Spring darkness #RussellSquare
Red card from Amazon for my review of #ShytonUnited. No idea why. Maybe because I mentioned cocaine? But it's fish taking drugs, not humans!!
The hugely entertaining story of an English Premier League football club.
Stanley Gobsen. Not a name I've heard before, but after reading his crazy, wild, adorable book, ‘Shyton United’, I'll never forget him!
Stanley loves football. He especially loves his local football team, Shyton United. Who have, incredibly, qualified for the Premier League. The town of Shyton isn't exotic, glamorous or wealthy. Stanley describes it as 'the perfect setting for a Ken Loach film.' Which says it all, really.
The Shyton fans are known as 'fudge packers'. Weird, I know. You need to read 'Shyton United' to find out why. And to discover Stanley's surprising family history which involves Denmark, fishing and cocaine.
Before anyone messages me, no, I didn't realise fish went mad for cocaine either. I've learnt a LOT from Stanley's book. And not only about cocaine. And fudge packing. I was considering Botox, but after reading Brenda’s story.... maybe not. Thank you, Stanley.
Stanley, an award winning writer and documentary film maker, in Hull anyway, battles impossible odds to tell the story of Shyton's amazing season. And these odds truly are impossible, believe me. As well as being hugely entertaining.
I loved Stanley’s inside view of the fantastical world of Shyton United F.C. Nothing politically correct ever happens. Everyone says and does things that are forbidden everywhere in all organisations. Health and safety... what’s that? It’s all deranged egos, money and fast cars. In spite of this, the Shyton United players keep on playing football. Or kicking the ball into the goal. Somehow.
‘Shyton United’ made me laugh so much. Anyone with an interest in English football has to read this book. Although these kinds of bizarre events couldn’t really happen at a Premier League club. Or could they?
Cover art by Mihailo Tatic
#Witch in the #Garden.... a secret garden in old #London..... smarturl.it/witchinthegarden #Timetravel
There's #magic in water. Close ups of the rainwater that created a #pigeon drinking pool. Everyday #alchemy. #RussellSquare #London
#Magical locations in #London. Read about them in Witch in the Garden. #timetravel #witch #pagan #womanpower
#TheSilurian. 8 amazing books that transmit the life of #KingArthur & his greatest #warrior #Bedwyr straight to your heart. Awesome.
With ‘Last Man to Avalon’, L.A. Wilson brings ‘The Silurian’ the great epic saga of King Arthur, to a conclusion of devastating beauty. Just the title kills me, but I had to read it as soon as it was published, even though we all know that Arthur dies in battle, betrayed. The death of heroes is awesome and resonates through time. The magic of Arthur is ongoing and the marks of his deeds lie buried in the landscape of Britain. If only I knew where to look.
Even when I’d finished it, in tears, this passionate and astounding story kept whirling round in my head. For me, Arthur is forever accompanied by his greatest warrior Bedwyr, whose words give us the eight books of ‘The Silurian’ series and who has the intense destiny of being the ‘Last Man’ of the title. I treasure Bedwyr’s words, beautiful, poetic, passionate and often full of wild humour.
I also had sympathy for Medraut. I've suffered from Romani Christians myself and the damage is incalculable The Snake, Medraut, is too damaged, too broken inside to resist the glittering lure of treachery.
The description of the final battle and Arthur’s death is awe inspiring as well as heart breaking. The powerful images flew into my mind with visionary intensity, a waking dream. The final one being, unbearably, Bedwyr the Fox, stunned by grief. But there is hope. The certainty that Arthur and Bedwyr are together forever in Avalon. I have to believe this.
The beauty and wonder of this book is impossible to describe in a review. It has to be experienced. ‘Last Man to Avalon’ is so much more than writing. It is love manifested. L.A. Wilson must have gone to the limits of endurance to create it. I don’t want to leave Arthur and Bedwyr, ever. So, there's only one thing for me to do. To read this awesome saga again, from the beginning.
Last Man to Avalon
#DrFaustus, a wild & passionate production. My review @JamieLloydCo #London #KitHarington @DukeofYorksLDN
Before I begin my review of Doctor Faustus, I want to thank Jamie Lloyd and company for creating such a welcoming environment for the audience. The auditorium zinged with a party atmosphere, music, laughter, and people bringing in drinks, while Kit Harington sat on stage in a nineteen seventies style studio flat. A cleaning lady vacuumed and washed up in this weird space, of which more later. No bossy ‘mobile phones to be switched off’ announcement ever happened. I felt that the cast wanted us all to be there and to include us in their performance. The same positive attitude continued in the interval, when Mephistopheles entertained us all by singing. Yes, singing!!
This made for a great beginning. Doctor Faustus started without any kind of rigid demarcation between ‘performing’ and ‘non-performing’ by interweaving with the chatter of the audience, gaining my attention and focusing my mind on events onstage. Cleaners are often overlooked and this was the case with Wagner. As the play developed so did Jade Anouka’s performance, becoming a beautiful experience in the truest sense of the word. The revelation of her first name created a moment of clarity in the mayhem surrounding Faustus and personified the dignity shown by Wagner. Even when she became the target of Faust’s final grotesque and cruel act, Wagner remained whole, true and unbroken. She and Kit Harington showed total commitment when playing out this final scene, which I found unbearable but also a must watch.
Then the demons. Ahhhh the demons. The underwear. Yuk. The demons drew attention to the human body, especially to its least aesthetic functions. Lucifer, prince of light, as incarnated by Forbes Masson in his underpants, became brilliantly repulsive and hysterically funny. His appearance as the Pope, holding an illuminated statue, a big feature of the kind of ferocious Catholic girlhood that I endured, gave me maximum delight. And let us not forget, that once you’ve paid the price, Lucifer will give you anything you want. His production of caviar with black truffles was sickeningly grotesque and hilarious. This version of Doctor Faustus is full on and unrestrained. Be prepared.
Another highlight was the performance of the seven deadly sins by Tom Edden. Awesome. The same actor created a hauntingly tragic image as Faustus’s good angel, vomiting unspeakable stuff as Faustus signed over his soul to Lucifer.
Jenna Russell as Mephistopheles added her own tragedy to the corruption of Faustus. In moments of poetic beauty she conveyed the intense self awareness of Mephistopheles, how the memory of the wonder and glory she’d lost by being cast out of the heavenly realms gave her endless torment, layers of anguished regret and sorrow. I don’t remember the exact words, but she described the beauty of a garden in heaven, and how, in her rebellion and rage she’d burnt it. At the same time Jenna Russell was also incredibly funny. She added so much to this production, conveying the attraction of Mephistopheles, the cynic who loves.
Kit Harington performed with passion throughout, going through all the horrors with total commitment. He has natural charisma, but behaved as one of the company. No spotlit star actor effect went on here, a refreshing change. Certain powerful moments have stayed with me. Kit Harington spoke the line from Ovid, ‘O lente, lente, curite noctis equi’ (O run slowly, slowly, fast horses of the night) as if it was a magical incantation that could save him from his desperate fate. Again, he begged as a child to a parent. ‘Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years /A hundred thousand and - at last - be sav’d!’Alas, however, ‘O, no end is limited to damned souls!’ There is no redemption, the bargain must be kept. By now the flat is in chaos, Wagner’s order and cleanliness has been destroyed. The final image of Faustus rotating round and round, apparently holding someone, but with empty arms, is truly tragic. He has lost everything he ever loved. For infinite nothingness.
Doctor Faustus begins and ends with Marlowe’s play, with the central part written by Colin Teevan. This works well, as it enlivens proceedings, introducing the idea of selling your soul to celebrity world and bringing in references to current political leaders. Lots of gruesome fun!
Oddly, none of the reviews I read before going to this amazing play related to the production I experienced. Jamie Lloyd has taken on the full depths of meaning in Doctor Faustus, and made it a living and relevant experience. This was excellently, repulsively and humorously done, a true damnation of Faust and a cautionary tale. I won’t be selling my soul anytime soon.
My ideal job description would be Merlin’s