Review: The Paper Cinema (Puppet Fest)


Think back to when you were a small child, to a time when you could create exciting worlds of adventure and menace simply with your imagination. The earth was too big to contemplate, and so the tiny intricacies of your small corner of it were intriguing enough to command your undivided attention.

It’s usually impossible to feel that level of excitement and wonder as an adult. The big things get in the way.

That’s one of the many reasons that The Paper Cinema is so unique and wonderful. Last night’s Bristol Festival of Puppetry opener at Watershed (three short ‘films’ animated by paper puppeteers, and projected onto the big screen with incredible technical skill) made me feel like a child again, full of unbridled imagination.

Read more at Bristol 24/7…

Review – Jean-Luc Picard & Me

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Review of the rather fab and very talented Ellen Waddell’s show at the Alma Tavern… Ever thought the Captain of the Enterprise was watching over you, giving you guidance?

No. Thought not.

Review for Guide2Bristol here, and interview with Ellen about why on earth she came up with such a unique topic!

The Ted Bundy Project – Review

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“Don’t expect to settle in comfortably for Greg Wohead’s thought provoking and deeply disturbing one man show, The Ted Bundy Project. Expect to be a little scared – not of serial killers as you would probably expect, but of something much more threatening and personal”.

Genuinely unsettling and highly recommended, read my review in Guide2Bristol here

The Dance of The Magnetic Ballerina – Review


“Mesmerising and in parts unsettling, unique one woman performance ‘The Dance of the Magnetic Ballerina’ immediately plunges you into darkness with only the tinkling of a music box for company”.

Read my review of Andrea Miltnerova’s ballet performance with a twist in Guide2Bristol

Under the Dark Moon – The Invisible Circus Review

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Macabre, melancholy and magically entertaining… Roll up, roll up as The Invisible Circus takes you on a journey through your fears

In their typically unique style, Under the Dark Moon is an equally sinister and optimistic performance that tells the fears of five tortured souls and playfully mocks the awful hold self-doubt can have over your life if you let it.

Read the full review in Guide2Bristol here.

Get Ready…Gromit Unleashed starts next week!

Not long to go now until Gromit is unleashed all over the city of Bristol!


Photo courtesy of Destination Bristol

Bristol has always been a city with a great sense of fun, and following the success of the WOW! Gorillas trail last year, and other inventive installations like Watershed’s Playable City Award comes the next cracking adventure in the form of Gromit Unleashed!

From July 1st – September 8th, eighty 5ft fibreglass sculptures of Britain’s most recognisable and loveable mutt will pop up all around Bristol. Painted by an eclectic mix of local, national and international artists and celebrities, the Gromit Unleashed trail is set to bring thousands of tourists to the city over the summer, as well as keeping us locals entertained!

Led by internationally renowned Aardman Animations in order to raise money for Bristol children’s charity The Grand Appeal, Gromit will be placed in various locations all over the city, and auctioned off after the event to raise money for the charity.

Nicola Masters, director of The Grand Appeal said:
“Wallace & Gromit are famous around the world so Gromit Unleashed will help shine an international spotlight on Bristol and encourage people to visit the city, as well as raising much-needed funds to help sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

Bristol Web Design Agency Element78 has been working with The Grand Appeal for years. Having put together the Grand Appeal and Gromit Unleashed websites, they have just completed the ‘Detect-O-Gromit’ phone app which lets you unlock achievements as you discover and log in the Gromits you have found around the city. It also gives you exclusive information on each Gromit and the artist who painted him as well as audio and video clips.

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The team at Element78 say they fully enjoyed the whole process “We have supported The Grand Appeal for a number of years, from participation in fundraising events through to the design and development of their websites. It’s been fun, creative and for a very worthy cause – all the things we love. Continuing our involvement with the Gromit Unleashed event was an easy decision!”

Element78 will also be sponsoring Isambard Kingdog Brunel (painted by Tim Miness) which will be located outside Temple Meads train station. Confirmed artists include some really high profile names including Kath Kidson, Quentin Blake, Harry Hill, One Direction’s Zayn Malik, and of course, Aardman’s own Gromit creator, Nick Park!

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Element78′s Gromit, Isambark Kingdog Brunel by Tim Miness

There will also be a ‘Gromit of the Day’ every day during the instillation, which you can view on the app and unlock extra achievements if you visit the dog on the day, as well as having the chance to win fun freebies at the location.

In addition to raising funds for The Grand Appeal, Gromit Unleashed is set to be a real boost for Bristol’s tourism and it’s fast growing reputation as a hub of artistic creativity.

Bristol based Icon-Films have also produced a series of short slapstick films (commissioned by Destination Bristol) to support the trail. The main film ‘A Grand Tail’ tells the tale of two hapless delivery men – Bristolians John and Geoff – following them on a much hindered mission to deliver the giant Gromits around the city.

Chris Warren, writer and director of the series of short films explained; “Our brief was to promote Bristol as a destination and Gromit Unleashed showcases how Bristol is a rewarding place to get hopelessly lost in.”

The whole thing should be a really fun event, and I for one am looking forward to seeing the cheerful sculptures when the get unleashed next week!

You can learn more about the event and how to get the app on the Gromit Unleashed site and keep up to date with the Gromit Unleashed facebook page.

Gromit Unleashed will take place from July 1st – September 8th… all over Bristol, so keep your eyes peeled!


The Gromits arriving in Bristol – on a train driven by Nick Park himself!


Bristol Theatre Review: Trash Cuisine

Trash Cusine

Review of Trash Cuisine by the critically acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre which is playing now as Part of Mayfest Bristol: A unique look at torture, mortality and the bleak truth about capital punishment. Read my review in Strawberry Line Times here.


Launch of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion – Queens Sqaure

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Last night I attended the launch of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion’s sustainable culinary pop up in Queen’s Square – and will no doubt be heading back for more!

Open to the public from today until May 27th, organisers Josh Eggleton, (Chef and Owner of The Pony & Trap, Chew Magna) and Luke Hasell, (Organic farmer and owner of Tipi Events) will be serving up a tantalising selection of tasty treats and very fine wines from the attractive tipi village in the square.

Kitted out with twinkling fairy lights and winding vines, the venue is cosy and welcoming – perfect for a casual meal with friends. They will be serving ‘British Tapas’, i.e., small dishes of organic, sustainably sourced and beautifully cooked food perfect for sharing in the sociable atmosphere of the pop up dining village. Having tasted a small selection of the menu at the launch, I can highly recommend the creative culinary skills on offer. Last night’s sample menu included sticky ribs so tender they fall right off the bone, perfectly cooked asparagus served with a beautiful saffron infused garlic & lemon mayonnaise, organic cold meats and freshly cut chunky chips with a curry sauce that would make even the best chippies blush accompanied, of course, by a really rather nice rioja.

If you are a fan of really great food, pop down and check it out. Not only will you get a belly full of good stuff in a wonderfully unique venue, but you’ll be supporting local farmers and producers, and can also spend your Bristol pounds. A full belly and a clear conscience – what could be better than that?

For more information on the event – and to view the menu, visit the website.

Eat Drink Bristol Fashion will be in Queens Square from the 13th – 27th May

dave fashion


Theatre Review: Ours was the Fen Country at Bristol Old Vic


As a lass that grew up in Lincolnshire in fen country I was pretty intrigued by this one. Bleak, flat, unpretentious and unflinchingly honest, Ours was the Fen Country captures the weird and wise nature of a lifestyle and industry close to being forgotten. Read my review here.

And by the way, the top pic is the official poster for the play, the photo below is taken by me of Billinghay, Lincolnshire, where I grew up. Enjoy!



Red wine and sweet peas

images-1I’ve started noticing some things lately. These things have been happening for a while. However, I have always felt like an observer, not a part of those things. But now I am, and I see they’ve been creeping up on me, growing on me in tiny increments. I only noticed because of the sweet peas.

I went round to my good friends house for dinner the other night. There were three couples there and he made us a lovely meal. I met him when we were both woking in a pub together and we had lock-ins that regularly lasted until ten the next morning. We would have an hours kip on the sofa upstairs and then open the pub up again at eleven. We were all in our early twenties and I’m sure I couldn’t do it now. For a start, work begins before eleven and you now actually require your faculties to be in working order when you get there.

So I know we’ve all grown up a bit, but I didn’t really notice how much until Helen showed me her sweet peas. She’d planted them all as little seedlings in separate little square pots by the door. I was also growing sweet peas in the garden at home, and they were a little bigger, so I had some sweet pea advice to impart. You know, about how long to keep them inside, about where to position them when they were big enough to go to in the garden, and about what sort of trellis to buy.

Holy shit. There it was. The dreaded plant conversation. The night went on and we talked about jobs, and among other things, about the best grocer to go to on Gloucester Road and how much better it was then buying from Tesco. Cheaper and better quality. We talked about careers and about houses. And we obviously still drank too much wine.

Me and Niall were still the biggest wine drinkers and were the last ones chatting, but the days of pub lock-ins were gone. But we were all in it together. We’d all got to the same point via a shit load of bizarre, ridiculous, unrepeatable and inexplicable nonsense, and we all had the same kind of plans, (with numerous variations of course, but we all had plans, which was new) the same kind of kitchens and we had all started to make the place look nice. That kind of thing had always scared the crap out of me. But it wasn’t as dull, or as scary as I had imagined, because the people were still the same.

It was a weird sort of feeling, a bit like that feeling you get when you’ve all stayed up all night and you sit on the hill in the park in the morning with whatever is left over (invariably warm flat rum and coke in a litre bottle) watching the sun come up while people are on their way to work looking fresh and rested. You watch the workers and are glad you are with your friends, watching but not involved, like some kind of secret.

It’s like you survived something together. And oddly, this feeling was sort of like that. The feeling that you knew a secret. The secret being that we were all just as silly as we ever were, despite talking about mortgages. The feeling that we would all keep the secret for each other. The feeling that one day, we would know when our kids (those of us who decide to have any) had been smoking, drinking or doing one of the many other fun things that they shouldn’t have been doing because we would recognise the signs. And although we would tell them off for it, we would know that we were no better, and that would be a secret too. Now I realised that I wasn’t eighteen anymore, and that despite denying it for the last ten years, real eighteen year olds would see us in a club and think we looked pretty old, and that was fine.

But seriously, the oddest part was that I had anything to say about sweet peas. Who knew? Certainly not me.