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Bands of brothers

By History, TV

I’m finally watch­ing the Spielberg/Hanks mini-series “Band of Brothers” in the beau­ti­ful new blu-ray edi­tion. It’s stun­ning tele­vi­sion and I can­’t wait for the expec­ted sequel (of sorts): “The Pacific”, due out next year.

Coming across this blog entry at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, it occurs to me that a sim­il­ar drama from the Soviet side would be equally grip­ping viewing.

1943, Europe --- Soviet Soldiers Charge to the Front --- Image by © Dmitri Baltermants/The Dmitri Baltermants Collection/Corbis

1943, Europe — Soviet Soldiers Charge to the Front — Image by © Dmitri Baltermants/The Dmitri Baltermants Collection/Corbis

Significant Contribution

By Asides, History, Theatre, Wellington

Heartfelt con­grat­u­la­tions to Sunny Amey who, at last night’s Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, was presen­ted with “The Mayor’s Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre”.

Often on these occa­sions people will say, “without this per­son I would­n’t be here” but in Sunny’s case I believe it to be lit­er­ally true. When my par­ents got mar­ried in 1966, Sunny (and Ralph McAllister) organ­ised the event, cooked the kai (meat­balls and pavlova) and the recep­tion was hos­ted at Sunny’s flat in London. Therefore, she’s always been a pres­ence in my life (although I did­n’t actu­ally meet her until 1993 when I star­ted work­ing for Downstage the first time and she was on the Board).

I’m very happy that I’ve got to know her since, and that Downstage (where she was the first woman Director back in 1970) is where I have landed.

Remembering 1968

By History, Music

Bob Herbert in the New York Times on the tumult that was 1968:

On April 3, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis. Violence erup­ted in dozens of cit­ies, and espe­cially in Washington, where a num­ber of people were killed and the fires were the worst the city had exper­i­enced since the British took the torch to it in 1814.

John J. Lindsay of Newsweek magazine said that when Bobby Kennedy was told that King had died, he put his hands to his face and mur­mured: “Oh, God. When is this viol­ence going to stop?”

I was born about sev­en weeks later, and a week after that Kennedy him­self was assas­sin­ated. Add to that the stu­dents riot­ing on the streets of Paris and Grosvenor Square, is it any won­der I’ve been suf­fer­ing from post-traumatic-stress for nearly 40 years? Everyone around me thought the world was about to end.

For your delect­a­tion, here’s a sound of those times: The Staple Singers ver­sion of “For What it’s Worth” (1967 single on Epic Records):

DownloadThe Staple Singers “For What It’s Worth”