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Calendar Girls

Lowestoft Players, at The Bethel Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 25 September and Lowestoft Journal 4 October 2013   The well-known story from the film about the real Yorkshire Women’s Institute branch who made a calendar to raise funds for the cancer unit of Skipton hospital, is wonderfully, poignantly told by the Lowestoft Players. Exploiting the intimacy of their own theatre, director Stephen Wilson skilfully puts his lively and very funny women through the well-written script and brings the village community atmosphere truly alive. When the gentle John (Andrew Liddon) dies and the tiny WI branch embraces the risks of posing discretely and tastefully nude for their calendar, we see friendships exposed, often with hurtful truths as well as jovial banter. Judi Mars, Jill Emmerson, Lorna Tucker, Jean Kinkaid, Julia Rymer and Toni Penson … Read entire article »

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An Inspector Calls

Open Space Theatre at the Fisher Theatre, Bungay Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 16 September 2013 JB Priestley’s masterfully crafted tale of lies, self-delusion and guilt is touring our region by the respected Open Space group. It’s a dance round suspicions and characters with things to hide, lives turned upside down, reputations destroyed and generational perspectives. Director David Green cleverly balances moods, tensions and undercurrents. Peter Sowerbutts plays the pompous head of the family with his business under threat; Yves Green his equally insufferable wife. Cathy Gill is their daughter, a young woman with a conscience, engaged to an unlikeable, shifty younger version of her father, played by Darren France. Warwick Manning portrays the hapless, ne’er-do-well younger son and Tim Hall presents the mysterious Inspector who mercilessly peels away their outer coats … Read entire article »

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Political ‘Silly’ Season Could Herald the End of the Coalition

Will Tensions Split the Coalition, Autumn 2012? This article was first published on the old Suite 101 suite on 2 September 2012. Now, a year on, with the autumn season upon us it is timely to republish, bearing in mind that Parliament has been recalled and the rows about Syria and war, the internal squabbles of the Labour opposition and the strengthening economy render some of this out of date, the fact is that the Coalition is far from rock solid. British politics’ ‘silly season’ falls between July and party conferences in September/October. It’s when news famine leads to exaggeration to make a story. In July, as the summer recess begins, inhabitants of the Westminster village disperse to constituencies and sunny climes. The repairers move into the Palaces of Parliament and the media … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Raymond Froggatt

Raymond Froggatt at Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 7 September 2013   Froggie welcomed back by adoring fans Feeling like a party crasher, I arrived at the Maddermarket with dozens of avid ‘Froggies’. These are his followers who take ‘fanatic’ to extremes, following him around Britain for gigs. He is on first name terms with half his audience, almost embracing them in mutual admiration if not sheer love. This review is as much about the phenomenon as his concert. Froggart is a singer-songwriter who’s been part of the music scene for decades. He reprised many hits he wrote for stars such as Cliff Richard, Dave Clark Five, Gladys Knight and Daniel O’Donnell. Other songs from his extensive and original catalogue ranged from extended ballads to upbeat clap-alongs. His unique voice, humour and … Read entire article »

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The Vicar of Dibley

The Vicar of Dibley Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 3 September 2013   No, no, no, yes!, TV’s Dibley works on stage It’s a challenge to put the bunch of well-loved, well-known characters who people the TV village of Dibley on the stage with inevitable comparisons with the originals. Director John Hales excels in a masterful showcase of comic madnesses personified by deliciously loopy Alice Tinker (Sharn McDonald), irascible David Horton (Ian Hart), gently eccentric Hugo (Will Isgrove), stuttering sex-obsessed Jim Trott (Bob Vivian), strangely dark Frank Pickle (Roger Lee), earthy farmer Owen Hewitt (Nick Murray-Brown) and culinary experimenter Letty Cropley (Marion Small). The Vicar, Geraldine Granger, is played by Agnes Lillis who captures the essence of Dawn French’s version but brings a self-knowing amusement that makes the part all her own. Laughs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Reviews