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Colin Hambrook continues in the shadow of Ian Dury... / 23 May 2010

photo of actor playing Ian Dury

Photo of Garry Robson as Ian Dury. Photo © Tim Morozzo

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I saw the last show of Fittings Multimedia's Raspberry at the Clocktower, Croydon on 14 May. It was (almost) everything I hoped for with some great songs; a fantastic cabaret-style performance from Garry Robson in the role of Spasticus - a cockney-rhyming pastiche of everything that made Ian Dury great!

The off-setting of Garry's play-along delivery with the superb vocal range of Sally Clay, made for engaging entertainment with a disability message. Sally sings a mix of soul, jazz, operatic and classical styles - and if you get the chance to catch her and Garry as Blind Gurl and the Crips I'd thoroughly recommend it.

Christine Bruno as Rita, was a great choice. The plot line between her and Jem Dobbs as her Dad, could have done with a bit more development. You saw the emotional crisis coming and there weren't enough changes happening in the relationship to give it any depth.

The characters of David 'Stickman' Higgins as Albert Einstein and Sally Clay as Ray (Charles) attempted the surreal, and Albert had some lovely, mad moments. But some of the writing was a bit thin. They were brilliant musicians, but as characters were dramatically, a bit thin on the ground.

Enjoyable and captivating nonetheless. You can read some of the pithy lines that carried this performance in Colin Cameron's review on dao.

It's exciting news to hear that Graeae are continuing the Ian Dury theme with their next production Reasons to be Cheerful, coming to theatres in East London and Ipswich in October 2010.

Ian Dury was a Graeae Patron and supporter in the early years of the company. This show explores the spirit of 1979, with the backdrop of political change and violence, that formed the attitudes and expectations of a generation.

I lived opposite Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, London, when the riots went off. I remember the fear that gripped us and took me into dark so-called 'schizophrenic' waters. You had to be 'mad' to be sane to have lived through the Thatcher years and the scale of selfishness, greed and corruption that epitomised her reign.

The equality movements were birthed as a direct consequence of those oppressive times. The Disability Movement had its first teething years then. Now we are older (although not necessarily wiser) and our presence is here to stay no matter what comes...


Joe Mc

25 May 2010

Blue, Red, Yeller - all tories, all unquestioning servants of the ruling classes. As the Communist Party used to say : it doesn't matter which one of them get in, as it's always the bosses who win.

Loathsome as she and her governments were, the thatcher mob at least did what was written on the tin (unbridled capitalism and neo-imperialism for starters) and we had what seemed to be a legitimate opposition who offered a fairer alternative. Now we have reached the end of Animal Farm when you just can't tell the men and women from the pigs.

Politically, this isn't a new era - just more of the same time. Only reason i'm a bit cheerful is that Caroline Lucas got in. If only she were an icon of our era!


25 May 2010

The Coalition is a bit like a load of ducks, seemingly calmly cruising along together whilst under the water the Tories are madly paddling towards the right wing and taking everyone with them! Can't Nick Clegg see what's happening?!

Joe Mc

27 May 2010

Nick Clegg IS a tory and probably always has been.