Stanley has let himself go; he is unkempt and slops around in his pyjamas even in the middle of the day – a wrecked unshaven cherub of a man. He has been living in Meg’s boarding house in Brighton for over a year. Meg says he was a brilliant pianist. His last concert was in… Read More The Birthday Party
‘A long day’s journey into night’ is a play about a quiet and sometimes not so quiet desperation, an agony of familiarity. It is a decline from what might have been into a kind of hopelessness. James Tyrone might have been the greatest Shakespearian actor of his generation, but, influenced by his impoverished Irish background,… Read More Adrift in the fog awaiting closure
Arthur and Edie have lived together for 40 years. They are devoted to each other. But they are getting older. Arthur has worked hard all his life to keep the farm going. He is very practical and a dab hand at repairing things. Edie was a bright, intelligent woman; vivacious and sparky only recently the… Read More Visitors
The execution of her cousin, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, was the greatest drama of Elizabeth’s reign. Deeply unpopular in her own country for the murder of her husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley and somewhat hasty marriage to her lover, James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, Mary was forced to abdicate by the Scottish nobility and… Read More Mary Stuart
In film adaptation, the action takes place in the mountains in the middle of winter. Hugh Glass is a wild mountain man, who had lived with the Indians and fathered a half Indian son, to whom he was devoted. He was leading a band of American trappers when they were attacked by Indians and all… Read More The making of a legend.
It was New Year’s Eve and to celebrate, we watched all three episodes of ‘And then there was none’, a BBC production of what is probably Agatha Christie’s best murder mystery – reputedly her favourite work. Ten people, strangers to each other, are invited to an old house on an island off the Devon coast. … Read More Guilt at the end of another year.
‘Would you have been prepared to let Miss Shepherd live in your driveway?’ I asked Joan. ‘No way’, she replied. I would do the same, though I might have feelings of guilt about it. But what does it say about Alan Bennett? Is he just a very kind man? Or was he, as he wrote,… Read More Could you accommodate the lady or her van?
We never get to know Kurtz. As the steamboat clanks and chugs slowly up the leading line of river through ever encroaching rain forest, we build an impression of the man from the from his frustrated manager, eager to control his abundant supply of ivory, the assistant he dismissed but who still regards him as… Read More Into the heart of darkness
In Ann Bronte’s shocking novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), Helen’s husband, Lord Huntington, was a Byronic figure of great fascination but barely concealed moral failings. He had a dreadful reputation as a drunk, a gambler and a philanderer. Nevertheless, Helen falls in love and marries him, thinking she could reform him. Within a… Read More The Tenants of Blossom Hill Cottage
It was lunch time on Saturday and I left Lisa Ferentz’s inspiring conference on Post Traumatic Growth in Pimlico and strolled in the autumn sunshine down to Tate Britain, where the exhibition by Frank Auerbach had just opened. Born in 1931 to Jewish parents living in Berlin, seven year old Frank was sent away on the… Read More Frank Auerbach: A Projection in Paint.