Starting with music, superlatively good in Frome last week - and there were jazz session and Celtic sessions too... The Cornerhouse had standing room only on Friday for a sensational blues session from Pete Gage Band, then on Saturday that venue transformed into a Bowey-inspired party night as Rebel Heroes gave a storming performance with atmospheric visual effects.A walk down the road on sunny Sunday for Nunney Acoustic Cafe, where as well as great local artists we were treated to Swindon's fabulous folk band Splat the Rat and Danny McMahon from Bristol, currently topping the iTunes Country Chart.
When a musical duo takes the name Leonardo's bicycle you don't really know what to expect because it never existed. True, a bicycle sketch purportedly by the C15th Florentine artist inventor was allegedly found in Milan in 1974, but examination revealed that the paper had been folded & glued to hide a selection of penises not thought to be in the hand of the master, though whether that was due to poor craftsmanship or poor likeness hasn't been clarified. The new theory is that the bicycle was forged in the 1960s - (“It’s the sort of thing a bored monk might do,” says Nicholas Clayton, editor of The Boneshaker, the magazine of the British Veteran-Cycle Club) which brings me nicely to the Three Swans on Thursday, where the best of 1960s & '70s music was played live all evening by two amazing musicians who travel under the enigmatic banner of that non-existent vehicle.
Da Vinci musings bring us nicely into art, and the opening of a new show at the HUBnub of work by Susanna Lisle ;- paintings inspired by local landscape and Islamic tradition of geometric patterning, combining both elements in paintings big enough to look striking even in the massive proportions of the gallery in the old Whittox Lane Chapel.
Over now to Theatre Royal Bath, where Ruth Jones, famous for her role as louche, laconic Nessie on TV’s comedy series Gavin and Stacey, is the featured star in The Nightingales, a drama about a song group with aspirations of small-screen stardom. They seem a jolly, ordinary, bunch but nobody is quite what they first seem, and cracks in their cohesion are inevitable when wild-card Maggie persuades them to compete for Britain's Got Talent. William Gaminara's play is tightly interlaced with televisual references as the plot unrolls with several sections of narration direct to audience and bursts of song. The set, a village hall, is awesomely realistic (designer Jonathan Fensom) and this is a slick production which, as Miss Jean Brodie might say, will appeal to those who like that sort of thing. My favourite character was Sarah Earnshaw's sassy Connie, spitting fury at Maggie's aspirations to be the next Susan Boyle. Now touring in London. Image: Geraint Lewis
So in the week when arguments about poppies replace arguments on fireworks, I'll leave you with an image of my local walk, and the good news that Nevertheless is returning:
Scratchings is our newly-formed combination with Frome Actors Network, with a production of four shorts already planned for the 2019 Festival... here's Becki, Lou and Mark somewhat shocked after our first read-through...