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The Dresser

Have just been to see The Dresser with Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith as Sir and Norman respectively,.  I saw an advert and hadn’t thought of either of them in these roles but could see how they would fit them and, more, how they might wreak some theatre magic together.  Goodness but I was right.  Ken Stott was excellent – always is.  One of those rare actors where you would go to see a production because he is in it, knowing that you will enjoy.  Reece Shearsmith was superb and seemed to inhabit Norman.  The sharp brittle wit, the fragility, the sense of ultimate betrayal and loss portrayed with a humanity and understanding.  The slow loss of control through drink and tears.  Brilliant.

Not intentional to have seen Lear a couple of weeks earlier butcertainly meant that the references to, and extracts from, the play were fresh and clear in the memory.  And Stott would be an excellent Lear – he can certainly portray the tyranny and capriciousness of power, and love of a father, the frailty and senesence of age, the madness and anger of grief.

King Leir

Learnt last night that Shakespeare had updated the spelling of King Leir to King Lear.  Sounds like he bought the equivalent of the Great British Bake Off and then subtly updated it so that he could claim intellectual property rights.  And didn’t he do well:  Antony Sher was powerful in the lead role, and ably supported by Gloucester (Troughton is excellent), Kent, poor Tom and the fool.  The female parts, oddly, felt more sketched – heightened shadows.

Highly enjoyable evening spent at the RSC in Stratford (and no Strictly)…though, as I type, that is the music that is playing in the background. How swift normality returns.

So what does this have to do?

So what does this have to do with the seven year blog?

It is all about transitioning from where I work (a little south of Cambridge) to where I live.  Hertford.

Have joined Hertford District Camera Club (as well as settin up my own web site).

Have become, almost by chance, a patron (with the missus) of Hertford Museum.

And, of course, am treasurer of the Hertford Oral History Group.

It all sounds grand, but really amounts to just trying to give something back to where I live and where others (e.g Peter Ruffles, Marilyn Taylor and a host of others have been active for years).




Now currently looking to see if we can increase HOHG funds:  we have a limited reserve, small outgoings and no income.  At some point in the foreseeable future the lines of expenditure cross the reserves:  we need to add to our income if we are to stay in business.

There are a lot of histories yet to obtain, and I came across two potentially good contacts this week.

We are curly thinking about applying to Waitrose under their community support programme. It looks good – and would certainly help us out short term as well as put our name in the front of shoppers.  Even more valuable than money would be getting more volunteers to help with transcribing the records we already have.