Tilery school health lanterns, Stockton 2011

Chalkie’s Demon Diary

I have written about Mike White before. He belongs to the quiet army of artists and creative people who’ve nurtured socially engaged arts practice at the heart of community life today. A hugely valuable career at Womad, Welfare State International, Gateshead Council and Durham University came to early retirement last autumn as he continues treatment for…

Fred Brookes live 2

Singing in the ambulance

Everything is Connected At the end of his hour long set in the Federation Hall last night, the singer introduced the musicians who’d accompanied him, before booming out: ‘I’m Fred Brookes and I’ve just had the most wonderful time of my life!’. That’s something to say at your 72nd birthday party, when you’ve just sung…

Homemade Orchestra (2004) 2

Welcome to the house of fun

JOE: …small town. I suppose. You have to make your own fun.
 ANN: Everybody makes their own fun. F’you don’t make it yourself, it ain’t fun, it’s entertainment. David Mamet, State and Main, (2000) It’s night when we arrive, and the darkness is barely relieved by a few scattered street lamps and porch lights. Luckily,…

A Wider Horizon (Rosie Redzia)

January skies, wide horizons

The Light Ships voyage is completed and, with the turn of the year, A Wider Horizon comes into view. It’s the slowest Regular Marvel yet, and it has given me some difficulty. Partly, it’s been about managing my time over several years. It’s also that the idea started as a request, so it has to meet other…

pantomime-950x535

Oh yes it is!

Jeanie Finlay’s Pantomime The atmosphere at the Première of Jeanie Finlay’s lastest documentary, Pantomime, lived up to the film’s title. The main auditorium at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema was packed with excited members of The People’s Theatre company, taking a precious night off from rehearsing this year’s panto to see how Jeanie had told their story.…

The Light Ships 3

The Light Ships launch

Last Saturday was windy and cold. A good part of my drive from Nottingham to Whaplode was through torrents of rain, but as I got closer, the weather grew calmer and I grew more anxious about The Light Ships event. It’s been many years since I’ve organised anything quite like this and I wasn’t confident about…