Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bah, Humbug!

Horsham, the quaint and picturesque market town where I make my home, traditionally kicked off the Christmas Season with a fireworks-infused Christmas Lights Turning-On Ceremony that attracted thousands.

A few years ago, however, the town said the fireworks were too expensive, so they cancelled the ceremony and simply turned on the lights without any fanfare.

This year, however, they have gone a step further, and decided to not even put up any lights to speak of.

The local paper put a brave face on this situation by saying there “fewer Christmas lights” this year. That’s like saying Jordan has a few less IQ points than Einstein:

The Carfax in years past

The Carfax, this year.

Middle Street looking toward West Street in 2003.

The same view today, where the most festive item on the
two streets is the cheerful glow of McDonald’s Golden Arches.

The Bishopric in the glory days.

The Bishopric as it is now, not even any street lights!!!

It is a real shame when a town as famous as Horsham is for festive lights descends to such a miserly display. Other, smaller town have better displays than Horsham does.

Heck, my own flat has a better display than this!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Review: War Horse

War Horse is a book by children's author Michael Morpurgo. The book was made into a West End play and my wife and I went to see it this past weekend.

You must see this play.

It was, without question, the most dramatic, moving, thought provoking and technically dazzling piece of theatre I have seen. Ever.

We admittedly benefited from sitting four rows from the stage, where we could feel the vibrations of the horses hooves, experience the shock of the shells, smell the smoke and see the sweat on the faces of the actors. But even if we had been sitting in the balcony I am fairly certain I would still have left the theatre in an exhausted daze.

The technological marvels do not stop with the horses, but they are the major part of it. They become so believable as living creatures that they even had their turns at taking bows to riotous applause. The set, too, was an amazement, and the large cast kept the action flowing flawlessly from scene to scene, going from the carnage of the battlefields to the bucolic tranquility of the farmyard with fluid ease.

If you live anywhere within range of London, you do yourself a disservice if you fail to see this play; it will be an experience that will stay with you long after the applause fades.