Friday, September 27, 2013

Kolvenbach's " Love Song" : SUPERB!

Posted by PicasaHere's 4 fine actors, starring last week in one of the most fascinating ever productions at the Little Theatre

They were: Alison Knott, Rhiannon White, Sam Bramhall and Andy Hutchings......who doubled as Director Hutchings.

The play?
 " Love Song" by John Kolvenbach, a quirky, zany......( certainly) emotional play.... that since its 1st performance in 2006, has stirred up controversy and chitter-chatter.... amid bubbling differing opinions.

 But in essence, it's a story about relationships.... about people who have, in varying ways, met difficulties...AND it's also an amazing look into a rather amazing, troubled mind....

There was strong language and crazy music and surprising lighting....all adding up to a very interesting experience indeed....
*** AND MOST IMPORTANT: Delys Rostron ( She'll be directing Neil Simon's " California Suite" In November....starred in her own mini role as a superbly dotty/very likable waitress called, I think,  Betty ...) .

 "California Suite" ( Neil Simon) Nov 16th-23rd,
" Beauty and the Beast" (Lucy Kirkwood) Jan 18th-25th,
" Honour" ( Joanna Murray Smith) March 15th-22nd,
" The Lark" ( Jean Anouilh) May 10th-17th
 and " The Real Thing" ( Tom Stoppard) July 5th-12th. More detail on website.


Posted by PicasaEarly September, a Jolly to Greece....Zakynthos: yellow sunshine, bright blue skies, a surprisingly green land.
A wonderful time to go!
We stayed up in the hills, miles from the coast....lots of exploring to deserted beaches, friendly tavernas, quiet ancient villages...

Enclosing snaps :
Last but one the tip of  Zakynthos...Cephalonia see ruins after the horrific 1954 Earthquake. Its epicentre  in the sea betwixt the two islands...
Last snap shows more ruins in a hilltop village several miles distant. .

Super holiday......AND Greece needs exploring again soon! 

"Paintings By My Brother...."

Posted by Picasa A visit last month to my brother Andrew and sister-in-law Sue in Harbury, Warwickshire.
And the lucky guy has his own studio...where he can paint to his heart's content.
Here are three paintings of his....which would grace any wall admirably! 


Last Sunday, to Gladstone's Library** in Hawarden (  N.Wales)  for a course led by ebullient and talented writer Vanessa Gebbie.

AND what a lovely day this was...including gorgeous Indian Summer outside... 

Vanessa gave us a vigorous/enthralling workshop....lots of juicy fun exercises....AND all this in great surroundings..... with coffee, lunch, tea included. 

Vanessa is presently Writer In Residence at the Library and  must surely be a most welcome visitor. 
Hope she returns!

**The Library ( )   has a marvellous collection of Gladstone's personal books. Here's a shelf..... brimming with his speeches...

Lots more info re the Library, on the website....including more about Vanessa's Residency.
** Posted by Picasa

" A Cornish Triangle...."

Posted by PicasaThis is a painting by AJ Munnings (1878-1959 ) of his Lover, Emily Browning.

My father liked Munnings. And when on holiday in St Ives, Cornwall, we visited Lamorna, where the Newlyn School settled  its arty community.

In later years, we've had LOTS of trips to Cornwall, sometimes 3 in 1 stark Mid-Winter, in glittering Autumn, in shimmery Summer....although these last few years, we've been really pathetic..... and scarcely visited Cornwall AT ALL....
But recently we saw Christopher Menaul's film " Summer in February" adapted by Jonathan Smith from his novel bearing the same title. I've bought the book but have yet to read it.

Great cast: Dan Stevens ( similar role to his Downton one!?) plus very lusty Dominic Cooper and very lustrous Emily Browning.
They tell the tale of Florence.... and her two wildly contrasting Lovers, gentle Gilbert and crazy, unfaithful, gorgeous ( I think so!!) Munnings.

The film is actually a very lovely period piece. Wonderful glimpses into the lives of both artists and the people of Cornwall.... in the early years of the last century... .
I shall watch it again...AND read the book! 

"Truly Tiptop Productions at TipTop, Chester!"

When I was 14, I spent a whole summer reading every Agatha Christie I could lay my hands on.

This was quite easy. My mother was an Agatha addict too, which certainly helped.... she'd buy the books, put them on the kitchen table with the rest of her shopping.... and I'd then have the wicked pleasure of running into the kitchen....nicking a book...then racing off into the snuggle in a deckchair...... beside my father's gorgeous roses....a Lakeland terrier called Flash at my feet.....
And OOH! HOW my excitement gathered..... as I turned page after page at very high eyes coming rapidly out on quivering stalks...
 (ANYHOW just recently, by the way,  I've discovered   more " detective" fiction in the shape of  John Gresham........thankyou Andrew/Sue(!).....somewhat late in the day, you might say, but of course, that's another story...

ANYHOW ( sorry, another "again" ) last Friday, a superb production of  Christie's " Witness For The Prosecution" at Tiptop productions, Forum Studio, Chester (

Confident, compelling actors. Super setting. Lovely original touches: eg. Ruth Evans,  inserted as a tweed-skirted Agatha Christie, diligently watching proceedings.....typing her MS ( almost among the audience)....clicking away on a wonderful old typewriter at the side of the stage...

TipTop have a great programme the next few months.....I've already booked for one Grandpa, 3 grand-babes and m'self for their Panto ( Snow White) ..and it appears A ( aged 5) has already planned to come in her very own Snow White outfit....

                                                  BUT back to the programme:
" The Sociable Plover" by Tim Whitnall, plus " Bouncers" by John Godber, " Useless Beauty" by local playwright Mark Newman, the smash-hit musical " AVENUE" , PLUS Yasmina Reza's wonderful " God of Carnage", JB Priestley's " When we are married" " Fawlty Towers" and Brian Friel's " Dancing at Lughansa"

"Folk Awaiting A Play In A Park......and now I'm awaiting next year's plays with deligh....!"

4 visits to Chester's " Theatre In The Park" this summer and enjoyed every one.

The plays, by the company set up by Chester Performs ( ) were  "A Midsummer Night's Dream". " Othello" and Cyrano de Bergerac". 
AND they couldn't have been be more varied.
ALL equally riveting........ALTHOUGH IF I'm absolutely honest, Cyrano WAS my favourite. 

AND what joy to sip wine/ nibble the odd tasty morsel while sitting in Grosvenor Park on three ( yes, 3!!) PERFCT ( what a lovely summer, I say again!) summer evenings. 

AND, of course, the icing on the cake was Grosvenor Park Young Theatre Company performing one Sunday lunchtime ( OK, a bit drizzly that day...) but this performance ( " Some Paradise"by Olivia Hicks)......a kind of sequel to Cyrano...was great.
 Also lovely to see the talented Zoe Lambrakis ( much appreciated at Chester Theatre Club) involved...before she embarked on her twelve month course at Drama School in Oxford.

Next Summer I'll be 1st in the queue for tickets for all 4 plays... Posted by Picasa

" Looking At Lipman At Theatr Clwyd.."

Maureen Lipman came to Theatr Clwyd ( ) last week, starring in a new play by Oliver Cotton, with Harry Shearer and John Bowe.

It's a play for the "older actor"...the characters all in their 70's.... and the three characters are European Jewish Americans living in Brooklyn.

 Two of them ( a married couple) are addicted to Ballroom Dancing...BUT ...Ahem!....from what I saw, I don't reckon there's much chance of them winning " Strictly"......
The general themes are about injustice, atonement, how we relate to each other over decades, how we hide our broken hearts....and the play begins with the return of Billy, brother of Joe......who is long-married to Elli......with whom Billy had a secret passionate affair donkeys years ago.

Good to see Lipman in the flesh! 
AS ever, her terrific characterization, with her zany but tender humour  shining through..... 

"4 Short Plays By A Very Special Lady....."

Posted by PicasaSylvia Jenkins, one of the most life-affirming people you could ever meet, had two incredibly special evenings at our local village hall recently.

The sessions consisted of 4 sketches ( " Life At A Stroke!") written by Sylvia...who also acted in them....
....based in a Stroke Re-Hab unit....and they brimmed with Sylvia's usual blend of humour and tenderness...and believe me, this touched us lots.

Almost exactly a year ago, Sylvia had a massive stroke.  Her strength of character has thrilled everyone as she's been so determined to overcome her she's strived to progress after such a trauma, thus remaining ( thankfully) as creative as she's always been.

The evening was a real triumph. Sylvia ( plus her wonderfully devoted husband, musician David) should be applauded...and applauded...and again, applauded.

All proceeds went to Ellesmere Port Stroke Rehabilitation Unit., where Sylvia was treated...and also my own darling Dad, 21 long years ago...

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Posted by PicasaWHAT a wonderful Summer! Fabulous. Enjoyed it HUGELY!