George and The Dragon

George and Dragon Poster

 

Apparently it’s St. George’s Day (I’m not into saints, I’m afraid) so a good excuse to remind those old enough of, and introduce the younger ones among you to, the old TV comedy series George and The Dragon.

L-R: Keith Marsh, Peggy Mount, Syd James

L-R: Keith Marsh, Peggy Mount, Sid James

 

The hit series ran from 1966 to 1968 and starred Sid James, Peggy Mount and John Le Mesurier. Peggy was known for her rather loud voice, which she put to use in many TV and film roles.

 

Peggy Pushing The Men About in Sailor Beware

Peggy Pushing The Men About in Sailor Beware

 

Here’s the first episode of George and The Dragon. Bottoms up!

Savage Amusement

This bright and sunny Monday (though still bitterly cold and windy, I must say) I felt like getting off to a lively start. Last week a follower commented how he rarely gets much enjoyment from dance, so this little excerpt from Rameau’s 1735 opera-ballet Les Indes galantes will hopefully set him off on the right foot.

 

Rameau

Incidentally, this piece is commonly known as the Dance of the Savages, not terribly PC these days. However, note that it is knocking on for 300 years old and was inspired by Louis XV’s meeting with chiefs of the Illinois Metchigamea tribe when they sealed a pact by dancing in the Theatre Italien. Does this treasure we have inherited justify the French invasion of Illinois? Not in my book, but we can still enjoy it as a product of the times.

 

To Hell With It

I’ve been awake rather a long time and it’s barely turned 9am. Why? Getting angry. I don’t get angry much, I’m a calm person as a rule and others tell me I have a calming influence. But last night I read something that really upset me, and I’ve been writing a blog post in my head. Then just about an hour ago another piece of information came my way that had the same effect as having a brick thrown in my face (I know, it may be improvement). Neither of these things is personal to me, other than they affect writers and publishing in general, but the implications of what one who should know better has said, and one who should know better has done, create a rather bad start to the day for any writer.

 

Hear no evil

If you own the copyright to this brilliant image please contact me

 

But as a calm person I have decided to trash the post and share some music to banish the bad thoughts. Here’s The Dance of the Furies and Ghosts (known usually as just The Dance of the Furies) from Gluck‘s opera Orpheus and Eurydice. I am sure you know that Orpheus went to the Underworld (not the knicker factory) to rescue his wife. Enjoy. I am now writing.

Oh, to Hell with it! Look at this clip if you want cheering up. Offenbach gave us the Can Can in Orpheus in the Underworld.

Orpheus1858

You all know it. This is Moulin Rouge‘s take on it – with the utterly fabulous Jim Broadbent.

Dontcha just want to be at that party?

Yorkshire, Moscow and Three Sisters

 

Always ready to help out the arts, especially oop north, today I’m bringing you news of an event in Leeds you won’t want to miss if you love theatre. Three Sisters resonates with me personally and I was drawn to this by a Facebook post by my friend and former fellow AA* reprobate Brian Fileman.

 

Arts Logo

 

Arts@trinity is based at Holy (not a word you find on this website very often) Trinity Church on Boar Lane, Leeds 1. arts@trinity takes a big leap forward following refurbishment to launch its own professional theatre company. The company will perform new work, and classics too, in the unique space Holy Trinity provides. The actors are a mix of new drama graduates and actors of many years standing, which perfectly captures Trinity’s vision of nurturing talent old and new. I know some of the older ones, by the way, like Brian Fileman and Libby Wattis (*runs away*).

 

Brian

Brian

 

Libby

Libby

 

Rehearsals have just begun on the first production, Three Sisters by Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov. Making his directorial debut is Leeds actor Paul Ratcliffe.

 

Directing for the first time

Directorial debut

 

The cast features Michael Birch, who returns to acting for the first time in over twenty years, having been a director/writer.  Michael’s credits include the Grand opening of The Royal Armouries, Shakespeare on Broadway and countless productions at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.

 

Three sisters 3 shot

 

Written in 1900 and first performed in 1901 at the Moscow Art Theatre, Three Sisters may have Yorkshire blood.

 

Three_Sisters_cover_1901

 

 

Three Sisters examines the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow, but for the past eleven years have been living in a small provincial town.

Chekhov’s initial inspiration was the general life-story of the three Brontë sisters; their refinement in the midst of provincial isolation and their disappointment in the expectations they had of their brother Branwell.

 

Bronte

 

Moscow is a major symbolic element throughout. The sisters are always dreaming of the city and constantly express their desire to return. They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them it represents the perfect life. However, as the play develops, Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves.

 

You never know who you might meet in Moscow

You never know who you might meet in Moscow

Three Sisters is being performed on Wednesday 8th, Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May with a matinee on the Friday.
Tickets are £5.00/£4.00 concession. (Press Night Friday 10th May)
Book Your Tickets Here: http://holytrinityleeds.co.uk/tickets/

 

For further information

John Dawson 07767 483795

www.holytrinityleeds.co.uk

arts@holytrinityleeds.co.uk

*AA is the Architectural Association by the way. You can see more here (so stop tittering):
http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/