Salisbury Playhouse revives Alan Ayckbourn’s 1969 play HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES (LINKED). This is a truly first rate production of one of Ayckbourn’s better plays, well worth the trip to Salisbury. If you’re nostalgic for, or just interested in the 1970s, go and see it.

Some thoughts on the 9 hours we spent in A & E in Poole yesterday (actually 12 hours at the hospital in total). FOLLOW THIS LINK. We’re all fine and home, grateful to wonderful medical staff, but some reflections on the working of the system and some thoughts on what the NHS needs to do, some of which are very simple and non-medical.

Poole was the fourth concert, twenty-eight more to go on Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” 50th Anniversary Tour (LINK TO MY REVIEW) . The hall was packed the sound was superb. There is a great selection of other Oldfield material in the first half, Tubular Bells complete in the second. It’s going all over Great Britain., It had a rapturous reception and rightly so.


On the AROUND and AROUND site, two new articles in the labels section. This is the start of a long series of articles on the Decca Group. First up is THE DECCA GROUP, followed by DECCA (linked) which is on the UK label. Hopefully both are also visual feasts on the UK’s second largest music group.

It’s got some excellent reviews. We didn’t like it, but judge for yourself. GOOD LUCK TO YOU, LEO GRANDE review is here.

Review added on MARIE ANTOINETTE, (LINKED) an 8 part series available on BBC iPlayer. It’s a French Canal + production in English. The review is one of my attempts at humorous ones, and hopefully works whether you’ve seen it, intend to see it or don’t intend to see it.


The Best Rolling Stones Album (follow link) A companion to The Best Beatles Album article. This one argues against the Exile On Main Street consensus as best album. Like The Beatles, I’ve chosen just twelve. No live, no compilations of hits. Feel free to comment on the page. It is supposed to be a little controversial …

Narvik- review

Three film reviews in three days! Put that down to the freezing cold weather. Appropriately for the weather, this review is NARVIK (link to the review here) It’s a Norwegian film, on Netflix from 23 January 2023. It was released in Norway in 2022 as ‘Narvik: Hitler’s First Defeat’ which indeed it was. It’s on Netflix with an English soundtrack as well as English subtitles. It’s an excellent war film, set in 1940 around the Battles of Narvik. It’s centred on one family, and the snow, shelling and the terror made us think of Ukraine.

In total contrast to the day before and Babylon, a Netflix film, BANK OF DAVE (link to review). The review explores the tight comedy formula that also occurs in ‘The Duke’ and ‘Phantom of the Open.’ It’s half the length of Babylon,and an enjoyable (though unchallenging) evening’s viewing.

Review of BABYLON (Follow the LINK) , the homage to 20s ad 30s Hollywood, written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The scale is epic. Margo Robbie, Brad Pitt and Diego Calva star. The soundtrack is outstanding. It has everything going for it, but it is a bit long at 189 minutes. It’s worth making every effort to see on a cinema screen.