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A Potter's Moll: Men Of Harlech

… Our local Welsh society held a Noson Lawen recently. Literally it translates as Happy Night, where anyone can get up and do anything. We had singing, poems, jokes and an exposition of the history of the song Men of Harlech , including it being featured in the film Zulu. It was a very entertaining evening and the youngest performer was in his late fifties. Here’s to Grey Power….

Here's another ebullient column from Liz Robison. To read more of them please click on A Potter’s Moll in the menu on this page.

And do visit the Web site of Liz’s husband Jim Robison http://www.jimrobison.co.uk/

It was bizarre to hear on a day of lashing rain and wind recently that this February has been the sunniest on record. But there have been some gorgeous days of blue sky and high temperatures for the time of year.

I arrived at my U3A writing class this week to be asked by several people – Did you feel it? The answer was no, and it was the earthquake which many had experienced in the early hours of the night before. But not me.

We read poems at a recent meeting of our Remember When writing class. I was mindful of Alan Bennett’s assertion that Literature is the hand of the past holding yours. I was struck particularly by Shelley’s Ozymandias and Lee Hunt’s Abou ben Adhem.

I thought of Ozymandias when the statue of Saddam Hussein was hauled down, and Abou ben Adhem was my mother’s party piece, delivered always with suitable dramatic pauses.

We’ve had three theatre trips lately. Firstly by train to Manchester (free bus from Picadilly station to the wonderful Royal Exchange Theatre). The play was Arnold Wesker’s 1958 work, Roots. I had read it as a dry academic text as part of my University Eng Lit course in the early 60’s, so I was astonished by how vibrant and wonderful it was in production in the round. We will certainly hear more of the young actress, Claire Brown, who played the role of the main character, Beattie Bryant.

Coming out of the matinee performance into rush hour Manchester made me glad once again that I do not live in a big city.

The two other theatre outings were to our local theatre here in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, the Lawrence Batley Theatre, or LBT as it is known – though I say that it stands for Late Beginning Theatre, as they always nearly five minutes late with curtain-up.

The Hired Man is a musical based on the novel of the same name by Melvyn Bragg with resonant music by Howard Goodall. It was performed by New Perspectives Theatre Company, a young group well rehearsed in ensemble singing, seven men and two women. Set in Cumbria in the early 20th Century, it followed the fortunes of agricultural labourers who could not eke out a living on the land and wound up going down the pit at Whitehaven and thence to the Great War, thus always being ‘hired’ men.

This week we saw Veil by the Horse and Bamboo company, an adventurous multi-media performance with mime, masks, puppets, music and video, following the fortunes of two young women as they search for the truth about their past in both Colonial and present day Iraq. Very thought provoking.

Our local Welsh society held a Noson Lawen recently. Literally it translates as Happy Night, where anyone can get up and do anything. We had singing, poems, jokes and an exposition of the history of the song Men of Harlech , including it being featured in the film Zulu. It was a very entertaining evening and the youngest performer was in his late fifties. Here’s to Grey Power.

March 1st is St David’s Day which we celebrate with a traditional Welsh dinner – leek soup, Welsh lamb, Caerphilly cheese etc. Afterwards there is entertainment from a male voice choir. Usually a good do.

More from me in a fortnight.

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