JOE'S BLOG - OCTOBER 2013
[Click on thumbnails for full size pictures]
A gap of two months in the appearance of his blog, due to the intervention of Issue No. 3 of New Nurturing Potential, but no gap in activity. Although August was a holiday-season break in the theatrical productions in Bromley, the slack was taken up by a visit to Beckenham, where grand-daughter Jessica-Ann had the lead in The Little Shop of Horrors.
A difficulty that confronts me is that each succeeding play seems to be an improvement on the last. Actually that is not strictly correct since I’m unable to suggest any way to improve what is always an excellent, professional-worthy production. More accurate, perhaps, is to say that each play seems more exciting or amusing, or entertaining than the preceding one.
On September 21 I posted the following on the Facebook group page of the Bromley Little Theatre
JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT CAN;T GET ANY BETTER. Thank you BLT - right from choice of play, through production and performance. It's always so right. And always seems to get better. I laughed my head off last night. They must have heard me in the streets. Congratulations to all concerned. Brilliant!
The play was Moonlight and Magnolias, based on the (apparently totally true) story of David O. Selznick’s finding himself with a mere five days to complete production of Gone With The Wind despite having to change both script writer and director. He talks author Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming (who has just finished directing The Wizard of Oz), into barricading themselves into his office, being fed on nothing but peanuts and bananas for the entire five days. The cast is a mere 4 players, the three men and Selznick’s secretary. It’s a madcap, magnificent production and the tremendous performances were up to the standards of the best professional players.
Five days later it was off to neighbouring Beckenham where, in the smallest “little theatre” I’ve ever been to (a maximum audience of 40), I saw Jessica perform brilliantly in the lead (Audrey) of the musical The Little Shop of Horrors. A wonderful show. I fear I shall become boring long before I run out of panegyrics.
The month of August was particularly noteworthy with the visit of old friend Renate Frank from Berlin. This was a repeat of her last year’s visit and an opportunity for us to visit many of the art galleries and museums we had not had time for on her previous visit, plus a return visit to some of them. These included the British Library, British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern.
We also found time to repeat a few of our favourite walks during her ten day stay, including the rather splendid Bentley Priory Nature Reserve in Stanmore. Bit of a busman’s holiday for me, since I tend to walk there at least twice a month as part of my “keep-fit regime”. But it was nice to have someone to accompany me for a change.
On September 11 I was delighted to accept an invitation to lunch from two valued contributors to the pages of Nurturing Potential - as well as being close personal friends - on a visit from South Africa.
Lionel Snell (AKA Ramsey Dukes) and Mrs. Snell (AKA Lynn Carneson McGregor), whether by accident or design, arrived in London from their home near Cape Town within a day or two of my birthday, and treated me to a splendid luncheon at the Berkeley Square restaurant of Michelin-starred Atul Kochar, The Benares.
The food was delicious, but I paid little attention to it, I fear, being far more interested in catching up with the doings of Lynn and Lionel since I had last seen them when a house guest in South Africa a few years ago.
Lionel contributed several articles and book reviews to the old Nurturing Potential and has since provided a couple of articles for the New Nurturing Potential. Lynn's sensational biography Red in the Rainbow was reviewed in New Nurturing Potential No. 2 and, in the same issue, appeared her article MAD, in The Arts section.