Hail, Caesar! – Allegory Not Satire


Wardrobe Theatre
Wardrobe Theatre

The question is, “why do I feel that I need to write something about the movies and plays that we go and see in my blog?”  I suppose it calls into question the whole enterprise of the blog and what it is for and who is it for.  At the very least it will form some sort of record of our time in Bath; of the things that we did and saw and thought about.  We recently went to see a play written by the daughter of our Oxford chums.  It was staged at the Wardrobe Theatre in the Old Market Assembly, Bristol as part of a short season by a writers’ cooperative.  I didn’t want to write too much about a new young playwright’s work but really it asked much the same questions about striving to create art, about self-belief and about how we judge our own work and abilities and how others judge it and especially those who have the power to decide what happens to our work.

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All Towns Need a “Cathedral Close”


Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral

We recently drove down to Salisbury to visit the cathedral, naturally, and to wander round the “Cathedral Close” as it looked as if it could be quite pleasant.  Since we have visited so many cathedral towns now we have also enjoyed the associated “closes” that most have.  This is usually in the form of a square surrounding or extending out from one side of the cathedral bordered by lovely old buildings almost exclusively belonging to the church.  This, of course, makes it a very exclusive area and one of some considerable privilege.  To live or work in these environs would have to count as a some sort of blessing.  Separated off from the hustle and bustle and worldliness of the town outside they represents havens of peace and little oases of history.  Perfect for the English.

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Andrew O’Neill at the Rondo


andrew oneillI like to try and mix it up a bit so rather than going to see some serious play by an important young French playwright in translation at the Ustinov studio I chose to take a chance on some properly alternative comedy at the Rondo, our local venue for drama, music and comedy.  This was the third experiment at the Rondo for us the previous two being to see “Poetry can F*ck Off” and “Knives in Hens” both discussed before on this blog and both quite challenging in their own ways.  I had never heard of Andrew O’Neill before but both Time Out and Chortle rated him quite highly.

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