High School Musicals

I mentioned recently that I was surprised to be played an interval advert for a forthcoming show. We decided to go and see it- an Amateur Production of We Will Rock You.

Written by comedian and author Ben Elton (Blackadder, The Young Ones) in collaboration with Queen members Brain May and Roger Taylor, We Will Rock You is a fantastic stage experience.

Set in a tongue-in cheek dystopia where the Earth is ruled by commercial forces and everyone uses the same computers. Rock music is forbidden and evil mega corporation Globalsoft are tapping into people’s thoughts.

However, resistance is growing and the rebel “Bohemians” strive to restore freedom of thought, fashion and music! Join them as they bravely begin the search for lost instruments of rock ‘n’ roll as they encounter the dreamer Galileo, misfit Scaramouche and ageing hippy librarian Pop. The Bohemians are here to bring back rock n’roll!

The show was very well done but the plot can best be described as contrived, being a device for linking most of the Queen back catalogue. It will come as no surprise, therefore, to know that characters include Killer Queen, Scaramouche and Galileo, traveling to the seven seas of Rye. Being written by Ben Elton it has lots of tongue in cheek song references.

This show was “produced with the kind permission of Schools Will Rock You” and it seems that the Production is being made available to Schools cheaply and easily (£120 license for 7 shows in 18 months). I suspect that this was actually a technical tryout of the package as it seemed true to the West End Production (from what I can see here– with a bit of scaling down to fit theatre and budget) and had a full backing track. (The Musical Director appeared to start the songs and then conduct). It didn’t use the schools logo above but something similar to the West End one.

Expect it in a High School near you in 2008…


Last August, Redcar in Cleveland became a mammoth movie set for the filming of Atonement. (It is extensively documented by the Council HERE). David has cousins there and we visited a few days before filming started, walking along the beach and marveling how it had been turned into a war torn Dunkirk.

Returning again today, there are two residual elements of the Town’s brief flurry with history. One building still has the French treatment (although the bombed out upper floor set has gone) and there is also a rather good sculpture that was installed to co-incide with the regional premiere at the local Regent Cinema which became part of the set. It has a rifle, ammo boxes, a helmet, a seagull, books, and a Director’s chair. Thoughtfully, it is surrounded by squashy tarmac as it is crying out for children to climb on it. More here and here.

Redcar is also famous for the Lemon Top. I’d given this one a lick or two before remembering to snap it!

Election Balls

This story below appeared in the local rag last week.

GOVERNMENT minister Ed Balls, MP for Normanton and Labour’s parliamentary spokesman for the new Morley and Outwood constituency, has officially opened his new campaign office in the town centre.
Mr Balls told party supporters at the official opening of the office, in Station Road, to be ready for a general election “whenever it comes”.
“I’m really pleased to have opened a new office in Morley, not least because I want to be in touch with local residents about their concerns and priorities for the area,” he said.
“Since I was selected as Labour’s candidate for this new seat in March I have met many local residents and community leaders. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be meeting many more local residents, business people and community leaders to hear first hand what issues we need to tackle together in the future.
“Until the election I am committed to working hard for everybody in my Normanton constituency. But, if I am elected in Morley and Outwood, I will work hard and stand up for everybody in the new constituency, whether they live in Morley, Outwood, Wrenthorpe, Tingley, Stanley, Robin Hood or Ardsley. It’s up to the Prime Minister to decide when to call the general election. But our local party is now on a campaign footing because we must be ready for the election whenever it comes.”
People can contact Mr Balls at his office by calling 0113 2539466 or emailing:

“Hmm” I thought. A new campaigning office? Labour own Unity Hall in Morley and the MP office is in there. Why does he need a new campaigning office? Is an election in the offing?

The Kosmic Krew

Most journeys to and from work are uneventful and unmemorable. Ordinary cars mixed in with vans and juggernauts from the distribution sector. Occasionally an unusual load draws interest, or perhaps the signage of a smaller business I am familiar with.

Today, I found myself behind a large black van, with this odd pastiche logo reminiscent of Fuzzbox performing “International Rescue” with the cast of Return to the Forbidden planet.

It turns out that they are a theatre company who tour schools. Their website is a hoot, especially for me the bit for adults where they justify their alignment with the national curriculum. (It is my cynical former Governorness showing through).

(A blogpost challenge for James Higham- write a justification for curriculum benefits of something without educational merit or considered inappropriate, e.g. Poker. I know Max Bygraves did it with Deck of Cards.)

The Kosmik Krew had a visually attention grabbing well decorated van and a Freefone number on the Driver’s door, however their memorable URL was what helped me remember it. I don’t think I’m ever likely to see their show, it could be really well done or a bit naff. They certainly have a well developed image though. You can see a snippet of them here in a single promo, they are certainly polished in their dance moves.

Chilldren’s shows vary considerably for the adults- Singing Kettle is very good, whilst Wheels on the Bus was really terrible, its direness only relieved by the rather lurid movement of the saxophone’s horn which made a lot of us chuckle.