Monday, September 26, 2011

Salisbury's Bootleg Theatre brought their current touring production 15 Minutes of Fame to Frome's Cornerhouse this week. Excellent performances from Stewart Taylor as a small-time pusher moonlighting as a therapist in the Glastonbury healing field, and from producer Colin Burdon as a self-deluded ex-footballer, but my personal highlight was Rosie Finnegan's authentic account of her meeting with Arthur Miller in The Last Night Party.

Britain's Tree Story is a beautifully produced compilation of pictures and tales from around the country by Julian Hight (aka Bugs from popular local band Bugs and the Collaborators) elegantly published by National Trust.
Julian was at Hunting Raven bookshop on Saturday morning signing copies for an avid queue of admiring buyers, and the book is already collecting 5-star reviews on amazon... well ok, one of them is mine but it is genuine and completely unsolicited.

Saturday was carnival night, always a spectacular display of community creativity, flamboyant costumes, time-trecking music tracks, and floats with historical tableaux like the little-known dinosaur spear-war era...
Inevitably there'll be protest letters in the local paper (wattage waste, child exploitation, ladies purporting to poo on loos) but you'd have to be a real curmudgeon not to enjoy this wonderful parade, the whole town celebrating with liquid light wands and wigglers and pints in hand as dusk darkens on a balmy night. Best entry for me this year: Big Heads, led in style by Frome Street Bandits.

Carnivals like this are exclusively a south-west phenomena, but the Cobble Wobble is specific to Frome: more than 200 cyclists of all ages & attire sprinting up a long hill of steep cobbles. On Sunday afternoon Catherine Hill was completely lined with cheering crowds as costumed characters competed with sound-barrier-breaking speed freaks who stormed the 164 metres from a standing start in little over 20 seconds.
Here's mayor Nick, whose chain of office was - like several bike chains - a casualty of the struggle,

one of the leader group and a duck
and some random entrants awaiting their turn.

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