Faces In The Crowd by Leo Butler, Royal Court Upstairs, 25 October 2008

This was a very memorable, very intimate play.

The set was effectively a small studio apartment which we, the tiny audience, was observing from above. You really almost felt you were in the apartment with the couple. And the couple were discussing very intimate stuff.

Official London Theatre maintains a basic resource on this production – click here.

Janie and I took Charlie (Lavender) with us to this one, which I think she enjoyed very much. We’re struggling to remember what we did for grub on this occasion; we think we possibly ate at the Royal Court itself.

Definitely more plus than minus for us.

Waste by Harley Granville Barker, Almeida Theatre, 18 October 2008

This one turned out to be a bit of an Alleyn’s alum-fest, with Sam West directing and Nancy Carroll performing. But that won’t be the reason we booked it.

Janie and I have been Almeida members for donkeys yonks – indeed I have been going there fairly regularly since the late 1980s.

This looked like a cracking production on paper, so we’d have had no hesitation in booking it.

The Almeida is great on archiving its productions, so details of the production, some good pictures and extracts from the reviews are all there to be seen – saving me the trouble – click here.

We agree with all of that lot. It was a cracking production of a rather wordy play – Harley Granville Barker was a decent playwright but Ibsen or Strindberg he ain’t.

We were very glad to have picked this production. Seeing a lesser production of this play would have been a bit of a waste.

Memorial Conference for Les Fishman, Management Centre, Keele University,15 October 2008

Professor Peter Lawrence (who had been my P2 economics tutor) got in touch with me about this conference and I was delighted to make space for it.

Firstly, I had very fond memories of Les Fishman, Peter Lawrence and indeed other tutors from the economics department at Keele.

Secondly, with the 2008 recession having just kicked off big time and no-one knowing what was going on, it seemed a good opportunity to find out what my alma mater’s economists thought about it all.

Thirdly, with only a month or less to go until my Gresham lecture on Commercial Ethics, I thought some clear head time in the rarefied atmosphere of the Keele Hill might do me some good for that project too.

Peter Lawrence offered to put me up, but I explained what a terrible house guest I am, so checked in to the Crewe Arms in Madeley Heath.  I don’t think we ate there that night – I think Peter picked me up from there and took me to a gathering elsewhere. Several of the other academics and visitors were there that night, including Keith Tribe and I think also Shirley Dex.

Here is the programme from the Wednesday conference:


I also was sent a copy of Les Fishman’s seminal paper about the effect of the Vietnam War on the US economy: vietnampaper-1 and also a paper by Norman Flynn about the economic impact of the Iraq War econwar.

The conference was very interesting. I especially remember David Leece (who was my P1 tutor) explaining how relevant the work of Hyman Minsky was becoming in the light of this particular recession – spot on.

Fun networking with several of my former tutors/lecturers, a few other former students (Paul Smith I recall), several delightful members of the Fishman family and others too.

One strange unintended consequence was meeting Leonore Fishman who (with a bit of encouragement from her dad, David) subsequently asked me for a job and ended up working for Z/Yen for a few years.

Stuff happens.


Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert, Pete Long and His Goodmen, Cadogan Hall, 12 October 2008

Janie really likes the Glenn Miller sound and was less familiar with the Benny Goodman sound. We’d also been checking out the Cadogan Hall at that time, so this seemed like an interesting concert to try, albeit a Sunday evening with busy day’s the next day both.

We’d had quite a busy day on the Sunday too, as Tony and Phillie visited for lunch that day, presumably after a refreshment-free visit to “Grandma” in the morning, while Janie and I played tennis.

This type of replication concert isn’t really our thing. Cadogan Hall is the right size of hall for it, though. Be both like clarinet and Pete Long is for sure a good enough musician, as are the rest of his “Goodmen”.

We enjoyed the gig.

I couldn’t find much on this concert on-line, except that Cadogan Hall clearly has repeated the dose occasionally and the following resource was still (perhaps only temporarily) up at the time of writing (March 2017), from 2014, so I have scraped it:

The Benny Goodman Orchestra’s famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert at Cadogan Hall




The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh, Cottesloe Theatre, 11 October 2008

Janie and I both profoundly hated this play/production.

We normally like Irish plays, even if they are a bit silly. But this one seemed to us to be silly to the point of not having any point at all.

If you read the rubric, still available on the Official London Theatre site along with production details – click here – you can see why we booked it. Sounds interesting. Potentially really good.

Oh well.

So, as the whingers say, what do we know?

Three Galleries In One Day, Royal Academy, National Portrait Gallery and Wallace Collection, 6 October 2008

Blimey O’Reilly; three galleries in one day and it looks as though we played tennis in the morning before setting off, if my diary scribble is to be believed.

First up: Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque at The Royal Academy. This exhibition might have been curated just for us; we both really like all four of these fellas.

An excellent write up appeared on Culture24 – click here.

Sophie Hicks Architects had something to do with it, so click here for their page about it.

We were onto this exhibition early; it ran from 4 October until the January; we were through the door 6 October.

Next up: Annie Leibovitz at the National Portrait Gallery. Click here for a link to the Gallery’s own excellent pages on this exhibition. Also up my/our street – I think she is a wonderful portrait photographer.

Click here for a review of the Annie Leibovitz from the Telegraph.

I think the Osbert Lancaster was a sweetener for me, as I love his cartoons. Not sure Janie was so interested. Perhaps she didn’t realise how keen I was on the other stuff we’d scheduled for that day. Anyway, we had time and off we went. Another exhibition that had just opened a few days before. Click here for the Wallace Collection pages on the exhibition.

In short, this day was an embarrassment of riches in the exhibition stakes – we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

In The Red And Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Young Vic, 4 October 2008

Of course we hadn’t heard of Tarell Alvin McCraney when we booked this. We simply booked it because it sounded like an interesting play, which it was.

But at the time of writing this up (March 2017), Tarell Alvin McCraney is a topical name, because he wrote Moonlight, which won the best picture Oscar a few weeks ago. Go figure. Here is a link to a recent Young Vic blog piece recognising this achievement.

Official London Theatre has an excellent resource on the outline of this play/production from back then, saving me time & trouble – click here.

The Young Vic published an extensive resources document for students/teachers etc. this play/production – you can click it down – here – from this link.

Reviews were mixed:

I must say I concur with this view. I remember the production where the Young Vic was turned into a watery stage, but I couldn’t hand on heart have told you anything about it from memory, until after I flicked through the script just now.

Perhaps Janie’s memory will do better – I’ll test that a bit later but only report back if she surprises me with profound recall.

The Young Vic published a short vid showing how they made the watery stage happen – see below.

Middlesex CCC End of Season Forum, Lord’s, 2 October 2008

I don’t remember a great deal about this forum, to be honest, but Barmy Kev’s MTWD report of same – click here – fills in most of the gaps for me.

Kev is silent on the party afterwards, but I’m pretty sure that, in those days, the forum was in the Thomas Lord Suite whereas the party was in the Allen Stand’s Middlesex Room.

Given Kev’s rapid report and silence about partying afterwards, I’ll guess this wasn’t one of the occasions when the libations continued afterwards in the Tavern or the Robert Browning.