Saturday, 24 September 2011

Slava's Snowshow

It hasn't been my practice to review theatre productions on this blog preferring instead to focus upon the characters who buy tickets to see the shows hence the tag title, Theatre of Life; but this week I witnessed a spectacle that will remain with me for a very long time and even though going to the theatre has become a bit of a bus-mans holiday, I for one can't wait for this production to return.

Describing the show is quite tricky and the only imagery I can conjure is that of a dream like sequence of random scenes which the audience somehow forgets to question or even try to understand. We are led like children by the hand through moments of humour, pathos, joy, playfulness and a finale so breathtaking it leaves you speechless. In fact words can do no justice so here's a snippet and if you get the chance to see this performance GO, you'll be the better for it - I promise.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Customer is always...

Hello, may I help?

Yes, I'd like to book some tickets please, for two shows.

Sure, what was the first one?

Could you turn your phone up please, I can't hear you very well.

Oh, is that better? I can hear you perfectly.

A little. It's quite a poor line really but anyway...(mutters in background) I need two seats in the stalls, concessions, middle of row J if you have it.

I have the side of row J or further back in the middle, about P.

Is that all! Nothing further forward more central? I don't want sides, what about M or H?

No, sorry. Row P for centre now.

Tch. (chewing a sweet loudly.) Let's try the other show, I'll come back to this one.

Row M centre is available, excellent seats, bang in the middle.

Anything further forward or what about upstairs?

Yup, dress circle, second row, centre block.

Hm, nothing better?

I don't think you can get any better than dress circle centre really.

(Clucks tongue repeatedly) It's just if you get someone tall in front... Where would you sit if it were you?

Well, as I say, dress circle is considered the best, it's tiered so I'd probably op' for those.

Hm, I don't know. I think the stalls are better. I'll have the ones in the stalls please - book me those.

Right. (sigh) Would you like to go back to the first show now?

I can't hear you, can you speak up!

I said, would you...(like to take a run and jump)...Can you hear me?

No, I can't.

You're serious, you can't hear me?


How about now?

No, still can't.

Is that better?


Monday, 5 September 2011

Robin Hoods Bay.

This summer we spent our holidays on the North East Coast of England in the Shire of York near the historical Bay of Robin Hood which can be accessed by beach when the tide is out or on foot over cliffs and treacherous steep roads when it's not. Secluded and protected by the North Yorkshire Moors, for centuries the good folk of the bay have made their living from the sea whether by fish - or more famously, smuggling.

With houses built into and onto each other it has been said that smuggled goods could make their way from the beach to the top of the village without seeing daylight such is the design of connecting cupboards, secret passages, attics and cellars.

These days the 'Bay' as it's locally referred to, offers more in the way of second hand books, antiques and tea-shops than contraband although back in the 18th Century the tea would have cost a tidy sum more than it's modern day counterpart. The attraction of the place far outweighs it's size and tourists flock from around the globe to take in the romance of days gone by or to stand at the mouth of the sea on the tiny slip waiting for the tide to turn before continuing their adventures along one of the most exciting coastlines this country has to offer.

Beguiled by stories of shipwrecks and harsh winters we wandered happily in the sunshine around narrow streets - some no more than passages - stopped for breath several times as we scaled the steep singular road to the top of the village where yellow signs warned motorists not to descend for fear they may never come back up or indeed be able to stop on their way down.

Refreshed by copious amounts of tea and homemade slabs of cake, those of us who had bothered to make note of the tides rather than leave it to chance headed back down the hill in time to cross the beach towards the cove of Boggle Hole, another inlet made good use of by silent rowers under cover of darkness.
The beach by now was full of families and individuals rock-pooling, playing cricket, bowls, or like us, fossil hunting although having heard countless tales of cliff erosion involving occupants of houses who went into the kitchen to boil the kettle only to come back to find their sitting room had disappeared into the sea, we were eager only to collect what was already on the beach. Unlike some.

Having collected as much treasure as their pockets could hold I signalled my own party of smugglers including a rare old fossil and pointed them towards 'home'. Another steep climb, clothes laden with booty, they couldn't resist spilling and comparing their loot once the safety of the cottage had been reached. Each item held aloft for inspection came with it's own tale of discovery and went on well into the night - or at least bedtime when our youngest was still full of wide-eyed tales involving pirates and secrets and really bad eggs.

Is that another ship I see on the horizon?

Yo-ho me hearties - Yo-ho