For many people, stories and story-telling formed the basis of their childhood. But there are others whose childhood is devoid of books, and it’s these children that Oxford’s new Story Museum aims to help. As Robert Gore-Langton puts it, ‘beyond [Oxford’s] dreaming spires is an urban hellhole of burning cars, despair and unemployment’, and, he points out, ‘it is ranked number 32 in Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK.’ In his piece, he talks to Anne Fine, Amanda Mitichison, Terence Blacker and Keith Crossley-Holland on the joy – and importance – of reading aloud. Below is just one of The Story Museum’s attempts to get children reading.
What Maisie Knew is described in the bumf as ‘heart-warming’, a description that Deborah Ross says is highly inaccurate. In fact, it’s an extremely painful film, but it is also ‘compelling’, ‘exquisitely done’, and ‘brilliantly acted’ – the star being 7 year-old Onata Aprile, who ‘knocks it out the court’, not just once, but ‘over and over’. A stark tale about ‘the shabbiness of adulthood’ versus ‘the grace of childhood’ the ending might be overly sentimental, but overall – and particularly for August – it’s brilliant. Here’s the trailer.
Radio 4’s bright idea this summer was to create a ‘live late-night conversation on topics ranging from sex to politics via fracking and the fear of boredom’. Kate Chilsholm for one was ‘really looking forward’ to the two weeks it is on for. So did it live up to its expectations? Well, of course Wednesday’s episode, What’s the Point of an Elite?, featuring our very own Fraser Nelson was spectacular, but on the whole, ‘it just didn’t work’, says Kate. Evan Davis did a good job of both ‘marshalling his guests’ and getting a worthwhile discussion out of them, but on the whole, 4 guests proved too many for the presenters to handle. Here’s a clip from last Tuesday’s programme, Fixing Professional Politics.
Liolà, which is being put on by the National Theatre at the Lyttleton, is a ‘rural melodrama’ by Pirandello, which has been relocated to Ireland by the director, Richard Eyre. The narrative is ‘meagre’, but there’s plenty else to entertain the audience; ‘dances, songs, fights, games and spur-of-the-moment pranks’, writes Lloyd Evans. It’s certainly a bombastic play – but even the extra action couldn’t stop the ‘NT stalwarts’ from yawning through it.Tags: BBC, Film, Fraser Nelson, National Theatre, Oxford, Radio 4, Theatre, What Maisie Knew