In recent weeks I have been treated to feast of entertainment in the shape of a book, a gig, a play in the cinema and an exhibition.
King Crow by Salford lad Michael Stewart tells the story of young Paul, a teenager growing up on the streets of Salford but transported out of his world by his passion for bird watching. Paul ends up in the Lake District searching for ravens, the King Crow. It’s one of those books you can’t put down, wonderfully written full of wit and sorrow, and there’s also a twist you don’t see coming. Get your copy here
Last night I went to see I am Kloot at the Lowry Theatre, they do like to try out different venues, previously I have seen them at Manchester Cathedral and on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Glastonbury. Once I got over the formality of the theatre setting, being sat down and clapping reasonably politely to each song, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Jonny Bramwell’s voice is amazing and more than once I got a tear in my eye. It was a proper great big hug of a concert.
On Bank Holiday Monday I saw the Danny Boyle directed Frankenstein, a live recording of the sold out play which ran at the National Theatre. Starring Johnny Lee Miller as the monster and Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein, the play tells the story largely from the perspective of the monster. The set, design, lighting, acting, in fact everything about the performance was astonishing, and by the end I was left with nothing but contempt for both characters.
I also visited the James Stirling exhibition at Tate Britain. I spent a good long hour looking at the collection of his drawings and models and it was very interesting. Looking at the hand drawings, his annotations and hand-made, often intricate models showed the depth of detail and attention it takes in architecture. It was also excellent to see the various steps, stages and tweaks as a design moves from the original idea into what can be delivered in reality. My only slight criticism is that the descriptions of the displays could have been in more plain English, not everyone speaks architect.