Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Trump and trumpery: the antidote.........

I have been watching aghast as events have unfolded over the last week: the inauguration, that speech, the reaction to it, the massive protest marches in the U.S.A, and the reaction to that: the internet trolling , the ignorance, the vacuity, the vituperation and the spite........

It has left me feeling profoundly depressed.

If, like me, you are sickened to your heart with the whole shambolic circus, and the sheer viciousness displayed by all sides in it, then please click on the link below.

It may not be quite the antidote you had in  mind, but roll with it........

It works for me..........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4KnlQwzl3Y

Those Quakers are definitely on to something..........


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Under Milk Wood

As promised, here is the cast list. To get there: nearest tubes are Piccadilly, Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road. By bus, the 38 and the 19 both stop at Chinatown, directly opposite the bottom of Dean Street. St Anne's Church is at the Shaftesbury Avenue end of Dean Street.



ST ANNE’S, SOHO

PRESENTS

The French House Players with a rehearsed reading of a compilation from

UNDER MILK WOOD
by Dylan Thomas

With
STRUAN ROGER as the Narrator

DOROTHEA PHILLIPS

MANSEL DAVID

PAUL RYAN

JOHN WITTS

TIM WOODWARD

LESLEY LEWIS

LIZ FELTON

MARTIN CORT

CAMILLA MATHIAS


Sound by TERENCE PERKINS  
                       
Directed by MARTIN CORT

7.30pm Friday 27th January 2017



Thursday, 12 January 2017

The French House and other stories

My favourite pub featured in the BBC News website magazine pages recently.

Here's a link:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-38384519

It's the seventh picture down, so scroll down for a look.

I was sat on the fourth stool in from the left last Sunday lunchtime with actress Dorothea Phillips to my left, then Terry, our sound man and Martin Cort our director.

We were occupying the 'Sandy Fawkes Corner' of the bar as we were having a "Production Meeting"..........

Well, we had just had a look at the Community Hall of St Anne's Church Soho to sort out the practicalities of The French House Players rehearsed reading of Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood".

This will take place at 7.30 p.m. on Friday 27th January, running time is about 75 minutes.

Tickets will be available on the door, £10 each (£5concs), all proceeds to St Anne's Church.

I'll give you a full cast list nearer the time, but expect the likes of Struan Roger, Tim Woodward, the indefatigable Dorothea Phillips (she was in one of the original productions in the '50's....), Martin Cort, Lesley Lewis, and me.....

It should be fun!

Come along if you can!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Now here's a thing........

I have been keeping an eye on the stats page of this blog.

It's not vanity, just interest, as I'm sure the majority of visitors to this blog are not even remotely interested in the any of the content.

They are more likely attempting to strip-mine it for data that can be used for nefarious purposes: the use of spam-bots and the attempted planting of malware or links to pornographic sites springs immediately to mind.......

Perhaps this is just a feature of the modern internet and I should not concern myself too nearly with it.

However, a recent surge in the number of visits from Russia, Poland and the Ukraine has got me thinking.

Why???????

This week, 251 visits to 'The Last Post' alone, 95 from Russia and 92 from Ukraine.

In the last month, a total of 1859 visits from Russia, 319 from Poland and 139 from Ukraine.

Contrast this with 259 from the United Kingdom and 167 from the United States........

I certainly seem popular in the former Eastern Bloc........

And this is not a new phenomenon.

At the risk of sounding like I'm suffering from a good old-fashioned dose of Cold War Paranoia, I find this disturbing.

Is it just me?

Are there really that many Olegs and Olgas out there surfing the net in search of some vaguely boat-related light entertainment?

Or is something more sinister afoot?

Perhaps someone at GCHQ in Cheltenham could nip over to the Nissen hut that houses the Boaters' Blogs Monitoring Service this lunchtime and ask Neville to put his corned beef sandwich down, stop playing Freecell for a minute, and find out what the heck is going on?

Meanwhile, here's a few search key words to tickle the interest of our friends in the East.

Putin.

Megalomaniac.

Kleptocratic government.

Suppression of dissent.

Autocracy.

Pussy Riot.

And for good measure, here's some about his New Best Friend:

Trump.

Wazzock.

Puppet.

Presidential Inauguration.

Nuclear missile launch codes.

Private Fraser/Dad's Army/"We're all doomed."

That little lot should get them going.....

If this post now roars past the '500 visits' mark by Tuesday teatime, and more than 75% of those are from the former Soviet bloc, then I'll know I'm on to something.

What to do about it, other than dig a hole, get in it , then pull the hole in after me, I'm not entirely sure........

In the meantime, keep smiling, everyone.

:-)

I'm off to watch "A Beautiful Mind" again........


Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Last Post

Well, not the last ever post........

Just the last post of 2016......

And as this has been a year of  great sadness at much passing, let the title stand!

I heard The Last Post played on the bugle at St Anne's Church in Soho on Remembrance Sunday in November this year.

And with the help of Father Simon, and my friends from The French House Players (a group of professional actors who drink in that very fine establishment just across Dean Street from the church and who gather to perform rehearsed readings for charitable causes....), we read the entire list of names on the Parish War Memorial out loud just before the Two Minutes Silence.

This was the first time this has been done in living memory.

It seemed to me very apt in the centenary year of the carnage and slaughter on the Somme that this should be so.

The desperately sad, poignant and elegaic sound of the bugle has long since died away.

It seems to me important that, as the embers of the old year burn down, all those we left behind us in 2016 should also be commemorated.

And with their own, less martial, music...........

"Comes now the Spring thou shalt not see,

Alas!

We have sore miss of thee......."

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38418802

So what to play for them?

We'll start with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6X2Nvx--k1U

Now that, in my humble opinion , is truly beautiful.

What soul would not wish to waft heavenward accompanied by such as that?

Well...........

I can see Lemmy Kilmister, Rick Parfitt, Glenn Frey and quite a few other rock and rollers finding it a little less than sufficient unto the day......

So this is for them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI1ZUohNYS8

But this one is for Carrie Fisher: the saddest, for me, of all the losses we have sustained in this fell, fell year..........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWnu9dSm76E

I would say "Goodnight, Sweet Princess," but I know you hated that soubriquet.......

But "May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest" anyway.........

And as you were both made crazy by a talent so bright it burned you, I'll let Miss Shepherd have the final word......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6mAjiMGUH4

X





Monday, 19 December 2016

All that is Light, all that is Music, and 'All the Angels'.......

C. S. Lewis once described Heaven as 'that place where there is only light, and all that is not music is silence'.....

I think it's in 'The Pilgrim's Regress', but I could be wrong........

He is much out of fashion these days. Beyond the 'Narnia' books, his writing is largely ignored.

I think this is a shame.

Though I am far ( very, very very far indeed) from being an Evangelical....... (there, the very word made my skin creep.....) like Lewis, I am even further from Hugh Trevor-Roper:

www.spectator.co.uk/2006/07/the-voltaire-of-st-aldates/

(For the record, H T-R was a daft old ponce who allowed his ego to intervene with his critical faculties to such an extent that when he was presented with the laughable 'Hitler Diaries', a work of obvious fiction so transparent they make Monty Python's 'The Life of Brian' look like a long lost Book of  The New Testament, he cost The Sunday Times the thick end of a quarter of a million quid......In 1985. When that was a sum of money, not the price of a studio flat in in one of London's less salubrious postcodes......)

https://www.theguardian.com › World › Germany

So, as the inimitable Molesworth would have it, "Yah boo sucks to Lord Dacre......."

'So, er, what was all that about?' you may well be asking.....

I suppose that it's about this: I may not agree with Lewis on everything, but we are still on the same side.

And I won't have him traduced.

Or ignored.

Whatever.

Let us consider once more 'that place where there is only light, and all that is not music is silence'.....

It can be tricky, this one.......:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38340648

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Where was the light?

Where was the silence?

Subsumed by Hell itself, I think......

And yet Zuzana Ruzickova endures.

And so does the harpsichord.

And so does the music of Bach.

Perhaps "The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not"..

And perhaps in that light we find Heaven itself......?

Perhaps......

Anyway, last night at the theatre.......

I went to see 'All the Angels" at The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London.

www.whatsonstage.com/.../reviews/all-the-angels-handel-sam-wanamaker_42452.htm...

Light.

Music.

Silence.

Applause........

It is an utterly wonderful , life-affirming piece of theatre.

Please go, if you can.

At least twice.

And take heart!!






Thursday, 1 December 2016

It would seem that I am not alone..........

The blog posts of this year have been uniformly negative.

I've had to deal with the loss of some of our greats in theatre, music, and entertainment.

Politically, things have just gone absolutely all to Hell.

These two girls just sum it all up.

You will have to cut and paste this link as I can't make it work just by clicking it.

 But please DON'T  DO THIS unless you have a very relaxed attitude to extreme profanity.

(Dad, I'd scroll back and have another look at the Kingfishers. This one isn't for you. X)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yv_rl3MYKA