London Literary Pub Crawl last night.

Chris reviewed A London Literary Pub Crawl – in Soho.
Chris Pownall
Wokingham, United Kingdom
Public review
* * * * *
“5 Stars! Great fun, good beers and learned a lot about the history and literary connections of this part of town. Many thanks to Richard!”

Edinburgh Festival ‘21 – Day One…

It’s a long way from London to Edinburgh. A different country don’t y’ know. For the past two festivals I’ve written, adapted and directed numerous productions. My version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ actually happened in August, brilliantly performed by Guy Masterson who also co-produced my other productions – ‘Henry V – Lion of England’, our original Edinburgh hit from 1992 but this time performed by a woman,; ‘Hamlet-Horatio’s Tale’ , again performed by a woman, but with the sultry tones of Sir Derek Jacobi as the Ghost; ‘P.A.L.S.’ A tragi-comedy about four kids growing up on a council estate, and ‘Romeo and Juliet’, my footballing take on the bards best loved play.

But there’s something different about coming up without a show. I have three in mind for next year, but there’s a sort of decadence about not having to worry about your cast, the venue, the technical talents, the press and marketing, oh, and, of course, if the show is any good! And usually we’ve been rehearsing full-time for two or three weeks before the festival, so it’s a fairly busy time. Plus accommodation is usually about £1k per person for the month and is booked months in advance.

So it’s very odd looking for a hotel or guest house for just 5 nights. You have to consider price and location and it’s not easy! At the last minute, last night, I cancelled my hotel on Princes Street and moved to another near where my digs have been for the last three years. No real logic, but it felt better. And now I’m on the train (made it with five minutes to spare.)

No BoHo ratings yet, but I shall be marking the days based on productions seen, red wine/beer consumed and fellow bohemians encountered. The ratings will be

Noddy and BigEars – a poor Boho day.

Ernest Hemingway – a good Boho day that may end badly.

Francis Bacon – woo-hoo Soho!

Edinburgh or bust…

I have done the deed! Hotel and train booked. Edinburgh Festivals here I come! Sat 7th – Thurs 12th. As a fellow bohemian, you will be aware of the agony of doing this… finding the money to pay for a hotel room and rail tickets. But I have done it! This is the first time in years I’ve not had a show here, but more of that later. Please let me know if you are about or if there are things I should see. I’ll be blogging and podcasting for this new BohemianBritain.com. Recording for my Resonance 104.4fm radio show, Literary London. Running a free session for potential new theatre producers. Looking for our own venue next year – maybe – as I have 3 shows ‘in the slips’ already. And probably having a drink or two… Och, aye..!

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Welsh Pub Writing HQ

I love writing in pubs. I’ve a new idea for the Edinburgh Fringe for next year. A new comedy drama. About a Brummie. Created in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

A great creative pub. The White Swan, Llanon, Caridigion.

It’s coming home, it’s coming… Theatre’s coming home!

Not wishing to dampen any expectations – by the time you read this, you will doubtless know the results of the Euro ’20 championships – but with all the talk of the popularity of football, especially the big occasions – many people have overlooked a fundamental truth about football and theatre. Because it is a fact that many times MORE people attend theatre every year than football matches.

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Yep, everyone knows that theatre is posh and exclusive and football is common and popular But it ain’t true, folks. Now I speak as a council estate kid who left school with no qualifications but was crap at football. It’s certainly true that as a kid, theatre was never mentioned and football was, although occasionally one or two families on the estate might go to a Pantomime at Christmas. And yet the figures speak for themselves. Theatre is far more popular in this country than football. Amen. Remember that Government. The West End alone generates 3% of the country’s economic output: £51 billion of GVA per year – more than the City of London! The West End generates taxes of £17 billion per annum. Theatre attendances just in the capital are higher than for the whole of the Premier League put together. The analysis showed there are 241 professional theatres in London, with more than 110,000 seats and attendances of 22 million. That compares with 13 million attendees for all of England’s Premier League football games.

But, having said that, it’s not all good news. As we reopen and theatre and live entertainment returns, MAKERS of theatre – of which I am one – must remember that although theatre is more popular than football, there are still large swathes of our country and communities that don’t get involved or attend theatre in any way. True, not everyone attends football – as I’ve just said – but whereas we all know how theatrical football is – there are goodies and baddies, total suspense, cliffhangers and resolution throughout the two acts… sorry, halves… we should be aware, that on so many levels, theatre in its many forms can be BIGGER than football. And truly life changing. That’s why I launched the first ever Diploma for Creative Producing (www.TheatreProducerTraining.com) and we’ve launched the West London People’s Theatre Company (www.MaverickPeoplesCompany.com) Both initiatives increase access to theatre and the arts. Which is really where we need to be. On the ball…!