Jess Phillips MP tells Truth to Power

Jess Phillips, Birmingham MP, launching her book in Nottingham, at the Contemporary, and hosted by Five Leaves.
Lilian Greenwood MP “played the role of Parkinson”.

Jess kept an audience of 200 people engrossed for 90 minutes, conveying calm, experience of life, and soul. 

Good values; and encouraging people to join the Labour Party.
Her book is called “Truth to Power”.

Some of the photos available from Facebook.

Book signing, and a t-shirt printed with *that brooch*.
Photos available on Facebook.

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A Streetcar named Desire

Blanche DuBois is something to listen to; that sense of strong personal values and another world. But broken by life, by men and perhaps by alcohol. And having read Tennessee Williams‘ family story, a heart-breaking final scene as people gently coax her to leave her sister’s home for consignment. (Otherwise, his play is too cruel.)
This small stage production limits the lead actor’s arena but not her performance (wow!); giving more credibility to Blanche’s world view (and less camp) than the more famous productions.
I’d say go see, but it is already sold out. (e:4, s:4, p:4).
(BTW, nice new seats in the Lace Market Theatre.)

Blue Remembered Hills

20180918s ab0422h blue remembered hills the lace market theatre tweet poster DnWqhZTXcAA1W8b_Fotor_FotorBlue Remembered Hills remembered from the BBC tv series with rosy pink spectacles.  Written by Dennis Potter.  Colin Welland and Helen Mirren, adults playing seven year old children, and what a hoot it was.
But the behaviour, the story.  Awkward.  Unpleasant behaviour.  Children cruel to animals and to each other.
And in this production in the studio of the Lace Market Theatre, up close.  Opposite the other half of the audience, their faces showing how socially awkward the story is.

A very distinctive production.  Engrossing.  Go see. 

My quibble is with Dennis Potter’s ending.  It didn’t need to be so life-changing.  Cos that something significantly bad happened (rather than terribly awful) is enough.  Cos no doubt I wasn’t alone in being pained by the memories of things we did in the woods and the remote buildings as country kids, and pained by the evident disappointment in my parents’ faces when you inevitably confessed.  And I was a good boy, I was.  It’s just that things happened, that kinda paralleled some of the incidents showed.  (Worse than Theresa May’s confession; and don’t even bother asking a librarian about their mischief.).
So blue, yes.  And misremembered.  But worth seeing.
One last thought.  Audrey (“Ord”) is one of the seven year old’s in the 1943 Gloucestershire setting – one year younger than my Mum – “Aud” as we say in Shropshire.    Surely she was better than that!

Another Stoney Street car park fire

IMG_9299 (2)
Shame for the vehicle owners as fires burn out cars on level 2 of Stoney Street / Kings Walk NCP car park for the second time in 13 months, this time at the Stoney Street end.
Including bay 32 , where we often parked our car before city centre living made us realise we didn’t need it anymore.
Have been fed up with NCP recently, since there was a spate recently when the fire alarm at the car park went off nearly every evening for 2 or 3 weeks.  My suspicion is they don’t employ enough people to look after their sites, but equally, it has improved recently, they did phone through to say they were doing more to reduce the instances to false alarms, and last August’s fire turned out to started from within a car (electronics fault).
I hope NCP can be more thorough on cleaning the car park this time – it smelt of smoke for months after last time.

Restoration of Birkin Building

IMG_9272mc0775h montage Birkin building restoration
Broadway, Lace Market.
Heritage funding is meeting part of the cost.
The brick, stone, curves and decoration are combined to make a beautiful building over 100 years ago.
Main part of the weathering of the building is the wind.
There are signs of poor maintenance, and examples of repairs such as rendering with painted brick patterns.
3 parapets(?) have had balconies removed from the top of them.