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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Brook Cottage Books: Author Spotlight - Madalyn Morgan.

Brook Cottage Books: Author Spotlight - Madalyn Morgan.:

"Madalyn Morgan lives in Rural Leicestershire.   After thirty-six years, she has swapped window boxes in South London for a garden."

A super interview about, Foxden Acres and Applause, by award winning blogger, J B Johnston.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

BIRDSONG at CURVE



Sebastian Faulk's Birdsong, stage version by Rachel Wagstaff, was performed brilliantly by a company of fantastic actors at the fabulous Curve Theatre, Leicester.




I was delighted when my friend Malcolm James phoned to say he was going to be at Curve in Leicester, playing Rene Azaire and Captain Gray, in Birdsong- and if I was free perhaps we could meet for lunch.  You bet.  The last time I saw Malcolm was about eighteen months ago.  He was on tour with Equus and came to the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.  He played the doctor, psychiatrist, and he was fantastic.  I met Malcolm at Curve and after a lovely lunch, in the cafe at Curve, Malcolm gave me a comp, which I took to the box office.  For £3.90, the box office will take your NCP entrance ticket and give you an exit ticket.  A good incentive to park at the NCP while you're watching a play at Curve, otherwise it would be expensive.    

Malcolm James


Captain Gray (Malcolm James) talking to Stephen Wraysford

The action of the play takes place on the Western Front, France, 1916-1918.  The play also moves back to 1910, Amiens, France. The story of Stephen Wraysford conjoured as he delves into his past and the love of the beautiful, but married, Isabelle Azaire.

Isabelle Azaire (Carolin Stoltz) & Stephen Wraysford (George Banks)


REVIEWS

Faulks's First World War Tale gets the staging it deserves...enough to make me weep'
THE TIMES

Heartbreakingly beautiful, powerful and poignant. Go see it; it may well be one of the most memorable pieces of theatre you are ever likely to witness.'
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

The performances were near faultless...Birdsong is not an easy story, but it helps us to understand. No play can hope to achieve more than that.'
STAGETALK MAGAZINE

'Birdsong is a masterpiece in every respect
Outstanding. Stunning. Superb.'
EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES


Jack Firebrace (Peter Duncan) Stephen Wraysford (George Banks) Tipper (Jonny Clarke)


Soldiers ready to charge in battle



In the production at Curve, the violinist was played by Evans (Samuel Martin)
who also had the most beautiful voice.


Arthur Shaw (Simon Lloyd) and Jack Firebrace (Peter Duncan)

Birdsong is superb. It is full-on, high energy, and incredibly moving.  There are lighter moments when the soldiers tell jokes or have a singsong.  But there weren't many dry eyes after the performance I saw.

It was obvious by the applause that went on for an unusually long time that the audience enjoyed the play and the performances.  The cast could have returned to the stage for several more curtain calls.

COMING VENUES


From Curve in Leicester, Birdsong goes to:
The Grand Opera House
Belfast
23rd - 28th June

The Wyvern Theatre
Swindon
1st - 5th July

Devonshire Park Theatre
Eastbourne
7th- 12th July

The cast will then have a well earned rest.  Or maybe not.  Most actors are looking for their next job before the current one ends.

This is a DRAFT POST - It needs to be edited