Monday, 12 June 2017

Dear Theresa May

Dear Theresa,
Well, you went and fucked that one up didn't you?
It's been four days since the election now - which on reflection didn't quite go the way you expected did it? And look I'll be honest, it's all getting a bit awkward now.

It feels a bit like being at a party you know you really weren't invited to, but you went along anyway. Then refuse to leave when you've got a bit drunk and shouty and start saying thing's like "Let's call another election" and "Shall we run through a field of wheat" .
At some point surely you've got to say to yourself I made the wrong call here, throw your hands up and say "This shit's all your's now Boris"
But not you T! Oh no, instead you decide to cosy up to a bunch of anti abortion, anti LGBT, climate change denying people like the DUP, in a desperate attempt to cling on to Number 10. If that's not a power trip, I don't know what is.

I mean The 'Conservative Unionist Negotiation Team' that just rolls off the tongue doesn't it. What could possibly go wrong?
What on earth did her Majesty say when you went to see her? Did she not just roll her eyes and say "Oh for fucks Theresa are you having a laugh now? Philip come in here and listen to what she want's to do now"

Bloody hell. You must really, REALLY want to be able to go fox hunting with your recently purchased ivory riding whip and mess around with the education and NHS.
 I won't get started on your cuts to police and defence.
Look, I'm not saying Corbyn has all the answers here, but I do know this. If you were at my party? I'd be the one who put's my hand on your elbow and call's you a cab

Go home Theresa, you're drunk.


"ITheresa I don't care HOW strong and steady you say you are he won't let you bring a cone of chips in the back of his cab"
*originally a facebook post to the group Theresa May's leaving drinks

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Friday, 19 May 2017

The 10 Rules Of A Mums Book Club.

"For a book club to be successful, thrive and grow, it is important that certain rules and standards for behaviour are adhered to. Take some time when starting a book club to sit down and draw up a list of rules and standards of behaviour which all starting members agree upon. 
Make sure that everyone is agreed on what is acceptable behaviour within the club" Actual rules there on how to run a book club from The Reading Club. 

Gulp. So Book Clubs have rules and regulations that are all sensible and stuff? Who knew!
Well here are the rules and regulations from our book club. Every Thursday 8 pm.

1. You bring along the book obviously.

2. You also bring wine and chilli heatwave Doritos as this is a proper classy book club.

Wine, Doritos and cats! What's not to love about our book club?

3. You lie to the (only) other member about reading a couple of chapters each night before bed like a normal person, and don't admit that you actually binged read it whilst steadfastly ignoring all housework and jobs that needed doing on your only day off this week.

4. You both finish your first glass of wine and pour another.

5. You are meant to start talking about the themes within the book but get distracted with talk of playground gossip.

6. Realise half a bottle of wine is gone and decide now is a good time to crack open the Doritos. Someone feeds one to the dog. That'll be fun later.

7. Start looking online for what you will read next week but get distracted by social media.

8. Start stalking someone you once met on holiday in 1997 and absolutely S*** yourself when you relaise after 3/4 of a bottle of wine you've liked a post form 64 weeks ago.

9. Get shushed by the husband as he's trying to watch TV and your both laughing so loudly he can't hear. Send dog into living room as punishment.

10. Dog farts. Husband asks what the "Bloody hell has he been eating" The wines all gone and you both vow next that week? You'll take book club a bit more seriously.

(but you both know you won't)


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Lost Boy Review

The Lost Boy is the latest production from Theatre in the Quarter. 2 years in development the play emerged from work done by musical director Matt Baker with local schools.  A play for today’s troubled times, The Lost Boy , acted by a cast of 4 professional actors and a community chorus tackles the topical issue of the worldwide refugee crisis, as well the response to the 2016 EU referendum. Tuesday’s press night began with a chance to meet the creative team as well as some real life refugee’s whose stories were the inspiration for the play. Jeff Morgan of City of Sanctuary was also in attendance, noting the historical attitudes towards refugees, pondering if they have changed over the centuries and also looking for the facts behind alarmist headlines about refugees.  Review by Rachel O Kelly :
Last night, I was invited by 'that' popular Chester based Twitter account, to attend a theatre production in the beautiful St Mary’s Centre in Chester.
Now, I have to be honest here, it’s not somewhere I had ever been to before and when I stumbled across the building I had to ask myself why? And made a promise to myself to make sure I visit again, and again.
Not only is the former church impressive from the outside, it also feels as if you’re stepping back in time as you walk through the pretty cobbled streets leading up to it. Once inside, the size of the church although impressive with its high ornate ceilings and gothic architecture, didn’t feel overwhelming or imposing. It still felt like a comfortable, inviting and intimate space, and I can see why it is so popular with theatre and musical productions both large and small.
The play was the latest production by Theatre in the Quarter 'The Lost Boy', written by Stephanie Dale, and directed by Kate McGregor. It is an emotional and thought provoking piece of theatre highlighting the current refugee crisis, and it kept me awake thinking about it long after I went to bed.
Telling the tale of Karem, a teenage boy who finds himself fleeing his home in war torn Syria. Leaving behind everything and everyone he knew and loved to be free, and to be safe. Karem is played by Andrei Costin whose performance was simply spell bounding, and whose voice simply blew the audience away.
Through Karem we hear stories of other children in similar circumstances, and what we hear and see on stage are their true first hand, personal accounts. These were their stories and their experiences, and Theatre in the Quarter worked closely alongside the charity City of Sanctuary to deliver them.
Producer Jo McLeish had said earlier in the evening at the Q&A that proceeded the show, that one of the aims of the play was to “show the human behind the headlines” and The Lost Boy most certainly delivers.
Karem is first seen hiding on the beach injured and starving, in a small, close knit fishing town that I feel I’ve been to on holiday many times before. He is discovered by grumpy teenager Maddie who is excellently portrayed by Jill McAusland, I honestly believed every eye roll, foot stamp and exasperated sigh! As well as every shoulder slump, fear of saying the wrong thing, nervous bundle of energy that was her Mum. And to every Mum of a teenage daughter I’m sure, achingly identifiable and played by Victoria Brazier.
We see that the town is in its decline. The cinema has closed down and the theatre. Jobs are scarce, money is tight and people are worried. They are desperately holding on to the past ‘the way things were’ with the rotary club meetings and the swift pint afterwards. The Christmas lights switch on and annual choir performance, and no one more so than Maddie’s Dad Frank, with a very strong performance by Jonathan Markwood.
I felt his desperation and his frustration not only his words, but he carried them with every step he took on stage. We could see felt like a failure, he had lost not one but two jobs and neither by any true fault of his own. He had a family he wanted to provide for, to look after and he simply couldn’t. When that happens it makes you afraid, it makes you feel worthless and that makes you angry and bitter, and Frank encompassed all those things.

Our Town. Pic by Mark Carline

I veered from feeling desperately sorry for him, to feeling uncomfortable and angry with his words. The blame for the town’s decline was placed firmly on the shoulders of refugees. “Coming over here taking our jobs” “Invading us” Frank cries in a march with his band of angry villagers holding placards, chanting and cheering alongside him. As if it’s almost safer, stronger to be angry about all of those things together, they don’t feel so alone in their fears.
But his fear, his unwillingness to listen, to learn and be open finally alienates himself from his wife and daughter and he finds himself alone, leaving his home and his family.  Like Karem, leaving behind those he loved and wanted to protect.
Despite Claire and Maddie being unsure at first, tentative, a little afraid. They learn about Karem, they listen to his story, they look beyond the dirty clothes, the desperation and see who he was before. I think sometimes we are all guilty of not doing this, myself included. When I open a newspaper and see the pictures of refugees in Calais, and Syria am I always really looking at the people? The individuals that find themselves there? And no, it’s not by choice, don’t listen to the crap you overhear on the Bus.

Do you? I know I don’t, not always.
That needs to change, and what the Lost Boy is trying to do is to try and change the opinion of a Frank and one of his rotary club mates. It wants to spark a conversation, a debate. It wants to challenge opinion, to open our eyes and as Jo said to show us the human behind the headline.
It achieves all those things and more in the most beautiful way. I honestly don’t think there was a dry eye in our row at the end of the show.
I have to say beyond the main cast, I could not take my eye off each and every other member of the Theatre in the Quarter team. From the choir, the young children running around, the protesters and the musicians. Each and every one played their part with such conviction, what a team.
With thanks to Matt Baker and Erin Elston, Theatre in the Quarter and reviewer Rachel O Kelly.
The Lost Boy runs until 7th May. Tickets  can be found here: