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Drive 12th April – 16th

Last week on Drive we spoke to Alan Ablewhite from Brentwood Shakespeare Company about their production of Much Ado About Nothing at Brentwood Theatre. They’ve done other productions over the years - I’m sure they’ll be back in Brentwood soon with more – check them out at bsco.blogspot.com/
 
It was great to hear from Alan – he’s a director at the company, and has been on stage in every production the company has done. It was just great to chat about Shakespeare with him, and try and sound like I knew what I was talking about – he told us how the plays were so rich with themes and issues that they are still so relevant today – and that no matter how times change – people don’t change – they still get angry, jealous, happy, sad, bitter etc. – and the bard knew just what to write about them – in a play like Much Ado and others there are several plots going on at the same time to appeal to everyone in the audience. Alan also brought in a CD that we played a couple of tracks from – it’s Shakespeare’s sonnets sung by famous names to original music – with artists like Rufus Wainwright and Annie Lennox and loads of others. The strange things if the lyrics sound perfect with the music - if you heard them and want to hear more the CD is When Love Speaks. Alan can pop back anytime (he’s got a great Shakespearian voice as well….)
 
We also spoke to Karen Mann, an actress starring in Sense and Sensibility at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, which is on now and running until May 8th. More info at www.queens-theatre.co.uk/. Karen plays Aunt Jennings, the interfering but good-natured aunt to Elinor and Marianne. I, of course, got this confused with Pride and Prejudice, but it’s the one that also starred Emma Thomson, Kate Winslett, and Hugh Grant in the film. The two young sisters, one ruled by her heart, the other her head, step into the swanky world of Regency society – Marianne falls the dashing but untrustworthy Willoughby, while Elinor hides her feelings for the wealthy but unavailable Edward Ferrars. It’s all a happy ending at the end, and, as I discussed with Karen, it’s a good old-fashioned romance – but to say old-fashioned doesn’t mean plot-wise it’s not up there with some of the modern rom-coms you get. In some ways, as we said, things were more simple those days, as there were rules of society you had to follow – and yet more complicated, as we see with Elinor. Ah-ha! The eternal mystery of life. Wrapped in an enigma. Trapped in a riddle. Shoved in the attic. Err….Anyway, there’s also music throughout the production as well with songs by the cast, so it’s a kind of musical also – lots to appeal to different people.
 
And on Thursday we spoke and heard from the delightful girls from Pure! Wow – they were great - visually impressive and talented as well - the girls came all the way over from Sweden to chat with us and play live a couple of acoustic numbers for us – you can check out the performances on the home page of our website as well – www.phoenixfm.com – “You got me where you want me” sounded very good especially - and their new album produced by Airplayers is out soon - for more on them visit www.myspace.com/puregirlgroup or www.facebook.com/pages/PURE/245955792890t
 
The headlines hits this week included:
The Volcanic Ash (day 1) Ash, Burn Baby Burn, Pet Shop Boys, What I have done to Deserve this (if you’re an air passenger), and Embrace and Ashes of course.
 
The Leadership debate – All you good good people, Embrace – Take a Bow, Madonna, Get on the floor, (debating floor that is), Michael Jackson
 
Feel free of course to suggest a story or songs for a headline hit – although it will mean having to stop crow-barring my own favourite songs into this feature.
 
Local guests, local info, and headline hits every day on Drive between 3 and 7 on Phoenix FM every weekday.


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