Sunday, April 17, 2016

When living costs the earth... (creativity is still free)

Who owns the land we live on? It's a question that begs another: how land can be 'owned' anyway? ~ aboriginal cultures believed the land owns its people ~ and Salisbury is a good place to raise it.  The developments on Solsbury Hill are still a raw memory (in 2000 I workshopped a community drama about the hill's history and the road protest was vividly recalled), objections to plans for nearby Stonehenge rumble on, and now of course there's fracking...
This Land is a powerful and thought-provoking drama from Pentabus with Salisbury Playhouse which has arrived near the end of its two-month tour at the theatre of its coproducers, and will play in their Salberg Studio till the end of the month.
To avoid preaching, playwright Si├ón Owen has created a central story around a rural couple whose relationship is struggling for ordinary reasons so the arrival of the drilling rigs becomes a metaphor of their fracturing relationship, but though this mundane strand becomes slightly laboured, the time-shifts which span over a thousand years are strongly imagined and often very funny. Rosie Armstrong and Harry Long, taking on every role from 800BC to 2216AD,  are particularly good in these cameos, superbly switching personalities with minimal costume change. Set, sound, & lighting also support the concept brilliantly - literally, as drilling begins. The show's tour continues until 6 May ~ check it out, it's well worth seeing even if you don't need reminding that the earth does not belong to us, we borrow it from our children. Image Richard Stanton.
Back in Frome, the Art Society Spring Exhibition has opened in Black Swan Arts gallery, presenting a wide variety of subjects & styles & with postcards for sale. Artist & trustee Paul Newman awarded the Vera Skinner prize to this small wetland landscape called Two in a boat because he found it so intriguing... congratulations Carol Symon.
And as well as the Archangel Sunday afternoon session ~ a terrific set from Nicky, Vikki, & Griff ~ we had live music on Saturday too, al fresco, courtesy of our two Vinyl & CD record stores: Rivers of England (two of the nonet anyway) pitched in Cheap Street for Raves from the Grave, and outside Covers on Catherine Hill, the White City Shakers Old Time String Band entertained passers-by, including a strikingly good harmonica player who whipped out his instrument, grabbed the mic, and joined in. So here they are ~ which one's which is, I hope, self-evident...

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