#BookReview By Lou of Jeeves And The Leap of Faith By Ben Schott @benschott @PenguinRandom #PenguinCornerstone #JeevesAndWooster

Jeeves And A Leap of Faith
A Jeeves and Wooster story
By Ben Schott
Jeeves and Wooster, originally created by
P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ve had A Leap of Faith By Ben Shotts on my tbr review pile longer than I ever intended, but it gives me great pleasure to finally present my review. Find out more in the blurb and my review below. I thank Penguin for the opportunity to review

Jeeves and the leap of faith

The Drones club’s in peril. Gussie’s in love. Spode’s on the war-path. Oh, and His Majesty’s Government needs a favour. I say – it’s a good thing Bertie’s back!

One man – and his Gentleman’s Personal Gentleman – valiantly set out to save the Drones, thwart Spode and nobly assist His Majesty’s Government.

From the mean streets of Mayfair to the scheming spires of Cambridge we encounter a joyous cast of characters: chiselling painters and criminal bookies, eccentric philosophers and dodgy clairvoyantes, appalling poets and pocket dictators, vexatious aunts and their vicious hounds.

Replete with a Times crossword, and classic Schottian endnotes, you hold in your hands the most blissfully entertaining means to while away an idle hour.

P.G. Wodehouse has long been a panacea for the woes of the world… have we ever needed a new Jeeves and Wooster more?

Review

The big question is of course – can Ben Schotts really recreate two loved characters convincingly with all the idiosyncrasies? The answer, mostly, yes, in a way as he pays respectful homage to the original creator of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster – P.G. Wodehouse.
It is perhaps a little different in plotting and premise, but the humour and characterisation in the main is there. In someways the premise of them doing a favour that involved MI5 is humorous in itself, with a mix of pastiche and modern jokes, as Schotts brings it respectfully up to date. Readers will be able to tell there is a passion for Jeeves and Wooster that comes from the author and transfers onto the page.

Once you get into the setting, then the characters can be enjoyed. The entertainment that is needed when certain things in the world is bleak, emerges and is all there, creating fun escapism for a whole new audience of readers and for those who have already acquainted themselves with the ubquiteous characters that do indeed provide a panacea to darker times.

It’s all in all, a fun book.

#BookReview by Lou – What Planet Can I Blame This On by Ellie Pilcher @ElliePilcher95 @Hodder_Studio

What Planet Can I Blame This On
by Ellie Pilcher

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Laugh out loud funny, this book is one comedy of life that is great to relax into and tickle those funny bones.
Thank you to Ellie Pilcher and Hodder Studio for the invite to review and for gifting me a book.

What Planet Can I Blame This On

Blurb

The stars are not in position  and Krystal Baker is determined to make them fall in line.

It’s Krystal’s 29th birthday. This year:

· Her boyfriend finally proposed after six years of dating (only for her to find out he cheated on her for five and a half of them)

· She landed her dream job as a writer at Craze magazine (which swiftly fell into administration)

· She moved into her dream flat overlooking the city (just for the pipes to explode making the place unliveable)

As she mourns everything wrong in her life, her best friend mutters the dreaded words: Saturn Return. The time in a woman’s life where Saturn returns to the position it was in on the day of their birth, 29.5 years ago, and, according to legend, everything falls apart. Krystal has never bought into astrology but maybe it’s time to re-evaluate – because if the stars got her into this mess, they can get her out of it. And she only has six months to make things right.

Loaded with crystals, horoscopes, tarot cards and a carefully aligned chakra or two, Krystal’s determined to have her life back on track by the time Saturn returns. No longer shall she brand herself a ‘human disaster’ because this time it’s not her fault, it’s written in the treacherous stars.

It’s Krystal versus the universe in a fight for her future that she’s determined to win.

Review

This is surprisingly very funny. It starts with Krystal’s birthday and her bemoaning her playlist, of which I may have furrowed my brow at Stay Shakespear’s Sister, but each taste is different. Moving on… It’s her birthday and her playlist dislike is the absolute least of her worries. Her boyfriend and his behaviour is her biggest problem. Luckily she has friends, Tina and Paige to turn to. The conversation that ensues is seriously funny and the humour in the descriptions and dialogue continue throughout as they decide what they want to do with the bad boyfriend. There’s also a funny description and reference to Villanelle in Killing Eve and Harry Potter and other references to things such as pop culture and more, carefully placed, and in a witty way
Life just tumbles for her as she then loses her job and finds herself which planet or star she can blame it all on. It’s a book that lives and breaths in grown-up millienials in some ways and in another, in the most funniest ways, that the planets and stars have a lot to play in her life. As much as throughout, it is fun to laugh with Krystal and her friends and at her, it is easy to cheer her on and hope that things pick up in her life again, from all the freefalling catastrophes that life can throw at people. She then relies on horoscopes and planet alignments to help her re-evaluate her life and to try to change it and her friends are there too, full of kindness.
Whatever stage you are in life, there will be something relatable and it is ultimately a laugh-out-loud book, that’s as good as some sitcoms in some of the humour.

The humour makes this a wonderful book to sit with a glass of wine or something, out in the sun.

 

#BookReview by Lou – Love and Miss Harris by Peter Maughan @PeterMaughan5 @farragobooks @RandomTTours #ContemporaryFiction #Theatre #HistoricalFiction #Humour

Love And Miss Harris
By Peter Maughan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Love and Miss Harris is perfect for theatre-goers and everyone working in theatre productions. It is also perfect for people who enjoy Ealing Comedies and authors such as P.G. Wodehouse and Jerome K. Jerome and people who enjoy a good bit of capers and humour as the book captures a certain era so divinely. It’s a lot of theatrical fun! This is book 1 of what is becoming a series and I am looking forward to the second already. It’s a feel-good funny book.

Find out more in the blurb and review below. Thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to review and for Farrago Books for gifting me a copy of the book.

About the Author

Love And Miss Harris Peter Maughan Author picPeter Maughan’s early career covered many trades, working on building sites, in wholesale markets, on fairground rides and in a circus. He studied at the Actor’s Workshop in London, and worked as an actor in the UK and Ireland, subsequently founding a fringe theatre in Barnes, London.
He is married and lives currently in Wales.

 

Love and Miss Harris Cover

Blurb

Titus Llewellyn-Gwlynne, actor/manager of the Red Lion Theatre, has lost a backer who was going to fund a theatrical tour – when unexpected salvation appears.
Their home theatre in the East End of London having been bombed during the war, The Red Lion Touring Company embarks on a tour of Britain to take a play written by their new benefactress into the provinces.

This charming series transports the reader to a lost post-war world of touring rep theatre and once-grand people who have fallen on harder times, smoggy streets, and shared bonhomie over a steaming kettle.
The mood is whimsical, wistful, nostalgic, yet with danger and farce along the way.

Review

I love theatre and everything about it, ever since my mum introduced me to the theatre when I was a teenager, I’ve had a passion for them, so much so, that I even volunteered for just over a decade for a local theatre company, mostly doing front of house duties and occasionally backstage. So, when I was invited to review this book, I jumped at the chance and I think the timing is most apt as theatres and everyone has struggled to get by at this time and now they are starting, slowly but surely, and safely to re-open. This book instantly brings back the joy of theatre and also comedy. The fact it is The Company of Fools series, is in itself theatrical and Shakespearean in that subtitle, although the book itself is not Shakespearean, it’s thoughtful and adds fun and history right there and also cleverly alludes to the fun readers will have, as does that cover. This is worthwhile hopping onto that bus on the cover and enjoying the ride the book takes you on…

Titus, Reuben, Dolly, Jack are prominant characters within this theatrical cast, that instantly transports readers to rep theatre and with wonderful characterisation and observations are divine and everything comes to life. It is also nice that The Windmill Theatre gets a mention as it is pretty famous for rep theatre at this time. 

The title of the book is more clever than you’d think. Love and Miss Harris is the title of a play that Lady Devonaire has written, or rather George, with this as his pseudonymn. The style of writing is quite theatrical in places, which is wonderful and it has a lot of charm. It’s easy to depict in your minds eye – The Red Lion Touring Company losing their theatre due to it being bombed and how they overcome it by jumping on a tour bus and travelling. It shows a certain ingenuity and resillience and admiration how theatre has had to overcome hard times to survive, a bit like today in a way…. So hop on the bus with them and enjoy the ride that is full of humour and get to know a little about the places they go to. That isn’t to say that things are all plain sailing, the company are suspicious of Jack and there’s financial issues to try to overcome. There are also interesting bits about war times too, in memories, that isn’t to say this is a book that jumps from one time frame to another, it isn’t as that wouldn’t have enhanced what is a perfectly good read as it is.

All in all, it is a thoroughly enjoyable book.

I have read the preview for the second in the series and I must say, it is sounding good. 

Love and Miss Harris bt Poster

 

#Review by Lou of Love In The Wood – 5 stars for the entertaining play (still available) by William Wycherley, Directed by Hermione Guiliford @hermy1G @JSTheatre #theatre #TheShowMustGoOn #YouTube

  Love In A Wood
By William Wycherley
Rated: 5 stars *****

Love In A Wood is a great night in! There is humour, intrigue, romance and jealousy in this entertaining play with a terrific cast from stage and TV. It premiered on Sunday 31st January and is available for a week. Find out more below in the plot and then my review. Throughout, you can also find the link.

Love In The Wood is a  free online reading of a 1671 comedy by William Wycherley (The Country Wife), conceived and directed by Hermione Gulliford, is performed in aid of Equity Charitable Trust, supporting industry professionals in need of urgent assistance. There is an opton to donate on Just Giving.

Discover more about it in the plot and then you will come across my full review.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood

THE PLOT

Lady Flippant wants a husband, while pretending not to, with her eyes on Dapperwit. Sir Simon Addleplot’s looking for a wife with a fortune, eying up Mrs Martha. Valentine only has eyes for Christina, but is jealous of everyone. Ranger has his eye on anyone, playing fast with his love, Lydia. And Vincent only has eyes on anyone if it’s in the dark. The night is young, and never has there been a better time for frolics and fun in the wood. —————- LOVE IN A WOOD By William Wycherley Directed by Hermione Gulliford STARRING Jo Stone-Fewings as Mr Ranger James Anderson as Mr Vincent  Danny Sapani as Mr Valentine Ian Gelder as Alderman Gripe Nicholas Le Prevost as Sir Simon Addleplot Paul Chahidi as Mr Dapperwit Christopher Chung as Mrs Crossbite’s landlord, a waiter & servant Nancy Carroll as Christina Lorna Brown as Lydia Linda Bassett as Lady Flippant Ellie Fanyinka as Mrs Martha Debbie Chazen as Mrs Joiner  Hermione Gulliford as Mrs Crossbite Shaofan Wilson as Miss Lucy May Walker as Isabel Jules Melvin as Leonore   Stage Managed by Lou Ballard Edited by Daniel Morley-Fletcher.


You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Review

Love In A Wood is a delightfully entertaining play in 5 Acts with a 15 minute interval. There is also a lovely surprise from the cast during part of that time.

You get a wonderful feel for who the characters are at the start to read about and then the cast come on. It clearly and ingeniously states character names as people come on and the setting for each act and scene.

It’s brilliant and witty and technically it works well with what they’ve got. It’s a wonderful script and one which I was not familiar of, but that’s one of the beauties of the arts. There are opportunities to explore something different.
The cast speak as though they were in character and on a stage. The characterisation of the households is sublimely played out.
You cleverly only see each character at the time you need to ie not all at once, which works so well and seems theatrical, even on screen. The timing from them all is perfect in all aspects, from comedic timing to when they appear on screen, to passing on coins. It would be no mean feat, but is expertly done and is so well directed by Hermione Guilliford.

Acts in St. James Park, has some lovely sound effects to suggest so. There are occasionally some props and inventive ways to create scenery and costume – pretty impressive for such times. The timely period music is used to great effect between scenes.

There’s some gossip and passing on information and some scandal to be had, which has some intrigue to see what happens next. Throughout they are able to create some changes of atmosphere from humour, to a bit of seriousness and trepidation to more comedy and the energy given, even in a reading is brilliant!

It is above all, such an enjoyable, entertaining Restoration Play that is well worth a look.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood

The Midas Cat – The Harrington Collection by Tommy Ellis – A Highly Entertaining Read #TheMidasCat #TommyEllis #bookreview #humour #fiction

The Midas Cat – The Harrington Collection
By Tommy Ellis
Rated: 5 stars *****

 

About the Author

Tommy is an author and saxophonist. He’s played alongside Chas and Dave, Mud, The Troggs and Earth Wind and Fire, to name a few. He’s played in a nudist camp where he felt a tad over dressed and had to run away from a gun-toting audience member. He’s also had terrorists threaten to blow up two of his gigs! He is the author of The Midas Cat books; a series of surreal dark humour featuring an Adam Ant loving, talking feline that’s being tracked down by an unscrupulous banker. Think The Pink Panther as if re-imagined by Tim Burton. Available now: The Midas Cat: The Harrington Collection. A 3000-word short read. E book only. The Midas Cat: The Devil Wears Tabby: A 30,000-word novella available as an e book and paperback. The survival of Ralph’s marriage is dependent upon him capturing a hundred million dollar talking cat. Standing in his way, however, is the cat itself, Lord Lucan, an imaginary game show host, and a voodoo death spirit. Follow Ralph into insanity as the cat tears his life apart piece by piece.

 

The Midas Cat The Harrington Collection pic

Blurb

Discover the insane world of the rarest and most valuable feline on earth: An auction, an Elvis automaton, a truck load of jewels and the midas cat!

Review

Having enjoyed The Cat Wears Prada, I had high hopes for the next book. I wasn’t disappointed. It meets up with Ralph again, in a very sorry state of affairs for himself, after that book. Again, it is a brilliant quick story, of only a few pages and two chapters in length. It is a perfect, speedy story for adults, if you’ve little time on your hands and yet need some time to escape from the world for a bit.

There is a certain balance of humour and the somewhat downtrodden Ralph who is someone who readers can feel sympathy for, even though life is like no other, that I know anyway. There is an absurdity about it and yet that is exactly what makes for an amusing read. It’s also what makes for a most unusual cat that is worth following.

The story takes place at an auction house, with some collections that wouldn’t look out of place in the tv series Flog It and then there is the even more random. There is however The Harrington Collection, which has a very expensive pink diamond in it. The Midas Cat, that caused so many issues in the previous book (The Midas Cat Wears Prada), and who is worth a whole lot of money, is discovered now lurking around the auction house.
With references to Elvis, Postman Pat, When Harry Meets Sally and Peaky Blinders, this is a highly entertaining read.
I highly recommend it for the sheer fun of it all.
This can be found in e-book form and I am informed by the author, that it also may become an audiobook. So it could be worth also keeping an eye out for that in the future.

#Review of Ten Times Table – 1 Committee, 1 Pageant Funny Results. 5 stars ***** #TenTimesTable @RobertDaws @Ayckbourn #Edinburgh #York #Shrewsbury #Cheltenham #Chesterfield #Brighton @captheatres #Play #Theatre #humour #TheatreGoers

Ten Times Table
By Alan Ayckbourn
Rated – 5 stars *****

Bill Kenwright presents The Classic Comedy Theatre Company, who are performing – Ten Times Table – An excellent play by Alan Ayckbourn, set around a committee trying to put on a pageant. This is a fun revival of the Ayckbourn’s 1970s comedy play that is currently on a UK tour. Below, after the review, is also a list of where the play appears to be touring next, including links.

The Cast includes:

Robert Daws (The Royal, Outside Edge and Roger Roger. Also author and podcaster) 
Deborah Grant (Not Going Out and Bergerac) 
Gemma Oaten (Emmerdale, Holby City) 
Robert Duncan (Drop The Dead Donkey)
Mark Curry (Hollyoaks, Last Of The Summer Wine)
Craig Gazey (Coronation Street and The Full Monty, West End)
Elizabeth Power (EastEnders)

Ten TImes Table.jpg

Review

Braving the beginnings of Storm Ciara, a friend and I went to see the play we had booked months in advance at the Edinburgh King’s Theatre. The verdict – we both Loved It! This is a wonderful play that kept us entertained from start to finish. There were certainly lots of laughs to be had in this captivating, very enjoyable play. With an excellent cast performing the play, it was a great evening.

The basic premise is, a committee that is being formed in the Swan Hotel for the Pendon Folk Festival. It isn’t as easy as it seems as they try to create, develop and put on a re-enactment of “The Pendon Twelve”, after a story about the massacre is discovered.

The results of the committee are hilarious as the story unfolds, showing the many personalities around the table. There’s the chair just trying to keep everything together, albeit not terribly well and often ends up dominated by others, the one who interrupts and doesn’t really get on with anyone and storms out, the shy one, the one who is pedantic, the one just trying to get the task done, the one who doesn’t always follow what is being said or done and people with opposing points of view. The personal issues also come into play a bit too… Even though some of the behaviours/personality types are exaggerated, they are recognisable, so there is a bit of accuracy there.
They all have to find a way to reach the end result – to showcase the pageant. They all want the same goal, but all doesn’t exactly go to plan…

The Committee is led by Ray – played by Robert Daws, who is a treat to watch as he gave the audience a huge range of his acting talents. The way he delivers each line is so on-point and so expressive. Deborah Grant played Helen excellently and with great energy for this strong-willed, character. All the cast give equally terrifically strong performances. There isn’t one who lets the side down as it were.

The play is directed by Robin Herford, who has done a great job in managing this cast and it all flows very well with all the comings and goings.

For a play that is predominantly set around a committee table, it has excellent comedic writing and comedy-timing. It is a fantastic play that I recommend seeing for a great afternoon or evening out. It is highly entertaining from start to finish. My friend and I certainly were not disappointed as we talked about it all the way to the train station. The weather was horrendous with the storm, but it was absolutely worth it.

Here is a list of where the play is touring next:

Mon, 10th February 2020 to Sat, 15th February 2020
Grand Opera House, York»
Mon, 17th February 2020 to Sat, 22nd February 2020
Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury»
Mon, 24th February 2020 to Sat, 29th February 2020
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham»
Mon, 9th March 2020 to Sat, 14th March 2020
Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield»
Mon, 23rd March 2020 to Sat, 28th March 2020
Theatre Royal, Brighton»