Monday, August 28, 2017

A surprisingly sunny Bank Holiday

With southwest England enjoying Greek-style temperatures this past week, A Winter's Tale proved happily premature when travel-writer Roger Jinkinson took me to see this Tisbury Arts Group production in the 'Commandery' of the tiny Norman hamlet of Ansty. Lavishly costumed, and with an impressive lead performance from Steve Whittingham as psychotic King Leontes of Bohemia, here's the pivotal moment of as the queen obediently enjoins her husband's friend to stay longer, unwittingly inspiring a suspicion-tantrum that destroys their marriage and kills their beloved son ~ the sweet boy who ironically initially urges "A sad tale's best for winter." Shakespeare at his most sadistic, in an extraordinary and exquisite setting.

Also choosing an interesting venue, Frome Writers Collective held their summer 'Flash Fiction' picnic in ECOS, outside Merlin Theatre. The acronym stands for European Community of Stones, and this impressive amphitheatre was created to celebrate the founding of that once-valued community in 1992... Anyway, it's a great performance space, and worked well for the readings of ten very different, all enjoyable, short tales evoked by the trigger phrase 'I never thought I'd see it again' ~ here's Simon Lawder, voted favourite for a clever dialogue topped by a surprise ending... or should I say, toupéed... smiley-face!
Home again in Frome means returning into a vibrant live music scene: the superb Pete Gage Band on fabulous form at Sam's Kitchen, and top class Jazz Club stuff from John Law with Mike Mower as  Law 'n' Mower at the Cornerhouse.

Other Bank Holiday special events for me included doing one hundred sun salutations with YogaBen ~  it took three hours, including quick breaks for chocolate ~ and a long cross-country walk ending at a delightful field party in Chapmanslade.  
And now the planning for autumn begins, with two two exciting projects already: Nevertheless is returning after a few months break with a professional production that Rosie & I are massively excited about: Died Blondes by writer/performer Joan Ellis imagines the last words of a movie star and a murderer, Marilyn Munroe and Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England. This has already shown at several festivals, including Edinburgh, and was reviewed as both moving and thought-provoking... that's September 28 & 29 at the Archangel. And on October 13 ~ contain your excitement and keep the date! ~ ELVIS is coming to Frome. Yes, the great McGonagall will be at the Granary, doing his witty political shouty stuff. Tickets for everything just £5 ~ while they last.

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