Showing posts from February, 2016

The Glass Menagerie at Theatr Clwyd Mold

This week saw my second outing to Mold to see another play by Tennessee Williams. We are automatically told at the start of the play that The Glass Menagerie is a memory play, it is the memories that the narrator Tom Wingfield has had over a period of time, and this is his story that he is telling, from his point of view. The family is on stage, in the dark, as the audience find their seats. They are being watched by Tom, and at first you think it's just a mannequin, before you see him occasionally move. This adds to the drama of the piece; because the set is very simple, we concentrate on the characters rather than the props. Tom starts the play by informing the audience that he is the opposite of a stage magician. "He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you the truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion." Rhys Meredith performed the role of Tom with great compassion. The story centres on four lost souls, but the play is not overly sentiment

The Magus - John Fowles

I've read my "Classic Challenge" book for February, but having found out Tom Burke has recorded The Magus for BBC Radio 4 with Charles Dance, I decided I had to read it! I really should tip my hat to Tom, he's encouraged me to read far more diverse literature than my university professors ever did (and what's more he doesn't even know it!) The Magus is a strange novel and certainly not everyone's cup of tea. I think it is one of those love or hate novels, and I loved it. It was a bit like Lord of the Flies meets the TV programme Lost, where events create moral and emotional reactions, and most of the time you don't have any idea what is really going on! The novel takes us through the journey of Nicholas Urfe (a play on the word Earth) through the labyrinth of his soul.  He is bored with his life, and he goes on a thrilling, erotic journey of suspense and confusion. In places it is like reading a ghost or horror story, sending shivers down your spine

Reasons to be Happy - Neil LaBute Hampstead Theatre London March/April 2016

I really enjoyed reading the play Reasons to be Pretty (RTBP), and I was so disappointed that I hadn't been able to see it on stage...I'm sure I would have loved it! Reasons to be Happy continues the story of Greg, Carly, Steph and Kent three years own from when we left them. I have my tickets already, and I am thrilled that I will be able to see how their stories develop on both paper and on stage! When I read the play the first thing that I noticed is the beautiful symmetry in which both plays start. Three years down the line, Steph has married Tim, and she's still arguing (well screaming) at poor Greg, and Greg, as usual doesn't think he's done anything wrong! He's just taking it in his stride, despite the murder of his ice-cream sandwiches! I can't say that I like Steph very much in the first play, and my attitude has not changed too much, although I may have mellowed a little bit towards her. Sometimes I find that she is unnecessarily mean. She

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Theatr Clwyd

It is the 40th anniversary of my local theatre, Theatr Clwyd in Mold, and they are celebrating in style, starting with a wonderful adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. As far as staging goes, it is very simplistic, as all of the action takes place in the bedroom of the two main characters Maggie and Brick. What is more complex about the play is the interaction of these two characters and the rest of the family who are in crisis. The play is set in the deep south of America in the 1950's, and tells the story of one family as they gather to celebrate Big Daddies 65th birthday, and to find out if he has cancer or not. The play opens with Maggie getting changed in her bedroom because a child has spilt something down her beautiful lace dress. She delivers a long soliloquy in a Southern drawl about her sister-in-law and her awful "no-necked monsters." She speaks incessantly, never pausing for breath as she gets everything off her chest; by contrast h

Missing in Action - Catch up Post!

I've not been on here for a little while! I've been immersed in watching War and Peace, reading Barchester Towers, and I was commissioned to do a get well card for Howard Charles who plays Porthos in the TV drama The Musketeers, who it appears has been in a rather nasty traffic accident. I must admit to rushing out and buy the War and Peace DVD, and I have to be honest, I'm sort of feeling guilty about my previous posts about the show. Having watched it all in one go, I'm wishing my earlier comments had been a little more accepting of the drama for what it outstanding and exquisite piece of TV entertainment. I think a lot of the actors grew into their roles as the series progressed, whilst some seemed immediately comfortable with their roles! I still think it's a shame that Andrew Davies made the decision to cut so many scenes. I think 8 or 10 episodes would have been much better. Maybe I'm just greedy, but when you have a lavish drama such as this, a

Barchester Towers (Box Clever Challenge - February)

My friends were discussing the outstanding performance of the late Alan Rickman in his portrayal of Obadiah Slope in The Barchester Chronicles. I was only 9 years old when it was broadcast, so I don't remember it, although I imagine it was probably a firm favourite with my late mother! Curiosity got the better of me, and as I knew there was a copy of Barchester Towers in my bookcase, I decided it should be my second novel for the 2016 Classics Challenge. Anthony Trollope published Barchester Towers in 1857; could a novel written nearly 160 years ago still have resonance with its audience today? I must admit I was disappointed when I first started reading the book. I found it tough going if I'm honest, the characters, of which there are many, were introduced at the start, but they were valueless introductions. The start is as if you were at a party and introduced to twenty people and you can't remember who is who or what they do because you haven't had a chance to have

Tom Burke Online Magazine, Issue 2

Well issue one was well received, bar a few niggles, so issue two went into production! Here are the things that I have written for the entertainment of Tom's fans. The health benefits of white tea, where Luke and Santi have been hanging out whilst filming The Musketeers, the history of Strohov Monastery which forms the King's Palace in The Musketeers and a road trip around Pembrokeshire to see just where the film Third Star was filmed. Page layout and design by Christine  @christine_ghh   @TBO_magazine ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------

The Stygian Underworld of Social Media (Jon Ronson - So You've Been Publically Shamed)

I joined Facebook by accident in July 2013. I don't know how it happened. Well I do, like everything else I was fiddling with something I knew nothing about. I was looking for a livery yard and the details were on Facebook. I noticed my friends name on the page and I couldn't resist clicking on it. I immediately got a text off her asking if it was really me. In panic mode I said yes, how the hell do I get off here, but she wouldn't tell me, she told me I had to stay because she lived on Facebook. And so my trip to the stygian world of social media began... I ended up on Twitter next. Again I don't know why I was compelled to give it a go. Apparently my account was created in May 2012, I have no idea how, but it wasn't activated until two years later! I say activated, but my actual first tweet was a month after that! It was a video of two horses playing football (World Cup Soccer - Horses vs Humans!), I tweeted it to @Roger_The _Horse. I don't know why. I had n