Torsten The Beautiful Libertine Review Above the Stag Theatre Vauxhall London 3rd March

Back in 2014 i was reviewing loads of shows during the Edinburgh Fringe and i got a message from a “seasoned reviewer” who i had never met or even heard of and the message i got was “you need to use proper reviewer etiquette when reviewing shows” obviously the reply was swift and straight to the point “i will write what i like thanks” and so i continue to do.

Back then i reviewed Torsten the Bareback Saint the story about a semi-immortal polysexual who stopped ageing but saw friends and lovers age and die over the years and i raved about how good it was so when i was informed the second part was in production i kept an eager eye out for details and as soon as venue and dates were released i started to put plans in place to see it.

The show is titled The Beautiful Libertine which stars one of my all time favourite singers Andy Bell and is very different from the first show as BareBack Saint was a twenty two song cycle with Andy singing and Christopher Frost playing instruments Beautiful Libertine is more of a play (or as i saw it part play part sitcom and in Andy’s words Black Comedy) and it is from the very wonderful creative mind of Barney Ashton BullockΒ  and in this production Andy is joined by Lana Pilley as Lady Domina Bizarre and Peter Straker as Rupert and what follows is two hours of brilliant musical comedy theatre dark in places, funny in others and rioutous in some parts too.

Lady Domina and Rupert reminisce about their liasons with Torsten through stories and song and Torsten himself replies through song and recorded thoughts which fit very well together it’s almost as if we are present with Lady D and Rupert and Torsten is somehow a spirit not seen by the other charachters but Torsten can see and hear them, there are moments of laughter there are moments of sadness but overall there is greatness the greatness comes from the banter between Rupert and Lady P but also their and Andy Bell’s vocals the three compliment each others voices wonderfully and do the songs justice.

The songs and music are from the first two albums Bareback Saint and Beautiful Libertine and also some songs not released so far and the songs are the stories abiut the three lives of the charachters we are seeing on stage, the music has been created once again by the very talented Christopher Frost and as the first album/show had wonderful music the second certainly does not dissapoint (Loitering with Intent a firm favourite with me) and Mr Frost certainly catches the mood with the musical accompianment.

I don’t want to put too many spoilers in as i would advise as many people to see this show before it is titally sold out for the run at the Above the Stags Head Theatre 17 Miles Street Vauxhall London a lovely intimate theatre and a great venue for this production.

If i have one gripe it’s the guy who was sitting next to my wife constantly taking pictures on his phone and he didn’t have the decency to even close the shutter noise from it i would have loved to have told him to pack it in but im sure the stars on stage would have heard.

But all in all a great show with brilliant charachters and soundtrack and i’m gutted i could only get to London to see it one time so a personal plea to Barney how’s about a dvd sir?

Torsten the Beautiful Libertine gets a 5/5 from my wife Kerry and i .

I will be airing chats with Andy Bell and Lana Pillay on my show Saturday 12th March between 1 and 3pm on Black Diamond FM http://www.blackdiamondfm.com/listen or via the Tunein App

 

 

Capital Sci-Fi Con 2016

So Dr Who, Ursula from The Little Mermaid and The Riddler walk into a room……. This isn’t a joke this actually happened….

I’ve never considered myself as “a geek” or “a nerd” but this past weekend brought both out in me and the family as we visited our first even Convention featuring Movies, Sci-Fi and Comics and we had the best time.

A bit of background here is that Kerry (My Wife for those who don’t know) works at the Disney Store in the Gyle Centre Edinburgh and she called me up,one day to say “bring Cobi up to my work there are Star Wars characters wandering about, so obviously I was up there to see what was going on and found Wookies, X-Wing pilots and more outside the store, turns out they were advertising this event so we went home and booked tickets for us all.

The event was superb it ran over 2 days at Meadowbank Sports Centre (for those who know me it was my place of work for 11 years) and we enjoyed every second we were there, we met so many lovely people the costumes were great we met THE original Darth Vader (Dave Prowse) and Cobi’s weekend was made by meeting The Numbertaker from a show called Numberjacks which he loves. There were stalls selling merchandise which was really inexpensive which came as a big surprise and plenty photo opportunities.

The big highlight of the weekend was the Cosplay competition which was brilliant everyone had put so much effort into it all and it was spectacular. 

One massive thing that needs to be mentioned is that every single penny raised is going to a charity called CHAS (Children’s Hospice  Association Scotland) and on typing this they had raised Β£25,000 which is Unbelieveable for a first time event and all this was the brainchild of Keith Armour who Kerry had me a few times albeit he was dressed as a Wookie, Keith put on an amazing event and deserves all the plaudits going as do all the participants, volunteer’s etc.

I managed a quick word with Keith and put the idea forward that I could broadcast LIVE from next year’s event so fingers crossed for that.

Now I’m off to start designing my costume for next year πŸ˜€ 

 

Update on 47 for 47

Another one done today πŸ˜ƒ
So after the past couple of years of being put through the mill I decided that as this year will be my 47th birthday I am going to attempt 47 things by the end of 2016. If I do them great if I don’t then at least I’ll have tried.
There are things I’d love to do like go to New York and Australia but that is not doable at the moment so here you are my 47 for 47 and they are in no particular order smile emoticon Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
1.Tubing at Hillend Ski Slope
2. Ears pierced……..DONE πŸ˜‚
3. Go on the London Eye
4. Conquer a fear
5. Get a Tattoo
6. Revisit Cramond Island (long story)
7. Do 5 Random Acts Of Kindness (so far I’ve jump started a car for a stranger, helped a cyclist who had crashed their bike, helped a charity shop worker to delete pics from an iPhone they were selling and helped a woman who was lost find her way to hospital)
8. Do a flying fox/zip line but a large scary one ha ha
9. Do the Great Edinburgh 10 Mile Run
10. Guest Appearance in Princess Pumpalot ( Liam Rudden Robin Mitchell Lindsey Lee Wilson)
11. Do some volunteer work
12. Abseil for Charity
13. Do a singing video in drag
14. Get on tv
15. Do 2 weeks of 80’s music on my radio show…….. DONE πŸ˜ƒ
16. Get hair dyed
17. Go on stage and sing with The Skababs ( David Gillan)
18. Go on a helicopter flight 
19. Run the Edinburgh Kilomathon (13.1 kilometres)
20. Try 10 new foods
21. Visit Dublin
22. See Torston The Beautiful Libertine in London( Barney Ashton-Bullock Andy Bell Christopher Frost)
23. Run across Forth Road Bridge and back
24. Do Foxfall session at Fox Lake http://youtu.be/IAq8Gkedmus
25. Visit Anne and Bill in Cardiff
26. Sing on the Radio
27. Interview someone famous 
28. Go and see I Ran With The Gang
29. Bake a Cake
30. Read 6 Books (I’m terrible for not reading)
31. Go Zorbing
32. Explore More Of Edinburgh
33. Have our Family Holiday
34. Blog a lot more
35. Start Donating Blood Again
36. Cook a Meal For A Relative (Not Kerry or the Kids)
37. Send a Message In a Bottle
38. Learn to do a card trick ( Neil Henry πŸ˜€)
39. Video myself telling a joke and post it on Facebook……… DONE smile emoticon
40. Take Part In a Food Challenge
41. Go to at Least One Gig by THAT Band With My Zoo Mates
42. Sit In On First Ministers Questions At Holyrood
43. Visit Rankins Cafe In North Queensferry
44. Run Round Arthur’s Seat Both Ways In One Run
45. Go to a 6 Nations Rugby Match
46. Run a Race in a Different City/Town other than Edinburgh
47. Run Round Arthur’s Seat in Under 30 Minutes.
So there you go my 47 things to do this year, I will video/record as much as I can and the first thing will appear soon.
Anyone unsure about number 24 watch the video below πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

47 for 47

So after the past couple of years of being put through the mill I decided that as this year will be my 47th birthday I am going to attempt 47 things by the end of 2016. If I do them great if I don’t then at least I’ll have tried.

There are things I’d love to do like go to New York and Australia but that is not doable at the moment so here you are my 47 for 47 and they are in no particular order πŸ™‚ Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.

1.Tubing at Hillend Ski Slope

2. Ears pierced

3. Go on the London Eye

4. Conquer a fear

5. Get a Tattoo

6. Revisit Cramond Island (long story)

7. Do 5 Random Acts Of Kindness

8. Do a flying fox/zip line but a large scary one ha ha

9. Do the Great Edinburgh 10 Mile Run

10. Guest Appearance in Princess Pumpalot (Liam Rudden Robin Mitchell)

11. Do some volunteer work

12. Abseil for Charity

13. Do a singing video in drag

14. Get on tv

15. Do 2 weeks of 80’s music on my radio show 

16. Get hair dyed

17. Go on stage and sing with The Skababs (David Gillan)

18. Go on a helicopter flight 

19. Run the Edinburgh Kilomathon (13.1 miles)

20. Try 10 new foods

21. Visit Dublin

22. See Torston The Beautiful Libertine in London (Barney Andy Christopher)

23. Run across Forth Road Bridge and back

24. Do Foxfall session at Fox Lake http://youtu.be/IAq8Gkedmus

25. Visit Anne and Bill in Cardiff

26. Sing on the Radio

27. Interview someone famous 

28. Go and see I Ran With The Gang

29. Bake a Cake

30. Read 6 Books (I’m terrible for not reading)

31. Go Zorbing

32. Explore More Of Edinburgh

33. Have our Family Holiday

34. Blog a lot more

35. Start Donating Blood Again

36. Cook a Meal For A Relative (Not Kerry or the Kids)

37. Send a Message In a Bottle

38. Learn to do a card trick (Neil Henry πŸ˜€)

39. Video myself telling a joke and post it on Facebook

40. Take Part In a Food Challenge

41. Go to at Least One Gig by THAT Band With My Zoo Mates

42. Sit In On First Ministers Questions At Holyrood

43. Visit Rankins Cafe In North Queensferry

44. Run Round Arthur’s Seat Both Ways In One Run

45. Go to a 6 Nations Rugby Match

46. Run a Race in a Different City/Town other than Edinburgh

47. Run Round Arthur’s Seat in Under 30 Minutes.
So there you go my 47 things to do this year.

a blog on the issues in Calais on TuesdayΒ 

Ok so returning from holiday in France on Tuesday we left our camp at 9.30am for what should have been a relatively easy 2 and a half to 3 hour drive to the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais…. 
What we didn’t know was that the Ferry workers in Calais were on strike and that there were massive hold ups in Calais around the Eurotunnel and Ferry terminals.
We reached Calais and were met with a massive traffic jam because the striking ferry staff had put piles of burning tyres at the exits for the terminals and had therefore blocked our exits to where we needed to go, and then all we could see were lots and lots of people on the motorway and hard shoulder trying the back doors of lorries and we realised that this was the folk we had seen on the news and read stories about in the papers THIS was the immigrants that we have all been warned about over the past few years THIS was the people who are trying to get to Britain THIS had now become VERY REAL.
I locked the car doors, got everyone to put their windows up and everyone was told to stay calm, however these people couldn’t have cared less about US they never tried to get in our vehicle or any other car that we could see they were only trying to get into lorries or in some cases under them.
We saw women, children, teenagers and grown men all trying doors to try and get into the trucks and here is where the British ( mainly English) media I believe have blown everything out of proportion.
The French police were out in force with cs spray and batons moving them all out of the way and getting them off the motorway so the media etc were not telling the truth there, also we saw truck drivers getting out their vehicles when they realised what was going on and the people scattered when the drivers approached.
I will make this very clear we were in this jam for around 3 hours or maybe more and we did not see any machetes, knives or any kind of weapon, we never saw any violence from the immigrants or any aggression whatsoever the media once again seem to have whipped up ridiculous reports regarding this.
What we did notice however was that the vast majority of the people were clean, decently dressed, had decent mobile phones and looked as if they were fit and healthy and not the dirty, stinking, trampy violent animals that the media etc are portraying them to be, at no time did we feel threatened or in danger and we all agreed it added to our holiday experience.
I firmly believe that more needs done to stop the illegal entry into Britain I firmly believe that the British, Italian and French governments need to do more to sort the problem out and I believe Britain needs to tighten its borders without a doubt. However I also believe that the media and certain sections of politicians are stirring up false stories/information about these people who are trying to get to Britain in search for an alleged “better life” so there you have it we were right in the middle of it for several hours our train home was delayed by several hours but we didn’t complain or moan because there would be no point, we did however get first hand experience of the issue in Calais and know that the Police and Security have a massive task but it’s not helped with this “bogey man” stories from a media who seem hell bent on whipping up a racial frenzy, and I know because I was there.

My view of the Election.

I don’t understand why people are acting surprised about what’s going on? I said last night 30 minutes before the polls closed what was going to happen and sadly it looks like I’m correct.
I said for a very very long time that Ed Miliband and Labour would not win as they have lost their core values and traditions thanks in main to New Labour and Tony Blair especially when the Shadow cabinet was filled with previous Labour government stooges including Ed Balls and Harriet Harman.
I also said last night that England in the main would vote for the Tories in response to what the SNP we’re going to do in Scotland and again it looks like that very much.
BUT WE need to make sure that the Tories do not get an easy ride for the next 5 years, WE need to make sure that the NHS and Education are not only saved but made stronger, WE need to make sure that our poor, disabled and helpless are helped by the government and WE need to make sure they do that.
These politicians are there to serve US and NOT themselves and WE need to keep reminding them of that.
No matter the result WE the general public need to accept whatever government happens but WE need to make sure they work FOR US not AGAINST US.