I 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.
Recently it was time once again for Castle Reunion drinks at the Counting House in Corn Hill followed by dinner. As with last year my Suffolk chum from Durham University days rounded up ten alumni, as the term is, to assemble and swap stories about their careers, offspring and in some cases grandchildren. The difference this year was twofold – we were requested to find the dinner venue and, owing to my error in asking, to come up with this year’s “Big Question” to the assembled company designed to elicit deep, meaningful and philosophical conversation. The latter, I can reveal, was “What are you personally optimistic and/or pessimistic about?” while the former was La Sauterelle at an unassuming little place known as the Royal Exchange. Continue reading
I have attended four events at the Festival this year and not one of them could be classed as about literature – writing, yes, but literature, no. One was a debate on “The Brexit“, one a talk on the “State of the Middle East“, another a talk on the 17th century billed as “The Age of Genius” and finally a discussion on “Understanding China“. Bath has turned itself into a sort of Mecca for festivals. So much so that it has an umbrella organisation called Bath Festivals under which all and any festival can shelter and benefit from the combined marketing effect. Bath being Bath I cannot help saying that they are intensely middle and upper-middle class affairs. I am not sure about the age demographics although anecdotally the sort of events which I tend to attend seem to attract, shall we say, an older type of person.