Category Archives: LBC Friends

Help fund the 10th Leeds Brownies trip to London!

browniesOur good friend and Eagle Owl @BookElfLeeds is raising money for her Brownies. Here’s why

When we asked our Brownies what they really wanted to do this year, they told us they wanted to visit London.

We’re a Leeds Brownie unit, based in LS4/LS6, for whom money is tight, and we’d love to give our girls, aged 7-11, the trip of their lives. For most of them it will be their first time visiting London, for some their first time away from home.

We’d love to make this as cheap a trip as possible so that ALL our Brownies can join us, and for that to happen we need your help!

Funds will go initially to cover transport and accommodation costs, and to buy food for the girls. If there is any left over we’d love to have some thing special to look forward to, any suggestions let us know!

We’re travelling down in February. The girls are planning a fundraising Christmas Fair (more details as and when) and our plucky Eagle Owl Jess is going to complete the Leeds Country Way-a 63 round trip all around Leeds-all to raise money.

If you can spare a fiver, that would pay for tea for one of the girls. We’re grateful for every penny and will keep updates on things we’re planning, and let you know how the trip goes!

You’ll be making twenty little girl’s wishes come true with every donation-on behalf of them all THANK YOU for your very kind donations.

If you have a moment, please check out the JustGiving page here!

Convinced? Donate HERE!

 

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No Man’s Land at Sheffield Lyceum

Or ‘ that time I saw Magneto and Cap’t Picard on stage together’

no mans 1

No Man’s Land blurb

Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to the UK stage in Sean Mathias’ acclaimed production of No Man’s Land, one of the most brilliantly entertaining plays by Nobel Prize laureateHarold Pinter.

One summer’s evening, two ageing writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst’s stately house nearby. As the pair become increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.

What a strange, intense, odd play. I’m  not sure that I ‘got it’ necessarily, but I was enthralled throughout!

Harold Pinter wrote this absurdist play in 1974 and it has either delighted or confused all who have watched it ever since. Hirst – portrayed by Patrick Stewart – is a wealthy, aristocrat, patron and poet. His former Oxford friend Spooner – brought to life by Ian McKellen – is also a poet, but one who has fallen on much harder times. In the initial stages, Hirst is cold and almost rude to his guest, sometimes appears confused as to where he is and who he is with; while Spooner is a long winded, obsequious leach. However, as the show progresses, Hirst has a second wind and the two alternate between reminiscing and baiting one another.

RANDOM FACT – Each character is named after an English cricketer.

The stage setting managed to be both lavish and minimal. It is obviously a very grand room, high ceilings, a well stocked bar discretely placed at the back. However, there is only one comfortable chair – at all times reminding us of Hirst’s status and only two less comfortable chairs scattered throughout the room. I found the negotiation for the chairs – when all four character all onstage, one is conspicuously left standing – to be particularly interesting.

It feels almost unnecessary to speak to the quality of the players. From the second that the (somewhat creepy) moving forest backdrop lifts and Sirs Ian and Pat presented, I was locked into place, utterly focused on the stage. Due to their characters ancient competition and utter inebriation, Spooner and Hirst attempt to one up one another, with increasingly ridiculous assertions and anecdotes. The sheer verbosity of the characters – let alone their ability to articulate some really peculiar lines – and that they remain compelling throughout – well, I personally did feel like I was watching two grand masters of the stage at work. Even though I’m not sure I was following the Pinter side of things at all; it was a privilege to watch.

no mans 2

Owen Teale and Damien Molony in their supporting roles of Briggs and Foster were equally impressive. Their motives – heck, even their relationship with Hirst – is never really clearly delineated and each appears to regard Spooner as a nuisance and a threat. Their presence alone ups the tension levels, as well as introducing a physicality previously lacking. For the first time, there is an undercurrent of violence – it directly ties into Hirst and Spooner’s history, but is separate from it. Really odd, but quite powerful. That the actors managed to apply such nuance to their characters (a few of us speculated about their characters backstories, friendship, protectiveness and so on for some time after the curtains closed!) in such a short span speaks to their respective skills. Irritatingly, I was well into the second half before I recognised Molony from Being Human and Ripper Street – he is transformed in this.

The show ends ambiguously. At least, I think it does. We certainly had lots of questions as we headed out. A new friend, who happens to be a nurse, and I speculated as to whether Hirst had dementia? Was Foster really his son – and he had forgotten it? Would that explain why he knew Spooner one moment, and not the next? How had Foster and Briggs met – from Foster’s point of view? Was Spooner actually the most genuinely masculine, owning his cringing self, while the others puffed out their chests in a show of Alpha status…Did any of this actually have anything to do with anything?

It’s my favourite feeling walking out of a theatre.

Personally, I would recommend this showing and this cast to anyone. However, I would normally be a lot more circumspect in pushing Pinter onto others as I do find his work to be really dense and locked into a particular time frame and context.

Embarrassing aside – there’s a moment where Hirst (Patrick Stewart) face plants onto the floor. For one second, I honestly thought that my Captain had just collapsed on stage, before cottoning onto the fact that Ian McKellen was still in character. I wasn’t the only one either – there was a proper gasp and an ‘oh shit no’ from others in the audience too.

Massive thanks to @HalfPintBlonde for inviting me to join in on this lovely day out. My first ‘live’ Pinter (boy, does his stuff make marginally more sense on a stage as opposed to on the page), my first theatre trip in FAR too long and my first proper visit to Sheffield ever!

By Harold Pinter
Directed by Sean Mathias

Ian McKellen – Spooner
Patrick Stewart – Hirst
Owen Teale – Briggs
Damien Molony – Foster

The Lyceum

lyceumIt would be terribly neglectful not to acknowledge the beautiful setting for this production. The Lyceum opened its doors in 1897, though there has been a theatre on the site since at least 1879. It dates from the Edwardian era  – in fact it is the only surviving theatre build outside of London by esteemed architect W.G.R. Prague (ain’t wikipedia grand!) and has Grade II listed status.

Capable of housing an audience of 1000; it doesn’t feel like a grand space. There is an intimacy and friendly atmosphere that permeated throughout – most notably in the stalls which were a bit on the squeezy side, but I always think that encourages chatter with your neighbours, so for me a solid positive! (Oh and when you exit, there is this weird TARDIS like staircase where you seemed to go down far more stairs than you ever went up. Kinda cool.)

 

SheffieldTheatresSheffield Theatres

Buy Tickets HERE

Tweet @SheffieldLyceum

 

Logo rings 78be8aed94d995f1360f5c23eb019b92fb08eee41f89ffa15548065189e0fea3

Sheffield Theatres is the largest theatre complex outside London. Across our three auditoria: the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Crucible Studio, we offer a huge variety of home-grown and touring productions, as well as a thriving programme of participatory events and activities.

PROMO – Open Letters at Hyde Park Book Club

Recently I received an email from Open Letters – letting us know about their upcoming event. We both attended MINIcine at few months back for Never Let Me Go, so they immediately thought of book club when laundching their own literary based event!

Looks like it could be a giggle – do report back if you attend!

OPEN LETTERS

Facebook PAGE 

Date: 13th of July 2016

Time: 7:30 pm

Venue: Hyde Park Book Club

Contact: openlettersleeds @ gmail.com

 

AN EVENING OF LETTERS, READ ALOUD.
Fiction & Nonfiction.
Open Mic: bring a letter to a person, place, or thing. read it aloud.

We will also write letters.
Paper & envelopes will be provided.

FREE EVENT

Support the Puffin’ Puffin – Run for Cystic Fibrosis

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As many of you know, Leeds Book Club just wouldn’t work without the effervescent Helen – she runs LBC Puffins, co-hosts LBC White Swan and is up for each and every reading challenge (that orientates around books for younger people). Frankly I don’t know how she does it – she’s a tireless wonder and source of inspiration and joy.

So it comes as no surprise to find that she has taken on a new challenge and will be completing a 10km run next month to raise money for a great cause.

VISIT THE CROWDFUNDING PAGE HERE!

If you can, have a read below and send any and all support to Helen (from virtual hugs to actual pennies).

There is still 4 weeks to go before the big run! All encouragement is greatly appreciated. 

Read the rest of this entry

PODCAST – Never Let Me Go – with MINIcine

hns-logo1

From MINICINE

Director Mark Romanek and writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina) bring Kazuo Ishiguro’s (‘The Remains of the Day’) hauntingly poignant and emotional story to the screen. In this remarkable tale of love, loss and hidden truths, Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.

 

After the recent showing of Never Let Me Go (part of the Human Nature season) by @MinicineYorks, we held an after film discussion comparing the book to the film.

The sound is a tiny bit hollow but the chat was ace!

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LBC and the MINIcine crew! Check out the cake!! It was awesome!

Mobile Link

Trailer

minicineVenue: Armley Mills Industrial Museum
Canal Road
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS12 2QF

Website: minicine.org.uk

Twitter: @MinicineYorks

Podcasts

 

MINICINE – Never Let Me Go

Date:    27th February 2016
Time:   4pm
Venue: The Arch Cafe, LS2 8JA
Book:   Online Ticket Office
Cost:   £5

Tweet: @MinicineYorks

NEVER LET ME GO

Never let Me Go 02

From MINICINE

Director Mark Romanek and writer Alex Garland (Ex Machina) bring Kazuo Ishiguro’s (‘The Remains of the Day’) hauntingly poignant and emotional story to the screen. In this remarkable tale of love, loss and hidden truths, Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) live in a world and a time that feel familiar to us, but are not quite like anything we know. They spend their childhood at Hailsham, a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. When they leave the shelter of the school and the terrible truth of their fate is revealed to them, they must also confront the deep feelings of love, jealousy and betrayal that threaten to pull them apart.

Oh and ummm… there’s this too…

We are pleased to welcome Niamh Foley of Leeds Book Club to The Arch this month for a discussion about the pros and cons of film adaptation, or, if you prefer, films vs. books. Never Let Me Go has been a popular choice among Leeds Book Club members (check out our write up for #LBCDystopia and review) so this seems the ideal screening to have such a discussion. We’ll keep it cordial, we promise.

never let me go 01

minicineVenue: Armley Mills Industrial Museum
Canal Road
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS12 2QF

Website: minicine.org.uk

Twitter: @MinicineYorks

PODCAST – Modern Mrs Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge

modern mrs darcy reading challenge

This year, @BookElfLeeds and I decided to reignite our reading groove thaing by completing a reading challenge. We found this awesome list by Modern Mrs Darcy – and already we’re inspired!

Click below to hear us discuss the challenge and why we’re participating; our book choices; our continuing and lasting love of libraries; random thoughts on such vital issues as stickers on books and lots of other literary-related chatter!

Mobile Link

 

Modern Mrs Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge

  1. a book published this year
  2. a book you can finish in a day
  3. a book you’ve been meaning to read
  4. a book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller
  5. a book you should have read in school
  6. a book chosen by your spouse/partner/sibling/child or BFF
  7. a book published before you were born
  8. a book that was banned at some point
  9. a book that was previously abandoned
  10. a book you own but have never read
  11. a book that intimidates you
  12. a book you’ve already read at least once

I’ll be creating a little challenge page for us to update as the year progresses!

If you’d like to join us with this – or any other reading challenges, please drop me an email, leave a comment or tweet one of us!

PODCASTS


INTERVIEW with Minicine

Recently I headed down to the beautiful Armley Mills Industrial Museum to have a  natter with the fabulously funny Minicine team – Woody and Abi.

As regular readers will know, I’m a long time supporter of Minicine, but only recently attended one of their screenings (check out my review for Westwood HERE and Wayne’s World HERE), who are based out of The Palace Picturehouse – one of the world’s smallest fully functional replica’s 1920’s cinemas.

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We all of us (well two of us anyway) talk a mile a minute so we manage to cover A LOT of territory. Naturally, we discussed the origins of Minicine and the ethos that drives it, as well as the challenges of trying to come up with a program of events… let alone the associated audio and video playlists, reviews and pictures that are the playground of the truly obsessed!

(#GroupHug)

(#GroupHug)

Social cinema – as run by Minicine – is all encompassing, featuring cults, classics, foreign films as well as short films and anything else that Abi and Woody can sneak in, which leads to a particularly diverse and inclusive community atmosphere events. SPOILER – we pretty much decide it’s based on the cake amazing films that the team have brought together season by season in the last few years.

Which naturally leads us onto their award winning years – as they are the recent recipients of the Film Society Of the Year Award for 2015!

We also took a sneak peek at its exciting plans for 2016 – including the upcoming Human Nature season.

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Click below to hear an in-depth chat about all things film, short film, social cinema and CAKE!

Probably the most enthusiastic podcast you’ll hear this year!

MINICINE - taking films seriously since 2010!

MINICINE – taking films seriously since 2010!

Want to learn more about Minicine? Check out the website HERE!

And you can also find them on Instagram!

Human Nature Season

Her (2013)

Never Let Me Go (2010)

Under the Skin (2014)

PODCASTS

CROSS POST ON DRNEEVIL’S NOTES

LBC Medusa – Black Diamonds – Write Up

LBC Medusa 

 
Date:  Wednesday 12th of August 2015
Time:  7:30pm
Address: 8-10 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds 

Discussing: 

BLACK DIAMONDS

CATHERINE BAILEY

Huge thanks to Simon (@srjf) for the write up! You can read more of his blog HERE!

BLURB

Wentworth is in Yorkshire and was surrounded by 70 collieries employing tens of thousands of men. It is the finest and largest Georgian house in Britain andbelonged to the Fitzwilliam family.

It is England’s forgotten palace which belonged to Britain’s richest aristocrats. Black Diamonds tells the story of its demise: family feuds, forbidden love, class war, and a tragic and violent death played their part. But coal, one of the most emotive issues in twentieth century British politics, lies at its heart.

This is the extraordinary story of how the fabric of English society shifted beyond recognition in fifty turbulent years in the twentieth century.

black diamonds5 members were present with 4 having read the book.

Discussion topics included:-

· general

    • non-fiction vs fiction as book club choices
      • general happiness at this selection
    • how poetry was not to be selected for the book club

· from the book

    • great houses
    • jet set
    • wealthy
    • wars
    • mines and miners
    • unions
    • poor
    • poverty
    • Americans and the Kennedys
    • Politics
    • Monarchy
    • Paternalistic employers
    • Brutal employers
    • Religion
    • Inheritance, heirs and ancestry
    • Nationalisation
    • Secrecy amongst the upper classes

· writing style of the book

  • Lots of to-ing and fro-ing
  • A good read
  • A good way of learning history
  • Cliff-hangers

Scores

Scores out of 5 for writing style and storyline

4, 3.5, 7.5

3, 4, 7

3, 4, 7

4, 4, 8

Additional Resources

  1. Wentworth Woodhouse official web site
  2. Wentworth Woodhouse Wikipedia entry
  3. BBC documentary about Wentworth Woodhouse:
  4. Author interview
  5. Desert Island Discs of the-then Minister of Fuel and Power, Mannie Shinwell, who ordered the grounds of Wentworth Woodhouse to be dug up for opencast mining (video).
  6. BBC set for new costume drama based on the real-life family history of a clan whose house is so grand it makes Downton Abbey look like a bedsit (Daily Mail, 23 August 2015)
Score  

7/10

For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub!

Contact the bar on @MedusaBar

And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #LBCMedusa!

MINICINE – Wayne’s World at Left Bank Leeds

scalaramaVenue: Left Bank Leeds 

4 Spring Grove Walk
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS6 1RR

SHORTS

live in the now

Well, the atmosphere in the Left Bank was warm and friendly as ever…though the building itself was just a little chilly! For such an unobtrusive exterior; I never cease to be amazed by how awe-inspiring the inside is. The ceilings take my breath away and I always feel a twinge of guilt when I see the pop-up-charity bar opposite the poor box. There are some ex-churches that never seem to actually stop being reverent spaces! Then I go support the bar…because it’s for charity guys.

There was a gourmet pizza van Pizza Fellas out front so the start of the event was postponed while the entire audience decided to treat themselves to a cheese fix. I feel like I’m being spoiled by MINICINE – coffee and cakes one week; hot chocolate (or booze for those so inclined) and pizza the next. Genius idea lads!

Woody and Abby were funny and cheerful as they introduced us to four new musically minded short films and the feature film event.

The shorts were ‘I need nothing‘; ‘The Archive‘ (which made me very sad for the world); ‘Tribe‘ (which couldn’t have left me less impressed if it had tried. Himself actually turned to Jo and asked if it was a spoof… I don’t think that we are representative of the target audience perhaps that’s why I remember it’s name wrong. Can’t find it anywhere); ‘Words‘ (nice, possibly a bit twee but I very much enjoyed) and the tear inducing joy making magic that is ‘Caine’s Arcade‘ – please watch below.

[youtube https://youtu.be/faIFNkdq96U]

WAYNE’S WORLD

BLURB

In the tradition of the TEN COMMANDMENTS, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and GHANDI comes a sweeping screen epic bursting with spectacle and drama … NOT!

Its Wayne’s World, the hilarious, party down movie of the year, featuring rockin’ tunes, radical babes, and your most excellent hosts, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey).

When a sleazy TV exec (Rob Lowe) offers Wayne and Garth a fat contract to tape their late-night cable-access show at his network, the two can’t believe their fortune (“No way”, “WAY”). But they soon discover the road from basement to big time is a gnarly one, fraught with danger, temptation and ragin’ party opportunities.

Can Wayne win the affections of rock goddess Cassandra (Tia Carrere)? Will Garth get dunked by his dream girl (Donna Dixon) at the doughnut shop? Serious questions dude and there’s only one way to find out – watch Wayne’s World!

TRAILER

[youtube https://youtu.be/OIuhsHpcNAU]

My first time to ever see Wayne’s World on a Big Screen. What a wonderful way to spend an evening!

Of course for me, this was less a watch along and more of a mouth along, as I knew not only every line of dialogue but every lyric to every song featured…and most of the slightly more moronic of Garth’s dance moves.

I repeat [mantra style], my childhood was well spent.

and monkeys

Thankfully, Jo (the ever delightful @Minimalesque) was just as bad and the two of us were frequently guilty of the occasional ‘pre-laugh’ (where you laugh just before a joke or set up). I couldn’t hear Wendy aka @Wandapops (well known to regular readers here for her @LeedsPlaylist concept) but every time I glanced over, she was bent double laughing…which I’m taking as a good sign!

I’ve been a long time fan of SNL. The sketches and (more recently) lonely island digital shorts are wonderful in the main, but the more recent films have left me cold.  Wayne’s World films* not only transcend their SNL beginnings; but are damn near perfectly realised and structured comedies in their own right.

There were two cos players as Wayne and Garth (duh) and so many checked shirts in the audience I just couldn’t stop smiling at everyone. Oh and I got chatting to an Irish chap in the line for the loo’s about the Backstreet Boys, S-Club7, B*witched and other LEGEND-ary groups from the late 90’s which was just brilliant!

Kindred spirits at every turn as Anne (of Green Gables) would have noted!

QUEEN – BOHEMIAN RAPSODY – WAYNE’S WORLD VIDEO

[youtube https://youtu.be/d7nOO4BeG54]

From the Minicine website

Scalarama is an annual celebration of cinema taking place every September. The season aims to unite all those who are passionate about showing films to one another, and to champion communal film watching and the cinema experience. Scalarama takes the form of a month long season of screenings taking place across the world at a wide range of venues, with all different types of exhibitors showcasing films from across the history of cinema and from all parts of the world.

A little info about Minicine

Since 2010, Minicine has been committed to screening the best independent and foreign language, cult and classic cinema that may not otherwise reach West Yorkshire audiences.

A non-for-profit, we currently screen every fourth Thursday of the month at The Palace Picturehouse in Armley Mills Industrial Museum. In the past we have held events in 51% Bourbon, The Maven and what was once Dock Street Market in Leeds city centre, as well as the Polish Parish Club in Bradford.

We try to offer our audience an alternative to the impersonal experience of the multiplex and offer short films and free refreshments at our events too, so if you like homemade cake we may just be the film society for you.

We prefer to inclusive and not exclusive so while we do offer membership Minicine has, is and always will be open to everybody.

We are a proud member of the British Federation of Film Societies and in 2012 we were awarded the BFFS Best Film Programming prize.

minicineVenue: Armley Mills Industrial Museum
Canal Road
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS12 2QF

Website: minicine.org.uk

Twitter: @MinicineYorks

*Also love The Blues Brothers…okay and probably Coneheads

Cross posted on Drneevil

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