What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Friday 27 May 2016

Tempest of Lyme...An Interview with John Simpson

John Simpson will play the part of Stephano is the upcoming and eagerly awaited local production of 'The Tempest of Lyme' and he is here with me now. Well, not literally, I might have to buy him lunch!

1. In ‘The Tempest of Lyme’ you play Stephano who spends most of his time drinking. Is there an element of typecasting there?!

1.     No absolutely not. I rarely drink alcohol now. Once had a drink during the interval of a show and almost fluffed my lines in the second act. Never again! The director and I did agree though that for Stephano I should get very drunk one night and recant my lines, just to get the feel of it. 

2.      2. What are the challenges of playing Stephano?

 Stephano is a classic comic relief within Shakespeare's play. He must entertain and provide a pleasant diversion from the main storyline and create a subplot which must weave back into the narrative. It's about creating a character with a low status accent, limited use of syntax and almost pantomime like gestures without going overboard. Comic timing is important as is the relationships he has with Trincular and Caliban. He also has to morph into a pretentious like man where he is punching well above his weight when he thinks he rules over the Isle. It's all about rhythm volume of voice as well as spatial awareness. These are just some of the challenges, oh yes he also has to sing.

3.Have you always been bitten by the acting bug? Or is it a recent thing?

. The first time I appeared on stage was at the London Coliseum at the age of 12 for English National Opera. I performed with them throughout my early teens as well as with Handel Opera Society. Also sang with Barnet Schools at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall. After my first degree I took voice lessons and won a place at RWCMD in Cardiff where I studied acting and singing. I have sung for D'Oyly Carte as well as many other small professional companies. I've also toured pantomime extensively throughout the UK where there was more drama offstage than on it. I've performed most of the G&S Operettas and Ive been part of four world premieres, done some TV extra work, voice overs and you can hear me as part of the opening chorus for BBC's 'Merlin' This is the second time I've worked with Andrew Dickson the first being 'Running Still' for the Dorchester Community Play Association in the 90's.          

4.   Are you looking forward to the challenge of playing in the open air, competing with seagulls, buses and crisp packets being opened?

 Open air performances are no problem. The main challenge is making sure that the audience can hear and the second is that of rain. Not because of the audience but because it ruins the costumes and expensive instruments. If dry it can be a great experience and as for other interruptions seagull pie is very tasty at this time of year.

5.   If you could pick an ideal role for yourself, what would it be?

 I'd pick any of the Verdi Baritone roles as they usually play the bad guy and there are some great arias. I've played Papageno which is an actor singing role as well as Wilfred the jailer in The Yeoman of the Guard. I feel Stephano is in this mould which is probably why I've been cast as him.                                                                       

6.     6.  Have you ‘played’ Shakespeare before?

. I played Peter the Fisherman in Verdi's Otello and in 2013 I played Antonio in 12th Night with The Greek Theatre Players which has it's own Greek Ampitheatre right in the heart of Walthamstow. 

Thanks very much, John.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

The Tempest of Lyme: A Poem...

Clemmie in the theatre one day
Decided she must stage a play
But which play? Aye, there’s the rub
She thought about it some more at the pub
She danced with delight as she had a notion
(Just think of Little Eva or Kylie doing the Locomotion!)
‘Ah,’ she cried, ‘it must be the Tempest!’
‘For Lyme’s very own Shakespearefest.’
She set out to find a cast so true
Or failing that, any old motley crew
How about telling the story of Sir George Somers of Lyme
Brilliant idea...and all before tea-time.
Clemmie was now in desperate need of a writer
She had an idea. True, he was a bit of a blighter
But she was happy to offer the task to Andy
After all, he would do it for ten bob and a bottle of brandy.
Ah, but there is music and the occasional song
To delight the expected throng
A musical director must be hired
One universally admired
Or maybe just Mr Dickson
As unimpeachable as Richard Nixon!!
We were all invited to audition
And this of our own volition!
We learned to breathe, we learned to laugh
While Clemmie plotted it all on a graph.
And now begins all the hard work
From which we cannot shirk
Not even for a minute
O Brave new world that has such people in't

Tuesday 24 May 2016

The Tempest of Lyme...An interview with Fred Humphrey

Fred Humphrey has been trying to act since his schooldays, (mainly as the women (!) as Lady Macbeth, Lady Bracknell, Mrs Noah, and others) and then with numerous local societies in Wimbledon, then in Norfolk, and Surrey. He worked mainly backstage at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, for touring productions whilst at University, and combined his love of theatre with his profession in stage equipment engineering, lighting and broadcasting. Since moving to Lyme thirteen years ago, he’s appeared in LRDS productions such as Dad’s Army, Allo, Allo, Outside Edge, Party Piece, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Ghost Train,On the Razzle, A Murder has been Announced, Make Way for Lucia, Dad’s Army, Tons of Money, Local Affairs,A Christmas Carol, Black Comedy.
He was a trustee of the Marine Theatre for 7 years.

1. How long have you been ‘treading the boards’? And what got you involved initially?

Acting since aged 11, at school and in local SW London societies. My father was a keen thespian, and that was how my parents met.

2. What have been the highlights for you?

Any great parts - the Ladies Bracknell and Macbeth (at school), Scrooge at Lyme, many others.

3. And the lowlights?

My sword (an essential prop for the scene) being struck out of my hand to the second row of the stalls in Southampton.

4. You play Sir George Somers in ‘The Tempest of Lyme’, what are your feelings on the character?

Interesting to play a real character from history, but I do slightly miss the Shakespeare!

5. What does living in Lyme mean for you or do for you?

It has so much going for it - the harbour, the sea, the gardens, the theatre (and eventually) the cinema, and loads of interesting people.

6. Is there one play you would like to be involved in given the chance? Or a particular character you would love to play?

The Emcee in 'Cabaret' , or anything Shakespearean at the Minack.

7. If you could describe the upcoming production in one word (yes, I know...impossible!) what would it be?


Thanks Fred!

Sunday 22 May 2016

The Tempest of Lyme...Early days!

You may think, looking at the above photograph that we were just having fun. Not a bit of it; we were working very hard. Notice how Declan (left foreground) is working extremely hard to levitate. Or maybe auditioning for 'They Shoot Horses Don't They?' It's a wonder we had any breath back for the read-through!

Here we are pretending to be a Magic Circle (or was it Stonehenge?) except it wasn't a true circle, nor indeed was it magic although it did make some of our nerves disappear.

Ah, the read-through. All of us looking very intense with great concentration etched on our faces. Apart from those who were having a crafty nap...

The Tempest of Lyme will be performed from the 19th July to the 24th July at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. Performances start at 7pm apart from Thursday the 21st which will be an 8pm start due to The Red Arrows doing their thing.

More news and interviews etc to follow....

The rehearsal images are courtesy of Peter Wiles. See more on his website HERE

Friday 20 May 2016

The Tempest of Lyme vs The Red Arrows

The pesky RAF, having heard about 'The Tempest  of Lyme' have attempted to steal our thunder by arranging their own performance for 7pm on the Thursday. Despite Clemmie personally cycling to RAF Scampton with a petition signed by the three of the cast in her basket, that was balancing precariously on the handlebars, the Red Arrows refused to back down. Consequently the show that Thursday will start at 8pm. It goes without saying that all cast members will be forbidden from watching the aerial performance of these would-be sabotagers. Unless they want to...

Wednesday 18 May 2016

The Tempest of Lyme

What is it? When is it? Why should I see it?

The Tempest of Lyme is a production which tells the story of Sir George Somers of Lyme, who laid claim to Bermuda, interspersed with Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest.

The play by Andrew Rattenbury and the Marine Theatre's own Clemmie Reynolds, who also handles the directorial reins. Okay, okay Shakespeare had a hand in it too! It will be staged from the 19th to the 24th July in the theatre square, summer weather permitting! Shakespeare by the sea...what could be better?

Come and see some of the local talented folk in a tale of shipwreck, magic and romance. Oh, with some sweet airs, various odd noises, music, dance and general bonhomie.
Trust will be fun.

To come over the next few weeks here will be cast interviews, pictures and a certain amount of irreverence.

Watch this space...