So Barwick & Hecker at the RNCM promised to be a glorious evening of ambient bliss, and they delivered in their own ways peacefulness, naïveté and beauty, danger, exhilaration and the most physical experience I have ever enjoyed at a concert. The closest I'd come to such physicality from music was my discovery of Clark when he supported Tortoise at London's Koko Club around the time his Body Riddle was released. The title of that record aptly describes what Clark did to us that evening, and Tim Hecker did this sort of thing and more. He eased us in with ever loudening waves of sound until we left our seats and floated on the crest, then later shot us through with a machine gun and near the end he chilled us to our bones. All in almost complete darkness. 'Twas quite beautiful to share in this experience of music for introverts.
And on the stage of Woodford Community Players, Tom Dawson, Derek Snowdon and Steven Tomlinson captivated us with their performances of Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me. They showed us the boredom, the torture and the affection which can develop between people in captivity. It was quite a dangerous production, directed with sensitivity and playfulness by Sue Mooney, and the feedback we have received has been almost as powerful – if the chaps will excuse me – as the performances.
One unfortunately frequent refrain, however, was the apparent need to justify staging such a hard-hitting and mature play: "We can't always be doing all this fluffy stuff." To be fair, since I joined the Players in 2010 for When the Lights Go On Again – a light-hearted music hall take on wartime – five out of the nine plays in which I've been involved have been pretty high in the drama stakes, with only two shows – Dick Barton and Outside Edge being anywhere near to out and out comedy. Perhaps it's time we caught up with ourselves, let our audience grow to know and love us for such grown-up and affecting productions as Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Agnes of God, This Happy Breed, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Madness of George III, and found the need to apologise rather for the odd crowd pleaser thrown into a season.
We settle back into daily life, however, with my scorecard for the 5899th game of Countdown and its sister word game accompanied by Kyle Gabler's beautiful soundtrack to his own poignant and surprising satirical puzzle game Little Inferno, available in the current Humble Weekly Sale.
1 Solved by Rosie
||75 6 5 7 4 7 → 506
75 × 7 − 5 × 4 + 7 − 6
||100 6 10 2 5 4 → 913
100 × (5 + 4) + 10 + 2
||100 2 3 6 8 10 → 694
100 × (10 − 3) − 6
||25 5 4 10 3 9 → 771
(10 × 3 + 5 − 4) × 24
2 Solved by Rosie
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