, tragically, amusingly...only a handful of years back, he was an Undiscovered Actor....
BUT  he's now well and truly DISCOVERED.
Thank Heavens indeed!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Has Sprung..........( Yes, And The Daymons Are Playing Tomorrow)

SPRING! Hmm? ....IS it here at last?....Hopefully it's here to stay!
( Thankyou, David Hockney, for colours to celebrate!)
AND if you live in or near my ancient and lovely city of Chester...AND if tomorrow evening you fancy some good food and good drink... laced with cool tunes and funky sounds, go to Alexanders in Northgate Street where THE DAYMONS are playing again..
AND Just An Idea: while enjoying your Friday night music, scoff a tasty 3 course dinner for a mere £ 14.95 per head!
AND also see: