Yeoman Yawn

I don’t think I had sat through The Yeoman of the Guard since I was a small boy taken, as I often was, to the Theatre Royal, Hanley, to see the D’Oyly Carte Company on tour in the 1950s.  Whereas I can still sing most of The Mikado, much of The Gondoliers and quite a…

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Kingdom of Cock-ups

I swore I wouldn’t write a blog about the Olympics but, sorry, I’ve got to get it all off my chest. Before a starting pistol has been fired or drug test shown positive, the whole things has already left a very nasty taste. As far as the actual sporting competition is concerned, I’m sure I’ll…

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Richard 11 and This England

Shakespeare’s plays (like opera) rarely work on the small screen. Even in the cinema they tend to be heavy-handed with performances played at the same level as on stage. The production of Richard 11  on Saturday night (BBC2) was a shining, magnificent exception. On every level – performances, costumes, direction, decor, lighting, editing, verse speaking – the…

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A Richly-Deserved Honour

Whatever you think of the New Year and Queen’s Birthday honours – anachronistic, an agreeable way of rewarding endeavour, a baffling lottery, public recognition for public service – there is something intrinsically pleasing when a name leaps out from the long list of those honoured and you say ‘Hurrah!’ At least that was my reaction when…

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