30 November 2014


    The Advent wind begins to stir
    With sea-like sounds in our Scotch fir,
    It’s dark at breakfast, dark at tea,
    And in between we only see
    Clouds hurrying across the sky
    And rain-wet roads the wind blows dry
    And branches bending to the gale
    Against great skies all silver pale …

John Betjeman, ‘Advent 1955’

These photos of the last two dates on our tour, Scarborough and Barcelona, tell their own contrasting story in light.

Photo by EP
Photo by EP
On my return to London, having recovered from a well-timed cold, I took myself to the the National Gallery by Tube to see Rembrandt: The Late Works. On the homeward journey these were just some of the Santa Clauses I saw making their way up the escalator to Trafalgar Square. Two brave ones ran up the stairs.  

Photo by EP
The hotel at which I stayed in Scarborough had once been owned by Charles Laughton’s brother (Scarborough was Laughton’s birthplace, and Edith Sitwell’s no less!). And there’s a connection between this seaside resort, Rembrandt and West Hampstead. The surrealist artist John Armstrong lived in a room near Fortune Green, NW6 in the early 1920s. In 1936, the year I was born, he was the designer for the Alexander Korda film Rembrandt, with Laughton in the title role. The same year he created a mural for Tom Laughton’s Royal Hotel in Scarborough.

L. One of Armstrongs costume designs for Rembrandt.
R. Laughton as Rembrandt
Furthermore, in 1936, Charles Laughton opened the Odeon Cinema in Scarborough – for years now the home of Ayckbourn’s theatre-in-the-round, the Stephen Joseph. 

It has a studio theatre where My Perfect Mind played, fashioned from the dress circle of the Art Deco cinema.

Photos by EP

23 November 2014


Barcelona, an admirable city, a city full of life, intense, a port open to the past and future.
Le Corbusier 

The autumn tour of My Perfect Mind has ended in true Catalan style with two shows at the Teatre Lliure (Catalan for ‘Free Theatre’) in Barcelona. We had a lovely reception with capacity houses both nights – entrades exhaurides (sold out) in fact!

In this city of opulent eclecticism, where Roman ruins coexist with Gaudi’s Modernista flights of fancy, the state-of-the-art 400-seat auditorium, in which we performed, is housed in an impressive heritage building, the old Palace of Agriculture constructed for the 1929 Barcelona Exposition.

Photo by EP

Photo by EP

Edward being interviewed at Teatre Lliure
A few of the tweets that greeted our Spanish two-night stand:

Riure inteligentment a ‪#MyPerfectMind al ‪@teatrelliure. Boníssim.

‪#MyPerfectMind Brillantísima e hilarante. Dons monstruos en el Lliure. Geniales!

Brillant ‪#MyPerfectMind al ‪@teatrelliure. Classe magistral d'humor i discurs corrosiu.

It is by no means the end of the road for My Perfect Mind as we have another international ‘gig’ lined up for next summer. More of that anon along with more pictures from Barcelona ...

09 November 2014


Fragment of the Berlin Wall.
Photo by EP

02 November 2014


Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists, worlds more different one from the other than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which, centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us still each one its special radiance.
Marcel Proust 

Belatedly the finale to our State of the Art triptych:

And as British Summer Time has not long ended, a short round-up of the PA (Petherbridge Academy) Summer Exhibition:

Portrait of Proust, aged twenty-one
by Jacques-Emile Blanche
Having been absorbed for the past couple of months in the world of George Eliot, I am at last reading the greatest twentieth-century French novel, Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time). And I’m reminded of a limerick I wrote when I was beleaguered for days on a dull film set in a south London backwater, doing an episode of a police series for TV. Worried at on point about some continuity issue with my breast-pocket handkerchief, I was told it didn’t matter for the next shot because I was going to be in the back of it.

    To the back of the shot I am used
    Where my image is vague and diffused
    I do not demur
    At being a blur
    But I could be at home reading Proust.

As it happens, Proust was as absorbed as I by the novels of George Eliot and once admitted to the diplomat Robert de Billy ‘two pages of Mill on the Floss reduce me to tears.’ 

01 November 2014


So mild has this Halloween been
The warmest one ever recorded or seen
We should be brainstorming
About global warming
Should we go for the party that’s Green?
Photo by EP