Theatre Ad Infinitum brought Translunar Paradise to Bristol on its sell-out tour since their award-winning run at Edinburgh last year. Two delightful performers charmed the audience with a tender & poignant story... sorry if this sounds like Peoples' Friend writers' guidelines, but production values aside this is very much what it is like. The masks are cleverly expressive, the accordion soundtrack by Kim Heron is movingly evocative, and the two young actors are skillful and endearing. It's just that the storyline seems to forget another important magazine-writers' guideline: avoid being totally predictable. This tale of bereavement, while affecting in small moments and undeniably beautifully performed, is a memory-rummage through all the usual suspects - first date, worst row, miscarriage, returning from war shellshocked... Simple storylines are often the best, but I found myself becoming increasingly emotionally resistant as I mentally ticked off the events. "It is a little old-fashioned, a mite obvious in the life events that it covers" the Guardian noted tactfully, but a full house in the Old Vic Studio theatre clearly loved it, and delighting the audience is one of the functions of theatre. Another, of course, is to disturb, and to connect with what is difficult. As Jez (Jerusalem) Butterworth says, theatres are "places where you come along, and you evoke anxieties - and you deal with them together. That's what they're for"
Merlin buzzing, and musing on the innate tyranny of monarchy and its trail of personal tragedies.
Frome Creative Network had one of their innovative 'brown bag' (ie bring your own) lunchtime talks. With an image for every point - here's how to dip your toe into visual media - his presentation was informative, reassuring, and hugely practical, fulfilling his own criteria of using media for 'fun, creativity, and truth.' Top tip: "Techi-stuff is just a tool - if you don't know, find someone who does and can explain."
And our angels-in-art poems are still being added to the Rook Lane website - mine is here: Jacob meets the Angel