Sunday, April 24, 2022
Sunday, April 17, 2022
On Wednesday evening Bar Lotte enjoyed Iain Ballamy's brilliant band line-up, with Henrik Jenson on double bass, Jem Stacey on drums and Denny Illett on guitar, with classic numbers ranging from the romance of The Street Where You Live to a funky version of Take Five.
Sunshine continued into the weekend for the market - also a 'Makers Market' in the main hall, for local craftsfolk of all kinds, offering edibles, wearables, cuddleables, and more: among the many intriguing artefacts, Little Spoons Ethical Jewellery was especially intriguing, as Lizzie buys antique silver spoons and remakes them into rings, retaining some of the patterning. Also beautiful & intriguing, Ginger Pink Yarns are created with dyes from foraged plants and plant-based food waste - onion skins, if you were wondering, create a luscious toffee-gold colour.
Sunday, April 10, 2022
“Never boring for a split second” was Noel Coward’s view of Harold Pinter’s dramas: that's certainly true for Theatre Royal Bath’s new production of The Homecoming, arguably the most Pinteresque of all this playwright's plays. Complex family relationships are revealed by conversational interaction which, whether brutal or benign, always seems banal. On a superb set (designer Liz Ashcroft) conveying in its spaciness the isolation of each inhabitant, director Jamie Glover ensures that every utterance contributes to the sense of non-connection and personal fantasy. The whole saga is brutal, physically and emotionally, yet the stylised unreality of speech with Pinter's iconic pauses and nonsequiturs ensure that it’s more intriguing than scary.All the men are steeped in their own delusions, never fully interacting, their speeches full of self-important fantasies. When these are challenged they crumple, several times literally. They don’t listen to each other, except to scoff. In reality these men are weak and seedy, and when Ruth arrives, the prism tilts. In a society more than ever concerned with gender roles, it’s interesting to surmise what Ruth’s effortless dominance signifies. Her husband’s passivity is as bizarre as her behaviour, and the unseen children are another insoluble: it’s almost as if Pinter didn't want his puzzling play to be ‘solved’ at all...
Monday, April 04, 2022
Images: Steve Tanner.
Pete Gage, widely admired as a talented musician, became well known as a poet after publishing 44 Poems with Hobnob Press last year, and has followed this with his second collection Gerontius: deeply-felt personal reflections illustrated with atmospheric colour photographs also by Pete. His launch for this collection was at Hunting Raven Books on Thursday, and Pete talked about his influences and his central theme of light and darkness, to an attentive & appreciative audience. He also brought his piano and played some favourite songs that chimed movingly with the themes of his poems: Evening, Motherless Child, and Nobody's Fault But Mine - these links are to live performances by Pete with his band at The Cornerhouse in Frome and The Bell in Bath, but Pete is just as impressive on his own, in a bookshop... We're privileged, in Frome.