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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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The removal of the Fawlty Towers episode 'The Germans' for a racial slur was the standard reaction one would expect about now, while the BLM movement gets up to speed, no problem there, although I'm sure a lot of sclerotic shires folk exploded with rage about it. The action provided a talking point. Ultimately Black Lives Matter will grow and strengthen, statues of our past robber barons will be…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
Lately my pals have been calling to ask how I feel on my Big Rogue Cell Adventure, and I have to admit that the bad days are incredibly bad, but I'm holding out for the good ones when in a few weeks' time after Lockdown and my BRCA I might feel more like rubber-legged Michael Jeter (below right). Sadly, this amazingly relaxed dancer died of epilepsy aged 50. The source material for this clip is…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Anyone who reads this blog knows that I'm a total theatre rat, going at least once a week, travelling miles and taking risks on the unlikeliest productions. The virus has wrecked my playgoing plans for the year, so I'm going back over old albums and recordings. This week the Lockdown showbiz show to beat them all ('Sondheim 90') was put up free on YouTube. It's exhaustingly 'New York' but has some…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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This is a tragic and largely forgotten story. Your favourite authors are often unknown to others, and the works of the unlucky Mr Rudolf Ditzen were unfamiliar to me; not anymore, for they haunt my sleep. His real life, which involved murder, theft, madness, suicide, alcoholism, drugs and Nazis, is as disturbing as anything he wrote. Ditzen's pen-name, Hans Fallada, was supposedly drawn from Grimm…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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I have some friends who think they live in the 1930s. They are delightful companions until after a meal, when, suddenly imagining that they reside in Downton Abbey, they arrange impromptu post-dinner performances that suddenly involve a stage, instruments and costumes. To make matters worse they are all talented, having had the right education for this sort of thing. But when such a moment occurs…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Every now and again someone asks, 'Why is all the attention on Shakespeare?' And it's true that the canonical Shakespeare tragedies and comedies are endlessly revived ahead of his contemporaries. The Bard's pre-eminent glory tends to eclipse the splendour of his fellow dramatists, who don't get much of a look-in. When you've a mountain in view you don't see the hills. Prior to the year 1915…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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They say it's always too late to jump on a bandwagon; by the time you see it coming it has passed. But for the writer, originality comes with its own problems. If your book presents something too fresh it can't be slotted into a category, nor can it be summed up in a line, so your publicist can't say it's 'Girl on a Train' meets 'Murder on the Orient Express' she'll tell you that readers won't…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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It took me years to realise that books are made by characters, not plots. Yet sometimes characters are so overpoweringly real that they go in search of the author - beware of creating fictional figures that might spring to life when you least expect it... In The Land of Laughs Jonathan Carroll's hero is an author who has populated the town of Galen, Missouri with his own characters, building…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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Olivier, National Theatre, London 'The Visit, or The Old Lady Comes To Call' has the feeling of a timeless fable that has always existed. That's why Swiss-German playwright Friedrich Dürrenmatt's 1956 play gets revised and globally performed - adaptors have seen in it a vehicle for different messages. Songwriters Kander & Ebb had the audacity to create a musical version that unsurprisingly…
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Christopher Fowler
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The Arts
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I canot beleev it. Nigel Molesworth, the curse of St Custards, is to becom the star of a feetur film! How can Peason, Grabber and Fotherington-Thomas make the jump to the big screen? Will Headmaster Grimes (BA, Stoke-on-Trent) still be feersum? The producers behind the animated feature 'Ethel & Ernest' are teaming up with Uli Meyer Studios (who have form; they did the very attractive Ronald Searle…
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