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See the review of EMMA SWIFT at The Swiss Cottage, Twyford. If you love Dylan, you must hear her BLONDE ON THE TRACKS CD of cover versions. She played those and more accompanied by Robyn Hitchcock and Davey Lane. A beautiful show. Dylan fans should read the review.

Review of THE SOUTHBURY CHILD by Stephen Beresford (linked) at Chichester Festival Theatre. It stars Alex Jennings as the vicar who will not allow Disney Princess balloons at a child’s funeral. It’s going straight to The Bridge Theatre in London too, and reviews are overwhelmingly good. They’re right too. If you can’t see it, get the play text and read it.

THE DUKE (link to review) is finally available on DVD after several months when the only way to see it was Amazon Prime at more than £15 to rent it. It stars Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren in the true story of the theft of Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in 1961. it’s a gentle comedy that garnered 5 star reviews. My opinion differs …

Latest addition at AROUND AND AROUND, a section under “Art of the LP” devoted to John Patrick Byrne, (FOLLOW THE LINK) who did the sleeve art for some classic albums by Scots artistes. It’s almost entirely visual, but it is a visual treat. It’s the first of what will be a number of ‘single artist’ articles.

The one I’m sure followers of my Shakespeare reviews have been waiting for: JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION (follow the link to the review).I’d take the chance to see it on the biggest screen with the loudest sound system you can. Don’t wait for Amazon Prime. Will you enjoy it? Go to the review.

New on AROUND AND AROUND, Transatlantic Records (click and follow this link), the story of Britain’s other early independent folk specialist label. Though it was more than “folk” and artists range from Ian Campbell Folk Group, The Dubliners, The Young Tradition, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Pentangle, Ralph McTell, The Humblebums (and Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly solo).Add The Purple Gand (Granny takes A Trip), Mick Farren and The Deviants and many others ranging from sex education to comedy to poetry and spoken word. It was thoroughly eclectic. The article is as usual highly illustrated.

A belated review of RESPECT (link to the review here). This is the Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha. It rests on her extraordinary ability to sing like Aretha, and the brutally honest tale of her life up to1972. Now on amazon prime and it’s free, but the DVD is going for a mere £6.99. One not to miss.


Review of THE UNFRIEND by Steven Moffat (LINKED) at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre. Directed by Mark Gattis, so we have the team behind Sherlock, Dr Who, Dracula etc. Peter and Debbie are an extremely polite British couple who meet an American on a cruise ship. She invites herself to visit them, and they Google her and find she’s been implicated in six murders of family members … It’s a sparkling comedy, which strangely attracted ‘Marmite’ reviews ranging from five stars to two stars. We’re at the happy end. It’s on for another month. Well worth a pleasant trip to Chichester, plus I’d say a West End run is a certainty.

Review of the stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (linked) at Chichester Festival Theatre. Adapted by Ken Ludwig, starring Henry Goodman as a superb Hercule Poirot. This is a marvellously theatrical production, and there’s a week left to get in to see it. However, given the cast, costumes and incredible set, I’ll guarantee that it will move to London, then tour in the fullness of time. It’s fascinating to see how they managed to get in on stage … it takes place on a train stuck in a snowdrift in Yugoslavia in 1934 after all. No plot spoilers in the review.

Review of the second play in the Royal Shakespeare Company Henry VI series, WARS OF THE ROSES (follow link). This is not the Barton and Hall adaptation from the 60s, it is a retitled HENRY VI-PART 3. This was so much the better of the two productions, in spite of the same director, cast and musicians. It was truly thrilling, full of action, all brilliantly executed (as are several characters in the play – literally). It will be touring. as they filmed the previous one, this is bound to be filmed too.