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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Posts Tagged ‘goodbye cruel world’

Dracula at The Brighton Little Theatre

Posted by Sara on December 18, 2009

Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic is a tale of tragedy and the madness that comes with desire and power. Lochhead brings this nightmare to life against a backdrop of the death of the 19th Century and a world  where the line between sanity and insanity is difficult to distinguish.

Tickets are still available for this cracking adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written by Liz Lochhead and directed by Tess Gill, at the Brighton Little Theatre – but hurry, the last performance is tomorrow. As well as some fine writitng and acting, this play has  some genuinely chilling moments and loads of atmosphere. I loved it. And for extra seasonal splendidness, treat yourself to a delicious glass of mulled wine served at the festively festooned bar during the interval.

For more informaton click here: www.the-little.co.uk

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Mirabelle

Posted by Sara on August 27, 2009

A spookylicious new tale has just been added to our sister blog Shadowstime. Though feedback on this one has not been too good so far, I love this story. I have dusted her down and looked her over and still can’t bring myself to change a thing. So here she is as she always has been and always will be. I guess Love is blind after all.

mirabelle

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Cemetery Tale

Posted by Sara on August 15, 2009

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Originally posted in our shrine of spookiness Shadows Time here is a poem written by Dominic, who now pens his prose over at the Poetry Shelf, so you can go read it there as well.

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Mommy, what’s a Coccolithophore?

Posted by Sara on August 9, 2009

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Why dear, it’s a single-celled algae responsible for forming the chalk bed we now call the South Downs and the inspiration behind the lastest art installation at Fabrica. Called The Elephant Bed and created by John Grade, this sculpture consists of a series of beautifully crafted horn shaped cones suspended in the gallery, some of  which are left hanging over a pool, slowly disintgrating into the brackish water.

John Grade’s work is characterised by the crafting of sculptural objects which are then left outside to the mercy of the elements and Fabrica are running a series of events throughout the installation celebrating this sculpture’s ongoing decay and eventual destruction. Last Wednesday we attended a free Drawing to Film evening in the gallery. Hosted by artist Jane Fordham we were invited to draw our responses while watching the classic sci fi film The Day of the Triffids (1962 Dir Francis & Sekely)

fabmovieThis film is based on the John Wyndam novel and was chosen by John Grade specifically for the fact that those pesky Triffids were eventually destroyed by sea water, in much the same way his sculpture will be. The evening was free and all art materials supplied. It was a great fun and a wonderfully eerie location to watch a movie with the advantage that, being in the dark, you don’t even need to be able to draw too well! There will be another Drawing to Film event this Wednesday featuring The Creature from the Black Lagoon in glorious 3D no less, so that should inspire some interesting pictures too.

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Fab Art

On the morning of August 31st the Elephant Bed will be laid to rest on the beach to dissolve forever into the sea. For more info on this beautiful, haunting piece of work and future events contact Fabrica.

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Glassed

Posted by Sara on July 12, 2009

A new story has been added to our sister blog Shadows Time for the month of July. Called Glassed, this started out as an attempt at writing Flash Fiction but at 1,300+ words is still a little long winded.

I’ve also added some links to other stuff that’s been good to read lately. So enjoy!

glass

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The Rejection of Hal – a short story by Liam Carnahan.

Posted by Sara on June 17, 2009

There is a fantastic new story posted for your delectation over at our sister blog Shadows Time. Called The Rejection of Hal and adding a much needed bit of sci-fi to the mix, it’s written by the very talented Liam Carnahan.

Liam is a writer and blogger who is constantly on the move, but currently living in Columbus, OH. He writes fiction and non-fictional personal essays, as well as other stuff that isn’t really called anything at all.

He runs the blog invisibleinkling.wordpress.com, a blog for gay writers and student loan payers who like to travel and read. He is hopefully starting up a new blog this Fall called Homosavvy, a culture and politics blog for the sophisticated young gay man.

I think his writing is fantastic. Check out his blog for more of his stuff and feel free to contact him at liam.carnahan@gmail.com. Enjoy!

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The Royal Alex

Posted by Sara on May 11, 2009

royal alex2Would you believe this beautiful building is still under threat of demolition from developers Taylor Wimpey? This week, developers Taylor Wimpey are appealing to get permission to demolish this building and replace it with a block of flats.

RA turretsSituated on Dyke rd, in the Montpelier and Cliftonhill conservation area, the Royal Alex was opened in 1881 and was childrens hospital until it’s closure in 2007. Designed by respected architect Thomas Lainson, the Alex is built in a red brick Queen Anne style with terracotta decoration and is a fine example of Gothic revival  architecture. This is an important local landmark, full of character and historical interest and unique buildings such as these, once they are knocked down, can never be replaced.

Shortly after buying the site, the developers have claimed that conversion of the building was beyond economic repair – despite submitting no evidence to show this and despite the fact that this was a fully functioning hospital shortly before they took it over. More worryingly, it is alleged that Taylor Wimpey continue to treat this building with a lack of respect, leaving windows open and the property vulnerable to the elements and vandals.

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Taylor Wimpey put in an application to demolish this building and replace her with 149 flats, a GP’s surgery and 66 parking spaces. This was refused by the planning committee in December 2008 but Taylor Wimpey are appealing the decision against both the refusal to demolish the hospital and the refusal against their application to construct a new block of flats on the site.

The hearing is due to start at 10am on 12th May 2009 at Brighton Town Hall and is expected to run for four days. It should be very interesting and I’ve heard there are going to be some very good speakers in opposition to the plans. The more people who can show up and demonstrate that they care about the fate of this building, the better.

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Victorian Death and Mourning

Posted by Sara on May 6, 2009

angelBank Holiday Monday. While most of Brighton was busy rioting away on the seafront we  were peacefully ensconced up in the blissfully tranquil Woodvale cemetery and crematorium for an illustrated talk on Death and Mourning in the Victorian era.The venue was the Extra-Mural Gothic Chapel, built in the 1850’s and our speaker was the wonderfully informative Sarah Tobias.

windowthumbnailUnlike today, death was very much a matter of fact part of every day life in Victorian England and with big families and high mortality rates, many people were often in constant mourning. Mourning itself was an intricate and symbolic affair filled with ritual and lasting for up to two years (Queen Victoria herself was in mourning for forty years). As such it spawned a whole industry dedicated to remembering the dead – including clothing, photos, jewellery, death masks and casts of limbs. The talk was illustrated with slides featuring all aspects of Victorian undertaking, including dress fashions, accessories and memento mori. For added atmosphere we were joined half way through by two mysterious figures kitted out for the occasion in full Victorian mourning dress.

We were told about some of the fascinating aspects of this part of  Victorian life, as well as some of the more unsavoury – like the rise of the resurrectionists who made their living robbing graves to supply the medical industry (That dastardly duo Burke and Hare being a famous example) .Particular reference was also made to local history and Extra Mural cemetery itself. In the mid 19th century the dead were buried in local churchyards but disease and overcrowding led to the creation of large rural cemeteries. These new cemeteries, of which Brighton’s is one of the most beautiful, were called Necropolis – City of the Dead and were laid out as cities complete with avenues and streets.

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We learnt about the two stages of mourning, and the etiquette involved in visiting the dead -including the importance of the Victorian death bed and why the use of narcotics was discouraged so as to keep the dying more lucid – in the hope their last dying words would contain something revealing and enlightening. Bodies could be laid out in the home parlour for up to 12 days (though this practice was frowned on for health reasons and 5 days deemed more sanitary) and during this time, straw would be strewn on the road outside to muffle the noise of the horses. The correct etiquette in dress was very important; though men  need only worry about the correct width of hat band, women were required to be cloaked top to toe in dull black fabric for at least a year and a day, with nothing allowed to shine lest the souls of the departed catch their reflection and become confused.

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This was a fascinating talk full of interesting and revealing insights into Victorian life. There is another date scheduled for this talk on 16th May. Coming up in July, Sarah will be conducting a guided walk through the Victorian part of the Extra Mural cemetery. This cemetery is a beautiful place steeped in history and the grounds are vast and enchanting – full of grand mausoleums, beautiful stone statues and some nice examples of 19th century Egyptian-style funerary monuments  – all surrounded by ancient trees and wonderful wildlife. The Great Cemetery tour will be taking place on July 5th at 11am from the Bear Road entrance.

If you can’t wait tilll then there’s the Original Brighton Cemetery Tour Special taking place Surndays 10th, 17th and 24th May as part of the Fringe Festival. Starts at 1.30pm at Woodvale Lodge, off Lewes road.

For more information about what’s going on at a cemetery near you – click here.

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Tuesday’s Child

Posted by Sara on March 24, 2009

tuesday1 It’s all getting a bit Night Gallery here at Thee Nook as we welcome all you art lovers to our next painting to introduce our next story…….

This little lady was painted about a year ago, on a canvas I had found on a skip -which I just started throwing ink at until her face appeared. I love the contrast of her beatific expression against the slashing violence of the ink splashes. I wanted to do the same with words and Tuesday’s Child was the result. Not sure I succeeded but I’m pleased with this story nonetheless. To read it visit our sister blog: Shadows Time.

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George

Posted by Sara on March 6, 2009

 

George was different

to others, like the way he

walked and strangely

stroked his hair,

he muttered in muffled tones

whilst avoiding other’s

glare, bless our George. This

made others wonder why

he seemed so distant what

did he ponder, on and on

this went and then at school

the others thought who’s

the fool, what’s the

story with George?

So they poked him, laughed

and pulled his hair and hid

his scarfe, he’d look upset

they didn’t care. Then

came the punches the

kicks and slaps during

lunches, no mercy shown

the barrage rained on!

In fear George fled

but the others came and

battered him till he bled,

till nothing more was said

by poor old George.

 

by Dominic.


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