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Bands of brothers

By History and 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 and 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 and 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”