Featured Poem: Green by DH Lawrence

Professor Brian Cox, British particle physicist, once D:ream band member (do you remember this 1997 Labour Party campaign theme? he played the keyboard) and now superstar TV presenter, has been keeping me (and millions of others) enthralled each Sunday evening on BBC Two with the ‘Wonders of Life’.  It’s visually beautiful, it’s factually interesting and it’s thought-provoking. (Last night saw the last episode but you can catch them all on the BBC’s fantastic iPlayer.)

He’s rather obsessed with carbon is Prof Cox. Well, as a physicist you’re likely to be: physically, every living thing is made of the same basic stuff (not the technical language, I’m sure). That stuff? Carbon. Now I know we’re more than carbon but basically, physically, everything that lives – trees, amoebas, meerkats, horses, you – we’re all made of the same basic carbon atoms. And there’s only so much of that stuff in the universe. Like energy. There’s a fixed amount of energy in the world, it cannot be destroyed or created, only re-created. Amazing really.

When talking to colleagues about the programme last week, Casi mentioned a letter DH Lawrence wrote to Edward Garnett, which mentions carbon. Later on that day she emailed me an extract from it:

You mustn’t look in my novel for the old stable ego – of the character. There is another ego, according to whose action the individual is unrecognisable, and passes through, as it were, allotropic states which it needs a deeper sense than any we’ve been used to exercise, to discover states of the same radically unchanged element. (Like as diamond and coal are the same pure single element of carbon. The ordinary novel would trace the history of the diamond – but I say, ‘Diamond, what! This is carbon.’ And my diamond might be coal or soot, and my theme is carbon.)

And so is Cox’s. What they’re both getting at – in different ways – is that there are basic building blocks that run so very, very deep throughout the universe that are infinitesimally small, beyond the ‘normal’ scope. What sets humans apart from their other carbon counterparts though is the amazingly complex thought patterns and acts of creative intelligence, which, for example, lead to great works of literature. I try to understand the world I live in through literature, I also try to understand it through physics (I find it easier to get delve into literary thinking than quantum mechanical thinking but there we go…).

Thanks to Cox, Lawrence and Casi for bringing it together for me. In homage to the ‘Wonders of Life’, here’s a poem from DH Lawrence (and a photograph from a summer’s walk in Devon):



by DH Lawrence

The dawn was apple-green,

The sky was green wine held up in the sun,

The moon was a golden petal between.

She opened her eyes, and green

They shone, clear like flowers undone

For the first time, now for the first time seen.

Merseyside Community Theatre Website Launched

Merseyside Community Theatre, co-ordinated by The Reader Organisation has great pleasure in launching its Official Website today.

Featuring up to date news from all involved with the Merseyside Community Theatre: Alt Valley 2010 project, Information explaining what Merseyside Community Theatre is and how it aims to bring together the communities of the Alt Valley and more. There’s photo galleries from the launch of the 2010 project and the successful 2008 performance of A Winter’s Tale in Birkenhead Park.

There’s an opportunity to watch exclusive clips of the Romeo & Juliet launch performance held at Croxteth Fire Station on Monday 26th April. There are ways to contact Merseyside Community Theatre from the website as well as keeping informed with twitter feeds.

In the coming weeks and months, further content such as interviews with the launch cast & crew, and others involved with Merseyside Community Theatre will appear on the website.

If you wish to be involved with the Merseyside Community Threatre project in an way, you can get in touch via the official website or by befriending ‘Mct RomeoandJuliet‘ on Facebook.

Be a part of it!


The Globe on Tour: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Globe’s touring production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is coming to Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire, 16th-18th May.

Performed on an Elizabethan-inspired stage, a small troupe of travelling players breathe new life into Shakespeare’s greatest comedy. Dreamlike, funny and beautiful, eight talented actors reinvent renaissance touring theatre for the 21st century:

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Summer is all the sweeter for a Shakespeare road trip, Daily Telegraph

Book your tickets here.

Merseyside Community Theatre Launched

Yesterday evening I left the office, stepping out into the glorious sunshine with several of my colleagues, and headed up to Croxteth Fire Station for the launch event of Merseyside Community Theatre: Alt Valley 2010 – Romeo and Juliet at the fire station.

Now, I’ve been away from the coal face for a couple of weeks, so I had very little idea about what would be facing me when I got there but I was bowled over!  Not only were there about three times the number of people at the launch event than we expected (which was great to see but we were a little worried that we may not have had enough sandwiches…), and wine on arrival but the ten minute perfomance that Neil Caple (the Director) had put together for the event was spectacular: it was held in a huge hanger at the fire station, the set was a market place (complete with fresh fruit), with cars, music and flashing lights to recreate the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet. As a taste of things to come, this has got us hungry…

If you’d like to offer funding or support for MCT, or to find out how you can be a part of it, please contact Niamh Donohoe: mct@thereader.org.uk / 07807 106814

Liverpool Premier of A Boy Called Dad



Starring Liverpool actor Ian Hart
Friday 30 April 2010, 7.00p.m.Crosby Plaza Cinema, 13 Crosby Road North, Liverpool, L22 0LD

Tickets: £5 and £10
Box Office: 0151 474 4076

Directed by award winning Liverpool director Brian Percival (Much Ado About Nothing, The Old Curiosity Shop, Gracie!) written by Julie Rutterford (Teachers, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) and starring Liverpool actor Ian Hart (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Neverland), A BOY CALLED DAD tells the story of Robbie – a 14 year old boy who has just become a father.  Abandoned by his father, Joe, Robbie snatches his baby son and goes on the run. As Joe joins the search for Robbie, they are each forced to face up to the past and what it really means to be a father.

A BOY CALLED DAD is an emotionally stirring but ultimately uplifting ‘coming of age’ drama which marks the acting debut of Kyle Ward and the feature film debut of award-winning director Brian Percival and producers Michael Knowles and Stacey Murray. It received its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2009 where it was nominated for the Michael Powell award with its young lead actor, Kyle Ward winning a Trailblazer award. The film was also voted an audience favourite at the festival.

Ian Hart:

The opportunity to work on Merseyside is one I always relish and I think this film captures some of my feelings about the area.  Liverpool is a great city but most people don’t realise that it is also surrounded by some outstandingly beautiful countryside and beaches.

Clapperboard UK Director Maureen Sinclair:

I’m delighted that we are screening A BOY CALLED DAD at the Plaza Cinema in Crosby, my home town. Ian Hart is a great supporter of Clapperboard and I’ve known the film’s director, writer and producer for many years and I’m very proud of all their achievements

A Question and Answer session will take place with Brian Percival (Director) and Julie Rutterford (Screenwriter) immediately following the screening.

Tickets can be obtained directly from Plaza Cinema (0151 474 4076) for £5. Please note there are a limited number of £10 tickets available which include an invitation to the post reception event at Esperanto’s Restaurant, Waterloo.

This event is sponsored by Esperanto’s Restaurant, Forward Culture, EventSinc, Bill Elms Associates Ltd, Banana Fish Management, and the Dutch Flower Shop. Income raised will go to the Plaza Cinema and Clapperboard Youth Project.

More information can be found at www.plazacinema.org.uk