Theatre Reviews

anthonyhowelljournal

waves

Here is a review in the Fortnightly of Christopher Reid’s Love, Loss and Chianti.

20 March 2020 – subject to postponement. Worth seeing when it returns.

Christopher Reid

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Here is my review of two intriguing plays in London this April (2019): Third Person Theatre and Noises

Third Person Theatre

Mark Phoenix with Mark Gray – Third Person Theatre – Photo Kevin RbNt

Ali Wright, Old Red Lion, The Noises

Amy McAllister in THE NOISES – photo Ali Wright

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Penshurst-Place-Gardens

Here is my review of Love’s Victory.  This play by Lady Mary Wroth was written 400 years ago – possibly the production at Penshurst Place was its first performance.

Very pleased to see this in The Fortnightly Review.  24/09/18

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babawives

This page is for theatre reviews and this was the first:

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Very pleased to see this in the Fortnightly Review.

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Trippin

Click the link to watch Trippin

This is a dance video set in the wonderful communist monuments of what was Yugoslavia.

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The Antonine Plague

At first it was simply a mild irritation
At his slightly buck-toothed expression.
He carried on, convincingly enough,
But then there was his lisp, you hardly heard it
At first, but gradually it became unmissable:
THs as Fs. It was tedious.
He tended to begin with a slightly out-of-kilter
Remark that caused you to pause,
But then he expanded, rapidly; his voice
Louder by the F, and there was no denial,
Remonstration or disagreement.
His own opinion poured out of him,
Flooding the ears of his unwilling listeners.

X

More about this plague and how Marcus Aurelius tried to deal with it

 

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Is There a Third Way?

A few months ago, as a joke, I suggested the start of The London Party, but I have been watching the astute Kim Iverson discuss a coalition of right-wing libertarian and socialist factions in US politics. Recently for instance, Ron Paul, in his Liberty Report, interviewed Tulsi Gabbard, and while in supposedly different camps they agreed about salient issues. So I am now taking the issue of a third force in UK politics more seriously.

For aren’t we are facing the same dilemma here in the UK?

Only Blue Labour will ever prevail in a two party race, and the Liberals and the Greens may swing that result by coalition but are not the answer. We need to coalesce Labour and Conservative Brexiteers, fuse traditional with Socialist values, and this means a “horseshoe party”, biting the bullet on some issues, but able to put a pincer movement on Blue Labour and at the same time drastically reduce Tory votes by gaining right-wing support.

Could something like this be a first draft? Now before you read it, I suggest we could try to agree to three salient planks of the twelve issues outlined below as priorities we need to effect – on the left and on the right. Roosevelt’s ‘square deal’ had three planks: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection.

Social Libertarian Party

Coalesce the right with the left where agreement can be reached on several of these issues:

  1. Rein in corporate elites, and drain the swamp of politicians in the pay of corporate elites.
  2. Allow freedom of education – religious, private school, grammar school, state school – but insist that a root curriculum of science, rational debate, art and citizenship is implemented in all schools – perhaps on specific days – and increase government spending on education while drastically reducing the cost of education to students.
  3. Refuse to engage in regime-change wars, which entails recognising that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, and ensure that no dual-nationality passport holder can stand for public office.
  4. Rid the media of partiality and lobby sponsorship, and expect the media to educate people into coming to terms with the difference between beliefs and values and histories, not omitting the difference between city and country values: no belief should be imposed on another.
  5. Accept Brexit as the will of the people, and therefore assert control over immigration and refugees, but still aim to retain the United Kingdom, while conceding as much ground as possible to countries within it which may wish to retain a strong relationship with the EU.
  6. Uphold the integrity of gender being biological.
  7. Promote freedom of speech and religious and sexual tolerance, even about issues which you do not endorse, but do not allow spurious gender politics and representationalism to overwhelm education and the job market.
  8. Grant whistle-blowers immunity from prosecution.
  9. Return to the gold standard or some constant value not linked to the petro-dollar and seek for some degree of sustainable self-sufficiency so as not to be over-dependent on international lines of supply.
  10. Introduce a level playing field for taxes, no one pays more or less than 50%.
  11. Implement a ring-fenced Welfare State that is genuinely eco-conscious but truly an adequate safety-net, while returning appropriate power to unions and adopting legislation independent of corporates in terms of health, safety and based on a sustainable ecology.
  12. Value the planet and accept there is an emergency due to extreme weather.

So here we have 12 possible planks. What if there were three salient planks right and left could agree on? If there were, then these are the planks on which we should campaign.

Please feel free to comment, listing the three planks you would choose.

 

 

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Tree Poetry at the Room April 1, 2020

Poetry at the Room

I am afraid this event is now postponed.

TREE POETRY –  A COMMEMORATION EVENING FOR WANGARI MAATHAI

Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of The Green Belt Movement

Sponsored by Tottenham Trees with Kenyans in Diaspora.

Entry free. Contribution for refreshments.

With featured poets and an open mike.

Wednesday 1 April at 7.30 pm.

The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, Tottenham Hale, London N17 9AS

Abe Gibson

Abraham Gibson is a London based poet and spoken word artist, director and playwright. He has been a poet in residence at the London Transport museum and is currently co~facilitator of Tottenham’s friendly poetry group. He is poet/mentor with streetzahead Dance Theatre in Tottenham schools. He has performed widely in the UK including on BBC Radio Four, Soho Theatre, the Hackney Empire and the Bernie Grant art Theatre (As co Director,Writer and Actor). Abraham regularly brings performance poetry and drama to communities through workshops to a wide ranging audience including mainstream schools, libraries, prisons and senior citizens’ groups. His poetry performances are uniquely sensitive, intimate and theatrical. He has published a volume of poetry – Violently Tender.

Peter Stickland has worked as a lecturer, architect and spatial designer. He has entertained myself as a writer, performer, installation artist, song writer and singer. 1974 – Architectural Association Diploma. 1975 – Joined ‘The Theatre of Mistakes.’ 1984 – 1992 – Spatial designer for museum interiors, historic refurbishments and numerous domestic refurbishments in London. 1992 – 2013 – Principal Lecturer – Chelsea College of Arts. 2014 – 2016 International Support Co-ordinator for Post Graduate students at Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon colleges. 2017 – 2018 – Visiting tutor at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. I have published novels, lyrical texts, poetry and books on the creative process. http://www.77books.co.uk or https://www.facebook.com/77books/ He now writes lyrics and sings.

Hilary Davies has published four collections of poetry from Enitharmon: the latest, Exile and the Kingdom, was published in November 2016. She is also a translator, essayist and critic. Hilary has won an Eric Gregory award, been a Hawthornden Fellow, has served as Chairman of the Poetry Society of Great Britain and is a Fellow of the English Association.  From 2012 to 2016 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King’s College, London and in 2018-9 at the British Library.

Anthony Howell is a poet and novelist whose first collection of poems, Inside the Castle was brought out in 1969. In 1986 his novel In the Company of Others was published by Marion Boyars. He has published twelve volumes of poetry, the latest is Songs of Realisation (The High Window Press). His Selected Poems came out from Anvil, and his Analysis of Performance Art is published by Routledge. He is a Hawthornden Fellow. His poems have appeared in The New Statesman, The Spectator and The Times Literary Supplement. In 1997 he was short-listed for a Paul Hamlyn Award. Plague Lands, his versions of the poems of Fawzi Karim were a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He has recently published Consciousness (with Mutilation) – a novel – with the Fortnightly Review’s Odd Volumes and The Step is the Foot – an enquiry into the relationship between walking and poetry – with Grey Suit Editions 2019.

 

Those who would like to read a poem for the open mike, please ring 0208 801 8577

 

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Heron of Hawthornden

At last Heron of Hawthorndeis published – now as a Grey Suit Editions UK special illustrated chap-book. I wrote two dizains a day for the length of my 2017 residency in the castle. The sequence is accompanied by my own water-colours. Click the link for availability.

20th November

Our very first breakfast. Tardier than the rest,

I sit alone at the narrow elm table,

Terribly ancient; eating my porridge with Sucrose

Purchased in Tottenham. Not quite as fit

As I ought to be; recovering from a twisted knee,

Everyone else now busily writing. As I finish

What’s in my bowl, the elegant dark-wood Windsor

Chair, stately and antique as our patron, who is

A hundred and three, gives way beneath me.

I clutch at its arms, but still… it collapses, albeit gracefully,

x

Taking me with it, spilling me onto the tartan carpet.

This elicits apology. However, I’m encouraged not to fret.

This veteran’s been rickety for ages.

Hamish will fix it. Yes, but the peg at the top of a leg

Splintered, I’m sure, as we keeled over.

Clearly that chair has now been put paid to by me.

What a way to start a residency in a precipitous

Castle, a castle where silence is de rigeur until our

Convivial evening fare. I must watch my step

As well as how I sit. There is a dungeon below us here.

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Tango at the Room – the Practica

NEW at the Room! (but postponed now until further notice)

REGULAR SUNDAY PRACTICA

10.30 am – 2.30 pm

Tango Practica, guided by Anthony Howell, at The Room, 33 Holcombe Road, N17 9AS. Between Bruce Grove and Tottenham Hale stations…

Plenty of Room to dance, and ideas and guidance given if asked for.

Map can be found here:

£5 per person – contact 0208 801 8577

The Room has a sprung dance-floor, a fantastic sound system, and it is the nicest space to dance in town. Refreshments can be made upstairs in the kitchen.

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At Seventeen – (Feels like it feels approaching seventy)

An old favourite.

anthonyhowelljournal

Lovely song.

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The London Party

The London Party aims to establish London as a city state independent of England and the United Kingdom. London will secede from England and relinquish any claim to the capital of England. There will no longer be London members of parliament. Parliament will be expected to relocate to a major city in what were its provinces. London will apply to stay within the EU.

Lexit from Brexit!


The Greater London Council will be revived and become the elected governing body of the Republic of London. The Queen will be invited to relocate to Sandringham.
This page initiates the formation of the London Party. Initially posts will comprise a think tank to take the idea forward. All interested are invited to join the page and contribute ideas.

So, who would like to join me in establishing the London Party? The aim is to establish Greater London as an independent city state, seceding from England. London would apply for membership of the EU. If Scotland has the right to do it so should we.

Parliament, without its London MPs, will need to move to Birmingham or Manchester.
I declare myself interim leader of the London party, until we have sufficient members to nominate and vote for a leader.

Anthony Howell, January, 2020.


Join me for an independent London, and please feel free to make observations in the comments section. Absurd comments are welcomed as well as balanced ones since this is a project that exists solely in the imagination.

We also have a facebook page  and again comments and insights are welcome.

Observation 1: Isn’t the City of London already separate from Britain? Could we hijack the City of London and make it the capital of Greater London? This might cut through a lot of red tape.

Would this solve the problem, mentioned in a comment below, of finding our share of national debt, so as to be free of it on independence, or legitimately carry our percentage and only our percentage with us?

Here is a link to the debt issue.

What might be the advantage of the City of London as our capital?

Maybe the Republic of Greater London could become a trust? In this, the City of London could be very helpful.

(Interesting that this is what is being taken out of the EU with the rest of the UK just as the EU starts tackling tax-evasion issues.)

So the model could be Switzerland.

Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member but is part of the single market – this means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals, at present.

If this cannot be arranged, the Republic of London may have to be registered offshore.

 

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BATRACHIANS

anthonyhowelljournal

Toads mating

A wary nod suffices on the cycle track.
It follows an extensive reach where breezes
Dint the idling river. Clustered round
A sewer’s lid, cow parsley thrives, as muddied
Clouds abet the treacherous stillness of
This prelude to the weir where nothing shows
How such a lazy seeming stretch accelerates
Before the chute. Slowly the clouds go over
The edge of it onto that wide white slide,
While spinning eddies make a sudden rush
Between protective bars, and concrete ducts
Convey these churning waters into culverts
Open to the gaze below some grills. This
Is where toddlers and teenagers too have been
Seized by the vortex, dragged, as by the hair,
Down to a mesh the surface masks. At trestle
Tables, here, the weir’s enthusiasts
May brood, one to a bench, while boys with caps
Turned back glide by, darting glances at
Girls with distant hair, sat on the bank,

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