Showbiz Lockdown Books.

The lockdown had a devastating effect on theatre. This week, Nick Hennegan talks to two theatre workers at the Chiswick Book Festival, John Griffiths and Nick Bromley who, devastated by the lockdown, were motivated to write and publish books –  proving there’s no business like show-business! 

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Showbizz Lockdown Books! Nick Hennegan's Bohemian Britain

The lockdown had a devastating effect on theatre. This week, Nick Hennegan talks to two theatre workers at the Chiswick Book Festival, John Griffiths and Nick Bromley who, devastated by the lockdown, were motivated to write and publish books –  proving there’s no business like show-business!  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message
  1. Showbizz Lockdown Books!
  2. What Future for the Edinburgh Fringe?
  3. The Chiswick Book Festival 2021 – Part One – Chiswick Local Authors Party!
  4. Heart of Darkness… Sorry… Heart of Hammersmith
  5. Heart of Hammermith – Part One!

What future for the Edinburgh Fringe?

Photo by Anna Urlapova on Pexels.com

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe returned in 2021, but much smaller after the ravages of Covid. What do the participants think about this year? What about the future? Nick Hennegan talks to actor Tim Marriott, New York stand-up Jack Dennis, Assembly PR Hannah Bradley Croall and Assembly Marketer, Daniel Saunders in the Assembly Festival Gardens, for Resonance FM and Bohemian Britain.com — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message

Showbizz Lockdown Books! Nick Hennegan's Bohemian Britain

The lockdown had a devastating effect on theatre. This week, Nick Hennegan talks to two theatre workers at the Chiswick Book Festival, John Griffiths and Nick Bromley who, devastated by the lockdown, were motivated to write and publish books –  proving there’s no business like show-business!  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/message
  1. Showbizz Lockdown Books!
  2. What Future for the Edinburgh Fringe?
  3. The Chiswick Book Festival 2021 – Part One – Chiswick Local Authors Party!
  4. Heart of Darkness… Sorry… Heart of Hammersmith
  5. Heart of Hammermith – Part One!

Pretty Literary Pub of the Week.

The White Swan Inn, Llanon. Wales.

A great, friendly little pub in the little Welsh Village of Llanon. Mainly locals, with a smattering of holidaymakers, the food is good value for money, the staff universally friendly and the wifi strong for those research/download/upload moments.

Heart of Darkness… Sorry… Heart of Hammersmith. Part Two.

Nick Hennegan gives an instant review of the Lyric Hammersmith’s ‘Heart of Hammersmith’ community production. And mentions again that it was his idea! 😳

There are some negatives with this production and its not surprising because emotionally and artistically, I’ve been planning it in me head for years! Some negatives, yes, but the cast, a crucial part of any such community theatre venture, is not one of them! Sure there’s the odd mumble and diction occasionally gets lost, but they are all eminently watchable and talented and their enjoyment is infectious and moving. Well done. It’s quite a young cast as well, but they were generally all well used and there’s a fascinating range of characters and local places. Even a sandwich delivery bike crosses the stage at one point, a stage lightly set with box like buildings.

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Heart of Darkness… Sorry… Heart of Hammersmith https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/episodes/Heart-of-Darkness—-Sorry—-Heart-of-Hammersmith-e17fbqa

Heart of Darkness… sorry… Heart of Hammersmith. Part Two. The written review!

There are some negatives with this production and its not surprising because emotionally and artistically, I’ve been planning it in me head for years! (See earlier post! :-)) Some negatives, yes, but the cast, a crucial part of any such community theatre venture, is not one of them! Sure there’s the odd mumble and diction occasionally gets lost, but they are all eminently watchable and talented and their enjoyment is infectious and moving. Well done. It’s quite a young cast as well, but they were generally all well used and there’s a fascinating range of characters and local places. Even a sandwich delivery bike crosses the stage at one point, a stage lightly set with box like buildings.

The negatives come more from the structure of the piece which, in my very cynical opinion, lacks focus. It also lack pace on occasions, but that’s not the fault of the cast. It is hugely noticeable, almost a shock, how the piece comes to life with the series of musical tributes that suddenly and perhaps a bit illogically, appears in the middle of the show. It’s also when the show becomes it’s most theatrical and entertaining. It also does that theatre thing I hate when theatres do ‘community’ and make assumptions about working class folk. The production gets annoyingly preachy… quite often. As a working class kid, born and bred on a council estate in Birmingham, it constantly annoys me how professional Uni theatre folk seem to think we live. But apart from the obvious bit of preaching, the local cast keep it honest and this show is packed with local references, as you would expect.

There’s a slightly surprising twist too – and it finished off a low beat ending. I was hoping for something a bit more celebratory, but it was not to be, in spite of a loud and enthusiastic audience.

So well done Hammersmith.

And Lyric, you’re a big beautiful theatre and are to be congratulated. It’s great coming together after the times we’ve been through. But maybe you could have done better. Give me a call next time. It was, after all, my original idea! Oh, I may have already mentioned that…! x

Heart of Hammermith – Part One!

Two years after Nick approached the Lyric in Hammersmith with the idea, they are producing their first community play. After the success of Maverick Theatres People’s Company in Birmingham, how will this shape up? Podcast Part Two will follow the show tonight! 😳 please comment if you’d like to!

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: Heart of Hammermith – Part One! https://anchor.fm/bohemianbritain/episodes/Heart-of-Hammermith—Part-One-e17f4jb

Pretty Literary Pub of the Day.

The Black Lion, Hammersmith.

A favourite writing boozer of mine, Dylan Thomas sofa-surfed a few doors down for a short time in WW2. And the lovely management let me use a space in the pub for a Dylan Thomas Day get together a few years ago. It was online as well as being live. I said to the manager there could be a good turnout and a good bar take. There was. Nearly 200 people turned up. All but one online! I did my best to up the beer-take mind. And I have done my best ever since! Lovely pub, lovely management. Next to the Thames. Not much not to love!