Opera Up Close must be praised for their commitment to out-of-work performers during the various lockdowns over the past year, especially with their series of ‘Coffee Break Concerts’. The most recent, Episode 10: Calming the Tempest, features tenor Joseph Doody, whose singing is the undoubted highlight of this concert. He sings the brief ‘Three Songs of Ariel’ that Guy Woolfenden wrote for a fabled RSC production in 1978. He demonstrates a superb technique, intelligently used: for example, … [Read more...]
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It’s the sort of bittersweet tale that’s been bandied about before, and no doubt will crop up again sometime. Arnold (David Vale) waxes lyrical about the various changes that have happened over the decades since he and his wife Claire moved into their property, somewhere in the north of England, in 1962. I wasn’t around then, but I’m just about old enough to remember a time when it didn’t really matter if the back door was double-locked or not at night, and one certainly wouldn’t bother getting … [Read more...]
One never knows how an episode of The Seth Concert Series will turn out - there have been shows that have drawn heavily on personal experiences, philanthropic activity and some deep societal issues and the steps that people can take to make a difference in the world in which we live. And then there are concerts like this one, where Ashley Spencer goofs around with her husband Jeremy Jordan and their mutual friend Kara Lindsay. While there are some serious moments, if a particular musical number … [Read more...]
How does one measure a life and one’s progress from baby to a corpse? According to Shakespeare, “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.” The seven ages of man is a concept that resonates with many people, and none more so than the aged clown in Justin Butcher’s moving play Scaramouche Jones or The Seven White Masks. The play starts late on the 31st of … [Read more...]
TRESTLE won the Papatango Award for New Writing in 2017, when it was staged at Southwark Playhouse. Owing to Covid it has had to wait longer than it should have done for its second production. In fact, this staging was being rehearsed in the Autumn of 2020 with a view to a live production when another Lockdown intervened. There are far too few good full length plays for two people using one set so this intelligent play by Stewart Pringle is more than welcome. Harry (Chris Pickles) … [Read more...]