Love’s young dream

My wife and I in our first ever movie…

Gypsy. Steven Sondheim’s masterpiece gives Imelda Staunton the platform of a lifetime.


It was my great privilege to be in the audience tonight at the delightful Savoy Theatre on London’s Strand (having transferred from Chichester in March) to witness the performance that EVERYONE is talking about.

Whilst the entire 20+ ensemble is excellent (especially Lara Pulver as Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee) it is Staunton that we were all there to see and she did not disappoint with a perfect blend of anger, pathos, humour and demented misguidedness on the path to riches for her “star” daughter June and her overshadowed and overlooked sibling Louise who metamorphoses into the world’s greatest Burlesque star ‘Gypsy Rose Lee.”

The story itself is thoroughly engaging but what Sondheim achieved in his lyrics at the tender age of 24 (I’m guessing here) is nothing short of remarkable.

Jonathan Kent, who directs, has done a great job of making Mama Rose the star of the show without denying the rest of the ensemble their moments.

In particular, in act one the series of vaudeville ‘turns’ that Mama Rose’s various troupes perform are hilarious and highly amusing variation on a theme that was never particularly good in the first place.  It takes real skill to do “bad” well and the audience were eating from Kent’s hands each time.

Peter Davidson puts in a decent shift as the poor beau of mama rose, Herbie.  Ok he’s no singer but he makes the most of his limited vocal range, but when called on to add emotional depth to the storyline he delivers admirably.

But really this is Staunton’s great moment in the sun.  People will be talking about this performance for years.  It even exceeds the brilliance of her slightly more one dimensional turn in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd where she blew Michael Ball off the stage stealing every scene.  I am privileged to have seen that too.

At the finale after a breathtaking rendition of Rose’s Turn that had the audience gasping the entire auditorium leaped to its feet. I have never, ever seen that at a professional theatre production.

Imelda you area goddess of the stage.

Thank you so much for tonight.

Here she is upstaging Michael Ball.

The Ghost of Darth Vader. (When Lighters die…)
May 16, 2015, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

If you leave your gas lighter on top of a wood burner you should expect negative results.

In this case I think we have found the ghost of Darth Vader.


Instant Classic. Mbongwana star. You saw it here first.

Me oh my.

Best thing to come out of Africa since Tinariwen.

But so, so different.

Utterly beguiling (Shame about the video quality).

And let me tell you, there’s more greatness where this came from.

My wife.
May 10, 2015, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


He’s had his chips.
May 9, 2015, 11:05 am
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Why I will be voting SNP on May 7th 2015
May 6, 2015, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,


To put things in perspective I work a lot in England, for an English client.

I love that client and I have no intention of undermining them in any way.

Now, that, to me, is a pretty good comparison to how the SNP has to carry itself.

OK, England is not the client, but it IS the paymaster.  And so the SNP has to respect that (as part of this Union).

The Mail/Telegraph axis of madness that paints the SNP as some sort of border rieving marauders intent on bringing down the “English” is simply nonsense.

In Scotland we had our chance at Independence in September 2014 and we categorically voted no in one of the biggest electoral turnouts in recent UK political history.

We argued black and blue on both sides and the SNP lost.

Fair do’s.

We lost.


We’ve dried our eyes mate.

But only 9 months later here we are again at the ballot box with a monumental SNP wave of popular support; only this time that support appears to be polling at over 50%.


The fact is the SNP campaign has reeled in No voter after No voter.  Not because they have changed their minds about Independence  (they’ll still vote No and I suspect some, maybe many, Yes voters would now vote No too) but because they have bought into the impassioned argument for progressive left wing politics.  Call it socialist if you like.  I call it inclusive as opposed to the Tory exclusive politic which is about me, not we.

There is much global and wise economic theory that suggests austerity has been a bad call and that slightly more expansive public spending grows economies. (And let’s be clear about this; the SNP’s anti austerity policy isn’t about bravado it’s about modest expansionist fiscal policy.  TBH I don’t know if that’s the right word but it’s the right sentiment.)

At the end of the day though, what a vote for SNP is, is a vote for a socialist Britain.  A fairer, more progressive way of tackling policy that Labour need their arse kicked over.

I have despised Labour since Tony Blair took the reigns.  I DO NOT despise Ed Milliband I just feel he is caught up in the Westminster rhetoric and the inability to escape neoliberalism because he is too busty playing chess with Cameron.

The SNP can free him from these horrible shackles.  It will be like therapy.  A wee spa break for the next five years when he , as PM, can get back to what made him proud to be Labour in the first place.

Tomorrow the game changes and I do not believe it changes with a need for a vote for Scottish independence.

It changes with the escape from neo-liberalism.

Scotland will benefit from that, not at the expense of, but to the benefit of, the entire UK.

Unless money is all that matters to you.

If it does?


I am talking shit.


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