Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Creative initiatives are coming together in Frome: the Words at Frome Festival group has now submitted all our events to the brochure for publication, and Nevertheless Productions secured funding for our next pub theatre collaboration with Stepping Out ~ hence celebration, with tapas at the Garden Cafe.

Due to accidental embroilment at Tobacco Factory cafe in the launch party of Nigel Shipley's paintings of Bristol ~ I love this one of the marina ~ I nearly missed the launch party of Tobacco Factory Theatre's new season brochure which has an amazing range of innovative productions, from the ambitious balloon fiesta piece Hot Air in the main theatre to community shows like Hermione Steel and the Island of Lost Minds from Stepping Out Theatre at the Brewery. Great to see so much new writing!

Then on to An Act of Twisting at the Bierkeller, a chilling exploration of the psychology of torture ~ except 'We don't use the T-word,' the trio of novices quickly learn, 'Manipulation is the preferred term.' Trainer Penelope (Lizzy Dive) provides data on sensory deprivation, official rationales, and sadistic tips like 'a little apparent kindness can be heart-breaking' ~ all realistic enough to make this fantasy project shockingly plausible. We watch the rookies overcome instinctive aversion to be slowly drawn into the game: there's a smart one (Kirsty Cox), a keen one (Annette Chown) and a stroppy one (Laura Fautley) but who will collect the information, and who will crack... this added dimension of social experimentation keeps you guessing till the end of Ian McGlynn's thought-provoking play, strongly acted by all the women and directed for maximum impact by Hannah Drake.

Disturbing statistic from Your Somerset: almost a quarter of the county's children enter Reception class already obese or overweight. At least they can learn how to improve their fitness and social confidence, perhaps, when they're taught the skills & understanding they need to thrive in the world... which are no longer times-tables, spelling, and early English history! Get yourself a laptop with a calculator & spell-check, Mr Gove, and google the parable of the Sabre Tooth Curriculum. The wise old men were indignant. If you had any education yourself, they said severely, you would know that the essence of true education is timelessness. It is something that endures through changing conditions like a solid rock standing squarely and firmly in the middle of a raging torrent. You must know that there are some eternal verities, and the saber-tooth curriculum is one of them! Written 1939, still profound today.

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