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Archive for February, 2008

American Elections

I am getting really fed up of the wall to wall coverage of the American Elections in the media.    Last night there was rolling news coverage on BBC News 24, Sky News and Radio 5 live.     So much so, that there was no other news at all.    And this was ahead of the polls closing in New York, and hours ahead of them closing in California.

Yes, it is an important election, and yes, it is interesting to see how the electorate treat a woman, a black and a very old candidate in particular.   

But why are we spending so much time on this?    We don’t have blanket coverage of elections in Canada, Australia, France, or even Ireland in this country.    So just why is so much air time and newsprint being devoted to USA?

And the American election is such a long drawn out process, quite unfathomable to most of us in the UK where we are used to about 6 weeks of campaigning and a very busy 24 hours on election night itself.

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Saw this at the Director’s Preview.    Perth Theatre has rather lost its way recently, but this production assembled a very strong Scottish cast and tackled an important work head on, and very successfully.

I can’t remember when I was last at a play with a Full House at Perth, but it was a long time ago.    This Director’s Preview was packed, certainly helped by (well behaved) school parties or two who are studying this for their Intermediate 2 or Higher English.    

Steinbeck’s play is all about the ‘dark side of the American Dream’ and Jimmy Chisholm and Liam Brennan really got their teeth into the two pivotal roles of the itinerant farm hands on the run from their last employment.   The action follows them as they start in at a new ranch.   

Set in the depression, this is directed intelligently by Ian Grieve, and with highly effective sets by Robin Peoples, there are good performances all round.     The tension builds menacingly through the piece, aided by a guitar and harmonica played live by black-hatted and caped Stuart Graham.

Perth really needs to be creating more plays like this in-house.    I hope that we can look forward to more good drama like this in the coming season.    Unfortunately, there seems to be very little home produced material at Perth in the near future, although a couple of touring productions might be worth a look.

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