Review of Titus Andronicus at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, starring David Troughton in the title role. We were left with very mixed feelings. Some was stunning, especially the acting from all the principals. But some bits fell flat. Fascinating modern dress production.



An illustrated article added on the question of Civil War Statues.  (LINKED) It started as a discussion elsewhere, then I was asked the very good question: Do losers in civil wars have statues? I looked at Britain to compare. Well, sometimes they do survive as a resting place for seagulls.



A belated light-hearted review of Passengers, (LINKED) with Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt and Michael Sheen. It’s way into the DVD racks and out of the cinemas, but I found it fun. We have Jim (Jim Kirk?), Aurora (Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty?) and Arthur (Arthur Dent?) … seen here in the sumptuous bar on the starship Avalon. So, yes, there are a lot of references.


Second Fiddle

Second Fiddle is an English Language Teaching Graded reader by Peter Viney. It is intermediate, 1500 headword level, CEF B1. LINK TO KINDLE STORE. for more information. This was written some time ago, edited, then “Storylines” closed to new titles and it sat around. I have revised and regraded it. It’s on the Kindle store at the MINIMUM allowed price of 99 cents. We thought of putting it up free, but then free stuff is regarded as worthless.

Second Fiddle cover text 3

The old 1970 to 1972 TV series A Family At War has been much discussed recently. The linked review will be added to as we continue plowing through the fifty-two episodes over the next few months.


Irish playwright Conor McPherson was approached by Bob Dylan’s people and offered the chance to write a play with whichever Dylan songs he wanted to use. The result is Girl From The North Country, (LINKED) at the Old Vic, London. Twenty Dylan songs, a cast of 19. Brilliant new arrangements and some unexpected choices. Also a great play.
The picture is “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” which opens Act 2. The best evening of Dylan music you’ll see nowadays!

Review of Yerma, by Simon Stone after Federico Garcia Lorca at the Young Vic. LINK: http://wp.me/PRxuW-5Gp

This production was Olivier Award Best Play of last year, and Billie Piper got six best actress awards. The revival has the original cast and runs till the end of August.
Billie Piper (Her) in Yerma at the Young Vic. Photo by Johan Persson (4)