Eternal thanks to Keith Johnstone Credit where credit is due, is a maxim that I always included in the final session of all the drama courses that I delivered. I then went on to credit Keith Johnstone. Keith died on 11th March 2023 aged 90. He was born in Devon and worked in education and … Continue reading The man who wrote the book that changed my life has died
Category: Formative influences
The legionnaire by the lavatory
Roaming in Ribchester “Jim Ridge has got a Roman Wall in his back garden.” So declared my mate Bob some forty-odd years ago. At the time we were enjoying a pint in a pub in Ribchester on the banks of the River Ribble in Lancashire. I cannot recall how Bob, who was an aerospace fitter, … Continue reading The legionnaire by the lavatory
The Alphabet of Artaud
This is a memory aid to help students learn about thirty key ideas associated with the French actor and director Antonin Artaud. It can also be used in part, or in full, as a warm-up for drama classes.
Surrounding the Tower
A four-mile circumnavigation of Hoghton Tower.
Long Liv Love
In memoriam of ONJ on her birthday.
The most extraordinary aspect of the Deadlines album is the cover. It's not the arresting image that makes it exceptional, but the fact that the action depicted in the picture is not artificially composed. It really is a shot of a man in a telephone kiosk filled with water. The booth was a specially strengthened … Continue reading Reviving Deadlines
Dave Cousins and I disagreed over the worthiness of the Strawbs album Nomadness (see my earlier post Rehanging the Gallery), but I think we would be in harmony regarding Burning for You. He says in his autobiography “'Burning for You' is my least favourite Strawbs album.”1 It is my least favourite too, at least of … Continue reading Guttering
Deep Cuts and shallow scars
The previous three pressings had an autumnal or winter feel to them. This album always sounds like summer, even when the song is a tragic or sad one, or even about the prospect of a hard, hard winter. Many of the tracks were written quickly during the warmer months of what in the UK was … Continue reading Deep Cuts and shallow scars
Rehanging the Gallery
A wander through Nomadness When I told singer-songwriter Dave Cousins that Nomadness was one of my favourite albums he cringed. It had been recorded at a difficult time. The Strawbs' popularity was waning, even on the far side of the Atlantic where it had recently burgeoned. They had parted company with keyboard player John Hawken … Continue reading Rehanging the Gallery
Angels and needles
Listening to Ghosts Dark the night, not a soundDamp and cold, frosty groundAbove your head the lion screamsTo tear you from your moonlit dreams.Dave Cousins, Ghosts lyric Throughout 2021 I’m reflecting on the first tranche of Strawbs albums (including Dave Cousins' solo album Two Weeks Last Summer) in the order that they were released. This … Continue reading Angels and needles