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Le Grand C

Compagnie XY in Le Grand C at the Hippodrome, Gt Yarmouth, part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 28 May 2012 The Hippodrome’s traditional arena was the perfect staging for a show that took circus art form in new directions. French ensemble Compagnie XY presented Le Grand C, a piece of theatre combining circus acrobatics with physical theatre and choreography. It was beautifully measured, slow and mysteriously dream-like at the start as the scale of performance skills were displayed. Four-person towers and pyramids were created, then carefully gave way to new controlled contortions. All 17 in the troupe relished tumbles, mid-air somersaults and flying from one cluster to another, literally. It was a fusion of observational mime and physicality, demanding and challenging. There were bundles and clever, amusing … Read entire article »

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The Imagined Village

The Imagined Village at Theatre Royal, Norwich,as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012 Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 May 2012. Musical collaboration project Imagined Village brought some of the freshest, most innovative intercultural fusion and evolution of traditional folk into alt-rock and morris-bhangra around. Folk legend Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza led the 10-piece outfit who continuously push at the boundaries of folk. They work collectively, together tweaking and reinventing old songs and each others’ new material. They updated My Son John, an old war song, making it a political statement about today’s conflicts. Word-of-mouth narratives like The Captain’s Apprentice rubbed shoulders with new edgy material about ‘culture in crisis’ such as The Guvnor, Fisherman and The Sick Old Man. Their evolutionary technique was powerfully applied to Bjork’s Birthday, the ‘sinister … Read entire article »

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Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy at the Hippodrome Circus, Great Yarmouth, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2012. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 21 May 2012.   Somebody in the crowd flocking to see Duane Eddy in concert expressed surprise that he is still alive! The late 50s/early 60s rock and roll legend, the man voted more popular in the UK in 1960 than Elvis Presley, is very much alive and rocking. The rebel rouser who invented the ‘guitar twang’ and sold 100 million records gave a command performance of his classic hits, from the first Movin’ & Groovin’, which influenced the early surfing sound, to contemporary songs off his current album, Road Trip. His influences from country music to rock were evident. He’s worked with and inspired musicians in many genres over the decades; it … Read entire article »

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Extreme Tourism: The Sport of Visiting the World’s Trouble Spots

Some tourists get caught up by chance as hapless victims in troubles, strife, disasters. Other thrill junkies seek out danger as global rubberneckers. The stabbing to death and subsequent beheading of a British woman in Tenerife in May 2011 prompted both outrage and questions about the safety and wisdom of people travelling in countries other than their own. In this case, she had become resident there; Tenerife was not regarded as a trouble hotspot. Other parts of the world are known for risks to travellers from people as well as natural calamities. Yet still, man being an adventurous and generally inquisitive animal, tends to want to see, smell and taste for him/herself. The intrepid traveller is still around, long after every corner of the earth has been discovered. John Harlow, writing … Read entire article »

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Mirror

Schweigman & Mosk, at Open, Norwich, part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 12. Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 19 May 21012. This show asks two questions – ‘how strange can reality be?’ and ‘how real is reflected reality?’ The answers are extremely strange and not particularly real. From the off, the audience of just 30 is divided into two, to sit on long benches gazing into a dark tank through a slit window along each side of a rectangle. Everyone close together in an intimacy, an exclusivity as if for comfort while sharing the weirdness. Noises, glimmers of lights and a sense of movings, births and contortions come from within the structure. It’s not unlike waking from a nightmare about having a nightmare to discover it’s a nightmare. It takes time before … Read entire article »

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Bob Dylan’s Achievement Awards Are Still One Short

Lauded, awarded praised and endlessly debated, Bob Dylan reaches 70 in May 2011. Isn’t it about time he won the greatest honour of all: the Nobel Prize? On May 24th 2011, the most analysed poet of the 20th century, Bob Dylan, celebrates his 70th birthday. At an age when many are in retirement, Dylan shows no signs of slowing. His Never Ending Tour, a popular name for his touring schedule, has played around 100 gigs a year since June 1988. It continues. While Dylan and his backing band evolve as the tour progresses, the opening announcement remains unchanged. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the poet laureate of rock and roll. The voice of the promise of the Sixties counter-culture. The guy who forced folk into bed with rock….’ He is all … Read entire article »

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The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

National Theatre of Scotland NUCA Bar, Norwich Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 15 May 2012. The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 12 fringe got off to a brilliantly surreal start. The National Theatre of Scotland’s ambition is to transform the world in dreams and drama, ‘to make incredible things happen in unbelievable places’. The Norwich University College of the Arts bar is a gem of theatrical possibilities, up dangerous stairs, ideal for a theatre of the imagination, theatre without walls. And The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart was a piece of unspecific site performance, ideally suited to venue on and around the tables and audience. Sponsored by Benromach whisky, there was a free dram for everyone. The play was about a girl who was a collector of traditional folk music, told in narrative folk ballad form of … Read entire article »

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Betrayal

Open Space Theatre Company, Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 14 May 2012 and East Anglian Daily Times, 15 May 2012. Open Space push at yet another boundary with Harold Pinter’s infrequently performed slow dance round the memories of shared guilt, secrets and lies. Rich with the circular dialogue of life, the three-hander play exposes the deceits embedded in the relationships between a man, his wife and his best friend over years. Much of the narrative goes backwards in time as the pain and shallowness are unpacked. Darren France is good as the friend/lover. Stephen Picton is excellent as the less than pure husband. Cathy Gill is just outstanding as the wife and mistress, juggling the men with her family but paying a high emotional price for her deceptions. David Green … Read entire article »

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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Mike Daisey at The Cut, Halesworth Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 8 May 2012. The prestigious High Tide Festival attracted US performer Mike Daisey to Halesworth. It was a scoop. His one man, stand-up (sitting down) comedy monologue about Steve Jobs and Apple has been contentious everywhere. The late Jobs was creator, inventor and cultural icon, genius behind Apple-Mac’s business and technology phenomenon. From garage inventions to mega-business power plays with anecdotes about the evolution of devices, this was a tale for our times. A large desk-bound Daisey sat for two hours as he animated Jobs’ biography. Voices, faces and events flowed in this masterclass of agit-prop political humour appealing to Apple or Microsoft fans, technophobes or geeks. ‘Power-point presentations’ was side-splittingly funny. The account of China’s Shenzhen Foxconn factory which makes Apples’ … Read entire article »

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