All posts by t h

PENSION PLEA (to the Government)

We are the women born in the 50’s,

Who will not falter in our fight.

The government postponed our pension.

This isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

 

We contributed to this Nation,

Our workforce made this county great.

We don’t deserve to be singled out

Told our pensions have to wait.

 

We enriched the UK’s economy,

As teachers, nurses, mother and wife.

Now a random birth date lottery

Gives us an impoverished life.

 

We did as the government bade us,

Made sacrifices and paid our due.

Now is the time to repay that debt,

We did our bit.  Now its up to you.

Change

This is a chill Autumn wind.

A wind of change

It dances the golden leaves off the bough

Sweeps me out of arms reach,

Turns friends into strangers.

 

This wind blows through my bones

Shaking loose flotsam

Makes the impossible almost possible

Pushing and yielding, reaching in and out

Becoming more than a lover

 

In this brisk Autumn breeze

Anything could happen

Your life could change for the better

For worse, for nothing for something or other

Only the wind knows

Review of ‘Salome’

A feminist interpretation of “Salome” opens the ENO’s woman-focused 18/19 season, directed by Adena Jacobs

It was thrilling to see the eighty-strong orchestra sitting in the pit. Unfortunately, that’s where, for me, the visual magic of the evening ended.

The erotic, murderous and decadent themes of Oscar Wilde’s 1891 play were sanitized and dislocated by a series of seemingly pointless gimmicks. Why was:

  • Jokanaan (John the Baptist) wearing pink stilettoes in his prison cell?
  • A giant pink, headless ‘My Little Pony’ hoisted up on the stage?
  • The dance of the seven veils reduced to a series of keep-fit postures?
  • Jokanaan’s severed head contained in a sealed white plastic bag?

The stage direction was sadly lacking in physicality throughout.

But ah… the music! The orchestra, under Martyn Brabbin’s assured direction, delivered an interpretation of Richard Strauss’s 1905 score that was both subtle and rich in flavor. It soared, it seduced and then, finally…it consumed.

Alison Cook’s Salome is a powerful and fatally flawed character possessed by ‘lodesliebe’ (death-love). This Salome is curiously unerotic, despite her stripping off and simulating masturbation early on in the show. Cook’s voice, though in tune, could not always match the emotional intensity of the music.

The relationship between Salome and her mother Herodia (a solid performance from Susan Bickley) is revealed as a love deeper than maternal. Their final duet (a highlight) climaxes in a passionate kiss.

The male characters came across as weak or impotent or vulnerable. David Soar was (unusually) vocally disappointing as Jokanaan – perhaps hampered by having a video camera strapped across his face, which displayed a close up of his mouth on the set’s backcloth? Michael Colvin’s Herod was a grotesque and almost comedic character.

But ah…the music! I walked home with it ringing in my ears, it haunted my dreams. It was thrilling!

This production of Salome though compromised by its direction, choreography and staging does not disappoint musically.  The orchestration is magnificent. Definitely worth a listen.

Until 23rdOct.  www.eno.org0207 845 9300

Review of Royal Court’s “Poet in da Corner”

A Tour de Force, by The Royal Court and the Represent programme. Which commission female orientated artworks exploring issues of democracy, inclusion and equality in contemporary Britain.

This is a show like no other. Crisp and Cathartic.  It’s a show where music, dance and spoken word collide.

Right from the start we are physically drawn into the drama by the rhythm of the music … supplied throughout by an on stage DJ.

Poet in da corner is essentially a coming of age story about Debris, a young, mixed race, Mormon-raised, bisexual.  She’s a loner whose trying to find her place at home, at school and in the world.

When Debris hears Dizzie Rascals seminal 2003 Grime Album ”Boy in the Corner” she has an epiphany, which enables her to feel confident about her own authenticity, to establish friendships and explore the potential of her life.

The poetry is fast paced, funny, hard…sometimes, heart-rending. Its poetry that sings and dances…powered by the driving rhythm of the music.

I particularly loved the scene where Debris experiences her first girl love. Which was tender, expressive and beautifully choreographed.

The ensemble cast, play a number of parts throughout, with relaxed ease. The choreography, being an integral part of each characterization.

It wasn’t just on stage that the dancing was happening. I went with Grime Pop Princess Toya Delazy and we, along with the rest of the audience, were dancing in our seats.

It runs until the 6thOctober.  I recommend you catch it if you can!

Autumn

We’ve had a Saharan heatwave,

Moonsoons. Flooding. Drought.

This Summer has been a challenge

Now here it is…Autumn’s out.

 

A little coolness in the air,

The birds have a different flight.

There’s a whisper in the hedgerow

Can you see, it’s Autumn Light

 

Feeling battered and burnt by Summer?

Now’s the time to let it go.

Seasons have their own momentum

Jusr relax, and feel its flow

 

Now we reap the harvest

Of what we sowed all year

Let the fruit of love and labour lost

Nourish and revere?

 

Autumn light has a clarity

Take advantage of the view.

Watch the old year fall away

Ready for something new.