Sunday, July 30, 2006

See this play: Stay With Me

I know people always think their mates' plays are the best. So you won't necessarily rush out and see this play on my say-so. But you should.

"Stay With Me" is a youth production, first put on at the South London Theatre. Now it's transferred for a four week run at the Greenwich Playhouse.

It's youth theatre, but not kid's stuff. The actors are great, the directing is good, and the script really gives them something to get hold of. It's two plays, set on the same dates, towards the end of the Second World War. In the first play, a group of young Jews and a Gypsy are waiting in a concentration camp. In the second play, a group of English schoolchildren are trapped in the cellar of their school when a doodle-bug hits.

There's pathos and raw emotion, a surprising amount of humour and - perhaps more surpsising - theology. Where is God in the concentration camp? Who still believes - the boy who keeps the faith, or the boy who says God is not there? Or the boy whose heart says "You can't stop yourself falling in love. You can't stop your heart beating." ? And is it possible for the dead to talk to the living?

There's more information here, and booking details are on that page. There's also comments on the Time Out site.

The Greenwich Playhouse is in a pub, next to Greenwich Station. Get there!

Friday, July 28, 2006

St Anne's Anniversary

It's fifteen year's since St Anne's Community Centre and Church opened in Soho (the church itself dates back longer). Since Ali worked there for several of those years, we were invited to the party.

And what a great do! We had the fabulous London Gay Men's Chorus who know how to put their heart and soul into a performance, and a bunch of groups and organisations who have made a home at St Anne's.

"We have about 100 people in Church on a Sunday morning, and about 1,000 people come through the Centre in a week," said the Rector, Clare Herbert. They're an interesting bunch of people too.

The London Gay Men's Chorus, by coincidence is celebrating its fifteenth birthday, and we heard them the day before their party in Heaven. Were they on good form? You bet!

I want their CD , "Make the Yuletide Gay" for Christmas.

And then there were other performers, including Carmen Miranda, and a brilliant singer of Spanish songs.

A great night out....

Monday, July 24, 2006

School Holidays means...

The first "proper" day of the school holidays is here, and for a home-working dad, that means a trip for Monday breakfast to the Brockwell Park Lido with the girls.

And that means a Sunday evening spent getting their bikes back into shape. There are few things I like better than spanners, patches and rubber solution.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


So the weekend before last, I went to two memorial services.

One was for Martyn Emery, a friend in the IT industry who died suddenly in his forties, while working away from home. He was a man full of life, liable to argue for the mischief of it, and always coming up with another big plan for the future.

The other was for Gerda "Pytt" Geddes, who taught my Tai Chi teacher, Andreas. I never met her, but she's had an influence on me... and has died aged 88, leaving a not-quite movement of students and followers.

Martyn's memorial was in a church in Brockenhurst, decked with flowers for a wedding the next day, and at a hotel nearby. The event was full of people who wanted to remember him, and felt shocked to lose him.

Pytt Geddes' memorial was in a full lecture theatre at The Place , a contemporary dance colledge in London, where all the students learnt Tai Chi from her. Afterwards about 100 of us went to Regent's Park, and did Tai Chi in her manner. It was very different remembering someone who lived to fulfill more of what she could do.

I didn't have any great observations or revelations from the two services, except for a feeling that life is for living, and sharing. I've spent a lot of time not being in touch with people I know and like, just because I'm not all that good at it.

I'd really rather be enjoying what I do, and sharing it with people I like. So if this might be you, and I haven't been in touch - feel free to make the first move.