Sunday, 29 March 2015

Saltram House Photographs

"A magnificent Georgian mansion and tranquil garden lie at the heart of this historic parkland.

Saltram overlooks the River Plym and is set in a rolling landscape park that provides precious green space on the outskirts of Plymouth. Strolling along the riverside or through the woodland, you can almost forget that the city lies so close.
Saltram was home to the Parker family from 1743, when an earlier mansion was remodelled to reflect the family’s increasingly prominent position. It's magnificently decorated, with original contents including Chinese wallpapers and an exceptional collection of paintings (several by Sir Joshua Reynolds). It also has a superb country house library and Robert Adam’s Neo-classical Saloon.
Learn about some of the fascinating characters and family stories, including the correspondence between Frances, the first Countess, and Jane Austen.
The garden is mostly 19th century, with a working 18th-century orangery and follies, beautiful shrubberies and imposing specimen trees providing year-round interest."

Monday, 16 March 2015

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

"Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them."

Christopher, fifteen years old, has an extraordinary brain – exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing Mrs Shears’ dog, it takes him on a journey that upturns his world…

When I found out Mark Haddon's book "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" had been adapted for stage, I knew it was something that would be interesting. Not in the sense of, "oh I loved this book when I was younger-what a great theatre production it would make"; but more in the sense of "how would such a book be made into a theatre production?!"
 My doubts soon subsided when I got the chance to see the adaptation by Simon Stephens. So much so, I ended up seeing it twice when it recently came to Plymouth! Winner of seven 2013 Olivier Awards, and all of them highly deserved. The production is not like any I've seen before- an excellent mix of sadness, happiness, love and hurt. More importantly- it's REAL. The whole performance is incredibly well choreographed, and seamlessly fits together. The lighting, sounds, and heart-warming performance from all involved really made the show.

 If you ever get the chance to see this incredible show, don't turn it down. 

“Sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don't know why we are sad, so we say we aren't sad but we really are.”