My Tuesday music class from Explore (weareexplore.org.uk) on the theme this Season of music from Shakespeare was on the subject of the music of a Mid-Summer Nights dream and more specifically On Mendelssohn or more fully “Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” where we looked at his creative clever instrumental play including on how he created an image of mischievous fairies and the better known at least to many Wedding March piece.
Rambert Dance were in town again as part of their 85th year tour presented a programme in 2 parts
· “Frames” a very clever use of shapes (interlocking metal bars) to “frame” the dancers as they engage with each other.
· “The strange Charm of Mother nature” where the dancers become the atoms of the universe whizzing or is that dancing about to the music of Stravinsky and Bach
· The three Dancers based on Picasso’s painting of same name but using 2 groups of 3 dancers, one in black the other in white initially separately but then combined in a thought provoking play on ecstasy and doom which can separately and at least for me simultaneously occupy the human mind. The music for this part of the programme was the best and most captivating. The programme tells me its from an Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin because I had no idea.
On Friday a short play called “Presumption” from third Angel of Sheffield was a 20 year revival without updating analysis of the loving relationship between a couple. Starting with an empty stage then the 2 actors and ending with a furnished living room in their flat, we were taken through in stages and for which the furnishing of the stage was a prompt. The script was relayed in matching stages as they explored their own love, compared with friends in a realistic way with uncertainty honesty wrapped in their relationship of love.
On Saturday I went to another show at Northern stage where Kate O Donnell originally from Coventry took us through a very theatrical take on her gender transition. I say “very” as there were times I thought over the top although it was in fairness to her the prop to aid her difficult times and struggles with her family along her journey.
During the week was at a lecture at the Lit and Phil on Education as influenced by war. Professor Docherty of Warwick (dam farm not to do with “war”). He started with Ireland which is a good way of getting additional attention from myself and the founding the first catholic university by an Englishman Cardinal Newman. The importance of education is a major artery to us Celts and so it was that this University was a building block in later nationhood. The role of Universities in France under Napoleon and Germany at the time of Hitler was also looked at before turning to the UK and the current civil war taking place on freedom of speech.
I was shocked to learn that lecturers are expected to monitor and report what they perceive to be extremist response in writing, talk or even body language of students. Most of us can define extremism by ak47 wielding bomb carrying bearded terrorist of a certain religious group. But the lack of legal clarity and use of nudge nudge self police but don’t get it wrong makes the whole area very subjective. I say this in a country that went from fighting the IRA here and in Northern Ireland with its own troops and security service to having the leaders meet the queen and engage in talks, in a few decades. Terrorism to freedom fighter to diplomat to politician is a singular road and using Higher Education to police thought wrong.
Earlier in the week I was absorbed in the high quality acting bond between mother and son in “room” who were held captive by a nutter (he fathered the boy) their escape and most difficult assimilation back into normal life. The strength of the relationship between mother and child which was forged in their prison, tested frequently, provided aid to escape and most crucially was the catalyst to survive the media analysis and support family helplessness (some not all).
My personal Work quest (as I must) has seen a 3 week (since holiday) spell of plans efforts and talks without outcomes reach a stage where I now have interviews confirmed for 2 perm (from last week) and one interim job next week with interview date awaited for 1 further perm role (also from last week). At last action although 2 weeks later than I had hoped. Am also in running for 2 interim roles of which 1 is in London. Will be looking more closely at that city in the following week if no action.
Next week's plans
Play at Northern stage: Learning how to die
Play at Theatre Royal: Inspector calls
Lectures: Music (Explore series), Energy entropy & wealth (Newcastle University Insights), Chinese Cultural Revolution (Explore- Saturday)
Chinese New Year banquet at Golden swallow on Friday evening: so fitting
3 at least or maybe 4 interviews, 2 yoga, and 1 Age UK befriending visit (play on numbers).
Would like to see the Icelandic movie Rams and a 2nd visit to Assassin if possible