Filed under comedy

Opera for Babies

Opera for Babies

This is one of the most bonkers but adorable ideas I’ve heard, but the interview with producer Phelim McDermott with Stuart Maconi on 6 music actually makes a lot of sense, especially within the realm of the Manchester International Festival which ended Sunday. McDermot was initially sceptical, fearing the babies would either be bored or … Continue reading

A Captive Owl

This is from Kilvert’s Diary, told to him by a Miss Child: She and her sister stranded in London at night went to London Bridge hotel (having missed the last train) with little money and no luggage except the owl in a basket. The owl hooted all night in spite of their putting it up … Continue reading

A Lecture on Heads

A Lecture on Heads

There were a lot of theatrical companies in London and the provinces, but when I heard of The Lecture on Heads I was intrigued and confused. What heads? And why? Gerald Kahan in his book George Alexander Stevens & The Lecture on Heads has done a great job researching the show in its many forms … Continue reading

Words and Image of a Nobody

Words and Image of a Nobody

There are a lot of images from our history that suggest there was some heavy drug taking happening – disproportioned people, strange animals etc. These are often accepted as elements of folklore but there may have been a more straightforward explanation, as a mans of insulting the rich and powerful without getting arrested. This was … Continue reading

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

The London Disease Comes to Cardiff

Last weekend saw the end of the Brickstock Festival at a former brickworks in Central Cardiff. It had a huge number of events, with music by James Dean Bradfield and many others but I only made it to the last, a series of site-specific performances in a Victorian house. There was an old couple reminiscing … Continue reading

In Praise of Dr Katterfelto

Dr Katterfelto is one of the most fascinating characters from late 18th/early 19th century England. He was called the King of Puff, and his claims to have cured Londoners of the flu epidemic helped sell his remedies. He demonstrated solar microscopes, and danced either side of the divide between science and magic with a big … Continue reading

Celebrities Changing the World?

Here’s a piece by the brilliant Grace Dent in the i paper on the impact of celebrities opposing Trump. It’s also a lesson for politicians here, of course. When William Morris wrote “Nothing useless can be truly beautiful” he patently had never visualised an anti-Trump public service announcement starring the thinking woman’s crumpet Mark Rufallo … Continue reading

A Wily Yorkshire Miller

In the days before modern policing, people had to make do. This miller served up his own justice and probably taught the thieves a lesson about messing with him. This is from a letter in The Kentish Gazette of May 1771 Letter from York A few nights ago a gang of 9 thieves beset the … Continue reading

An Unhappy Tenant

This is a wonderfully wry ad from a London paper dated October 1815: WANTED IMMEDIATELY to enable me to leave the house which I have for these last five years inhabited, in the same plight and condition in which I found it, 500 LIVE RATS for which I will gladly pay the sum of £5 … Continue reading