A Christmas Spectacular 2015
Lowestoft Players at the Players’ Theatre, The Bethel, Lowestoft
Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 7 December 2015 and The Lowestoft Journal, 11 December 2015
It’s a real treat to come in from the biting Lowestoft wind to the welcoming warmth of the Lowestoft Players’ own Bethel Theatre, sit back, relax and start to feel a lot like Christmas.
For their fourth Christmas Spectacular they pull out all the stops with colour, costumes, songs, dances, thoughtful readings and an enveloping aura of peace and goodwill.
Some of the humour is knockabout belly-laughing stuff; songs range from the traditional Christmas repertoire to Hallelujah, fast becoming a national favourite and the cast is a happy blend of Players’ stalwarts and younger performers.
The direction, choreography and music team of Beth Lewis, Jimmy Atkins, Louise Clarke and Francesca Warren do a stunning job placing tableaux, varying lead vocals and harmonies, smoothly and professionally.
Lighting and stage visuals are brilliant. The contribution from children and older students from the Louise Elizabeth School of Dance is outstanding.
Yes, Christmas can be sentimental, lachrymose, extravagant, a trial, hugely enjoyable, heart-warming, generous and emotional – or a mix of all these things. This show is just that – a sweet confection of fun and joy.
The Thrill of Love
Sewell Barn Theatre, Norwich
Review for the Eastern Daily Press, 1st October 2015, not yet published
There’s something about sitting almost with the performers, as the audience does at the Sewell Barn, that makes everything so intimate, so absorbing.
This play packs a punch exploring the tragedy that was the life and death of Ruth Ellis. Notorious as the last woman in England to be hanged, she is superbly portrayed by Abbie Eastwood – the frail, petite platinum blonde who dreamed of Hollywood but got Holloway.
The abuse she suffered and the dying of her dreams in the reality of life in seedy nightclubs was the backstory while the police inspector-cum-narrator (James Thomson) grappled to understand the woman who shot her lover.
Her speedy confession, explanation of all the facts except how she got the gun and her rejection of a final appeal comes over with shocking clarity. Director Ginny Porteous brings out her vulnerability amidst the wheels of criminal justice which contributed significantly to the abolition of the death penalty.
Friends who care (Jen Dewsbury, Hayley Evenett and Verity Roat) catch the 1950s period with its values and struggles to support the telling of this poignant, memorable true story.
‘John Newton – Amazing Grace’
Saltmine Theatre, Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 17 February 2014
The man who wrote the world’s most famous hymn, Amazon Grace, was John Newton (1725-1807). To state that doesn’t do justice to an extraordinary life of sea adventuring, long-life romance with his wife and finding God.
However, Saltmine Theatre have taken his story and brought it to life in a gripping drama culminating in his crowning achievement of his hymn.
In a period when the British economy depended on slavery, Newton was press ganged into the navy before working slave ships to the colonies.
When his ship was storm threatened, he cried out in wretched fear to God to be saved and became a passionate Christian believer, leading into ministry.
A parallel with the Prodigal Son was well made as Newton came home, wrote hymns, his autobiography and then became convicted of his sin in slavery.
The Saltmine company was superb, maintaining pace, history, emotion with some amusing observations about church denominations.
Richard Hasnip’s script employed dramatised narrative, building a compelling testimony of a man who was lost, found God’s grace and led countless others to the same blessing.
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David Porter Communications
with the Human Touch
where experience counts
Human Communication is the Name of my Game
A service to business and individuals in need of confidence building, trouble shooting, problem solving, public speaking, report/letter writing, quality written web content, editing, event enabling, voice-overs, third way and lateral thinking.
I work with others rich in life’s experiences:
We think outside the box.
But we don’t neglect what’s already inside the box, too
Whatever your problem, we can help
We can do it for you, or work with you
We can talk to people for or with you
We teach you or your staff the know-how from writing English to speaking it
We organise, arrange, plan, question
We come up with blue sky thinking
We brain storm for or with you.
What’s in the Box?
I lead a team of older, wiser, widely experienced people from business, education, public sector, arts and sports worlds running this unique service to help you and keep our brains lively.
Research from the University of Texas (Aug 2011) found that older people are more adept at strategic decisions which take the future into account than younger people. Decision-making ability doesn’t decline with age (60-80). On the contrary, the more experience of life and challenges, the better you are at them!
After years of work in many and varied fields, we have learned skills in solving problems, decision making, team building, motivation, performing, writing in all genres, approaching people/situations and brick-wall tackling.
Sometimes the solution to a problem lies in your mind already, it just needs bringing out.
An idea needs a nudge, people need to be brought together, writing needs to be done, presentations made, documents edited, events set in motion, publicity planned in local media and on line, people briefed and records correctly kept.
Your staff might need specialised training that is outside your field, including spelling, punctuation and grammar or spoken presentation..
You might need a starting point for a vision, a project or a dream.
Lift the Box lid and see the light!
David Porter, former Member of Parliament, English and drama teacher and head of Performing Arts in secondary education, political organiser, experience in public speaking/performing, writing on line and off, editing, trouble shooting and examining/assessing.
New: My old school, Lowestoft Grammar School, now Ormiston Denes Academy have an alumni page where I wrote about my school memories. My autobiography is planned for publication in 2015.
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