Monday, December 29, 2014

For all my favourite readers (which is Neil and B S), if you're not yet well and truly sick of Christmas, please enjoy a little festive adventure from Salmon and Bear.

I'm off to make sausage rolls. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sunday saw an excitable me at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Christmas Concert for Kids at the Usher Hall.

I've never been before. I was delighted to have a legitimate (i.e. child) excuse to attend. A friend had organised me into it as she attends now and again with her two boys. And it was just lovely.

The programme was brilliantly populist. A couple of beautiful John Williams pieces from Home Alone, one of which, choir-accompanied, made tears pour into my eyes. A sing along Frosty the Snowman and a short sharp (acted out by presenters Owen and Olly) When Santa Got Stuck Down The Chimney. Some Russian-y sleigh bell-y thing with which I was familiar. A trumpety thing which was great fun. A potted Nutcracker with dancing from the Manor School of Ballet.

This last was a feat in story telling in not enough tunes, a narrator with a book from which he could fill in the gaps and the thin strip of space at the front of the stage in front of the orchestra. I expect they did their best. I expect Scottish Ballet will do better. It did not whet the child's appetite for real ballet, much to my chagrin.

And a glorious bastardisation of the Twelve Days of Christmas, re-rendered as the Twelve Tunes of Christmas. (Second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me - Ding dong merrily on high, etc. culminating in the plump partridge.) The repertoire was sufficient to satisfy both commercial (White Christmas, Deck The Halls) and Catholic (Little Donkey) tastes. With accompanying gestures for each tune. A wonderfully lusty way to finish the gig.

Lots and lots of children present. Lots of very small children present. and beyond the usual gentle hubbub that seems to accompany all children's shows, they all seemed pretty captivated.

If you have some tiny small ones and get in quick so you avoid much more expensive ticket options, it's a very delightful Christmas treat.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I'll take your dark intensity. Thanks, Hugh (and Thom).
So. It's done.

They did a pretty good Friday night. And a stupendous Saturday night.

We threw everything into the van. Hurled it back into Home Street. Went to the party. Went home. 

The potential disaster never came to pass. Nothing horrendously awful happened on stage. No-one died of rice poisoning (thanks for the tinned potatoes, Gillian!). We didn't even make a horrendous loss (thanks, audience). Just a small respectable loss commensurate with a play with a Danish name about an unpleasant subject matter.

Did we make anyone rethink their view of the world? Or at least of this topic?

Children First seemed to think we might. 

I'd like to thank my cast for putting such effort and emotional energy into telling the story. My crew for helping them tell it so beautifully. And you, whoever you are, for coming to see it and helping shrink down my yawning loss by buying an ice-cream.

Very much obliged.