Dear Air 2000 by Terry Ravenscroft 
Another great Terry Ravenscroft offering. Very funny, and mixes a little bit of saucy humour ( there's a pun here somewhere ) with some perceptive insights. Air 2000 should be grateful for the publicity, although I'm not so sure that their lasagne sales will hold up. Keep 'em coming Terry!!

[ 209 comments ] ( 677 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3 / 33 )
A Fateful Aberration on Kindle and on Smashwords 
This book is based in a working class district of Lancashire in the late 19th century, and the characters are vividly painted to give a window into their worlds.
The characters also pose moral questions to the reader. For example, should a man who has clearly been maligned by the system bear a grudge against humanity, or even a certain part of humanity, for the east of his life?
Should a young woman, fired up with the teachings of Mary
Wollstonecraft and the likes of Ibsen, attempt to foist her ideas on those least able to analyse them, or is she indeed developing the very tools of analysis?
The spice and fizz brought to the tale by the irrepressible Ida gives a reflection of how people deal with adversity, and the pathos of her end only goes to accentuate this.
As the story winds towards its dramatic denouement we wonder whether this is in some way a comment on our society, maybe even an allegorical comment on todays society.

Bert Romero

[ 231 comments ] ( 203 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3.1 / 26 )
Review: Mogadishu @ Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester 
AT last - a provocative piay that’s sure to spark a debate or two.

Mogadishu, the Royal Exchange Theatre’s latest production, is also frighteningly realistic and probably not the best advert for the teaching profession.

In Vivienne Franzmann’s uncompromising piece, it’s the kids who rule the school, to the point that they even smoke dope at break time.

Franzmann won the RET’s Bruntwood Playwriting Competition with this play and you don’t have to be top of the class to see why.

Her dialogue packs quite an emotional punch and light relief comes courtesy of some very clever humour.

Jason is a promising pupil who accuses one of his teachers of racial abuse, leaving her reputation seriously damaged and her career hanging by a thread.

In the playground, he’s all mouth and trousers, in reality, he’s been damaged by a family tragedy that has also left his father struggling to cope.

Matthew Dunster’s productions are invariably brilliant and this is a piece of theatre that will deeply affect those who see it.

Performances are strong and natural, to the point you forget you’re watching actors.

Malachi Kirby and Julia Ford are exceptional as Jason and the accused Amanda and Shannon Tarbet’s performance as Becky, Amanda’s troubled daughter, also left its mark on me.

There’s definitely more than one victim in this powerful play. Contains strong language.

[ 238 comments ] ( 469 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3 / 29 )
A View From The Bridge by A Miller 
He puts such steady heat under A View from the Bridge, it feels ready to boil over at any moment. Even in the domestic opening scene where we get to know longshoreman Eddie Carbone, his blossoming niece Catherine and pragmatic wife Beatrice, the director conveys a terrifying sense of volatility. Miller is meddling with primal forces – incest, sexuality, impotence, honour, justice, coming of age – and Dove shows how close these destructive passions are to breaking through the sheen of everyday family life.

We see this especially in Stanley Townsend's Eddie, a heavy-eyed bear of a man, turning from cuddly to untamed with each line. With his low-slung belt emphasising a middle-aged paunch, Eddie is a well-liked working man, patriarchal but not tyrannical, who finds himself gripped by impulses he can neither articulate nor comprehend. The shrewd Beatrice can see he has displaced his lust for Catherine by turning on the girl's boyfriend, the illegal immigrant Rodolpho, but Eddie is a creature without self-reflection and has no such insight.

Much as we know it will end badly, Eddie has no control over his own destiny, and Townsend suggests it could still go either way. It's a compelling performance, even if he admits defeat a scene too early, making his demise seem less the fall of a mighty beast than a broken animal being put out of its misery.

In Eddie's tragedy, Miller was consciously drawing on an archetypal form. Equally vivid is his vision of an economic system in which work is the defining force. It is why the immigrants have left Italy, why Catherine yearns to leave school, and why Eddie, who was once forced to traipse from dock to dock in search of a job, genuinely desires better things for his niece. It is another reason the play is a masterpiece, and why Dove's production marks the completion of a masterly series.

[ 245 comments ] ( 703 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3 / 32 )
Non Fiction 
Nicholson's guides to the Waterways North West

Detailed maps of the canal network are a great help to walkers.

[ 235 comments ] ( 239 views )   |  permalink  |  print article  |   ( 3 / 32 )

| 1 | 2 | Next> Last>>