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A Potter's Moll: A Splendid Othello

... A huge treat recently was a matinee performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds of Othello, with Lenny Henry in the title role. It was superb – a true ensemble performance from the Northern Broadsides Company and Henry made a splendid Othello, his stage presence and projection being very commanding. Together with a sinuous and insidious Iago, it was a performance of tremendous power...

Ebullient Liz Robison brings us another episode in the life of a busy potter’s moll.

Do please visit the Web site of Liz’s husband, Jim http://www.boothhousegallery.co.uk/

A short column this time, as we are getting ready to go on holiday to Cornwall for a week. It is not a part of the country that I know, so I am looking forward to it very much. A generous friend has lent us a cottage that sleeps eight, so friends and relatives are dotting in and out at various points in the week.

The village where we are staying is called Trevone, near Padstow and is within walking distance of cliffs and beaches, as well as being a good spot from which to travel to other attractions like the Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

A trip down to St Ives is a must for a potter and his Moll, both to worship at the shrine of Barbara Hepworth and to visit the restored Bernard Leech studio and gallery. Leech was one of the fathers of British studio ceramics, having studied and worked in Japan with the famous Shoji Hamada.

A huge treat recently was a matinee performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds of Othello, with Lenny Henry in the title role. It was superb – a true ensemble performance from the Northern Broadsides Company and Henry made a splendid Othello, his stage presence and projection being very commanding. Together with a sinuous and insidious Iago, it was a performance of tremendous power.

The audience seemed to be made up of half people of retirement age and half students and at the end, the tremendous ovation by the youngsters (cheering, whistling, stamping and clapping) was taken up by everyone and must have been very uplifting for the cast. A day to remember.

On Saturdays I regularly lunch with a friend who, like me. is a retired English teacher, in quite a nice café in town. There’s a new young waitress who spells ‘platter’ as ‘plata’. When we told our regular older waitress, she said ‘You should see the way she spells ‘quiche.’

I had some very large eggs recently and was nostalgically amused to find that several of them had double yolks. I remember it being quite an event if my mum came across a double yolk when she was making her Victoria sponges. Nowadays things are so homogenised that such events are a rarity.

I am just finishing that curiosity of a book, Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons which I have somehow by-passed up to now. It’s a tremendously funny spoof on the earthy novels of writers like D H Lawrence. The narrator’s cousin, Amos, preaches twice a week at the Church of the Quivering Brethren, and he begins his sermon thus:

Ye miserable, crawling worms, are ye here again?…….Have ye come, young and old, sick and well, matrons and virgins (if there is any virgins among ye, which is not likely, the world being in the wicked state it is) old men and lads to hear me tellin’ o’ the great crimson lickin’ flames o’ hell fire.’ And lots more, accompanied by what the narrator calls ‘Sir Henry (Wood) stuff’. Hilarious. Stella Gibbons was a journalist – I don’t think she wrote other fiction. I hope we don’t find anything nasty in the wood pile in Cornwall!

More from me in a fortnight

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