Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Until September...."

Taking a Blog break, probably until late September....Shall look forward to posting stuff again then!


Posted by PicasaCONGRATULATIONS to all who brought WONDERFUL 2013 Mystery Plays to Chester Cathedral over past weeks.
They've been  a TRIUMPH.....

THEY WERE a  superb blend of tradition ( The Cycle of Chester Mystery Plays, performed every 5 years, are known worldwide).....mixed in with the fabulously compelling NEW....

Stephanie Dale wrote this innovative script.....Peter Leslie Wild directed.....Matt Baker ( Mr MusicMan Of Chester) composed and directed...... and Judith Croft designed, culminating in a feast of colour, drama, music and story.
Nick Fry was God, Jonathan Sharps was Jesus, and a huge cast, mined from local community ( whole point of local drama) enthralled us all...

THERE WERE ( Hold your breath!!) :  painters, decorators, cherubs, teachers, pub singers, waitresses, travellers, homeless people, Kings, Angels, radio commentators, Disciples, a donkey, cuddly woolly sheep ( plus a VERY cuddly sheep dog!) jockeys, race goers, horses, child angels, police, shepherds ( from up the road in Wales!) Security Guards, King and Queen Herod.......

THERE WERE: crocodiles, giraffes, pandas, Mothers with Babies, Carol Singers(!) ....a stunning chorus of children, a stunning chorus of adults..... and there were W.A.G.S ( yes, in Cathedral, cavorting in heels!) paramedics and thieves.... ....
Suffice To Say, there was a mass of music and drama and colour and costume...yes, COMMUNITY!

My smiling-broadly grandson, G, just 8.... as a Jockey.....galloping to front
of stage...holding tight to his Horse ( Cassian Wheeler, who also played Peter, decorator, reveller, racegoer...not to forget the Hardanger Fiddle....)

The Creation....the immensely dramatic and touchingly topical  Massacre Of The Innocents....a lady nearby was moved to tears......and Noah's Arc ( amazing giraffes...and G a rather fetching crocodile!)...... also The Passion.....The Antichrist...the list goes on..

AND there was us, turning round to see glorious evening sun glittering through massive stained glass.....the raised seats beneath, with the faces of smiling Cestrians..... loving their own homegrown culture...

AND  the comment from someone at the end: " BLIMEY! We've not learned a dicky bird in TWO THOUSAND YEARS!""

***SNAP shows The Cast.( G , front row, 2nd left!)***

" The Story Of Walter Busterkeys...."

Here's the REAL Lee Liberace......

ALSO known as Walter Busterkeys.....Mr Showmanship.....The Glitter Man.
He's snapped in London in the late50's/early 60's ....with his mother, the indomitable Frances.

A friend and I saw a STUNNER of a  film, directed by Stephen Soderbergh  ( " Behind The Candelabra" )..... starring a brilliant Michael Douglas as Liberace....AND  if anyone warrants an Oscar, HE DOES!.......fabulous aiding and abetting too from Debbie Reynolds as a super Frances....and Matt Damon as his lover, Scott Thorson.

This is a Black Comedy about a man who, at birth, was decared a Genius! Born with a caul, lots of societies say THIS IS A SIGN.........and to many folk worldwide, he was.

This film deserves a 2nd viewing and I look forward to it.

" Tasty Salad? ...." Lettice And Lovage" Served Up At Chester Theatre Club"

Liverpudlian writer Peter Schaffer's 1987 play " Lettice and Lovage" delighted CTC audiences recently, 19 years after its 1st run at the Little Theatre...

Jane Barth ( Lettice) and Pat Cameron ( Lotte) played main parts, following in footsteps of Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack, those venerable ladies who stormed the London stage in the original run of this delicious comedy.

The play tells of Historical Tour Guide Lettice Douffet, arty middle-aged eccentric, whose job is to show the public around dreary Fustian House. However Lettice embroiders historical fact : her creed is " Enlarge" Enliven! Enlighten!"....and when her boss, passionless Lotte Schon , discovers this deviation fron Fact, she ruthlessly sacks Lettice from her job with the Preservation Trust.

Hmm! SO, discovering a mutual admiration for Heroic Figures From The Past, a wonderfully dramatic HAVOC ensues....including re-enactments of famous beheadings! AND along with Schaffer's hilarious script, the two seemingly unalike women find they've got more in common than they could possibly have realised......

Ian Dunn, Ciorstaidh Eales and Veronica Herd played a dazzling variety of visitors joining Lettice's tour. Ciorstaidh Eales made an excellent debut as a particularly dim secretary. Ian Dunn as the Solicitor, with his superb voice and facial expression, was indeed memorable. And Jane Barth's Lettice, a hugely wordy part, was served wirth Jane's customary talented aplomb, well supported by Pat Cameron as Lotte.

The Set Builders and Designers deserve hearty congratulations, as does Director John Turner, who along with Andy Hutchings, skilfully masterminded this enticing play for appreciartive Cestriam theatregoers!

SEE for news of the club's new season starting in September.

*** Never been to an Awards Evening before, so treated m'self to a trip to The Cheshire Theatre Guild Awards Evening, held this year at CTC, recently.
Great to see such superb talent around the county of Cheshire: we saw excerpts from Ashton Hayes Theatre Club's " Arabian Nights"....." Blithe Spirit" from Harlequin Theatre.... and CTC's " Hedda Gabler" .

AND Garth Jones...with clever mix of hilarity and serious analysis.....commented on nominations for Full Length Plays and Linda Sunners talked with us about Plays for Young Actors and those with Musical Content.***

" Stephen On Stage!"

Posted by PicasaI recently enjoyed a showing at a local cinema from The Globe Theatre, London.
 THIS WAS Shakespeare's " Twelfth Night", complete with an all-male cast. It included Stephen Fry, back on stage after his walk-off 17 years ago from " Cell Mates"  This was badly reviewed.... and supposedly knocked Fry for six....

This production was A TREAT. The entire cast were superb: Fry himself , as Malvolio, showed us his flair and his subtlety ( although possibly not though his stunning yellow stockings!!) ....and Mark Rylance was a flawless Olivia....he created a genuine woman of many genuine parts...... in fact, Olivia was SO LIKE a long-departed friend of my mother ( particularly in her/his voice, inflections and mannerisms).... that I shivered to the soles of my FatFace socks...

Great set ( BUT how could the Globe FAIL???) great music ( wonderful old instruments, musicians on balcony) and great acting from Liam Berennan, Johnny Flynn, Peter Hamilton Dyer, Samuel Barnett, Paul Chahidi ...... and the hilarious Roger Lloyd Pack a wonderful Aguecheek.  

" RISE!.....Gill 's New Collection...."

Gill McEvoy,talented Chester poet, performer and poetry events organiser, launched her new collection recently.

This took place at Alexander's, Chester, where the appreciative audience.....packed with Gill's friends as well as plenty of other poetry lovers.........clearly enjoyed Gill's poems.

The book is called  "RISE" and it's a treat of a book, brimming with Gill's moving, beautifully crafted work.....revealing her thoughts and observations..... through her customary, superb use of language.

"RISE" is dedicated to 3 local hospitals, plus a hospice. Several years ago, Gill ( with immense strength of character and a bravery that touched many) faced ovarian cancer. She's now clear and it's VERY true to say she lives her life to the ultimate.  And Gill's writing is essential to her.... and appreciated by many.

"RISE" is published by Cinnamon. See

" Book And Film....Fables For The 21st Century..."

It's pretty rare that a film turns out to be as fascinating as a book I've loved.......
BUT the film of Mohsin Hamid's 2nd novel: " The Reluctant Fundamentalist"exceeds expectations...

The novel is a monologue... a provocative and compelling story...and the film, directed by Mira Nair, is shot on location in Lahore, Atlanta, New York, Istanbul and Delhi.... it tells this story equally well.....revealing how Changez ( Riza Ahmed) a young Pakistani, studies at Princeton, thrives in America.......but there are massive and heart-breaking cultural divisions...involving successes and failures.....a love affair with a beautiful woman ( Kate Hudson) ....and conflicts with a country, beliefs....with a way of life....and ultimately, both book and film paint a portrait of the extremes of disenchantment born out of this conflict.....

A film for TODAY and for many cultures...

" Script To Stage.......An Annual Feast"

This is a fairly new project in Chester, finishing up with a good annual platform for local playwrights.......and for actors too.

This year featured local writers Gail Young, Mark Newman, Cliff Inns, Ian Edmonds and Stella Young.

Looking forward to a viewing next Summer!!Posted by Picasa