Monday, October 31, 2005

Another Week.

Mutterings continued.

Want this:

The RSC on CD - Full Track Listing
Disc 1 includes:

Directed by Peter Hall
July 1959, Stratford-upon-Avon
From Act 3, Scene 3
Cast: Laurence Olivier (Coriolanus), Harry Andrews (Menenius) Michael Blakemore (First Senator), Kenneth Gilbert (Aedile) Peter Woodthorp (Brutus) and Paul Hardwick (Cominius)

Wars of the Roses
Directed by Peter Hall and John Barton
31 October 1964, Stratford-upon-Avon
From King Henry VI Part 3, Act 1, Scene 4
Cast: Donald Sinden (York), Queen Margaret (Peggy Ashcroft), John Corvin (Clifford)

King Lear
Directed by Peter Brook
12 February 1964, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 4, Scene 6
Cast: Paul Scofield (King Lear), Brian Murray (Edgar), John Laurie (Earl of Gloucester)

Directed by Peter Hall
9 March 1966, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 3, Scene 1
Cast: David Warner (Hamlet)

Twelfth Night
Directed by John Barton
22 February 1971, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 2, Scene 5
Cast: Donald Sinden (Malvolio), Tony Church (Sir Toby Belch), Alton Kumalo (Fabian) Jeffery Dench (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)

Julius Caesar
Directed by Trevor Nunn
28 November 1973, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 1, Scene 2
Cast: Patrick Stewart (Caius Cassius), John Wood (Marcus Brutus)

Antony and Cleopatra
Directed by Trevor Nunn
12 December 1973, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 2, Scene 5
Cast: Janet Suzman (Cleopatra), Joseph Charles (Messenger) Rosemary McHale (Charmian) and Sidney Livingstone (Mardian).

Richard II
Directed by John Barton
23 October 1974, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 4, Scene 1
Cast: Richard Pasco (Richard II), Sebastian Shaw (Duke of York), Ian Richardson (Henry Bolingbroke), Clement McCallum (Northumberland)

Romeo and Juliet
Directed by Trevor Nunn
4 August 1977, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 2, Scene 2
Cast: Ian McKellen (Romeo), Francesca Annis (Juliet), Marie Kean (Nurse)

Disc Two Includes:
Henry V
Directed by Terry Hands
18 February 1976, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 1, Prologue
Cast: Emrys James (Chorus)

Henry V
Directed by Terry Hands
25 April 1978, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 1, Scene 2
Cast: Alan Howard (King Henry V), Oliver Ford Davies (First Ambassador), Edwin Richfield (Exeter)

The Comedy of Errors
Directed by Trevor Nunn
13 August 1977, Aldwych Theatre, London
From Act 3, Scene 2
Cast: Roger Rees (Antipholus of Syracuse), Michael Williams (Dromio of Syracuse)

The Tempest
Directed by Ron Daniels
3 November 1983, Barbican Theatre, London
From Act 5, Scene 1
Cast: Derek Jacobi (Prospero), Mark Rylance (Ariel)

Richard III
Directed by Bill Alexander
11 June 1985, Barbican Theatre, London
From Act 1, Scene 2
Cast: Antony Sher (Gloucester), Penny Downie (Lady Anne)

As You Like It
Directed by Adrian Noble
30 January 1986, Barbican Theatre, London
From Act 2, Scene 7
Cast: Joseph O’Connor (Duke Senior), Alexander Wilson (First Lord), Jaques (Alan Rickman), Orlando (Hilton McRae), Andrew Yeats (Amiens)

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Directed by Bill Alexander
7 February, 1986, Barbican Theatre, London
From Act 2, Scene 1
Cast: Janet Dale (Mistress Page), Lindsay Duncan (Mistress Ford)

Titus Andronicus
Directed by Deborah Warner
13 July 1988, Pit, Barbican, London
From Act 3, Scene 2
Cast: Brian Cox (Titus Andronicus), Donald Sumpter (Marcus Andronicus) Jeremy Gilley (Young Lucius)

Henry IV Part 1
Directed by Adrian Noble
13 May 1992, Barbican Theatre, London
From Act 5, Scene 1
Cast: Robert Stephens (Sir John Falstaff), Michael Maloney (Prince Henry)

Henry VI Part 3
Directed by Michael Boyd
2001, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
From Act 2, Scene 5
Cast: David Oyelowo (King Henry VI)

All’s Well that Ends Well
Directed by Gregory Doran
2002, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
From Act 1, Scene 2
Cast: Judi Dench (Countess Rossillion), Arthur Kohn (Steward), Claudie Blakley (Helena)

16 quid from the RSC shop.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A right winter's day

Mutterings continued.

Windy, blowy, and 14c at 2.30 in the arvo.

I've been playing around with the look of my Blogspot blog and catching up on Dr Who.

Leece and Rob came round for dinner last night - Rob cooked us a Japanese dish that I won't try to spell. Sort of like a pancake with lots of nice stuff in it - prawns, chicken, egg, etc. Very tasty indeed. We saw a very funny episode of ST:Atlantis, a perplexing episode of Rah Xephon (nothing new there) and rounded it off with This is Spinal Tap.

Gothic Label: Drag Queen
Gothic Brand: Feminine
Gothic Element: Wind/Air
Gothic Color: Pink
Gothic Gemstone: Quartz
Gothic Music: Techno
Gothic Band: Frankenstein Drag Queen From Planet 13
Gothic Personality: 100% Fashionable.
Quote - - - "Does this dress make me look

What's Your Gothic Reign? II [10 Possible Results]
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmmm, thought as much...

It seems there are things worse than death - listening to the radio yesterday, sports commentator was describing a race track somewhere, the track was officially classified as dead but they may downgrade it if it keeps raining. Downgraded from dead?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Weekend

Mutterings continued.

Shiny thing purchase - 3 CDs (four, really, as one is a double disk set): Through the Years, Jethro Tull ($9.95); Music from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ($16.99); and the 10th anniversary Les Mis at the Royal Concert Hall. Alun "New Tricks" Armstrong played Thenardier.

Friday, October 28, 2005

And speaking of Calvin and Hobbes:

Mutterings continued.

Where's 'Calvin and Hobbes' creator?

Bill Watterson remains private, 10 years after strip's end

End of the working week

Mutterings continued.

Late night last night - the curtain on Les Mis came down at 10.50pm; I got home about 11.30. From Theatre Australia:

Les Mis (aka The Glums) - bijou reviewette from a LesMis Virgin

Knew the story, didn't know the tunes, didn't have any previous productions to compare it with.

Wow! By the gods there are some talented singers in Perth. I don't have my program with me so I won't single out any of the talent. Oh alright, Shirley W gets a gurnsey because I know her. Loved the Marge Simpson fright wig, loved the funny, downright evil portrayal of a most unlikeable/hateable character.

Leece, who despite what some people think isn't my daughter, will no doubt give a more detailed review of the staging, which she compared to a series of tableaux from impressionist paintings, in her rambling review.

It didn't feel like 175 minutes and the second half flew. I can't urge you all to see it because it's sold out. And rightly so.

And Leece's Rambling Review did indeed go into the intricacies of impressionist painting.

All in all it was a rather pricy night last night - $38 for the tickets, $10 for parking (bloody Subiaco Council!), dins at the Sicilian (cheap!) and then Leece and Rob insisted we call into the Subiaco Bookshop. Ok, I insisted. I really didn't need to spend of $70 on books, but! The Complete Calvin and Hobbes has been released in 3 lovely looking volumes. I cannot justify spending $250 on them, however. Hmmm, Amazon's price is US$94; that's about Au$150. Lord knows what the postage costs would be!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lunch time blogging

Mutterings continued.

Won't get time to update the blog tonight as I'm meeting L and R at 5.30 in Subiaco for dins before Les Mis.

The plumber turned up at 11.30, spend five minutes shoving his whizzy thing onna stick down the laundry plug 'ole and, Voila!, all better. The noise of the whizzy thing onna stick upset Milo who was very reluctant to come back into the bathroom. Gus just got in the way.

Frodocam! Found this while looking for something else - it's the ongoing stoooory of a pair of Peregrine Falcons atop a hotel in Brisbane. They currently have 3 chicks. The vids are great - check out Beautiful Frieda under September 15.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Mutterings continued.

Came home to two overflowing sinks - one in the kitchen, the other in the laundry. The kitchen sink cleared itself, however I had to bucket empty the one in the laundry. I put a call into the estate agent for a plumber, who may come tonight but will probably call tomorrow. Which means I'll have to leave work to let him in. *sigh*

GRADS committee meeting was interesting last night. The second play confirmed for next year is Hedda Gabler.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

More rain

Mutterings continued.

I managed to miss the showers during my lunch time stroll to the cafe for sarnies.

Not an exciting day; footled around with the journal library, looked for missing documents from 2000 on my PC, that sort of thing. Too much typing resulted in a rather nasty pain in the front of my left shoulder. Hurties.

Got a GRADS committee meeting tonight, which I'm looking forward to.

Monday, October 24, 2005

That was the summer that was

Mutterings continued.

Warmish yesterday, windy and wettish today. I suspect we didn't reach the 22c forecast.

Tonight's episode of Mythbusters: " Episode 33: Killer Brace Position
Everyone knows that talking on a cell phone while driving is potentially dangerous, but is it as risky as driving drunk? To find out, Adam and Kari head to a local raceway to try their hand at driving a skills course, first, while being distracted on a cell phone, and then after knocking back a couple of rounds of beers. Then, the guys strap themselves into their own homemade mock airplane and go for a little ride straight down to test the efficacy of that oh-so-familiar brace position that airlines outline in their safety procedures. "

It looks as though we've sorted out our play-going schedule; I may have to see a couple of performances on my own due to L and R's busy November.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunny Sunday

Mutterings continued.

Not too warm, though I did put the air con on in the car coming back from the airport. I had lunch at my brother and sister-in-law's place in Roleystone, then dropped him off at the domestic terminal for his flight to Marandoo - which is here.

Last night:

Where to start with Blak Yak's The Truth? We were talking to Tim, one of the directors, in the foyer before the performance and he said that they had put it all together in 7 weeks. It shows. It was only the second night but there was a sense that they really needed a few more tech rehearsals under their belt. Dropped lines, dropped cues, missed entrances, sound gremlins, uncertain lighting. It felt as though the actors knew their lines and were damn well going to say them, not always at the right time, and without listening to the other actor. And the curtain call was very ragged and slow - the curtain was open for quite a while before the first set of actors came on for their call. And one of the dwarves took his beard off!

However, some performances were wonderful - I want Gaspode! The chap playing and voicing him, however, became part of the performance and wasn't just the puppeteer. Other characters on stage were reacting to him, not to Gaspode the dog. The set was very well done - three areas: the printing press SR; a chair and table which doubled/tripled for Vetinari's office, a kitchen, the cellar, cells, the Watch; and a mezzanine US. The printing press was great with a working fan. And the sossige inna bun got a big laugh.

We had a nice stroll around Kalamunda; I found a shop which sells Yorkshire Tea but it was closed. There was someone in there but they wouldn't open up. I don't care if she was the cleaner! Looks like I'll have to take myself up to Kalamunda again for some Brit comestibles.

We found a fish and chip shop and indulged ourselves - shark for me, Red emperor for the others. Mushy peas were available but I declined.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A busy weekend ahead.

Mutterings continued.

Done the grocery shopping. Shiny thing purchase - portable CD player, TEAC, $49 (half price) from K Mart. They're having a sale on electronic gizmos, including I Poddy-type things, but there are too many to choose from and I'm not sure I have the patience to download 120+ songs onto something the size of a stick of chewing gum. I'd only lose it; lord knows I can never find my mobile phone.

Heading up cut lunch and water bag territory tonight. Off to see The Truth in Kalamunda, which is a very attractive town in The Hills. According to Whereis, Kalamunda is only 35 minutes from my place; that is, 35 minutes, plus time for road works, plus getting lost...

Funny old day, weather-wise. Grey clouds, patches of blue sky, brilliant sunshine on the balcony where the cats are sunning themselves.

Great doco on the Biography Channel the other night about the making of Deep Purple's Machine Head album. That's the one that features the song with one of the two best guitar riffs ever - Smoke on the Water (the other being Cream's Sunshine of Your Love). In '98 my friend Bill and I drove from France into Geneva and drove "along the Lake Geneva shoreline". Couldn't get that line out of my head (not a bad thing).

Friday, October 21, 2005

Happy (rain) dance

Mutterings continued.

Lovely short, sharp shower at lunch time. We were ensconced in the cafe, enjoying our toasted egg, bacon and tomato sandwiches ($5 for staff), when down the rain came. We decided against our usual stroll through the park and headed straight back to the office, just in case any more of the wet stuff was on its way. I had a look on the BOM site later and it appears that we had yellow and dark green stuff (moderate falls) go through.

29 on Sunday!! Yipe.

BlogRolling appears to have died. All pages come up with a Fatal Error notice. Not good.

Lots of junk mail and a lovely postcard from Leece in the box this arvo.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another week flies by

Mutterings continued.

Another Friday tomorrow.

Quite pleasant weather today - I had my window open for most of the day, though I did have to close it to keep out the noise of the council wood chipper moving inexorably along the verge outside my office. 19c tomorrow and showers. Hurrah!

Had lunch with the wonderful Pat, whom I thinking of designating as Mam3 (Mam2 being Ashley's mother, Carole). We talked shop (ie theatre) and wondered how her daughter was faring in Mexico. Not a good time to be in Mexico right at the moment.

There are too many plays on, or coming up, that I want to see: Paul "Dr Prentice" Treasure's Anything Goes, Blak Yak's The Truth (which we're going to see on Sat.), Les Mis (aka The Glums) next Thursday, Harbour Theatre's Relatively Speaking (Alan Aykbourn), Playlover's Arsenic and Old Lace, and the Hayman Theatre panto, The Legend of Snow White. I suppose it is a Good Thing that community theatre is healthy...

Then there are the movies I've missed - WereRabbit, Howl's etc etc.

Dinner at Hippo Creek last night was very nice indeed. Couldn't finish my Sticky Date Pudding!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It can only get better...

Mutterings continued.

A three hour seminar on the intracies of buying in the Public Service is not a good way to start the day. We got coffee and muffins but they took them away after the first break. There was a second break at 11 (elevenses!) but no coffee or muffins to be seen!

Today is the first anniversary of Mum's death. I've tried not to think too much about it; that it, I've tried not to think to much about the bad things about it, just the good things about Mum.

Thanks to Rob for this really cool site - searching Google Earth for black helicopters.

And speaking of Rob, we're off to Hippos for dins tonight in his honour.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Mutterings continued.

Nice weather, not too warm. We took a stroll to the cafe for coffee and ginger/date cookie at lunch time. Strolled back via the Savannah (where we watched one of the lionesses fixate on a little kid in front of the viewing window. Didn't take her eyes off him.) and Lesser Primates.

Cool vids - check out Fett's Vette.

I'm really enjoying Supernova, a Brit/Aus comedy something along the lines of The Dish. In last night's ep, Paul saw the face of God at the end of a wormhole. He was nearly right...

I finally got my taxes done this afternoon. My medical receipts were about $300 short of being able to claim anything back (grrrrr) but at least I haven't ended up owing the Tax Office anything. I'm due $245.

My dad got me one of these when I was seven. Shoulda kept it.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Another week begins

Mutterings continued.

Had a late night last night - didn't get home until 11.30 which is waaaay past my bedtime.

It's Rob's birthday today, so many hippo birdies to him.

I'm getting this whinge in early - it's going to be 27c on Wednesday. We're on the slippery slope to summer, I just know it.

Very interesting prog on the telly yesterday afternoon - Theatre Biz. Episode one was about opening night at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Sunday

Mutterings continued.

Had L and R over for dinner last night. I made Farfalle with meat sauce and yoghurt (which is supposed to have paprika in it however I'd run out so I substituted tomatoes. Yes, I know it's not the same but it tasted ok.) and L and R provided fruit salad and yummy ice cream.

We watched Star Wreck, an incredibly funny Finnish fan flick parody of Star Trek and Babylon 5. We only meant to watch a few minutes of it before the usual program (Rah-Xephon, Atlantis, BSG and Mystie) but just kept on watching. So, we missed out on BSG and Rah Xephon, but enjoyed Atlantis (which saw the introduction of a rather attractive character called Ronon) and The Corpse Vanishes (one of Bela Lugosi's more forgettable outings). Corpse was vastly improved with the Mystie treatment.

Busy-ish couple of weeks coming up - off to John's for dinner tonight, Rob's birthday bash on Wednesday at Hungry Hungry Hippos (aka Hippo Creek), The Truth on Saturday, brother's on Sunday (we're having a get-together as it's 12 months since Mum died), GRADS committee meeting on Tuesday, Les Miz on Thursday.

It's like being in a marriage - except that you always end up in bed together
By Griff Rhys Jones.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

25c - ooog!

Mutterings continued.

Too warm! Too warm!!

A potentially expensive day - $110 for 3 months supply of contact lenses + $95 for reading glasses (to be paid when ready) + $13 for a nice pair of sunnies (the chemist was selling their sunnies for 50% off) + $20 for some temporary reading glasses (I almost had to resort to asking someone in the supermarket to read a label for me) + $40 for a couple of tops. The $95 for the reading glasses is for the lenses only - I have a pair of glasses for computer work that I can no longer wear because my reading focus has changed so much.

Cool - the Bayeux Tapestry.

This week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are was fascinating. Meera Syal, star and writer of Goodness Gracious Me and the wonderful granny in The Kumars at No. 42, went to India to see how far back she could trace her family and ended up learning more than even her parents knew about her grandfathers. Both were freedom fighters against British rule. Her maternal grandfather "Phuman Singh participated in the 11th Jatha (a group of Sikhs), which set off from Amritsar in July 1924 and arrived in Jaito in early September 1924. Up to 20,000 Sikhs were arrested during these marches (the morcha), including Phuman Singh, who spent more than a year in prison. In 1972 he was awarded a Freedom Fighters Pension for his part in the Jaito Morcha." The Sikhs would take a vow at the Golden Temple in Amritsar not to fight violence with violence and folded their arms as they were gunned down by the British at Jaito. Meera's mother never knew her father had been imprisoned for 18 months; she only knew that he had been away.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Primate Watching

Mutterings continued.

Nice sunny day, again, though the wind was a might sharpish this afternoon. This morning I took a walk past Gibbon Island to see the new White-cheeked female. She and new mate, Robyn, were dueting nicely. Lord but she's got a pair of lungs on her! Very loud call and she jumps up and down and shakes the branches while doing it.

And then this arvo I met the Black-capped Capuchin bub. Very cute.

Most of this afternoon, however, was spent in a Business Recovery Plan meeting. Not advisable on a Friday afternoon. Didn't even get a bikkie, chiz chiz.

I've just discovered the Annals of Improbable Research (years after everyone else, I know). I'd heard of the Ig-Nobel awards but this is the first time I've had a good look at the web site. Hoot.

And speaking of hoots (toots, och aye the noo!), the very funny Dumpdee site. Read the Hate Mail page and marvel at the do-gooders who completely lack a sense of humour. The Bus Tours are also amusing. A Scottish friend pointed me in the direction of this page - I dinae ken if he's fae Dumpdee.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Another Thursday

Mutterings continued.

Nice sunny day. Wore my contacts to work and realised that I really need to buy some sunglasses. Kim and I took a stroll to Lemongrass Restaurant (she had Green Curry and I had roast pork with noodles - a v. messy dish) which took us across Windsor Park. The Council has done a nice job of tarting up the park, however the footpath is bright white and reflects the sun like crazy. Kim put her sunnies on and I scrunched my eyes up to keep the glare out. Not an attractive look.

Ever since the release of the first dire Mission:Impossible movie, rumours have abounded that, at last, the tv will series will be released on DVD. Here's the latest.

Had dinner with TUS at Retro Betty's last night. Ate too much but was generous with my wedges, which came with sour cream and chilli sauce. Came home and watched Firefly.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I can see...sort of.

Mutterings continued.

My trial contact lenses have arrived. I've just put them in and can see the city very clearly. The words on the monitor in front of me are a little hazy which means I need reading glasses but anything is better than bifocals. I could only read the second line on the chart through my right eye - it's deteriorated, somewhat.

Off to Retro's with my new eyes - I won't be able to read the menu but at least I can see the street signs.

What kind of pirate am I? You decide!
You can also view a breakdown of results or put one of these on your own page!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Thanks to Leece for this bit of amusement.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I tried...I really tried.

Mutterings continued.

Friend loaned me a copy of the Hitchhikers movie. I watched it up until the Heart of Gold arrived at Magrathea, sighed and turned it off. I quite liked the chap who played Ford, just not as Ford. Marvin looked like a dwarf in a Storm trooper uniform; Trillian was annoying and Zaphod was just plain wrong. The schtik with the second head was creepy and not at all amusing. And we didn't need an explanation as to how Zaphod ended up as President - after all, the hippest place in the whole galaxy is the left cranium of Zaphod Beeblebrox.

And the dialogue sounded like it was written by Harold Pinter - lots of pauses and a total lack of emotion.

I did try.

Went walkies at lunch time. We ambled down to the cafe for lunch and I ordered and paid for the $5 staff special (ravioli). No ravioli left so I had the vastly superior lamb tagine. We then ambled back via the World of Birds and Nocturnal House. The others oohed and aahed over the spiders while I watched the squirrel gliders.

Was off sick yesterday - my chest infection is back so I'm on the antibiotics again.

Has this been on the telly yet?

"Walking with Monsters.

From the makers of Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Beasts comes an epic and entertaining new exploration of life, revealing that in the age before dinosaurs, a succession of fantastical animals and plants ruled the planet. Most of us are completely unaware that these creatures ever existed, or believe our planet was home to just worms and bugs.

Yet there was a time when a two-tonne predatory fish came on land to hunt, when four-metre sea scorpions sliced sushi in the shallows, when just one species of lumbering reptile represented eighty per cent of all life. For the first time, this series will uncover these creatures and the bizarre worlds they inhabited. "

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Another closing, another show.

Mutterings continued.

That's production #11 down. Last night's performance was the best - 124 people in the audience who laughed so much, the show went over time. Jenny McCann did some wonderful upstaging, ditto Tony who did a fabulous prat fall. The director didn't see it, but we did.

The after show party was a sedate affair; well, it was when I left at 1.30am. And I got pressies! Bottle of wine from Pat, GRADS President, and a flower box of lobelias (there's a quote in the play about Jenny's character coming from the "lobelia growing classes".

Today we bump out. It shouldn't take long; I don't have many props to distribute - last night I gave Jessyca, who is a member of UDS, the group who loaned us Mr Floppee, the 'certain parts of Sir Winston Churchill'. The rest of it is divided into Mine and What Can Go in the Octagon Storeroom.

So that's for me, play-involvement-wise, for this year. We're off to see Blak Yak's The Truth on the 22nd and then Les Mis (aka The Glums) on the 27th. And I have a GRADS committee meeting on the 25th.

Coming in 2006 - A Midsummer Night's Dream. No director yet.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Final Night

Mutterings continued.

Last performance of Butler tonight. The cast party will be held at Dr Rance's place. The same Dr Rance who washed and dissolved one of the vital props last night. *sigh* Actors!

Boring old food shopping this morning; also bought some clothes, including a very nice embroidered cheesecloth top.

And in case you were wondering:

"Great excitement in Wigan, meanwhile, where the local Observer is convinced that the long war of attrition over the lucrative question "where is Gromitland?" has finally been solved.

"Plasticine Pair are from Wigan," the paper announces definitively after considering and dismissing rival theories that Nick Park's heroes, whose new film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is just out, may really be from Preston or Leyland.

The animator has always been cagey about the landscapes that influenced his creation of 62 West Wallaby Street, much as the inventor of Postman Pat, John Cunliffe, has always slapped down claims by beautiful valleys in the north that they are the real Greendale.

It's a good attitude to have, because it shares the tourism booty around rather than focusing it on such places as Summer Wine Town, Holmfirth, or the old set of Emmerdale, the former sewage workers' hamlet of Esholt, near Bradford.

But now the Observer has spotted a clue amid what it calls "all those wonderful, fleeting details and references that make the films so special." What is it? The paper says: "As the camera pans across the dashboard of Wallace's car, an A to Z of Wigan can clearly, albeit briefly, be seen." The film company's spokesman, Arthur Sheriff, then goes as near as anyone yet has to confirming the claim.

"Being non-specific has been a deliberate policy because it would be unfair to pick out one town or city, and it allows people all over the north to draw their own conclusions and recognise a piece of their own home towns and cities. But Nick has now said that it is Wigan that has influenced the setting more than anywhere else. That is as far as he will go."

Cool tv ads - yes, there are some.

Mutterings continued.

This is for Guinness .

Friday, October 07, 2005

End of the week.

Mutterings continued.

It appears that Orson Scott Card quite likes Serenity. "It's great.

I'm not going to say it's the best science fiction movie, ever.

Oh, wait. Yes I am."

Picked up a parcel from the RSC from the PO today. Richard II DVD, 2006 diary, program folder and Midsummer Night's Dream postcards were contained within.

Off to the theatre shortly for our penultimate performance. One of Pat's ushers has let her down so I'll be seeing the show from the sidelines again.

"A BBC program says US President George W Bush has claimed he was > instructed by God to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.........." If I were God, I'd be suing for defamation.

UKTV is having a Ronnie Barker tribute on Sunday - two episodes of the Two Ronnies, Open All Hours and Porridge.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Thursday

Mutterings continued.

Almost the end of the week.

Had lunch with Pat and Shirley and Kim today; Shirley gave me a box full of old theatre programs. I'm going to enjoy going through them to see what's what.

We had a nice drop of rain overnight - the BOM website rainfall radar showed some yellow and red stuff heading our way. Yellow is Moderate and red is getting on for Heavy. Hate to see black.

Serenity is getting some nice reviews in the Brit press - including the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Times .


Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Mutterings continued.

Damn, damn, damn.

From the Mirror:


By Fiona Cummins Showbiz Reporter

SHOWBIZ stars were united in tribute last night to comedy legend Ronnie Barker.

The TV giant, who had a history of heart trouble, died peacefully aged 76 with Joy, his wife of 48 years, at his side.

Ronnie, one of the most versatile comic writers and actors of his generation, brought laughter to millions in sitcoms Porridge and Open All Hours.

But it was with sketch show The Two Ronnies that he achieved worldwide fame.

Partner Ronnie Corbett said: "Ronnie was pure gold in triplicate - as a performer, a writer and a friend.

"We worked together since 1965 and never had a cross word. It was 40 years of harmonious joy, nothing but an absolute pleasure.

"I will miss him terribly, but he went out on a lift."

The late legend, who died on Monday, once said: "I'd like to be remembered as one of the funniest men people have seen on television."

Last night's avalanche of tributes made it clear he got his wish. Open All Hours co-star David Jason said: "Working with Ronnie was always a joy and were without doubt some of the best years of my career. The world of entertainment has lost a huge talent."

Monty Python's Michael Palin said: "He had this extraordinary ability to make the nation laugh, probably more often than anyone else I know.

"I count myself enormously fortunate to have known and worked with him."

John Cleese, who began his TV comedy career with him in 60s series The Frost Report, called him "a warm, friendly and encouraging presence to have when I started".

He was "a great comic actor to learn from", he added. Funnyman Peter Kay said: "He made me laugh so much. I'm just so lucky to have been able to get to know my hero and the person that I aspire to be."

Comedy writer Barry Cryer put him on a par with film legends Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.

"You couldn't believe it was the same man if you watched Porridge or Open All Hours," he said. "He was an amazing character actor." In recent weeks Ronnie's wife Joy had helped look after the ailing dad-of-three at home in Chipping Norton, Oxon.

In the last 24 hours of his life he was moved to a hospice, where he died at 12.15pm on Monday.

Corbett, 74, last saw him last week at the filming of ITV1's Avenue of the Stars. He said: "He felt weak and didn't look at all well.

"I thought then that Ron was rather resigned to it all. I hope he's in a better place now."

The Two Ronnies ran from 1971 to 1987. Its enduring appeal was proved when it returned to TV this year in The Two Ronnies Sketchbook, a highlight of the best scenes. The pair's bickering tramps and their Four Candles sketch, in which Barker tries to buy fork handles at a hardware store, still made millions laugh.

Corbett said of his pal: "He was delighted the Two Ronnies Sketchbook had gone so well, bringing us to a new generation of audiences." Last night BBC1 aired a half-hour special on his life.

This Friday it will repeat a show screened last year to mark his lifetime achievement Bafta.

Ronnie was born Ronald William George Barker in September 25, 1929 in Bedford

After a spell as a bank clerk, he joined the Manchester Repertory Company as an assistant stage manager and by 1955 was appearing in West End shows such as Midsummer Night's Dream. He met Corbett when both were writers on The Frost Report in 1966.

After the start of the Two Ronnies, Barker went on to star as Fletcher, opposite Richard Beckinsale, in prison sitcom Porridge.

He also played stuttering shopkeeper Arkwright, his favourite character, in Open All Hours, had other parts in The Saint and The Avengers and wrote several books. He was awarded an OBE in 1978.

He officially retired in 1987 but was lured back in 1999 to appear in a Two Ronnies retrospective.

And in 2002 he played Winston Churchill's butler Inches in BBC drama The Gathering Storm.

Other tributes to his wide-ranging talent came from the likes of Bruce Forsyth, who said: "You can't call Ronnie Barker a comedian - he was an actor and a great writer."

Des O'Connor said: "He was such a brilliant and versatile actor, a superb comedian and a wonderful wordsmith."

And Two Ronnies producer Michael Hurll said: "There was a rhythm to a joke and he was able to show us how that worked. It worked every time."


1. THE search for the man who terrorises nudist camps with a bacon slicer goes on. Inspector Lemuel Jones had a tip-off this morning, but hopes to be back on duty tomorrow.

2. HAVE you heard the one about the retired general who said he had not had sex since 1956? His friend said: "`That's a long time ago." "I don't know," the general replied, "it's only 20.27 now."

3. THE man who invented the zip fastener was today honoured with a lifetime peerage. He will now be known as the Lord of the Flies.

4. IN a packed programme tonight we will be talking to an out-of-work contortionist who says he can no longer make ends meet.

5. THE toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on.

6. A NEW publishing venture was announced today, the Stock Breeders Gazette and Playboy magazine are to get together to produce the Farmer Sutra.

7. ARNOLD Crump, a 6ft 9ins, ham-fisted, hairy drunk with a short temper, bad breath, acne, dandruff and fleas, was named by Scotland Yard today as Britain's most unwanted man.

8. A FAMOUS Spoonerism from sitcom Open All Hours: "Don't just crit there siticising."

9. GEORGE Mumble the Bodmin man who swallowed 200 weight of laxative for a bet on coronation night has celebrated his Silver Jubilee. He's been on the throne for 25 years.


RONNIE Corbett is assistant in hardware shop. Ronnie Barker enters:

BARKER: Four Candles!

CORBETT: Four Candles?

BARKER: Four Candles.

(Corbett gets out four candles)

BARKER: No, four candles!

CORBETT (confused): Well there you are, four candles!

BARKER: No, 'andles for forks!

CORBETT (muttering): Thought you said four candles! Next?

BARKER: Got any plugs?

CORBETT: Plugs. What kind of plugs?

BARKER: A rubber one, bathroom.

(Corbett gets bath plugs)

CORBETT: What size?

BARKER: Thirteen amp!

CORBETT: It's electric bathroom plugs, we call them. Next?



BARKER: O's. (Corbett gets a hoe)

BARKER: No, no, O's! for the gate. Mon Repose! O's! Letter O's!

CORBETT: Letter O's! Next

BARKER: Got any P's?

CORBETT: Why didn't you bleedin' tell me that while I was up there then? BARKER: No! Tins of peas. Three tins

CORBETT: You're 'avin' me on?

BARKER: I'm not! (Corbett gets peas)

He grabs shopping list and calls to shop owner Mr Jones to read it.

CORBETT: Look what 'e's got on there!

JONES: How many would ya like?

Opens drawer marked BILL HOOKS

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Tuesday

Mutterings continued.

Quite a busy day today - felt like I'd done a day's work by 9.30am. Comes from getting in at 7.30am I guess.

Interesting discussions going on over at the New Scientist forum - Name the best space science fiction works ever. Larry Niven's Ringworld gets a gurnsey; ditto Firefly/Serenity.

My carefully crafted prop willy has been mistaken by a cigar by one Butler audience member! Grant "Dr Rance" Malcolm's response:

" Cigar? You thought that was a cigar?

Props diva Pamela is probably slashing her wrists as she reads this.

All the hours of loving care spent polishing and bronzing the object in question... not to mention the care taken stiffening the object when it proved a little flaccid in effect!

More to the point, pity the poor person upon whose parts the object was moulded!"

It's a glamourous life in the theatah.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Back to work

Mutterings continued.

Not a bad day - few emails to catch up on and dispose of, couple of meetings to attend, magazines and books to cattledog.

In the letterbox was a lovely postcard from Fiona in Birmingham (only she sent it from the Lakes District) and a letter from a car dealer I wouldn't buy chewing gum from inviting me to a release of a new Mitsubishi.

Free night tonight, ditto tomorrow night. I've invited a friend for dinner tomorrow; I've chosen something from the Diabetes cookbook takes about 10 minutes to cook.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Serenity (again)

Mutterings continued.

Just got back from seeing Serenity at Glod (TM) Class with Leece and Rob - and Kim and her husband, Greg, coincidentally. The theatre was full, which, hopefully is a sign that the movie is doing good business. This was the first time we had seen it with the full score and end credits. No easter egg.

Had a great geeky discussion about anime, MST3K, etc with some of the Butler cast last night. We all had a rave about the subbed, rather than dubbed, version of Spirited Away and just how good Miyazaki is.

Bit of a panic just before curtain up last night - Sir Winston's willy went AWOL. It was eventually found by Paul and put back where it belonged, but I was beginning to worry as I didn't have a Plan B. I was starting to look wildly at bits of vacuum cleaner hose...

It was a good house last night; about 90-odd (some very odd, boom boom!) in the audience. I did the right thing and stayed back cleared up my props, washed out the 'whiskey' bottles, cleaned Jenny's lipstick off the glasses, etc etc.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Saturday

Mutterings continued.

Not an exciting day - no shiny thing purchased, other than tins of cat food, a bit of house cleaning carried about, and that's about it.

UKTV has had a Goodies marathon on this arvo, so I watched five eps one after the other. Started with the Beefeater episode and ended with Radio Goodies ("And now...a Walk in the Black Forest), one of my favourites. I love seeing Graham the Loony. "No, leave him, he would have wanted it that way." "No he bloody wouldn't!"

Performance of Butler tonight and then a 3 day break and then the final four days. Keep the final night of a production holy for thou shalt party.