Filed under theatre

The Supreme Showman

I have a book on the exploits of German born Katterfelto. He was fascinating as he walked a tightrope between real science and hokum. He was arrested once for setting fire to a hayrick when his balloon came down in a field. In his hey day his arrival was announced in town by a pair … Continue reading

A Forgotten Genius

This is a portrait by Gainsborough of John Joseph Merlin, born in Belgium, a brilliant inventor & mechanician who built one of the most beautiful pieces of automata, the silver swan now in the Bowes museum. He worked with Charles Burney on improving keyboard  & other musical instruments, is often claimed he invented rollers skates, … Continue reading

Hamilton’s Vesuvius

Sir William Hamilton is famous for being cuckolded by his wife who fell for Nelson, but he was Britain’s envoy in Naples for several decades and was a great investigator of nearby Vesuvius and collector of antiquities. He commissioned an amazing machine, an example of multimedia long before the term was coined, that demonstrated the … Continue reading

More English Inns

More English Inns

The inn signs should be highly ornate, reflecting the wealth of the keeper and clientele, especially  in the 19th century on roads I’m the west country- the road to Bath was famous for highwaymen as a result. The most ornate sign was the White Hart at Scole. ‘That magnificent carved sign, one of the wonders … Continue reading

Coriolanus – National Theatre Live

Britain’s subsidised theatres are struggling to survive, with many using multimedia to extend their audience and sources of income. London has some of the finest of the bunch, but the cost of getting to it is beyond the reach of many, so the National Theatre is now broadcasting some events live to cinemas. Last week … Continue reading

A Gem of a Revival

This is from an article in the i Newspaper by Boyd Tonkin Back in the 1930s in Germany, the works of Marx and Freud were burnt as examples of the ‘moral degeneracy’ of the post-war WeimarRepublic. But joining their works on the bonfire at Opernplatz in Berlin on 10 May 1933 were books by the lesser … Continue reading

Time to Fly

I have just seen a Culture Show special on the dancer Sylvie Guillem. I have long been aware of her fame as a dancer but I didn’t quite get how good she is. She began training to be a gymnast and had no interest in dance, but there was an exchange with a ballet school … Continue reading