On Saturday we went to see The Lyceum’s production of Shelagh Delaney’s play A Taste of Honey. There were some fine performances (particularly from Lucy Black, who plays Jo’s witty yet neglectful mother), but we left the theatre unconvinced: this was a fairly entertaining piece of work, but it didn’t have the freshness and resonance we had been hoping for. If anything, it reminded us how convincing Tony Richardson’s film version (from 1961) really was:
Far from being the gritty, ‘kitchen sink’ drama it is often (and lazily) described as, the film manages to be a sharp and at times extremely funny portrait of how fragile relationships can really be. A talented and underrated writer (check out her other play The Lion in Love and her collection of short stories Sweetly Sings The Donkey), Shelagh Delaney was clearly a massive influence on the young Morrissey:
A Taste of Honey runs at The Lyceum until Saturday 9th February.
Influential (arguably, post-)punk band Wire announced late last year that they have a new album coming out on 25 March, entitled Change Becomes Us, on their own Pink Flag label. Their semi-namesake The Wire also reports that a ‘huge’ book - Wilson Neate's Read & Burn: A Book About Wire - is to be released the same month. Special bundles of the new album and book can be pre-ordered in a variety of combinations on Pink Flag’s webshop. There’s a preview of the new record, and a reminder of an old classic, below.
We’re sure you’ve all heard about the trouble that HMV has found itself in recently, and while it looks like it may yet survive, there’s been little mention of the fate of a shop beloved of many music and cinema fans – Fopp. A chain of music shops that began as a market stall in Glasgow in 1981, Fopp was bought by HMV in 2007 after rapid expansion led to them closing down. There’s a campaign on Facebook calling for the survival of Fopp, and its reinstatement as an independent chain (if that isn’t an oxymoron).
We might be suffering from intermittent reader’s block, but we are determined to carry on with our Ulysses challenge. We’ve put up with the unbearable Buck Mulligan, listened to Stephen Dedalus’ philosophical and political meanderings, and we are now getting to know ‘Ulysses’ himself, Leopold Bloom. We’ll keep you posted about our thoughts. In the meantime we’ll leave you with Paulo Coelho’s scathing attack, and this rather amusing (and in some ways reassuring) blog from The Spectator. Feel free to drop us a line to discuss the above article, the book or to join our challenge.