Thursday 27 February 2014

Annabel Rooney - 'Cello Glenorchy Church Exmouth 12.30pm Wednesday 5th March 2014

Annabel Rooney
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
12.30pm Wednesday 5th March 

Annabel Rooney took up the cello when she was nine, and went on to study with Florence Hooton, Derek Simpson, and, more recently, Michael Evans. A member of the National Youth Orchestra as a teenager, Annabel subsequently read music at Christs College, Cambridge, where she held a university instrumental award on the cello. Continuing in Cambridge or postgraduate study, Annabel worked on early eighteenth-century Italian opera for her MPhil and PhD.

Annabel and her family moved to Devon in 2006. She has three children at primary school, and tries to combine motherhood and music! Annabel plays in various ensembles locally for concerts and weddings, teaches, and also composes (predominantly sacred choral music).

Wednesday's Programme: 

Suites, Airs, Jigs & Reels 

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Suite no. 3 in C major (BWV 1009) 

Prelude – Allemande – Courante
Sarabande – Bourrées I & II – Gigue 

George Frideric Handel:

from the "Suite de Pièce"
vol. 2, no 4 (HWV 437)
(Keyboard Suite in D minor)

A Celtic Miscellany

"Hamilton House" 
"Highland Cradle Song" 
"The Wind that Shakes the Barley" 

"Chi Mi na Mòr Bheanna"
(I Will See the Great Mountains) 
"Pretty Peggy"
"Caol Muile" (Iona Boat Song) 

"The Drunken Piper" 
"Niel Gow’s Farewell to Whisky" 
"The Kilt is My Delight"


Thursday 20 February 2014

Choral music and clarinets at St. Lawrence Chapel - Four Concerts coming up in March & May 2014 (Reminder from Brian Lewis, Chairman of the Guild of St Lawrence)

A season of song at St. Lawrence Chapel
A number of choral groups are performing at St. Lawrence Chapel over the next few weeks,
and with music ranging from medieval to modern, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Choirs aren't just limited to voices either, with two clarinet choirs playing in the wonderful
acoustics of the Chapel in March.

Clarinet choirs
Exeter University &
Peninsula Clarinet Choirs

Saturday 1st March, 6.00pm
Just a quick reminder about the clarinet choir concert taking place on 1st March, with the Peninsula Clarinet Choir and Exeter University Clarinet Choir playing a wide variety of songs including classical, jazz and more light hearted music. This should be a fun concert, with interval refreshments.
Sunday 16th March, 3.00pm
The Quorum quartet will be performing a recital of song and music by composers including Faure, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Vaughan Williams, Parry, Taranti and MacFadden. Formed three years ago, Quorum features soprano Janet Macdonald, baritone Iain McDonald, Philip Bonser on clarinet and Margaret Honeybourne Chave on piano.
Ashburton Singers
Ashburton Singers: 700 years of English Choral Music
Saturday 5th April, 7.30pm
The Ashburton Singers, under musical director, Bridget Ansell, are presenting a programme with a local twist to celebrate 700 years of the St. Lawrence Chapel. Along with works by Purcell, Matthew Locke, Britten, Holst and Taverner, the programme will include pieces by two composers who worked in Ashburton – Richard Davy (1465-1507), thought to have been chaplain or master of the chapel, and Samuel Chapple (1775-1833), organist for nearly 40 years at St. Andrew's Church.

Incon Singers
Incon Singers
Friday 11th April, 7.30pm
The 1193rd Portreeve, Linda Germon, has her Portreeve Concert performed by theIncon Singers who rehearse at St. Lawrence Chapel. The concert is in aid of the Portreeve's Fund which is to be distributed equally between St. Lawrence Chapel and DASH. The Incon Singers go from strength to strength so this will be a wonderfully entertaining concert.

Wells Cathedral School Virtuosi Powderham Castle Friday 7 March 2014

Trustees of 'Music in the Castle' present


International String Players from
Wells Cathedral Specialist Music School

Solos for violin, viola and cello,
with piano


Brahms String Sextet in Bь, op.18                           

'New generation musicians of immense talent...'

Friday March 7th at 7.30pm
in Powderhams Castle's James Wyatt Music Room

Tickets £15, (students £7),
from Powderham Castle: 01626 890243

with generous sponsorship from
Newton Abbot 

Powderham Castle

Powderham Concerts
Powderham Castle
Friday 7 March 7.30pm
Outstanding international
musicians from Wells
Cathedral School
Solos for violin, viola and 'cello
Professor George Pratt
with piano accompaniment
David Popper ('cello 1843-1913)
Paul Hindemith (violin 1895-1963)
Max Bruch (violin 1838-1920)
Krzysztof Penderecki (violin 1933- )
Henri Vieuxtemps (violin 1820-1881)
Henryk Wieniawski (violin 1835-1880)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897):
String Sextet in B flat Op 18
Tickets: £15 (student £7)
Emma Indge: 01626 890243

Monday 17 February 2014

QUORUM: Piano, Soprano & Clarinet at Glenorchy Church Exmouth Wednesday 12 February 2014

Soprano: Janet Macdonald
Piano: Margaret Chave
Clarinet: Philip Bonser

What a storm we had on Wednesday. What a fabulous concert the Quorum members served up to take our minds off the tempest.

Quorum comprises pianist Margaret Chave, with soprano Janet Macdonald and clarinettist Philip Bonser. At St Lawrence Chapel in Ashburton, on Sunday 16 March (3pm), they will be joined by another regular member, baritone Iain McDonald.

At Wednesday's Lunchtime Concert at Glenorchy Church, Margaret, Janet and Philip provided forty five minutes of delicious classical (and modern) music. To add to the enjoyment, Janet's husband Peter introduced each item in his inimitable after-dinner style.

Peter Macdonald

Peter Macdonald introduces:

Jimmy McHugh: "It's a Lovely day"
[Andreas Spaeth: "Alpenlied" - omitted]
Ralph Vaughan Williams: "Orpheus with his Lute"
Samuel Barber: "Sure on this Shining NIght
Hubert Parry: " My heart is like a Singing Bird"
Giuseppe Tartini: "Concertini for Clarinet & Strings"
(II Allegro Molto III Adagio IV Allegro Risoluto)
Gabriel Fauré: "Les Berceaux"
Hector Berlioz: "L'Ile Inconnue"
Thomas Dunhill: "Phantasy Suite for Clarinet & Piano"
(I Andante Espressive II Allegretto
     IV Andantino Serioso V Vivace Assai)
Henry Mancini: "Moon River"
Ludwig Spohr: "Zweigesang"
                         "Das Heimliche Lied"

Janet Macdonald

The gentle opening song for voice clarinet & piano, "It's a Lovely Day", belied the weather outside, but suited the sunny mood inside the church.

Sadly this was not followed by the scheduled song, the Alpenlied "Froh, durch blüthenvolle Gründe" (Happy among the Flower Fields) by nineteenth century German composer Andreas Spaeth. Instead Janet sang a seventeenth century song, with twentieth century piano and clarinet accompaniment by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The words were taken from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII". Catherine of Aragon, Henry's first wife, beset by troubles, asks her lady-in-waiting to accompany her song on the lute: "Orpheus with his lute made trees, and the mountain tops that freeze, bow themselves when he did sing."

That song from 1904 was followed by something more 'modern' - from Samuel Barber's 1940 publication "Four Songs", his musical setting of the poem "Descriptions of Elysium" from "Permit Me Voyage" (1934) by James Agee, which Barber called "Sure on this Shining Night".

(Peter couldn't resist mentioning the culmination of this series, the surreal  "I have observed pink monks eating blue raisins" by Filipino poet Jose Garcia Villa, which Barber set to music in 1943. Sadly that little number was not included in Wednesday's programme.)

Finally Janet slipped back in time to 1909, for Sir Hubert Parry's setting of Christina Rossetti's 1862 poem "A Birthday" for Agnes Hamilton Harty: "My Heart is Like a Singing Bird".

Philip Bonser

Margaret's superb piano support continued as Philip took Janet's place on the stage with his clarinet. They had prepared a baroque treat for us.

Margaret and Philip had been working on a very modern version of Tartini's eighteenth century sonatas for clarinet and strings, reworked by twentieth century English composer (and tutor of Malcolm Arnold and Imogen Holst) Gordon Jacob, as a delightful 'Concertino'.

Eschewing the opening Grave, Phil leapt into the liquid legato of the Allegro, flying up the scale to begin each phrase with Margaret echoing on the piano. The gentle and emotive Adagio involved some beautiful and lyrical playing in the high range by Phil, ending with a perfectly sustained final low note. Margaret immediately launched into the lively Allegro Risoluto with its strident clarinet cadenza flying inexorably towards the impassioned final trill.

A thrilling performance by two great musicians.

Margaret Chave

Janet was immediately back in action with the first of Gabriel Fauré's "3 Songs" (Opus 23) composed in 1879 - a setting of the poem "Les Berceaux" by Sully Prudhomme in B flat minor, and in French! There is a strange change in pronunciation when French is sung. "Les femmes pleurent" and "les horizons leurrent" end in an unexpected epenthesis. As Janet had taken pains to prepare a programme with the lyric in full (with English translation) this made a very interesting French lesson - as well as a very sweet song. (The opening notes of which are delightfully echoed in Howard Blake's "Walking in the Air".)

The French lyrics and nautical theme continued with a song from "Les Nuits d'Été" written by Hector Berlioz in 1841. The sixth and last of these settings of poems by Théophile Gautier is "L'Íle Inconnue". Whereas Prudhomme's poetry dwelt on the pain of parting when the ship sails, Gautier is much more upbeat. The emphasis is on excitement and adventure, and the music reflects the contrast.

As Janet withdrew, following her expressive vocal performance, Philip and Margaret had another piano/clarinet duet to share, which was equally expressive. Thomas Dunhill's "Phantasy Suite for Clarinet & Piano" (Opus 91, 1941) opens with a sensual and restful andante espressivo. The allegretto is more playful with the opportunity for a more conversational interaction between the clarinet and the piano. Philip and Margaret skipped over the allegro con fuoco to concentrate on the more intense andantino serioso. Dunhill also composed a second andantino espressivo to conclude the work, but our duettists chose wisely, and ended on a high note with the penultimate movement, the vivace assai. A lively gambol to finish - toot toot!

Next, Margaret and Janet were off to the Oscars - with Henry Mancini's 1961 award winning original song (with lyric by Johnny Mercer) "Moon River" which was sung by Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Blake Edwards' "Breakfast at Tiffany's". This was the first Academy success for Mancini. (The film also won him an Oscar for best original score.). (He won again in '62 with "Days of Wine and Roses".)

His most memorable contribution to film music with 'The Pink Panther Theme' which was nominated for best original score in 1963. He was in the nominations throughout the sixties and occasionally in the seventies and eighties, notably with the comic song "Come to Me", with words by Don Black, sung by Tom Jones and Peter Sellers for "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" in 1976. (Think Quasimodo!).

Mancini's final nomination came ten year later, for another Blake Edwards film, "That's Life!" starring Jack Lemon and Julie Andrews. His song "Life in a Looking Glass", with words by Leslie Bricusse, was performed for the closing credits by none other than Tony Bennett. (They lost out to "Top Gun" and 'Berlin' performing the Moroder/Whitlock song "Take My Breath Away". That is life!)

The song is so familiar because Andy Williams adopted it as soon as the film came out. The first few words of his recording were heard every fortnight from 1962 to 1971 on NBC's "The Andy Williams Show" (coincidentally reviving Johnny Mercer's career). Who can forget that crooning voice drawing out each word for his adoring audience.

The story recalls Mercer's youth in Savannah Georgia by the Black River (since renamed 'Moon River' in his honour). He recalls picking huckleberries with his friends and conflates the image with the story of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer living by the Mississippi in Missouri. The imagery is enchanting, conjuring up for the sixties audience a pre-war era of hillbilly existence - or even Mark Twain's 1870s, and for us the sixties themselves.

As the rain poured down outside Glenorchy Church, Janet's choice, "Moon River", (in honour of Valentine's Day) created a haven of peace and tranquility on a busy Wednesday lunchtime. That final haunting note, which usually fades into a continuo of voices and violins, gave way to a gentle coda by Margaret on the piano. Gorgeous.

Finally the whole team regrouped for a closing trio, something with a very different flavour.

Classical composer Ludwig Spohr created "Sechs Lieder für eine Singstimme, Klarinette und Klavier" (Six Songs for Voice, Clarinet and Piano) in 1837. Spohr had been a collaborator with Beethoven ("Ghost Trio") and was opera director at Vienna and Frankfurt, and put on his own opera "Faust". From the age of 38, until his death aged 75, Spohr worked as Director of Music to the Elector of Hesse in Kassel, a post he received on the recommendation of Carl Maria von Weber.

It was in Kassel, at the age of 53, that Spohr composed his Six Songs. The words were by various poets. Janet sang the second song, "Zweigesang" (Duet) from Robert Reinick's "Lieder eines Malers mit Randzeichungen seiner Freunde" (The Songs of a Painter and his friend Randzeichungen), and the fifth, "Das Heimliche Lied" (The Secret Song) by Ernst Koch.

Once again the programme contained the lyric with English translation. Janet's duetting partner was, of course, Philip playing his clarinet. (They have performed other songs from this suite at previous recitals). Philip's gentle bird-like playing perfectly complemented Janet's soprano voice and deft German diction - and Margaret, as ever, nimbly laced the two songs together with her sensitive piano accompaniment.

An interesting contrast to end with, but it worked perfectly. This was a lovely concert. Top marks for choice of songs and what a magical delivery. There certainly seemed to be some sort of magic at work because, as the last song finished the sun burst through the clouds outside - which was refreshing, despite the knowledge that most of the British Isles was now under water!

Many thanks to Janet Macdonald, Margaret Chave and Philip Bonser for all their work - and to Peter Macdonald for his witty and engaging introductions. The team will soon be back in action, as 'The Quorum Quartet', with the addition of baritone Iain McDonald (Minister of Southernhay United Reformed Church in Exeter).

On 16 March, they will be at the fascinating St Lawrence Chapel in Ashburton. The chapel was built for Bishop Stapledon (Founder of Exeter College Oxford) in 1301 and given to Ashburton in 1314 on condition that it would be used to pray for his soul. (He died twelve years later).

The Guild of St Lawrence maintained the chapel and installed a school in the building which later became a grammar school. The grammar school closed, after more than six hundred years, in 1938, but the building was still used as a school until the 1980s. The Guild reformed in 1984 and worked with English Heritage and Dartmoor National Park to restore the building, which retains its historic schoolroom.

The stage, where the schoolmaster stood to deliver his lessons, remains and will be used by the Quorum Quartet on Sunday 16th March. They are planning a delightful afternoon concert at 3pm with more Spohr Lieder, and a reworked version of their trademark ensemble piece, "Shepherd on the Rock" by Franz Schubert. After the concert the Guild members provide exceedingly good home-made cakes in the junior classroom, and there will be an opportunity to explore this exciting listed building.

St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton

700th Anniversary Celebrations
(St Lawrence Chapel granted to  Ashburton by Bishop Stapledon 1314)
St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton
Sunday 16 March 3pm
Piano: Margaret Chave
Clarinet: Philip Bonser
Soprano: Janet Macdonald
Baritone: Iain McDonald
Franz Schubert: Shepherd on the Rock
Ludwig Spohn: Lieder
Followed by afternoon tea and cakes
Tickets: £7
01364 653414 11am-4pm Mon-Fri
Proceeds towards restoration of the
St Lawrence Chapel Tower

Events Tuesday 18 February - Tuesday 4 March 2014

The welcome return of
"Another Country"
Flute: Ruth Molins
Piano: Rebecca Willson
Sidmouth Parish Church
Friday 21 February 12 noon

Josephine Pickering & Frances Waters
Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 19 February 12.30pm
Piano Duet Recital
Admission FREE

Violin: Yulia Northridge
Piano: Ekaterina Shetliffe
St Mary's Totnes
& Blue Walnut Café Torquay
(follow this link to hear
Yulia & Ekaterina
playing at St Peter's in Derby)
Totnes Lunchtime Concert
(repeated Thursday evening)
1. St Mary's Church Totnes
Wednesday 19 February 1pm
2. Blue Walnut Café Torquay
Thursday 20 February 7.30 for 8pm
Piano: Ekatarina Shetliffe
Violin: Yulia Northridge
Including works by:
Antonio Vivaldi
Sir Edward Elgar
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Totnes Tickets: £5 (U16 FREE)
(under 16s accompanied by adult)
Booking: Ekaterina 07505 884271
Torquay Tickets: £6
Booking: Debbie 01803 394113
 Blue Walnut Website

Choir of St Michael's
Music at St Michael's
St Michael's Mount Dinham
Wednesday 19 February 7.30pm
Admission FREE
Full Programme February-May

Sarah Moule & Shireen Francis
recreate the meeting of
Peggy Lee & Ella Fitzgerald
on Benny Goodman's
"Swing into Spring" 1959
(Poster from their visit to
Exeter Barnfield Theatre
  Friday 27 September 2013)
Sarah Moule Shireen Francis
1. Honiton Primary School
Wednesday 19 February 7.30pm
01404 881207
2. Clyst Hydon Village Hall
          (nr. Cullompton)

Thursday 20 February 7.45pm
01884 277338
3. Clearbrook Village Hall
          (nr. Plymouth)
Friday 21 February 8pm
01822 852584
4. Colyford Memorial Hall
          (nr. Colyton)
Saturday 22 February 7.30pm
01297 553710

Jiaxin & Julian Lloyd Webber
Senbla Live Events
Exeter Northcott Theatre
Thursday 20 February 7.30pm
'Cello: Julian & Jiaxin Lloyd Webber
Piano: Pam Chowhan
Claudio MonteverdiInterrotte Speranze
Robert Schumann: Children's Songs Op 79
(I "Der Abendstern" [the evening star])
Antonin Dvořák: Duets Opus 38
Camille Saint-Saëns: "Ave Maria"
(III "The Harvesters", IV "Autumn Lament")
Sergei Rachmaninov: Choruses Opus 15
(IV "The Waves are Dreaming")
Julian Lloyd Webber: "Moon Silver"
Arvo PärtEstonian Lullaby
Tickets: £25/£20
01392 493493 or book online
Northcott website

Luke Daniels
Luke Daniels & Ceri Owen-Jones
1. Broadwoodkelly Parish Hall
          (nr. Okehampton)
Thursday 20 February 7.30pm
01837 680192
2. Milton Combe Village Hall
          (nr. Plymouth)
Friday 21 February 7.30pm
01822 854865

Flute: Ruth Molins
Piano: Rebecca Willson
Sidmouth Lunchtime Concerts
Church of St Nicholas & St Giles
Friday 21 February 12 noon
Piano: Rebecca Willson
Flute: Ruth Molins
Programme includes:
Béla Bartók: Suite Paysanne Hongroise
Anne Boyd: Bali Moods
followed by lunch of sandwiches
Tickets: £8
Paragon Books: 01395 514516
Diary of Sidmouth Music Events 

(Photo: Merryn Lloyd)

Exeter Bach Society
South Street Baptist Church
Saturday 22 February 9.30am-5pm
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Conductor: Paul Spicer
Tickets: £16
(includes hire of sheet-music)
Book early!
Gill Manning 01392 255177
EBS Website

Add caption
Angel Heart Theatre
1. Lapford Victory Hall
          (nr. Crediton)
Saturday 22 February 6.30pm
01363 83068
2. Diptford Parish Hall
          (nr. Totnes)
Sunday 30 March 3pm
01548 821704

Conductor: Kevin Smith
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Rusty & Not So Rusty Musicians
Play with the B.S.O.
West Exe School Exeter
Sunday 23 February 10am
(registration 9.30am, lunch 1-2pm,
      informal concert at 4pm)
All musicians who have reached

Grade V or above are welcome
to join in preparing & performing
Antonin DvořákSymphony No 8
Conductor: Kevin Smith
Admission: £30 (U18 £15)
Project Manager: Linda Higson
01202 644707
BSO Website  download booking form

Sidmouth Orchestra
Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts
Glenorchy Church Exmouth
Wednesday 26 February 12.30pm
Conductor: Alan Williams
Leader: David Norrish
Admission FREE

Leon Hunt n-Tet
BanjoLeon Hunt
Double BassBen Somers
GuitarJason Titley
MandolinJoe Hymas

Leon Hunt
1. Scoriton Village Hall
          (nr. Ashburton)
Wednesday 26 February 7.30pm
01364 631288
2. Mary Tavy Coronation Hall
          (nr. Tavistock)
Thursday 27 February 7.30pm
01822 810092
3. Hockworthy Village Hall
          (nr. Tiverton)
Saturday 1 March 7.30pm
01823 673268 (see below)

Violin Concerto
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Exeter University Great Hall
Thursday 27 February 7.30pm
Richard Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Piotr Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven: 5th Symphony
Conductor: Rui Pinheiro
Violin Soloist: Jennifer Pike
Tickets: £16-£20.50 (reductions for groups)
Under 16s: £8.50-£10.50
Book using link on BSO website

Erhu: Ling Peng
Zheng: Ying Xiao

Ling Peng & Ying Xiao
1. St Marys Church Abbotskerwell
          (nr. Newton Abbot)
Thursday 27 February 7.30pm
07971 412359
2. Lympstone Village Hall
          (nr. Exeter)
Saturday 1 March 7.30pm
07516 322853 (see below)

Clyst Valley Choral Society
Holy Trinity Church Exmouth
Saturday 29 March
John Stainer: "The Crucifiction"
Workshop: 2.30pm Concert: 7.30pm

St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton

700th Anniversary Celebrations
(St Lawrence Chapel granted to  Ashburton by Bishop Stapledon 1314)
St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton
Saturday 1 March 1-6pm
Exeter University Clarinet Choir
Peninsular Clarinet Choir
(Torbay & South Devon Music Centre)
Classical & Jazz
Interval Bar
Concert Tickets: £7
01364 653414 11am-4pm Mon-Fri
Proceeds towards restoration of the
St Lawrence Chapel Tower

Ling Peng & Ying Ziao
play "Rise the Steps"
Erhu: Ling Peng
GuZheng: Ying Xiao
Lympstone Village Hall
Saturday 1 March 7.30pm
Tickets: £8 (child £6)
Demelza Henderson
2 Brookfield Cottages
01395 272243
07516 322853

Leon Hunt
Hockworthy Village Hall
          (nr. Tiverton)
Saturday 1 March 7.30pm
01823 673268

Jonathan Watts
Devon Baroque
1. St Andrew's Church Colyton
Saturday 1 March 7.30pm       THIS CONCERT HAS
2. Dartington Great Hall         MOVED TO 15/16 MARCH
Sunday 2 March 3pm       AT TIVERTON/DARTINGTON
Director: Jonathan Watts

Details to follow . . .


('Cello ricochet: Elie Fruchter)
Flugelhorn sampling: Tim Sayer

(October Jazzlab 2013)
The Bay Horse Totnes (TQ9 5SP)
Sunday 2 March 8.30-11pm
Piano: Sam Richards
Soprano Saxophone: Andy Visser
Flugelhorn/Electronics: Tim Sayer
Double Bass: David George
Admission FREE

Saturday 15 February 2014

"Duplicity": A play about punk rock and brotherhood Barnfield Theatre Friday/Saturday 14/15 February 2014

Nathan Simpson is Leonard Silver
Rachel Milne is Ultra Violet
Joana Cris
óstomo is Fabie
Midge Mullin is Tommy & Finbar Kelly

(Photo: Matt Austin)

Following a sell-out run at Exeter Bikeshed (Fri/Sat 17/18 Jan), Midge and Rosie Mullin have brought their 'Substance and Shadow Theatre' production "Duplicity" to the Clifford Room at Exeter Barnfield Theatre - Friday and Saturday 14th & 15th February.

Rosie's slide-show, which accompanies the play, is slightly hampered by the small projection screen in the Clifford Room. However, it is just as effective as it was at the Bikeshed. As the audience take their seats, the evocative music of the late seventies is enhanced by iconic images of civil unrest and urban strife during the same era.

During the play the projected images continue, illustrating the background to the story and offstage action. News reports, and voices of additional characters, are played through the loudspeakers, giving a very effective complement to the action on stage. Rosie Mullin and Mike Gilpin, who don't appear in the play, are nevertheless very recognisable in their recorded voice-overs.

The story is introduced and held together by Midge Mullin. Midge delivers his opening monologue from centre-stage, alternating between two characters - twin brothers Tommy and Finbar Kelly. Their life experiences to date, and the relationship between them, is succinctly summed up in Midge's masterful double soliloquy.

The main plot revolves around the machinations of the Machiavellian impresario Leonard Silver. Nathan Simpson introduces himself as Silver with equal clarity - an aggressive and self-serving boor with a biting brummie accent. Midge's creation of the relationship between Silver and each of the two brothers is terrifying and spell-binding. An impressive meeting of acting skills.

From the outset, the two brothers are accompanied by their childhood friend Fabie, played by Joana Crisóstomo. Fabie is on stage long before the play begins, and never abandons the two boys. Her concern for them, sadly, does not translate into effective action. She is very timid and uncertain of herself, and no match for the explosive anger of Silver, whenever he finds himself frustrated by the needs of others. Despite her ineffectiveness, Fabie impresses with her dogged determination to do what is right.

By contrast, Tommy's new friend in the world of punk rock is quite the match for Silver. Ultra Violet (played by Rachel Milne) is fearless and forthright. Her Yorkshire accent cuts through Silver's West Midland whine like a knife. Devoted to Tommy, she is equally vocal in the defence of Tommy's unfortunate brother Finbar.

Tommy and Finbar's mother and uncle are heard off-stage. (The recorded voices are Rosie and Midge.) Their strong Irish brogue places the family, but Midge's lack of Irish accent as the two boys, illustrates their desire to break away from old family ties.

One last character appears as voice-over - and has the strongest accent of all. Midge himself provides the deep Jamaican drawl of the charismatic Rastafarian evangelist Jah Nebulous. To the accompaniment of the music of Prince Far I, Nebulous pronounces the coming day of judgement - 7/7/77. This portentous announcement is strangely anti-climactic, as Nebulous turns out not to be quite what he seems.

The culmination of this saga of greed and conflict is gripping and emotional. The implied action off-stage is as compelling as the powerful performances under the spotlight. This production displays once again the creative genius of Midge and Rosie, and their capable collaborators in 'Substance and Shadow' production company.

This run ends tonight. Another chance to experience this inspired celebration of the anarchic seventies, with its impressive understanding of the complex characters who drove the development of the new musical phenomenon, Punk Rock.

Substance and Shadow Theatre Co
Exeter Barnfield Theatre
Fri 14 & Sat 15 February 8pm
by Midge & Rosie Mullin
The Silver Jubilee, London 1977
Punk Rock, Anarchy and Chaos
Tickets: £8
Box Office: 01392 271808
book online
Substance & Shadow Facebook Page