Monthly Archives: December 2013

Inspiration for the year ahead, Sir Ken Robinson talking about creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Top five Christmas shows in Bristol, 2013

1. Super Sam and Mega Max save Christmas at the Brewery Theatre – until 5 January

A beat-boxing, breakdancing equivalent of the Hangover, for toddlers, with a Christmas theme. Lots of fun for little ones and adults.

2. Antarctica at the Bristol Old Vic – until 4 January

As beautiful as a wildlife documentary by David Attenborough but with thousands of bubbles and an owl-a-bear within touching distance. Wonderfully accessible for all ages. (Review)

3. The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor at the Tobacco Factory – until 12 January

The adventures of Sinbad the Sailor who keeps getting shipwrecked. (Review)

4. Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome – until 5 January

This year’s pantomime brought to Bristol by the Hippodrome. Louis Spence, Suzanne Shaw and Andy Ford. Not loved by Bristol Culture but sounds lots of fun. (Review)

5. Se7en Dwarfs at the Wardrobe Theatre – until 22 December

The most brilliant satanic twist between Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Se7en. (Review)

super sam and mega max

Daring Do

In response to the WordPress daily prompt.

Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person or animal) from a dangerous situation. What happened? How did you prevail?

My sister and I were walking through a park in Kensington – I can’t remember if it was Hyde Park as my geography is rubbish. We were walking out through the gates and on to a very busy road when a toddler came running out of the park behind us and straight to the road. I remember my sister waving her hands out to stop him but I was closer so I reached down and grabbed him by his jumper.

Once he felt himself retained, he stopped running and waited patiently for his mum to come and get him. She was very close behind and also running but in panic rather than glee.

I was on the phone to my then-boyfriend at the time and just kept talking.

That was it – it was simple and effective. I didn’t have to be brave, I just had to act.

Happy families

Facebook can be very useful sometimes. Life changing announcements are as simple as a quick notification which is what I did with my pregnancy – I posted the baby scan and then everyone who wanted to ‘liked’ and commented. Well, that baby’s father is now part of our family and has moved in to live with us. I’m no longer a single parent and neither is he.

I have a lot of attachment to the idea of single parent but I’m happy with how we are as well.

I’ve posted a fair amount about the pregnancy, about the baby stages and about growing up and co-parenting. I haven’t yet posted anything about a relationship and a family. Not until now and even now I’m not saying much. Let’s see how it goes.

Family photo

Se7en Dwarfs, Wardrobe Theatre

se7en dwarfs“Sner” White has lived her whole life in the shadow of her Disney namesake who for generations let down feminism with her weak behaviour. Kicked out of home at 16 by an evil stepmother she became a sexy and strong police officer who is just a little overemotional. This weakness led to her dismissal from the force while investigating the “12 days of Christmas” murders and shooting the suspect. But now the murders have started again and Detective White is needed once more.

While you might think that a production based on Snow White crossed with cult film Se7en is probably not quite easy on the stomach, the irreverence and humour of Se7en Dwarfs is beyond what you can imagine. The creativity of the production is brilliantly fun and utterly surprising when you consider the tiny theatre in which they are performing. (It’s very small.)

Emma Keaveney-Roys as Detective White is colourful and brash while sounding like a cross between a northern truck driver and a beautiful deposed princess. Adam Blake as Detective Bramley could have possibly carried off the whole show on his own but it was nice that he had the others with him too. Vince Martin did a beautiful job as musician and mouse. Oh and corpse.

The play is riddled with Snow White puns and pulls off some great genre-jumping with its Raymond-Chandler-esque Noir, Christmas movies, Leslie Nielsen-like deadpan ridicule and nursery rhymes combined with fairy tales. Definitely one for Jasper Fforde fans and for Prince ones.

Don’t miss it. This is the one Christmas show that should have its own feature film.

Se7en Dwarfs is Playing at the Wardrobe Theatre until 22nd of December, 2013.

The Little Match Girl, Wardrobe Theatre

little match girl Just before the performance began, a gentle child-like woman in woollen Christmasy clothing showed my daughter a windmill, I remembered how the Little Match Girl ended and I started to panic. I wasn’t too worried about my toddler getting upset but thought I would end up in tears. I needn’t have worried, however, as there was little, if any, narrative structure to tell us what the show was about.

Lovely little performances were well choreographed and some ingenious usage of newspapers into a grandma figure added colour and almost some context but not enough. Pretty elements with no purpose don’t have enough impact over 45 minutes. I didn’t know what we were watching and why. There was little purpose or structure in the performance and it failed miserably to retain my attention.

To be fair to the two actors on stage, my daughter seemed fascinated by their antics and once the balloons and bubbles were released she was even happier. Saying that though, if you’d given her a balloon and some bubbles in an empty warehouse she would have been equally amused.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it.

The Little Match Girl by Dot & Ethel Theatre is playing at the Wardrobe Theatre until Sunday 22nd December, 2013.

24 Hours in Bristol, making the finals

I forgot to post that I was a finalist in the 24 hours in Bristol photography competition. This was my shortlisted entry:


“Warehouses on the Welsh Back” taken between 4am and 5am.