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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Private Peaceful and Bottleneck

I went to see these shows on Sunday (there was a mini mix up with me attending wrong show at first but thats long story lol) the Bedford pub in Balham hosted by Theatre N16 a theatre company founded in North London before moving across the Thames to SW12 in South London but for time being retaining it's former postcode in its name. It was a nice cosy pub with a little theatre at the top and the actors sure do make you feel a part of the show acting out the plays, which was nice little shock for someone like me.

The first of the 2 performances was Private Peaceful a one person show performed by Shana Swash who people will recall played Demi Miller in Eastenders, and has been a great supporter of Enders fan clubs like the American Charlotte NC Eastenders fanclub and sharing insights and stories from her days on the show on twitter. Shana performs 20 different characters but the main one she performs is Tommo Peaceful a WWI solder and is the first female to perform the role in this play by Michael Mopurgo which she performed well. It lasted for over an hour and tells the story of a guy in modern day called Chris Palamountain reading the journal notes of Tommo who at the start is revealed in modern age to have been given a posthumous pardon for his execution due to cowardice. Tommo comes to life through the journal reading, telling us about his London upbringing the characters he encounters and relationship with big brother Charlie (Shana at times does seem to channel a bit of her real life brother Joe who also played Demi's brother Mickey in EastEnders), and the accidental death of Tommos father. Then we see him join the army (I loved how Shana portrayed a character very much like Lord Kitchener a highlight) lying about his age as many youngsters did, then going out to France his experiences in the trenches with his brother, before his tragic execution it was a great emotional play, and got me thinking of the words of the late Henry Allingham one of the last surviving Tommie's and UKs oldest ever man who stated frequently not to forget his comrades who had fallen in the trenches during the First World War including some of the characters in the play

Once that was finished it was onto Bottleneck which for most of it was a lot more light hearted than the previous one with plenty of comedy performed by Will Mytum, and was honoured to be a prop for his character jumping around the place, a first in attending theatre plays outside of Abbotsford School. It was about a 15 year old Scouser schoolboy, his experiences of teenage life sometime in the late 20th century when Liverpool FC were still the best football team in England. It features his quest to save up money to attend his first match watching the Reds live, and he goes to all kinds of measures with his friend to get tickets including robbing a place and going into police car smelling of wee, and there are many funny other moments along the way, including his first encounter with girls, and then having enough money to make their way to their first Liverpool FC match. They make their way through countryside a bit like Emmerdale before arriving at a city called Sheffield, then there is a dark twist and the play goes in a different direction once the words 'Gates are open' as it hits the young lads and the audience we are at Hillsborough Stadium for the 1989 FA Cup semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, they get caught up in the Hillsborough disaster a clever twist and emotional sad ending to a fine play.   


All in all both are great shows that I enjoyed and recommend watching if you are in the area.   


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

16th September 2015

Well its been a while but have been pretty busy the last 2 weeks or so, getting my new volunteering role at Nymans, in Handcross helping out at the house telling people about history of the place as well as the usual backroom helping out stuff plus mostly female volunteers to work with who are lovely friendly people. It is great to be involved with the National Trust, which former career advisor Avi at Shaw Trust suggested a few weeks ago and I thank him for this oppertunity.


The weekend was mixed emotions as I took part in the REMF Jacobs Walk from Shoreham Tollbridge to Worthing United FC with about 250 people in memory of Jacob Schilt and Matthew Grimstone (2 Worthing United victims) and the other victims of the Shoreham Air Show Crash on Saturday. There was a moving emotional minute silence at the bridge at the start before the 4 mile walk, going via Shoreham Airport, part of the A27 footpath (not the airshow crash site), via streets in Lancing and Sompting before arriving at Worthing United FCs ground. On the walk was nice to meet the Eaton family also taking part which the charity is named after family member Robert Eaton who sadly perished in the 9/11 attacks. It was a friendly walk that was a bit quicker than some thought with bigger attendance and over £11,000 raised. Afterwards we made our way to the Amex Stadium where there was a moving pre match tribute which got me teary.


Then there was the football which saw Brighton win again and remain top of the table. Overall a mixed emotional weekend and thoughts with the family and friends of crash victims.



15:24 Posted in Diary | Permalink | Comments (0)