July 2011


Twisting again

The average age of last night’s capacity audience for Dreamboats and Petticoats was closer to 60 than 16 yet that didn’t stop almost every one of them bopping along to Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. And they were all up on their feet for Let’s Twist Again and the grand finale of At The Hop.
But long before then, almost as the band launched into Let’s Dance, they had begun spontaneously clapping and singing along.
This was yet another full-on Hall for Cornwall fun night taking the audience way back down memory lane with a seamless mix of song and dance held flimsiliy together by the thinnest of story lines and performed by an energetic bunch of multi-talented up-and-comers.
The show takes a giant leap back to the 60s to the days of Mods and Rockers, of Bill Haley and the Comets, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Johnny Ray, Roy Orbison, Elvis, Helen Shapiro and a host of others. And the audience reaction showed not one of them had been forgotten.
The bones maybe creaky and the slicked back DA hair turned to grey but they still know every word of every song and the moves that went with them.
There’s nothing like an oldie for knowing how to enjoy themselves – and there’s nothing better than Dreamboats and Petticoats for helping them show the kids and grandkids how do it.

Tim turns to crime?

According to a review in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph, author Kate Atkinson is a great fan of “Australian crime writers Peter Temple and Tim Winton“.
So what’s your latest crime novel Tim? Did I miss it?

A miss for Mankell

It’s always a disappointment when one’s favourite authors fail to live up to expectations. Such is the case with Henning Mankell’s latest – the dull, meandering The Man From Beijing that seems more like a vehicle for the author’s socio-economic and political views than the “gripping political thriller” promised by the blurb.
It opens with one of the most prolonged and gory descriptions of a harrowing crime imaginable. A judge on sick leave wanders into the crime scene and bothers uncooperative local police with her questions … and it’s all downhill from there.
A tedious back history of nineteenth century Chinese railroad workers in the US slows any action completely. After that the story, such as it is, wanders through Sweden, China, Zambia, Mozambique and London, always well padded with lengthy discourses on politics, economics and international relations. Nothing, in fact, that can’t be read in the opinion pages of the daily papers.
It all ends in a sudden preposterous dash to the finish helped by unlikely coincidences and much jumping to conclusions.
Such a disappointment and such a waste of good reading time.