@edfringe #Review By Lou of Les Dawson Flying High performed by Jon Culshaw ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ @jonculshaw @edfringe @ARedinburgh #EdinburghFestivalFringe #EdFringe2022

Today I have a review from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of an incredibly talented and humorous performance – Les Dawson Flying High performed by Jon Culshaw at the Assembly George Square – Gordon Aikman Theatre – I have put a couple of links to book below,  first, onto the set picture and my review.

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Les Dawson was one of those comedians that has longevity and comedians and audiences had admired for decades and even as the world changes and he is unfortunately long since passed away (1993), audiences watching tv, still have a right good laugh at his jokes and admire the construct of them and his piano playing skills, as do many modern day comedians.

Jon Culshaw, an impressionist who has great enduring success himself on tv and radio and is perhaps most famous for Dead Ringers and Horrible Histories as well as dramas such as Missing and so much more and has, according to IMDB, got a part in a Doctor Who story in 2023.

For now though, Jon Culshaw brings Les Dawson alive in the most joyous fashion in a one man show – Les Dawson Flying High. He looks like him and sounds like him as he delivers the writing of Tim Whitnall, with aplomb!

Audiences can enjoy watching as “Les Dawson” contemplates and looks back at his life. There is a giant tv screen where, for a short while, it is moving to see Les Dawson watch himself and his creations Cissie and Ada, which he performed with the late Roy Barraclough (who later appeared in the likes of Coronation Street).

It’s fascinating to be whisked into his world, from childhood up to when he became famous and starred in many tv shows, such as Blankety Blank, The Les Dawson Show and so many more…There are jokes galore that had the audience I was in, laughing a lot. There is of course music and songs, a couple which have the words up for audience participation. There are some parts that are a bit more somber and moving. Every inch of this performance also seemed heartfelt.
I’m too young to have been in any audience of Les Dawson’s, but this is how it may well have been for people who were and every second of it brought much laughter, many smiles and that joyous feeling, the signing off with an appeal for kindness, which is as relevant today as it ever was back in Les Dawson’s day and indeed that’s what he wanted the world to have – kindness.
The play felt completely respectful to the late Les Dawson and there are all the aspects that I had expected and indeed any audience would and for newcomers to his comedy and indeed the talented and well-executed impressions of Jon Culshaw, they are in for a treat! Book Here

As I’ve said, I was too young to see Les Dawson on stage, let alone know who he properly was at the time of his death, although at that time, I was starting to realise, just a bit that he filled people’s living rooms and theatres and was in a lot of people’s hearts. I later got introduced to his comedy on tv because my parents had got me to watch it and before long, I grew to enjoy and appreciate it and the talent and skill that he has. I’ve read articles wondering what younger folk who weren’t around in the height of his fame or too young to be watching his shows made of this. Well, I highly recommend it for all adults. This is one to have in your Edinburgh Fringe schedule. Book Here

#EdFringe #Review by Lou. of Boorish Trumpson Performed By ClaireLPParry #BoorishTrumpson #comedy #music #physicalcomedy #MakeMusicGreatAgain ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Today I have a review from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of Boorish Trumpson. I didn’t know what to expect, well, not entirely, except music and the words of it just being a rehearsal. A rehearsal for what, you may well ask. This is a one woman show performed by Claire Parry in one of the Assembly Rooms venues at the Fringe Festival. Suitable for ages 8 plus.  Booking link is below. First, meet Claire, at least in photo form, whom I thank for this as I saw her as I was leaving the venue, then onto my review.

Claire Parry describes herself on social media as a clown, musician, theatre-maker, writer and cartwheeled. In her physical, audience participation play, she takes on the role of a conductor for a very special occasion. Boorish Trumpson loves music, but you can see some past traumas momentarily get in her way, bringing what is a very funny, fast paced and energised play some hidden depth and back story. There is much to laugh about and much to participate in. There is lots of music that will be recognisable to the masses. She needs an orchestra. This is no ordinary orchestra. This has rhythms and beats very cleverly curated and created using many methods in this comedy.

There are, as you may have noticed with the title, certain political themes running through this musical performance, including certain traits, which as you’ll see in the photo, runs into appearance. The show is ultimately hilarious and Parry engages every single audience member with this show.

For something incredibly unique and a whole lot of fun, try this show for size. Book Here

#Review By Lou of Ginger and Me By Elissa Soave @elissa_soave @HQstories @HarperCollinsUK #GingerandMe #ContemporaryFiction

Ginger and Me
By Elissa Soave

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Touching, haunting and a darn good read that’s hard to put down. Check out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks, first, to the publisher HQ for gifting me a copy of the book.

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Blurb

Funny, touching and wise, I loved it’ Kit de Waal, bestselling author of My Name Is Leon

Wendy is lonely but coping.
All nineteen-year-old Wendy wants is to drive the 255 bus around Uddingston with her regulars on board, remember to buy milk when it runs out and just to be okay. After her mum died, there’s nobody to remind her to eat and what to do each day.

And Wendy is ready to step out of her comfort zone.
Each week she shows her social worker the progress she’s made, like the coasters she bought to spruce up the place, even if she forgets to make tea. And she even joins a writers’ group to share the stories she writes, like the one about a bullied boy who goes to Mars.

But everything changes when Wendy meets Ginger.
A teenager with flaming orange hair, Ginger’s so brave she’s wearing a coat that isn’t even waterproof. For the first time, Wendy has a real best friend. But as they begin the summer of their lives, Wendy wonders if things were simpler before. And that’s before she realizes just how much trouble Ginger is about to get them in…

An unforgettable debut novel from the winner of the Primadonna Prize 2019 which will stay with you long after the last page.

Review

This is an interesting book that I found myself totally wrapped up in the characters of.

It all begins in present times in Polmont Prison with a pressing question as to why this setting, in the beginning of the book and who is Diane? The book then returns to how this all really began as it becomes, not a prison story, but one that is out and about in the world and friendship and how far an admiration for someone can go…

For readers who don’t know, Polmont is a town in central Scotland and really does have a prison within it.

Wendy is the narrator, this is her story and she starts from the beginning, in Glasgow and the Greater Glasgow and surrounding areas. She talks of her support worker, Saanvi, her job and not having many friends and on top of that, her mother dying hit her so hard. It becomes increasingly apparent how vulnerable Wendy actually is and even more so without her mother instructing her, so now Saanvi is attempting to open up her world a bit, which she does as she joins a writers group and a great obsession follows. She gets to know more about the author – Diane Weston and it isn’t just that she follows her on Twitter, clicking a like here and leaving a comment there. It is a serious obsession she develops for her, which becomes intense to the point it feels spine-tingling. Wendy in some ways seems to think, partly that it’s normal and to a certain degree not, but the obsessive thoughts overpower the rationale.

The surprising thing is that the author even had space to add small bits of humour here and there.

It is interesting to see the friendship between Wendy and Ginger develop throughout the book and revelations of their personalities coming through to the fore and just how close they become, all the while the obsession of one author is never far away.

There are also some shady characters such as Uncle Tam and Roddy, who are doing things that Wendy and Ginger get mixed up in, some of which is chilling. 

It all ends in an unexpected way!

This is a book I highly recommend.

#Review By Lou of Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards By Rosie Parker @RosiePA123542 @RandomTTours #OnlyHummingBirdsFlyBackwards #ContemporaryFiction #Blogtour

Only Hummingbirds Fly Backwards
By Rosie Parker

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be closing the blog tour for Only Hummingbirds fly backwards. Find out about this rather compelling read in the blurb and other thoughts in my review below.

 

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Blurb

Ronnie and Jake are twins – obviously not identical, but close as. They even have that twin intuition thing going on.

Ronnie lives with her soon-to-be husband and new-born baby, and Jake is happily married with two daughters. One sunny April day, he hops onto somebody else’s motorbike to ride home when a horrific crash leaves him lying brain injured on the road.

On hearing the news Ronnie rushes to Jake’s bedside. Having once been a physiotherapist, she knows it’s bad, and her life threatens to crack apart as she begs him to return to her.

Fifteen months later, it’s suggested by Jake’s wife that the two families go away to Brittany, France, on holiday. But surely, it’s too soon, thinks Ronnie. The tensions and events which follow threaten to rock both Ronnie’s marriage and her relationship with her sister-in-law, as she tries to reach Jake. And when secrets from their past begin to surface, will Ronnie seek comfort from another man?

At the heart of it all is Jake, who is more than her brother, he is her twin. Once they floated side by side in their mother’s womb. Can Ronnie somehow remind him of the person he once was, or is he changed forever?

The world turns with or without them, a butterfly flaps its wings, and only hummingbirds fly backwards.

Review

It is July 1990 in a therapists office, where Veronica/Ronnie is first encountered by readers. It gives a compelling opening and fascinating insight into a therapists office and her appointment. Through the appointment, it cleverly and intuitively whisks readers into what happened. The emotion is intense, then eases as she then goes to France. There’s a bittersweetness and a desire to try to help Jake and Angie be without the girls and also a time for Ronnie and Gerry to spend some quality time together. The tensions practically leap off the page, especially since Angie is so dominant and Ronnie  just tries to offer help, since she is a physiotherapist and Jake is her brother.

As the story moves on, the hummingbird starts to emerge, perhaps not in the most obvious way and is linked, especially to Ronnie in more ways than one as she has to look back at things and lives are inspected inwardly and outwardly and pasts, presents and futures emerge.

There are secrets that also emerge as well as challenging times in many ways between each type of relationship. It’s compelling to see how the characters work through their complexities of their lives. The writing and characterisation and the interweaving of lives drives a desire to know how it all ends and if and how Jake can truly recover from his accident.

There is romance, emotion and symbolism within what is a beautifully written story that captures your heart.

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By Her Own Design By Piper Huguley @piperhuguley @Harper360UK @RandomTTours #Fashion #ByHerOwnDesign

By Her Own Design

By Piper Huguley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for a review of a book for all the fashionistas out there ~ By Her Own Design. Thanks to Tandom T.Tours for inviting me to review and a copy of the book. Discover more in the blurb and review below.

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Blurb

The incredible untold story of how Ann Lowe, a Black woman and granddaughter of slaves, rose
above personal struggles and racial prejudice to design and create one of America’s most famous
wedding dresses of all time for Jackie Kennedy.
 
1953, New York City
 
Less than a week before the society wedding of the year where Jacqueline Bouvier will marry John F.
Kennedy, a pipe bursts at Ann Lowe’s dress shop and ruins eleven dresses, including the expensive
wedding dress, a dress that will be judged by thousands. A Black designer who has fought every step
of the way, Ann knows this is only one struggle after a lifetime of them. She and her seamstresses will
find the way to re-create the dresses. It may take all day and all night for the next week to accomplish
the task, but they will do it.
 
1918, Tampa
 
Raised in Jim Crow Alabama, Ann learned the art of sewing from her mother and her grandmother, a
former slave, who are the most talented seamstresses in the state. After Ann elopes at twelve with an
older man who soon proves himself to be an abusive alcoholic, her dreams of becoming a celebrated
designer seem to be put on hold. But then a wealthy Tampa socialite sees Ann’s talent and offers her
an amazing opportunity—the chance to sew and design clothing for Florida’s society elite. Taking her
young son in the middle of the night, Ann escapes her husband and embarks on the adventure of a
lifetime.
Based on the true story of one of the most famous designers of the twenties through the sixties who
has since been unjustly forgotten, By Her Own Design is an unforgettable novel of determination
despite countless obstacles and a triumph celebrated by the world

Review

This is an extraordinary life story of a woman who most people may not have known about, until now. It takes readers into the world of a family who could seriously sew. You can see where Ann Lowe’s talent comes from as her early life is examined and throughout the rest of it.

There is clear signs of the times in both fashion and race. There’s also growing up and romance as well as man trouble. The book is well-written and reads with great fluidity. The book captures resilience and her life in sewing and for whom she sewed clothes for, very well and in an interesting manner.

The anticipation of a new life, when she gets the opportunity, is tantalisingly close to touching, the further you read and the excitement is palpable as her life moves onto new stages as she marries, although this doesn’t last, there are doors that open as she sews for high society. This sets her on a path of building a good reputation and how she ultimately becomes even more luckier in life and gets the job of working as a designer for Jackie Kennedy.

This is book will sit beautifully in readers collections of fashion and/or historical books and would also be of interest to those who would like to know more about Jackie Kennedy as well as the rise of someone who created a dress for her.

About the Author

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Piper Huguley is the author of the Home to Milford College and the Migrations of the Heart series. 
She is a multiple-time Golden Heart finalist.
Piper blogs about the history behind her novels on her website.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and son.

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#Bookreview By Lou of Rememberings By Sinead O’Conner @SineadOConnor @penguinrandom #SandyCovePublisher #Autobiography #Music #NonFiction #Memoir #Rememberings

Rememberings
By Sinead O’Connor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I have a review about the autobiograpghy – Rememberings by Sinead O’Connor. It’s a curiously interesting book about her life and of course her music. Take a look at the blurb and my thoughts in my review below.

Blurb

THE LANDMARK MEMOIR OF A GLOBAL MUSIC ICON

Sinéad O’Connor’s voice and trademark shaved head made her famous by the age of twenty-one. Her recording of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ made her a global icon. She outraged millions when she tore up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on American television.

O’Connor was unapologetic and impossible to ignore, calling out hypocrisy wherever she saw it.
She has remained that way for three decades.

Now, in Rememberings, O’Connor tells her story – the heartache of growing up in a family falling apart; her early forays into the Dublin music scene; her adventures and misadventures in the world of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll; the fulfilment of being a mother; her ongoing spiritual quest – and through it all, her abiding passion for music.

Rememberings is intimate, replete with candid anecdotes and full of hard-won insights. It is a unique and remarkable chronicle by a unique and remarkable artist.

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Review

Music and the psyche of any creative person is interesting up to a point. I saw an opportunity to review Sinead O’Connor’s autobiography – Rememberings and curiosity caught me. There’s been so much on the news, on social media about her that this, I feel gives her a chance to give people an insight, at least into what she wants you to know. There’s also that song – Nothing Compares 2 U, that was such a hit and such a song with staying power, as the lyrics go round my head as I write, even though I haven’t heard it for awhile, those iconic notes she hits and lyrics she sang are still there.

This book isn’t just about her music though. It starts with an insight into her family structure and their background and it is candid and deep, as is all this book. It shows the complexities of her family life and upbringing and the relationship between her and her siblings, and religion running deep. There’s also a look into her school life.
The book starts to shed more light on how complex Sinead O’Connor’s personality is and how many rough edges there are to it too as well as misadventure taking her life down many less salubrious paths.

There is of course the music, that of which her mother liked and what Sinead O’Connor likes and a look into the world of music that she entered and her experiences and perceptions and perspectives as well as the people she meets as well as her not so obvious reaction to having a number 1 hit.

The book seems totally frank, matter-of-fact at times, with glimpses of emotion; like she has delved deep into her life and troubled soul and mental health, as well as her career and takes readers up to and including 2019 as it says what she has been doing recently.

This is a must for fans of Sinead O’Connor and of people just wanting to know a little bit more about her as a person, beyond the music as well as that part of her life and there is something that is overall humbling about that.