Monday, 19 November 2012

"Room to Write."

Last Saturday ten avid readers met at Whitworth Hall Hotel for the last Reading Group of the year. This group was formed by the “Room to Write” team – Wendy Robertson; Avril Joy and Gillian Wales – and has been a welcome addition to the writing.
Meeting alternate months in the warm and elegant surroundings of the conservatory; served with coffee in silver cafeterias or cool drinks in tall glasses, we often glimpsed brides and bridesmaids and all the paraphernalia of weddings, going on outside.
We agreed and disagreed on plots and dialogue and characters and every aspect of the authors’ work.
Originally the novels were from the 20th century and known as “Reading down the Decades,” including such authors as William Trevor, John le Carre, Ruth Jhabvala and Toni Morrison. At the beginning of this year it was agreed that each member should present a favourite book of their own, resulting in a diverse selection.

  • March        “The Road” by C McCarthy
  •                   “Honesty’s Daughter” by Wendy Robertson
  • May            “Suite Francaise” by I. Nemirovsky
  •                    “The Summer Book” by T Jansson
  • July              "The Secret Life of Bees” by S Monk Kidd
  •                     “Restoration” by R Tremain.
  • September.  “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by M Barberry
  •                    “Daphne DuMaurier’s Short Stories.”   
  • November.   “Letters to Ilio” by Barbara Laurie.
  •                     “Spies.” by Michael Frayn.

It has been a stimulating year with people who might never have met, but for their over-riding interest in literature.
Many thanks to the Team and happy reading to you all.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Introduction to Theatre

At a Food Festival in the stately grounds of Raby Castle a few weeks ago, I was surprised to hear children shrieking with laughter and shouting at the tops of their voices. When I turned a corner I discovered that the cause of the excitement was a Punch and Judy Show.

Mr. Punch at Raby Castle Food Fair.
In this age of Computers and High Tech equipment it was surprising to think that this old-established show could still hold their attention.  According to the date on the front of the booth, the show originated in 1662. Research shows that originally Punch did not have a wife and when she did appear in the 18th century her name was Joan, not Judy.
Ever since then it has been performed all over the country - in village fairs and city streets and even before open windows of graceful Georgian houses where Papas had arranged it.
Punch and Judy has often been a child’s first introduction into the world of theatre. The more violent it is, the more the audiences love it. Punch slaps characters over the head with his club; hits the policeman and hangs people; he even hangs the hangman with his own noose and when the crocodile takes a bite at Punch’s nose the children scream louder than ever.
It is timeless humour.  Long may it continue.
      What do you think of Punch and Judy?         
                 Do you love it or hate it?