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Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

Edward Burne-Jones : Tate Britain

… some astonishing works amongst the usual suspects …

perseus graiae burne-jones

Yes, I know all his portraits look the same (as Henry James put it: “this languishing type … which savours of monotony”) and walking from room to room can be a little like scoffing a whole box of chocolates BUT to see the two iconic series, Briar Rose and Perseus, Continue reading “Edward Burne-Jones : Tate Britain”

Fallible Justice : Laura Laakso

… tremendously satisfying urban fantasy …

fantasy fiction British wilderness

The detective is one of the Wild Folk, hurting and lonely in the city of an Olde London where magic reigns. Her apprentice is a Bird Shaman. They need to solve the murder and work out how the justice system can be corrupted before an innocent man is executed. They have five days.

Fallible Justice is a joy to read: intriguing characters and deft world building Continue reading “Fallible Justice : Laura Laakso”

Whistler and Nature : Compton Verney

A fascinating show of Whistler’s more intimate art …

Watercolour Date: late 19th century (made) Artist/Maker: Whistler, James Abbott McNeill, born 1834 - died 1903 (artist) Materials and Techniques: Watercolour Credit Line: Given by the Artist's Executrix Museum number: P.19-1934

Westgate. Signed with the butterfly monogram. Copyright : V&A.

Say the name: James Abbott McNeill Whistler and to most it will conjure up a series of  almost abstract experiments he called “Nocturnes” or his famous portrait of his mother  or perhaps, at a push, his society portraits. This exhibition changes all that for me. He really was such an extraordinaire painter and his watercolour sketches have completely Continue reading “Whistler and Nature : Compton Verney”

Troilus and Cressida : RSC

… speeches glitter in the rust …

troilus-and-cressida-production-photographs_-2018_2018_photo-by-helen-maybanks-_c_-rsc-_265234.tmb-img-1824

A high spirited production by RSC veteran Gregory Doran which brings out the best in this most conflicted of Shakespeare’s plays.

In a Mad Max-ian theatre of mis-matched armour and steampunk motorbikes, the glittering speeches of truth and power are spoken against Continue reading “Troilus and Cressida : RSC”

The Merry Wives of Windsor : RSC

… the only way is Windsor …

TOWIE

A witty production by RSC first timer Fiona Laird which brings out the best in this Shakespeare farce.

David Troughton plays a truly gargantuan Falstaff being outwitted by the sassy Wives, Continue reading “The Merry Wives of Windsor : RSC”

Spellbound : Ashmolean Museum

… intriguing miscellany …

witch poppet moppet witchcraft

 

Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft is a fascinating and wide ranging exhibition which starts on Friday 31 August.

Different sections are loosely grouped into themes: “How to Live Well in a Complex World”, “Love, “Magic and Mystery in the Home”, “The Idea of Witchcraft” etc. and there was much to enjoy across the three rooms. Continue reading “Spellbound : Ashmolean Museum”

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich : The Swan, RSC

… effervescent Restoration comedy … 

RSC The Swan Restoration Shakespeare

Sophie Stanton absolutely shines as the exuberant Mrs Rich. It’s obvious she is having the time of her life as this widow in search of QUALITY to match her enormous wealth. Continue reading “The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich : The Swan, RSC”

The Ghost A Cultural History : Susan Owens

Yesterday I listened enthralled as Susan gave a talk at the Chipping Campden Literature Festival about the book.

Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

… a fascinating book to curl up with … 

ghost supernatural spooks halloweenThe Ghost is a thoroughly fascinating book which traces the development of ghosts from warnings from the afterlife, through escapees from purgatory and then the devil’s playthings and finally to delicious, terrifying entertainment purely from the imagination.

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Station Zero : Philip Reeve

… singing trains, strange worlds …

robot love trains

Once again we follow Zen Starling as he travels across the galaxy with Nova, the almost human Motorik, trying to work out their relationship – (How does that even work, a human and a Moto? Zen is asked.) – whilst fighting the Guardians for control of the Great Network. Continue reading “Station Zero : Philip Reeve”

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