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The passing of a legend

Perhaps the biggest media story of the week was the news that UK national treasure and all-round entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE had died on Friday afternoon at the ripe old age of eighty-nine. As on other similar occasions, I am afraid I have not bothered to read the special six-page newspaper [...]

August 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

It’s in the telling …

There is – as Northern Irish comic Frank Carson was wont to ruminate – something in the way jokes are told that makes them funny, or is that makes them funnier, or indeed less so, depending (of course) upon the skill and timing of the teller. For my part, I don’t regard myself as a naturally [...]

August 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

Fiddler on the Roof/ Chichester Festival Theatre

I’m old enough to recall the sixties version of Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol and Miriam Karlin. It was a wonderful production reflecting how musicals have moved on from Broadway musical comedies to shows with more stirring stories. A musical about a life in an orthodox Jewish community [...]

July 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

42nd Street

I have written before how a traditional musical has been bowdlerised by changes of plot, location or story. 42nd Street did not fall into this trap. You could have seen this production when the film was released in 1933. And why change anything? The musical has three songs which are still well [...]

July 15, 2017 // 0 Comments

The Lion King/ Lyceum Theatre

Last night Bob Tickler organised a trip to The Lion King to celebrate the birthday of his Godson. A long term musical branded by Disney is not really my bag but one should go with an open mind. This was helped by a pre theatre meal at Joe Allen’s. This has been going even longer than any [...]

June 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

An American in Paris/Dominion Theatre

There are those high brow theatregoers who often say “I don’t like musicals’, sneering at their perceived lower form of cultural life but not me. Apart from anything else, it demands extraordinary skills from the cast in terms of acting, dancing, singing and energy. At its best [...]

May 24, 2017 // 0 Comments

Forty Years On

I saw the original production of Forty Years On at the Apollo Theatre in 1968 and Alan Bennett’s play made a deep impression on me. It had a strong cast featuring John Gielgud as the headmaster, Paul Eddington as his liberal successor, Alan Bennett as the schoolteacher Tempest and amongst the [...]

May 12, 2017 // 0 Comments

Taking a well-deserved bow

Generally I am not a great fan of self-congratulatory showbiz entertainment awards evenings, especially British ones, because as a nation we are too self-effacing to embrace the process with the unashamed brio and sense of elan required for them to ‘work’ as events. Our American [...]

February 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Back to Black

I’m not saying that I know I’m preaching to the converted but it will come as no surprise to regular visitors to this website that a recurring theme is not nostalgia per se, or indeed any notion that Fings Ain’t Wot They Used Ter Be, but a simple (and some might like to think logical) common [...]

January 16, 2017 // 0 Comments

The Boys In the Band

I can remember when  the film The Boys In The Band was released in 1970 after the play had a successful run of 1000 performances in New York. My father liked it as an interesting depiction of diverse gays – my parents were always tolerant of homosexuals which was unusual for middle class [...]

November 11, 2016 // 0 Comments

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