Review of The Cactus Blossoms in Poole, (LINKED)with fine support band Junco Shakers. The Cactus Blossoms are brothers from Minneapolis, and this was the first gig of their 2017 European Tour. It sets the bar very high for concerts this year! Brilliant. They sound like the Everly Brothers, the original songs are powerful, and they covered Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Lefty Frizell, The Kinks, Patsy Cline & The Beatles. That’s eclectic. Read the full review.


It has SO many awards and five star reviews. So here’s MY take on La La Land (linked).


My task of moving articles from my old website continues with an article on the Anglo-Continental Drama Evenings  (LINKED) we produced on Wednesdays from 1971 to 1980. These were shows for ELT students, and at least provide an old photo gallery of us at work in the early 1970s. I’ve added more photos for the new version.

I am moving material from my old website (viney.uk.com) onto this blog, as the old site has so many out of date links. I’m starting with one of the most popular ELT articles “A course book writer responds” (LINKED) which was a long response to an article by Mario Rinvolucri, touching on aspects of ELT courses: Women, Cultural Awareness, Being a linguist, Political correctness, Sexism, Ideology, even the over-emphasis on verbs in syllabuses. Though it was written 17 years ago, I think the points still merit discussion.

The best-appreciated production of the year. Yes! It’s the school nativity (LINKED).

The Best of 2016- Music lists are now up.
Best ten albums
Best ten songs
Best ten concerts
Best rock book (predictable)
Most listened to album
Best archive vinyl LP find
And here’s the winning album

My personal awards for Best Theatre work of 2016 are now online. No prizes. What it does show in the pictures is the vast range of quality in British Theatre nowadays, and as an amateur reviewer outside London, while we saw nearly fifty productions this year, there are many mentioned in the press that we never saw. So best of what I saw:

Best Shakespeare or Classical Ten
Best modern ten
Best actors ten
Best actresses ten
Best supporting actors
Best supporting actresses
Best set design
Best sound
Best theatreawr_mai-dream-250516
The winner overall: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, RSC