Archive for the ‘theatre’ Category

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

October 16, 2016
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Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus is located on the southern slope of The Acropolis.

Around the World in 80 Days

August 15, 2015
Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

A theatrical performance of Around the World in 80 Days in the park with the bandstand, part of Celebrating Aldershot (not that there is anything to celebrate).

Hobo Co with their battered old Citroen van serving quality coffee.

Surprisingly the park was packed.

I only regret I was passing through, as it was a good performance.

There were programmes, but I neglected to pick one up, and therefore I regret to say I do not know who the performers were.

What Around the World in 80 Days shows, if you make the effort to put on quality, it will bring people in. A lesson the dysfunctional council has yet to learn.

I have been thinking add theatre to Staycation Live in Godalming. Around the World in 80 Days reinforces it would be a good idea.

The Three Musketeers

August 16, 2014
The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

playing to packed crowds

playing to packed crowds

playing to packed crowds

playing to packed crowds

Open Air Theatre production of The Three Musketeers in the bandstand in Aldershot.

Not what quite what you’d expect in Aldershot, Castle Grounds Guildford yes, Aldershot no. And yet, it was packed, far more people, probably ten times as many as Aldershot Live Music Day attracts. But then Aldershot Live Music day is pretty dire and has zilch publicity.

A very amateurish production, that is not intended as a critical comment, what I would have expected of an Elizabethan production in the yard of an inn.

The production was by Boxtree Productions, a touring company. Their web page showing a production at Theatre of Dionysus at The Acropolis in Athens. Yeah, right.

Why was it packed? Maybe, in the cultural desert of Aldershot (exception being the excellent West End Centre), it was like offering a dying man in the desert water.

Let us hope this becomes a regular event, theatre groups, touring or otherwise, being invited to to put on a production. Why not link up with the groups who perform in the Castle Grounds in Guildford during the Guildford Summer Festival, to give a performance, similarly those who perform at the Guildford Fringe. Ironically, there was a far larger crowd than I have seen at performances in Guildford Castle Grounds attract.

All very odd. Aldershot has its surprises.

The Royal Deer

May 5, 2013
The Royal Deer

The Royal Deer

The Royal Deer press cutting from Farnham Diary

The Royal Deer press cutting from Farnham Diary

We are losing 18 pubs a week. They are not dying, they are being killed by greedy pubcos (pub owning companies) that are screwing pub landlords with extortionate rents and drink prices often double the market rate, with the net result the pub goes bust and is then put on the market for redevelopment.

For a pub to be brought back from te dead is a rare event, a cause for celebtration.

One such pub is The Royal Deer in Farnham.

But this will be more than a pub. Marios, who runs The Barn, a highly successfiul arts centre, plans to do the same with The Royal Deer.

Like The Barn, The Royal Deer will be a cultural centre, live music, theatre, films, excellent food, art exhibitions, yoga, art classes.

It is a development The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough (currently earmaked for destruction for a Drive-hru McDonald’s) will be well advised to follow closely.

The earliest recorded publican or licensee for The Royal Deer is Henry Jouning in 1878.

Puppet in Dionysiou Areopagitou Street

March 18, 2013
puppet playing guitar

puppet playing guitar

puppet with guitar

puppet with guitar

An amazing puppet in Dionysiou Areopagitou Street operated by two people.

A celebration of Holy Week at St Mark’s by the children

March 29, 2012
A cross of nails

A cross of nails

a single candle lit for friends

a single candle lit for friends

I have been to St Mark’s Church at Christmas when the children of St Mark’s Primary school run the service. I have been very, very impressed.

Children’s Carol Concert at St Mark’s

What would it be like when they run the service for Easter?

This evening I found out. I was very, very impressed. Not only was I impressed, but I found it deeply moving.

On entering the church I found musical chairs was still in play, only the people do not move the pews move.

Following a brief welcome by the Rector Rev Ian Hedges, the children took over and ran the service for a little over half an hour.

We had a group of players, actors or performers, call them what you will. They were all dressed the same, in oversize creamy yellow t-shirts, several, like prisoners, had stamped on the back who they were, for example Jesus, disciple, soldier etc, and black shorts. They were told they could go home as they were dressed, they did not need to change, but please if you do, remember to take home the clothes you arrived in.

Another smaller group of children narrated the scene, using what I assume were taken directly from or adaptation of the Gospels.

Another much larger group of children sang.

As the children narrated, the players performed mime.

The story was told from the Last Supper through to betrayal, trial, beating, execution and burial in a tomb.

It was incredible to watch. Well deserving of putting on as a stage performance.

At the end, thanks from Ian to the children and an excellent summing up.

Ian held a wooden cross. Said how they had been hammering in nails. The play deliberately ended at a low, Jesus being executed on a cross, carried off to a tomb.

Seeing the cross of nails, I thought of the medieval cross of nails from Coventry Cathedral that Canon Andrew White wears and the good work he does in Iraq and the Middle East.

The children were year 3/4, which meant absolutely nothing to me. I asked. They were aged seven to nine years old. The school groups the children together spanning two academic years.

I lit a single candle for my friends Mio, Paulo, Andrew and several others. I seemd to have started a trend as several of the children then lit candles.

I only wish my lovely Japanese friend Mio (a kindergarten teacher) could have been there, as she would have loved it.

Ash Wednesday
Reflection on The Nail at St Mark’s
Mary’s thoughts on her way to Calvary

A cut back

April 9, 2011

It’s no go the LitFest, it’s no go up in Lancaster,
though they’ve built an auditorium (still quite wet, the plaster)
a bar, a bookshop, office space … well, they won’t need wheelchair access.
All we want is a million quid and here’s to the Olympics.

London’s Enitharmon Press was founded in 1967,
but David Gascoyne and Kathleen Raine are writing now in heaven,
with UA Fanthorpe, John Heath-Stubbs; dead good dead poets all.
The only bloody writing now’s the writing on the wall.

It’s no go the national art, it’s no go cake with icing.
All we want are strategic cuts, it’s no go salami slicing.

It’s no go the Poetry Trust, it’s no go in East Suffolk;
Aldeburgh’s east of Stratford East. As Rooney says, oh f-fuck it –
because it’s no go First Collection Prize, it’s no go local writers.
We’ve been asked to pull the plug, the rug, by coalition shysters.

National Association of Writers in Education?
No way, NAWE, children and books, the train’s leaving the station.
It’s no go your poets in schools, it’s no go your cultures.
All we want is squeezed middles and stringent diets for vultures.

It’s no go the pamphlet, the gig in Newcastle no go.
All we want is a context for the National Portfolio.

Three little presses went to market, Flambard, Arc and Salt;
had their throats cut ear to ear and now it’s hard to talk.
They remember Thatcher’s Britain. Clegg-Cameron’s is worse.
Deathbyathousandcuts.co.uk, the least of which is verse.

It’s no go the avant-garde, it’s no go the mainstream.
All we want is a Review Group, chaired, including recommendations.

Stephen Spender thought continually of those who were truly great;
set up the Poetry Book Society with TS Eliot, genius mate.
But it’s no go two thousand strong in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Phone a cab for the Nobel laureates as they take their curtain call.

It’s no go, dear PBS. It’s no go, sweet poets.
Sat on your arses for fifty years and never turned a profit.
All we want are bureaucrats, the nods as good as winkers.
And if you’re strapped for cash, go fish, then try the pigging bankers.

— Carol Ann Duffy

Last week, or maybe the week before, the Arts Council announced swinging cuts to the arts budgets. Projects across the country will be forced to close, including some regional theatres.

One such casualty is The Poetry Book Society, which will lose all its Arts Council funding from April next year.

The Poetry Book Society is a widely respected and internationally unique organisation that selects outstanding poetry collections for readers and libraries, and which also – through its own bookshop sales – is an immensely significant source of revenue for poetry publishers, and so also for poets.

Some months back the ConDem government announced that funding of Bookstart would cease.

Libraries? Libraries are being closed too!

Cuts to the arts is part of the slash and burn of public services by the ConDem government. Shock Doctrine with an exaggerated Budget Deficit being uses as the excuse.

Sir Patrick Stewart leads actor protest over arts cut
The Poetry Book Society needs your help!
Bookstart
A government that promised a Big Society is taking steps that will destroy a small one
Bread and Roses

No pants subway rides

January 24, 2011

An annual event started on the New York subway. This year on the London Tube for the second year.

The No Pants Subway Ride is a global event started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002.

Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York
City.

On Sunday 9 January 9 2011 over 5,000 people took off their pants on subways in 48 cities in 22 countries around the world. In New York the 10th Annual No Pants Subway Ride had over 3,500 participants, spread out over six meeting points and ten subway lines.

Climate Rendezvous with Climate Rush

October 14, 2010

There are corporate environment groups like Rainforest Action Network whose business model is environmentalism, who carry out stunts to raise money for their corporate coffers. There are then grass roots groups like Climate Rush and Climate Clamp, who carry out stunts to effect change, to raise awareness.

I was at Toynbee Hall in London for a meeting with Climate Rush.

The hall was packed. Standing room only.

Climate Rush model themselves on the suffragettes who effected change by direct action. No one in power willingly gives up power. We effect change by challenging authority.

We will only move forward on climate change if we challenge authority. This Climate Rush do very effectively, be it rushing parliament, taking tea in a station forecourt or visiting the editors of mainstream newspapers who act as though climate change does not exist.

Various speakers: Old hands from the Greenham Common Peace Camp of the 1980s, an expert on the suffragettes, Caroline Lucas MP and Tamsin from Climate Rush.

A century ago the suffragettes were badly beaten and sexually assaulted on Black Friday. They then took more violent action: burning down houses, bombings. Their most effective action was to dog the footsteps of Members of Parliament calling for votes for women.

Caroline made a flying visit between votes in the House of Commons. She highlighted how undemocratic the House was and in need of reform.

Cutting our carbon emissions is the opportunity for change to a better quality of life. We should offer people alternatives. We should have affordable and reliable public transport. No one should die in their homes of cold due to fuel poverty.

We are rapidly approaching a tipping point and have a window of opportunity of five, maybe ten years at the most, before it will be too late to act.

The government has just given the go ahead for offshore deep water drilling off Shetland. This is before a Select Committee has reported. Financial incentives have been offered!

Where to next? Black Friday must not pass without some form of action on that day.

An excellent meeting. Red sashes for those who wanted them.

I then popped along to a fundraising party by Just Do It, a film about activists by activists.

Synchronicity: Two days later I walk into my house, turn on the radio and it is a programme about the Suffragettes! [see Suffragette-defaced penny]

Upcoming events

The Crude Awakening – Central London – Saturday 16 October 2010

Zero Carbon by 2030 – Friends House, Euston Road, London – Saturday 30 October 2010

Also see

Climate change is not a picnic

Is climate change activism dead?

Climate Rush activists storm Daily Express newsroom

A message from our Patron (yes we do mean Caroline Lucas MP)

Lady Lick Her Lips

July 30, 2010