Niu Sila

Showing as part of the Pasifika Styles Festival we went to see Niu Sila at the ADC Theatre, staring David Fane and Damon Andrews, who were both superb, and got a great round of applause at the end. It reminded me of my time in New Zealand, with the language and accents.

Two kids, two cultures, one street.

Funny and poignant, irreverent yet touching, Niu Sila is a story about a friendship spanning over thirty years, two cultures and one multicultural neighbourhood. In 1970s New Zealand, six-year-old Ioane Tafioka ö fresh off the boat from a Pacific Island ö moves in next door to six-year-old Kiwi kid Peter Burton. They begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives.

Peopled with drunken uncles, crooked ministers, left-wing university professors, a no-nonsense Polynesian matriarch, and an entire local Indian cricket team, this thought-provoking story will delight and challenge.

Written by two of New Zealandâs top comedy writers, Oscar Kightley (Sioneâs Wedding, Naked Samoans) and Dave Armstrong (Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby), Niu Sila won a 2004 Theatre Award for best new New Zealand play and has had sell-out seasons around that country. PASIFIKA STYLES PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL is proud to present the play for the first time ever in the United Kingdom.

Niu Sila

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East coast sailing with Graeme and Bruce

With an offer of a cabin for a few nights, we headed off to Ipswich on Saturday to meet up with Bruce and Graeme for a Sailing and Cruising Association East Coast Spring Bank Holiday gathering. The plan was to sail from Ispwich, to Paglesham for drinks on the river Roach. Then to sail to Bradwell Creek on the River Blackwater for a Sunday evening BBQ.

The weather forecast was lousy, however, and we had a good idea that we wouldn’t be following this plan. Graeme and Bruce met us at the train station in Ipswich and we transferred onto their very nice 26ft Bright Oyster. By 10.15 we were heading down the Orwell towards Felixstowe with a great view of Trinity Docks. Plans did change, and we agreed to do some local sailing, so that we could escape back home to avoid a weekend of rough weather or being stranded further afield

Trinity Docks Felixstowe

Michael and a container ship heading for Trinity Dock

We had a good sail out to Pye End Buoy, following the channel out of the Orwell, then headed up the Walton Backwaters to go to Titchmarsh Marina. The weather forecast for the weekend was for Force 6–8 winds, and rain and Titchmarsh offered us better prospects for a comfortable night’s sleep! On the way we rafted up beside Nick and John’s boat for a late lunch and ended up eating rather a lot.

We all met up again at Titchmarsh and had some drinks on John and Nick’s boat before walking into Walton on the Naze which was surprisingly empty for a bank holiday weekend: although we shouldn’t have been surprised given the weather forecast. We tried a nice looking pub on the sea front, the Walton Tavern, where we bumped into the Bursar of Homerton College who was sailing with a 6ft 6 Canadian guy who was imposing. The atmosphere in the Walton Tavern wasn’t that special, so we transferred to The Victory, which is a far more comfortable pub. A group of colourful women, celebrating a 30th birthday, kept us entertained with their wild 60’s and 70’s outfits (incl gold lamé pants and blue glitter shoes). Walton was empty and we were turned away from the fish and chip shop at 9.05, because they stopped serving in their restaurant at 9. GGrr. It was a good thing in the end because we had a lovely meal at a good Thai restaurant, sharing lots of spicy dishes and free mango mousse form the owners.

The night in the marina was very comfortable: no wind or rain until about 8am. The forecast was grim though and even before we had breakfast we pushed on to come back to Ipswich. Bruce ‘s stint down below produced some very welcome bacon butties, which cheered us up in the rain.

The crossing outside the rivers was a bit bumpy, motoring head to wind against the tide, but it was fun too riding the swell (the waster is only 3-4 metres deep, so the wind made a swell quite quickly). The other boats heading for Titchmarsh looked at us heading out as if we were mad. After the bumpy bit, and reaching Pye End Buoy, we could get our sails up and sail into the Orwell. Once there, the Orwell was quite flat and the wind dropped and we had to motor eventually. The rain didn’t stop thought and we were sodden by the time we arrived back at Ipswich. You can see from the photo’s though, that we were having fun!

Michael and Bruce

Graeme, keeping warm and dry

Bruce did a great job of cleaning up the boat in next to no time, while the rest of us unloaded the (uneaten) food and all the wet weather gear. We had dinner at home with Graeme and Bruce (some lovely paella) and then headed back to Cambridge on the 7.02.

It was great to met Graeme, Bruce, John and Nick, and we hope we’ll get another opportunity to go out sailing with them again. The weekend as very relaxing and good fun, despite the weather, and particularly because of the good company.

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Omar and Péter on the South Bank

Michael went to visit has Dad today in Woking and I went to an ALPSP course on Developing Business Models in Publishing. Afterwards we Omar and Péter for dinner at Wagamama on the South Bank, underneath the Festival Hall. Afterwards we wandered across to the North Bank to escape the noise of the restaurant for bottle of champagne at Gordon’s Wine Bar, standing outside int he passage under the shade of the lime trees. It was 26°C and humid in London, amazing!

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34th Cambridge Beer Festival

Volunteered to work at the Beer Festival this evening, Spent 45 minutes serving beer before spending about 4 hours until 11.15 on the exit gate counting people out. I was well looked after with beer, but it wasn’t an exciting job. There were about 4000 people at the festival tonight which is amazing! I only managed three pints of beer: one of a Cambridge Beer and of Fox’s Red Knocker again (kindly fetched for me by Will from work) and another nameless beer from the person who manages the gate…

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34th Cambridge Beer Festival

34th Cambridge Beer Festival

The 34th Cambridge Beer Festival opened today on Jesus Green, Michael was a volunteer this year from 9am till 5.30pm and had a good time. I made it in the evening to try a few beers:

Top beer of the evening was Fox’s Red Knocker, from Heacham in Norfolk. It was coppery in colour with a lovely grainy flavour. I also enjoyed Humpty Dumpty Porter from Reedham in Norfolk, which was pretty dark. The Scottish beer selection wasn’t as good as it has been in previous years, however, the Inveralmond Export Pale Ale, from Perth was lovely.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to volunteer another evening this week.

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What the Butler Saw

Jay and I went to find out ‘What the Butler Saw‘ by Joe Orton at the ADC Theatre last night. Marieke Audsley—Mrs. Prentice and Ade O’Brien—Dr. Rance were particularly good. Ade was at home in this farce, much more so than when played Bottom in a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The rest of the cast were also good and the whole production came together well. The second act had a fast manic pace: enhanced for me by a half pint of red wine and quite a bit of male nudity!

HATS & DDS presents

What The Butler Saw by Joe Orton

Dr. Prentice, the chief psychiatrist at a private clinic, wants to have an affair with his secretary. His wife, Mrs. Prentice, has invited a hotel porter to her husband’s clinic in an attempt to seduce him.

This leads to inevitable problems as both husband and wife lie and deceive each other as they hide their lovers in a bizarre variety of disguises. Chaos ensues when the Chief Government Health Inspector turns up on the scene and, relying heavily on his Freudian training, decides to section them as clinically insane …

Add in a leopard print dress, far too many doors and a scandalously damaged statue of Sir Winston Churchill and you have a recipe for disaster, and one of Britain’s most well-loved farces.

“There were old ladies in the audience not merely tearing up their programmes but jumping up and down on them out of sheer hatred…” Stanley Baxter [Dr Prentice] remembers the original West End run.

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Balu in Cambridge

Dr Balasubramanian visited Rob and I at work today, and Rob showed him around. We left and 4 and had a good tour of Trinity, John’s and King’s colleges, before dinner at Brown’s. It poured with rain after dinner and by the time Rob and I reached the Free Press to meet Michael for a drink, I was soaked!

Revise This!

Had a couple of glasses of nice pinotage at the Free Press, before Michael and I went round to see Revise This!, the 11pm late show at the ADC Theatre, from the Improvised Comedy Ents. The improvisation was overall very good and based around he theme of revising for exams. There were some very and some not very confident people on stage.

From the web site:

Join Cambridge’s most popular improvisational talent as they once again take the ADC stage by storm. Are you tired? Stressed? Unable to understand the deconstructive argumentation section on Lenin? Then Revise This! as ICE lead you through a fast-paced night of unprepared comedy sketches, songs and narratives which will enlighten you in ways you can’t understand but pretended you did in supervisions all term.

No scripts! No rehearsals! No regrets!

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The Merchant of Venice

Michael and I went to see The Merchant of Venice at the ADC Theatre tonight. It was the opening night and there were a few rough edges to be knocked off: but by the end we enjoyed the play, There is a web site for the play . Thomas Yarrow made a good Shylock and Patrick Warner Antonio.

From the ADC web site:

If you prick us, do we not bleed?

If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

In order to enable his friend Bassanio to woo Portia, Antonio takes out a bond from his old enemy Shylock. The forfeit: one pound of his flesh. While Bassanio is winning the woman he loves, Antonio finds himself unable to pay his loan. In a situation in which the law states on thing and humanity another, Justice comes from an unlikely source…

Shakespeare’s timeless play challenges the values of justice, religion and love at every level. Wit, disguise and deception combine in this story of a woman, the man she loves, and the father, merchant, and money lender who come between them.

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