Running to Hamlet !

Saturday 1250  –  13.08.2016

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hamlet-rsc-2016-2 (1)

Photo: Manuel Harlan

I know it’s a bit of a shock ,for my regular readers, that I am posting 2 Saturdays in a row because it’s been quite a while since I did that! ( though this one is, in fact, a week late – ho hum )

This Saturday I set off in the morning for Stratford-upon-Avon to attend a matinee performance of Hamlet at the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It’s about 1 hr 45 mins drive and I allowed myself about 3 hrs just in case.  

It turned out the “just in case” was much needed.  

First there were problems on the infamous A14 road; about 25 mins of the extra time was lost there.

Then there were horrendous queues trying to get into Stratford-Upon-Avon, well it was a Saturday so I should have guessed that might happen and it is a huge Tourist destination being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Another 20 mins lost there.  I hit the centre of Stratford with about 30 mins to go.. the theatre is right in the centre of the town so I was thinking I should be okay, although I was supposed to be there 15 mins before to collect my ticket.

But…… yes there’s so often a “But”.

Could I get parked? Nope! Even though I know, what I thought, were a couple of less well known parking places. Not today they weren’t.  I eventually got parked quite a long way from the theatre and now had just 15 mins left before curtain up. It was hot and I cannot run because of my “fixed” ankle.. I must have looked a sorry sight; red-faced and doing the equivalent speed of an Olympic walk, but without any degree of athleticism!

I arrived with just 5 mins to spare, thankfully they hadn’t sold on my ticket and I even had time to visit the ladies before sinking into my seat with 1 min to spare; noting that I was still wearing my prescription sunglasses, having left my glasses in my car!! Nothing for it but to watch through them. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take any photos during the performance so I have just included a few from around the theatre and the header from another source. 

The performance was utterly stunning; being full of passion, colour, drumming and brilliant lighting. Simon Godwin’s interpretation of the play is set in a present day? militaristic African state and the majority of the actors are black; sadly this is still considered to be unusual and a talking point.

The role of Hamlet was played by Paapa Essiedu, the first black actor to do so at the RSC. It was surely long overdue.  Paapa was outstanding – madness, pathos, indecision – a very fine and physical performance. He handles Hamlet’s descent into madness with eloquence and brilliance.  The staging was clever, as you would expect from The Royal Shakespeare Company, every inch of the stage used, with smoke, rising stages, entrances from between the audience and even a rope descent, but at the same time with very minimal, if sumptuous, props.

I could not fault any of the cast, all played their parts with gusto.. gusto is a good word for this piece of beautiful, fierce, oddness.  The howl from Horatio near the end is utterly memorable for it’s powerful, haunting and blood curdling nature.

Class all round and as it was so dazzling, my wearing sunglasses was instantly forgotten😉  

Click on any of the photos to increase size.

Who knew that so many of the notable phrases, still use in almost everyday speech, came from Hamlet and were written almost 6 centuries ago. Here are just a few of them :-

Frailty, thy name is woman!

Neither a borrower nor a lender be

This above all: to thine own self be true

Murder most foul

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so

What a piece of work is man

To be or not to be: that is the question

Get thee to a nunnery 

O, woe is me 

The lady doth protest too much 

Hoist with his own petard

There are lots more, as there are from every Shakespeare play.  Isn’t it wonderful that he still has such an influence on our language.

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off.. 

Oh, and back in 2012 I wrote about one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s other attractions, The MAD museum. You can read about this fascinating place by clicking HERE  


If you’s like to you can take a look at my photography blog Photomania by clicking on the word.

Plastic and Oceans don’t Mix.

Saturday 1251  –  06.08.2016

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here  

There has been much I could have written about, over the past few months since my last post, as the world seems to have turned upon its head but I have not had the willingness but here I am again. 

I’ve just come back from a week in Northumberland and breaking with tradition. I am going to write about what I did last Saturday, 30th July, during next week! I’ll explain why then  ( It’s not just laziness, honest!) 

Northumberland is a gorgeous part of the UK with some outstanding beaches and it was while I was walking on one that I noticed all the plastic  and tin you see below, in a very small area, and I spent just 5 minutes picking it up and putting it in, yes you guessed it, a plastic bag that I had in my car !   There was half an aluminium drinks can with very sharp edges, lots of fishing line, plastic rope, the top of an aerosol, a small sauce container ( you can see the recyclable sign! ) a black plastic ring of unknown use, a piece of white plastic sealant and a plastic tube for inserting a tampon!   I took it all off to be recycled.

As I was editing my photos from the holiday, or more accurately my photography expedition, this photograph made me  want to scream WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR WONDERFUL PLANET! 

We are surely destroying it and not even slowly… 

Here’s something about the damage fishing line can do to birds   – How Fishing Line Hurts Birds 

and this a report on the BBC World service  90% of SeaBirds have Plastic in their Stomachs

Many of us had no idea that we are now eating plastic because the ocean is full of plastic microbeads which are eaten by plankton – plankton are eaten by fish – humans eat fish.

Did you know that possibly thousands of personal care products contain microbeads? From toothpaste to makeup. They are now banned in America but not yet in the UK, although the Government said in June that they would support a ban I haven’t found evidence they have actually passed legislation, but happy to stand corrected if anyone else can.

There’s an organisation called Beat the Microbead and you can download a list of products, in 22 different countries , that contain microbeads. You can even download an App, if you a have smart phone, scan a products barcode and it will tell you if it contains microbeads. 

Details can be found on their website; links here:-

Product List 

Smartphone App


I was Born into a World


I was born into a world

Before recycling was a thing,

Before oil wars,

When the biggest world

Threat was nuclear.

The only extinct thing

Was the Dodo,

We consumed and junked.

Then we were told about

Droughts, and disappearing


About melting ice caps,

And we fought Iraq

For a second time,

Like father like son,

We needed our oil

Because we didn’t want

Those electric cars.

At one time there were

Huge monsters that

Walked where we walk,

Nature swallowed them easy.

Or maybe you believe

It all started with Adam and Eve,

But they too were kicked

From the garden

As are we,

With our poison beaches

Run down towns

And our atmosphere

That kills.

I write a poem

And preach to the converted.

We send out loud messages

To ourselves,

That our world is dying:

1984, Blade Runner,

Armageddon, The Road.

I’ve yet to read a book,

Or watch a film about a future

I’d like to live in.

Fortunately for me,

I’ll die before the earth,

But I’d like a place for my

Computer chip self

To click and beep

In bright, clean happiness.


By James Franco


Finally next time you go to the beach bring a bag with you and pick up as much plastic as you can and bring home to be recycled.  Nature will love you for it. Be inspired by this little film.

Ren Kyst- Got a spare afternoon

Your thoughts are very welcome as ever. 

Saturday Girl signing off.. 

Take a look at my photography blog Photomania