Thursday, December 11, 2008

In Frome, ChristmasTreegate is hotting up. Letters in the local paper are fulminating about our traffic-distraction-free replacement as a "monstrous illuminated rotary washing line". "It looks like a broken umbrella," said one lady, who had brought visitors to view - "how embarrassing".
"A bit sparse but very nice" another correspondent called Carol comments, more kindly.
Excitement at Emily's writers' circle too, as Debby Holt's new novel Love Affairs for Grownups is poised for launch next month. Debbie's previous novel in Italian translation was hailed as Strepitoso!.

The Merlin theatre pantomime has been a sell-out again this year.
The Wizard of Oz is probably their most polished so far, with strong central performances from Dorothy and her wandering companions, though predictably Kylie the dog stole every scene she was in.
Star of the show for me though was Howard Vause, the most unforestwise lion ever, nearly as vain as Red Dwarf's cat and much more cuddly.
(Thanks, Mike, for the picture)

Another theatre show, a long way from the Land of Oz, Carthage Must be Destroyed, at the Ustinov in Bath: a brilliant play provocatively well performed.
"It's not a play about Iraq" says writer Alan Wilkins, "It's about the Third Punic War. But then... all wars are different - all wars are the same." It's about the culpability of passivity and the absurdity of violence, and the damage of love too. From the spa waters of Rome to the fires of Carthage, the first casualty of warmongering is integrity.
Performances till 20th December - go see if you can.

And finally....Angus Deaton who hosted the British Comedy Awards earlier this week is usually one of my TV heroes - most of whom can be prefixed by the word 'disgraced'. He introduced the Writers Guild Award with the comment that he was 'delighted at the number of good writers coming forward, which is hardly any at all.' Gavin & Stacey won Best TV Comedy, so James Cordon may find that funny even if the rest of us don't.


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