Famous Poets

FEATURED U.K TRIBUTE REPORT: Benjamin Zephaniah On Racism, Refusing An OBE & Football


AceNewsDesk – Benjamin Zephaniah was a man of words – he was profound, prolific and never shied away from what really mattered to him.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.09: 2023: By Helen Bushby: Entertainment reporter: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

Words flowed out of him, whether written, spoken or sung. 

“In the beginning was the word, and the word became poetry, and I discovered it and found that it was great,” he said in his autobiography, riffing on the Bible’s opening verses.

Zephaniah, who died on Thursday at the age of 65, had many missions in life – some were political and some were personal. 

But from his troubled childhood onwards, he found power in communicating:

Despite leaving school aged 13 without being able to read or write, within two years he’d made a name for himself in dub poetry – performance poetry that originated in Jamaica.

His love of creativity was clear, but he later said he “went off the rails”and was jailed for burglary in his late teens. 

In 1979, aged 22, he decided to start afresh by moving from Birmingham to London, where he “met other creative types”.

His first poetry book, Pen Rhythm, was published in 1980, and was the start of a long and celebrated career.

Here he is, in his own words, on just some of the things he felt passionately about.


“I wanted to change the image of poetry,” he told the Guardian. “I wanted to bring it to life and talk about now and what was happening to us.”

He also said: “Even doing interviews I struggle for the words, but when I’m doing poetry I have this licence.

“I can change the words, leave a bit to your imagination, I can be as raw as I want to be.

“My mum always says when I’m on stage, ‘That’s when I see my son’.”

In his poem Pencil Me In, he wrote: 

“Every pencil needs a hand,

“And every mind needs to expand,

“is me and it, in harmony.” 

Childhood and family

Zephaniah grew up with his parents and seven brothers and sisters in Birmingham.

Speaking about his father, he told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in 1997: “He beat me, and I can remember, obviously, some of the beatings.

“But most of all I remember him beating her [his mother]. He passed away not too long ago. 

“And it’s a real bit of a sore point in my family at the moment, because my mother ran away from him with me, leaving her other children with him. 

“So when he passed away, the other children saw him as a kind of hero, a lone man who raised all these children on his own.

“And all my memories of him was having almost like a wanted poster in my mind, a fixed picture of him. This is the face I’ve got to avoid.” 

In 2009, he told the Guardian: “It’s sad, but what has brought us more together was my cousin dying in police custody in 2002.

“It was something I used to rant on about and then – bang – it happened to us. I think my family now understand more why I talk about what I talk about.”

Zephaniah visited Chenjiagou primary school in China in 2012

Zephaniah’s relationship with his mother remained steadfast.

“I am very close to my mother and I talk to her every day,” he said.

“She has gone through so much. As a nurse she had to tend to people who were racists and she always tries to see the good in people. I am like that too. I am fascinated with why people believe what they believe.”

But a great sadness in his life was not being able to have children. “I used to find that tough,” he said. “There were lots of years of trying and tests, but now I am easy with it. That’s life. 

“I get at least 40 letters a week from children saying, ‘I love your poetry, Benjamin,’ or ‘I am reading your book.'”


“Black people are not slaves. They are human beings who were turned into slaves,” he told Lacuna Magazine.

He said his first racist attack was “was a brick in the back of the head” as a child, leaving him on the ground with blood pouring from his head. A boy hit him as he rode past on his bicycle – he was told to “go home”.

Zephaniah spoke out against racism throughout his life. 

In this extract from his 1999 poem What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us, he wrote about the murder of the 18-year-old in a racist attack by a gang of young white men in south-east London. Two men were eventually convicted in 2012. Other suspects have never been convicted.

“It is now an open secret

“Black people do not have

“Chips on their shoulders,

“They just have injustice on their backs

“And justice on their minds,

“And now we know that the road to liberty

“is as long as the road from slavery.”

Turning down an OBE

In 2003 he turned down becoming an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

“Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought,” he wrote in the Guardian.

“I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised.

“It is because of this idea of empire that black people like myself don’t even know our true names or our true historical culture.”

Being a sportsman

A lifelong Aston Villa fan, he told the Guardian in 2020 that aged 62 he was still playing 11-a-side football with an under-30s team.

“They cannot believe how fast I can run,” he said. “I’m still a good sprinter and a reasonably good dribbler.”

Although he loved running and was captain of the under-13s team at county level, he told the newspaper why he stopped racing as a child. 

“We went to a race against southern European countries and on the way there they were telling me, ‘You’ll never be English.’ I was captain of the team and we won, and they gave me the flag to drape myself in and I couldn’t do it.” 

Being dyslexic

Zephaniah found out he was dyslexic aged 21, at an adult education class in London, where he learned to learn to read and write.

“I always tell people with dyslexia, especially children, that it’s not a mark of your intelligence. 

“You can be full of stories – you just have to find a way of telling them. And now we have lots of technology and teachers, professors at university that are aware of dyslexia and can help. So dyslexia shouldn’t hold you back. 

“We now know that some of the brainiest people around have or had dyslexia, including Einstein!” he told BookTrust in 2020.

The power of connection

For Zephaniah, belonging and feeling connected with other people meant everything to him. 

The trick was to find the right people, though.

“We all need gangs. We’re social animals. The key is finding the people that are doing good stuff instead of doing bad stuff,” he said.

He loved the “deep connection” he had with people attending his live shows.

“The thing that has touched me more than anything is the stories people have shared with me,” he wrote on his website.

Being nice


Zephaniah was a regular visitor to Leicester’s De Montford University, where he was given an honorary degree

Keen to challenge perceptions, he told Lacuna Magazine: “What do I do as a black man in England? I try my best to counter the stereotype.

“For those people who fear black men, I want to be the nicest guy they’ve ever met.”


He was also an optimist. 

“Well I can’t prove it, but I just believe in the triumph of good over evil. You’ve got to be hopeful,” he told the Guardian in 2020

“One of the things our oppressors hate is when they try to hold us down and – it’s Maya Angelou – still I rise. You try to hold me down, but I’ll keep coming back.”


Zephaniah had a spiritual side, saying: “I think religion has given God a bad name. 

“When I say ‘faith’, I’m talking about a belief, for want of a better word – I think I have a better word: a knowledge of God – that I get through meditation, which doesn’t need anybody else: doesn’t need the church, doesn’t need a priest, doesn’t need an imam, doesn’t need anything. 

“Just learn to meditate!” he told High Profiles in 2005


Zephaniah performed with his band The Revolutionary Minds, at the Vegan Camp Out festival in 2021

Zephaniah was an animal rights activist and ambassador for the Vegan Society, having decided to stop eating animals aged nine. 

His poem Talking Turkeys says: 

“Be nice to yu turkeys dis Christmas,

“Don’t eat it, keep it alive,

“It could be yu mate, an not on your plate

“Say, Yo! Turkey I’m on your side.”

He wrote in his autobiography, The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah, about his allotment: “A lot of organic gardening is trial and error but I love, it, even though it takes time.

“I hardly ever go to a supermarket. And I listen to Gardeners’ Question Time more than you might imagine.”

Making a difference

Zephaniah and the Revolutionary Minds performed at Womad Festival in 2017

“Don’t get disillusioned and downhearted, don’t feel overpowered and defeated. Do what you can,” he said in 2020

“Do the little, (or the big), things that make a difference you can see. The tangible stuff. Or take to the streets to do something for the future. Do anything. Just don’t give up. 

“Don’t let them grind you down. Rise up all ye sisters and brothers who know better. Stand firm in the downturn.”

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you

English History

ENGLISH HISTORY: Norton’s History Of The 1922 Committee, Which Elects & Defenestrates Conservative Leaders


AceHistoryDesk – Whenever in recent years a Conservative leader has run into trouble, Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, has had the task of detecting at what point the situation has become irretrievable, and informing him or her that the moment to admit defeat has arrived.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.09: 2023: Conservative Home By Dec.08: 2023: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link


The 1922 Committee: Power behind the scenes by Philip Norton

Sir Graham performs this trying duty with the grace, probity and discretion of a senior doctor informing a patient that there is no more that can be done and the end is nigh.

He is trusted to count the letters in which Conservative MPs demand a vote of confidence in their leader, to announce when the threshold of 15 per cent of the parliamentary party has been met, to conduct along with his colleagues the resulting vote, and to take whatever action may then be required.

If Rishi Sunak were to be forced out, the ’22 would play a crucial role in deciding who was to succeed him, and on past form this would probably not be whoever the press thought was the frontrunner.

Sir Graham’s probity, professionalism and discretion mean, however, he is unlikely ever to offer the world a full account of what he does. That would mean breaking confidences.

And this is a grave difficulty for anyone who sets out to write an account of the ’22. The sources are sparse, because those who know what happened are too reputable to spill the beans.

Which is one reason why there are only two histories of the ’22. One, by Sir Philip Goodhart, was published in 1973, to mark the 50th anniversary of its founding. The other is the book under review, marking the centenary.

Some of the best shafts of insight are provided by MPs who took an irreverent view. We owe to Julian Critchley, writing in 1994 in A Bag of Boiled Sweets, the preservation of Walder’s law, coined in the 1960s by David Walder, MP for High Peak, which stated that at any meeting of the ’22 “the first three people to speak from the floor on any matter whatsoever were invariably mad”.

Critchley also recognised the importance of the ’22 in magnifying what were otherwise the insignificant opinions of isolated backbenchers:

“The individual backbencher does not count for much…but the ’22 does matter; the anger of two hundred or so backbenchers when focussed upon a man or an issue can destroy the reputation of a minister…or force a resignation…; it can also gravely weaken the standing of the Prime Minister of the day.”

So Norton has hit on a subject of the first importance, albeit one which at the beginning was not very important at all. The ’22 was founded in 1923, by Conservative MPs first elected in November 1922, of whom there were 111. Gervais Rentoul, the new MP for Lowestoft, took the initiative:

“After consulting a few colleagues who were chafing, as I was, against the feeling of ineffectiveness and bewilderment, an invitation was issued to all the newcomers to meet in one of the committee rooms and discuss what could be done about it.”

These MPs needed to learn how the Commons worked: always a difficult question for the newcomer. There was a feeling, too, that the party leader, Stanley Baldwin, did not adequately consult MPs, and that party organisation should be placed “upon a democratic basis”.

But the ’22 was not, at first, of any real significance. In his memoirs, published in 1944, Rentoul devoted only two chapters out of 40 to this body which he himself had founded, and which had soon came to include all Conservative backbenchers.

The formation in 1940 of the wartime coalition marked an important change, for as Norton says, the ’22 now became “the only authentic Conservative voice”.

It was a forum in which members could raise issues they did not wish, given the need for wartime unity, to raise in the Chamber. Conservative MPs were worried that Labour was benefitting more than they were from the coalition, and that the war itself was being badly conducted.

One of the joint secretaries of the ’22, J.E. Crowder, told a meeting in Finchley that “Conservative members are getting very restive and are very tired of all the Left Wing propaganda, especially that generated by the BBC.”

But this was not the whole story. Labour ministers who attended meetings of the ’22 appeared generally to be well received, with Clement Attlee in 1941 making “a favourable impression”.

After the Labour victory in 1945, many Conservative MPs doubted whether Winston Churchill should stay on as party leader, and his performances in front of the ’22 were only sometimes good enough to dispel these reservations.

Churchill had anointed Sir Anthony Eden as his successor, but once the latter had led Britain into the Suez debacle, the ’22 became, in November 1956, the setting for a showdown between the candidates to succeed him.

Harold Macmillan managed, in a brilliant 35-minute speech to the ’22, to give the impression that some kind of a victory had occurred at Suez, and to offer hope that the Conservative Party could win the next election.

Rab Butler, who addressed the same meeting, was a flop. The press continued to believe Butler would succeed Eden, but as so often happens the press was wrong, for it was Macmillan who six weeks later became Prime Minister.

In 1963, when Macmillan stood down, John Morrison, the Chairman of the ’22, gave Butler, once more a contender for the leadership, the crushing news that “the chaps won’t have you”.

Alec Douglas-Home came through as the unexpected victor of that contest, and proceeded to change the rules: his successor would be elected by the party’s MPs, with the Chairman of the ’22 responsible for the conduct of the ballot and “all matters in relation thereto”.

So whenever the leader is weak, the ’22 becomes crucial, both in deciding when he or she has to go, and in electing a new leader.

All this is related by Norton. He has written an admirable textbook about this obscure body which plays a vital role in crowning and defenestrating Conservative leaders, and therefore in the British Constitution.

This is not, however, an account which can be read with any particular delight. For that, and for the flavour of parliamentary life, one should turn to the diaries of Chips Channon or Alan Clark.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you

Australian News

FEATURED AUSTRALIA ART REVIEW REPORT: Emily Has Gone But The Beautiful Legacy Lingers On To London Tate in June 2025


AceNewsDesk – This summer the National Gallery of Australia is surveying the significant career of the artist, Emily Kam Kngwarray. Emily to most people.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.09: 2023: Emily Kam Kngwarray, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, until April 28, 2024; Louise Martin-Chew travelled to Canberra courtesy of The National Gallery of Australia: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anmatyerr people, Yam awely, 1995, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, gift of the Delmore Collection, Donald and Janet Holt 1995 © Emily Kam Kngwarray/Copyright Agency

She is one of only a few Australian women artists known by one name. The exhibition Emily Kam Kngwarray is the first act, as it will be followed by a Tamarind Tree Pictures documentary. The third act will be at London’s Tate Modern in June 2025.

Emily Kam Kngwarray’s life story is full of intriguing contrasts. Born about 1914 on her Alhalker Country, she was part of the first contact (with white people) generation, yet the batik and paintings she made in the last 19 years of her life shifted understandings of what Aboriginal art was and could be.

Soon after her death in 1996 her work was shown at the 1997 Venice Biennale as Fluent (with Judy Watson, Waanyi and Yvonne Koolmatrie, Ngarrindjeri). This recognition placed her at the pinnacle of international contemporary art.

Yet the meaning and cultural power of her art, for Kngwarray and her family, remains at odds with its understanding and reception in the marketplace and in the context of art and its histories.

Kngwarray spent her life in the Sandover region of the central desert, north of Alice Springs (Mparntwe). She began making batik in 1977 but during the following decade switched to canvas. This was a less onerous medium and also placed her work firmly within the fine art market.

Many audiences will read her work in the context of abstraction and modernism, yet for Kngwarray and her family these are cultural portraits of Country.

In the book accompanying the exhibition, Stephen Gilchrist writes: “Kngwarray’s paintings of place are better understood as threshold objects that create openings onto Anmatyerr lands, life ways, life cycles and life forces … Her wish to paint her Country in all its contours was a devotional exercise that energised the places she was connected to and would ultimately return to.”

She was prolific, producing about 3000 canvases during her painting years. She was also the first of a generation of Aboriginal women who began making art late in their lives. Those following, with short and brilliant careers, include Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori (1924-2015) and Mavis Ngallametta (1944-2019).

The thirst for their work is related to their status as the first and the last. The last of a first-contact generation who were among the first to convey their understanding of country and culture visually in aesthetically pleasing, culturally significant and historically important ways.

An “Emily” is both powerful within her own Alhakerre context, and a trophy (visible in the loans to the exhibition, which includes works from national, international and private collections, notably Perth-based Janet Holmes a Court; and Steve Martin and Anne Stringfield, in  New York).

So, what does the new NGA show tell us about Emily that we didn’t know from two previous institutional surveys – one at the Queensland Art Gallery in 1998, another at the National Museum of Australia in 2008?

While it explores Emily’s development, contextualised with the paintings on batik that began her creative career, the involvement of family in the exhibition also shares what we may not have previously understood about her legacy.

In a short film, women’s “paint up” (awely) is explored, making sense of Kngwarray’s stylistic shift to thickly painted stripes and expressing the power of this ceremony. It offers insights into what her descendants see so powerfully in her work.

Jedda Kngwarray Purvis and Josie Petyarr Kngwarray suggest: “If you close your eyes and imagine the paintings in your mind’s eye, you will see them transform. They are real — what Kngwarray painted is alive and true. The paintings are dynamic and keep on changing, and you can see how realistic they are … The Country transforms itself, and those paintings do as well. That’s why the old woman is famous.”

Batik works float, moving gently in the air in the first three rooms, a presence and context. In these depths of patterning and layers her country, the emu (ankerr) markings, pencil yam (anwerlarr) and fan flower (intekw) are detailed with a view from above and within that is a hallmark of desert painting. You can spend a long time looking into these works, which take you somewhere else altogether.

Kngwarray’s work had marked shifts in subject and expression, with the detailed layers of the first room segueing to painted stripes (awely) and larger dots. The final three rooms see her motifs simplify, brushstrokes grow thicker and larger, stripes and dots adding variety to the lacey marks from before.

And their momentum builds, in both scale and motif. The monumental Yam awely, 1995, builds with line, colour and layers in a mesmerising manner, her sense of spatial composition instinctive and unerring.

There is much to celebrate here, the expansive canvases, the colourful and masterful evocation of country and the presence and acknowledgement, at the highest and international level, of her talent and its contradictions.

The exhibition’s London season was announced by Tate Britain’s director Maria Balshaw during the Betty Churcher Memorial lecture in Canberra recently when she explained that it would be displayed in the famous Turbine Hall of Tate Modern.

The attraction to European audiences is likely to build on intense interest in Australia’s First Nations peoples and their art, and fits within the context of Balshaw’s ambitions for the Tate’s many galleries and programs.

As the NGA’s summer exhibition, the show encourages a 2023 trend (seen in QAGOMA’s showcase of exhibitions by Michael Zavros and eX De Medici) that suggests artists from Australia are worthy of blockbuster status and an admission price.

Emily Kam Kngwarray also sits within the NGA’s Gender Equity Action Plan (addressing the imbalance in both collections and exhibitions) and its ongoing Know My Name program.

Emily’s ability to reinvent Aboriginal painting has transcended time, space and culture. Curators Hetti Perkins and Kelli Cole suggest that Kngwarray’s descendants have the final word on her legacy. “They simply describe her art as arraty ilem — telling the truth.”

No matter on what level we understand them, these paintings have power. After this exhibition and its three acts, even more people will know her name.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you

Australian News

BREAKING AUSTRALIA REPORT: Invasive Argentinian scarab beetles being mistaken for Christmas beetles

a close up photo of a beetle on wood
An Argentinian lawn scarab reported in Nowra using iNaturalist.(Supplied: iNaturalist/bethford)none

AceBreakingNews – Sydney residents are reporting a surge in Christmas beetles in their backyards, suggesting the seasonal insect has made a comeback following years of decline.


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.09: 2023: ABC Sydney News: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

a close up photo of a beetle on wood
An Argentinian lawn scarab reported in Nowra using iNaturalist.(Supplied: iNaturalist/bethford)none

Allan in Hornsby told ABC Radio Sydney “hordes” of beetles flew into his home on Tuesday night, and declared they were “back with a vengeance”.

“We had the mass kamikaze attack last night,” Allan said.

Helen in Ermington also thought they had gone forever, but then had a few land on her back screen door that evening.

An entomologist running a Christmas beetle tracking project said people were increasingly mistaking the native insect for a similar-looking invasive pest.

Tanya Latty said the Argentinian lawn scarab was small, brownish, and looked a lot like a Christmas beetle at first glance.

A close up of yellow and gold Christmas beetle
Christmas beetles have distinctly larger back legs than most other beetles.(Supplied: iNaturalist)

But the key differences were the Argentinian lawn scarabs were generally smaller and had thinner back legs.

“Christmas beetles tend to have quite thick back legs, like they’ve never missed leg day [at the gym],” Dr Latty said.

“The Argentinian lawn scarabs are out in force this year; we’ve seen heaps more of them than I recall seeing last year.”

Dr Latty said Argentinian lawn scarabs were considered a pest because their larvae caused damage to lawns.

“The larvae feed on turf grass roots so they can cause problems on lawns, in particular,” she said.

A small brown scarab beetle
The Argentinian lawn scarab looks like a Christmas beetle at first glance, Dr Latty says.(Supplied: Tanya Latty)

Hold fire on pesticides

Dr Latty cautioned against using pesticides to treat the Argentinian scarab beetle because they might also kill Christmas beetles, which the Australian Museum said was in decline in Greater Sydney.

“Any of the things we use to treat Argentinian scarabs will also affect Christmas beetles and other native scarab beetles,” she said.

Instead, Dr Latty encouraged people to consider planting native flowers and plants to produce habitat for native insects.

“Our lawns don’t really support that much native biodiversity,” she said.

“Minimising the amount of turf grass we have is important.”

More citizen beetle reports needed

The Christmas beetle count run by Invertebrates Australia and the University of Sydney is trying to solve the mystery of the disappearing insects, which typically come out at this time of year.

There have been 1,200 sightings reported to the project by citizens around Australia since October 1 this year.

Bronze and brown Christmas beetle.
The Anoplognathus family has a range of coloured beetles including the bronze Anoplognathus viriditarsis.(Supplied: Queensland Museum)

While some anecdotal reports were heralding a Christmas beetle comeback, Dr Latty said it was too early to tell if beetle numbers were on the rise……….She called for more people to send in reports on the iNaturalist websiteand app.

“We don’t have the people power to be crossing the country visiting all of the lovely places Christmas beetles are found,” Dr Latty said.

Dr Latty also wanted reports even if suspected Christmas beetles might be the Argentinian scarab beetles.

She said the app could help citizen scientists distinguish between the two.

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you

World History & Research Reports

CHRISTMAS HISTORY REVIEW TODAY: Bah, Humbug ? How Dickens Changed The Christmas Carol Narrative Forever

photo by Joel Devereux

AceHistoryDesk – Eugene Gilfedder is brilliant as Ebenezer Scrooge in Shake & Stir Theatre Co’s stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens :


Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: Dec.09: 2023: A Christmas Carol, Concert Hall, QPAC, December 8-14: TELEGRAM Ace Daily News Link

photo by Joel Devereux

It’s the show that best sums up the Christmas spirit. I’m not talking about your hokey Christmas pageants and concerts.

Nope, the true spirit of Christmas can be seen – and felt – in the Concert Hall at QPAC from December 8 when shake & stir theatre co reprise their acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol, a stage adaptation of the novella by Charles Dickens.

If you’ve read the book or seen the film The Man Who Invented Christmas, you’ll understand just how seminal a role Dickens had in reviving the celebration of Christmas in the mid-19th century and making it count.

Dickens’ novella is a heart-warming ghost story of sorts. First published in 1843 it tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and spirits representing the past, present and future.

After their visits (scary and hugely entertaining visits in this production) Scrooge becomes a kinder, gentler man. His redemption is moving and enshrines the very essence of the Christmas spirit. It works as a secular story or as a Christian allegory. In both cases it promotes love and compassion above material wealth, which is worth keeping in mind at a time when materialism rules shake & stir are putting on their stage adaptation, helmed by masterful Brisbane director Michael Futcher, for the sixth year in a row … the fifth at QPAC, now in a new venue moving from the Playhouse to the Concert Hall.

Ross Balbuziente, shake & stir’s artistic director, says it has become a Christmas tradition and a much loved one.

“Since its premiere in 2018, this heart-warming story has captivated the hearts of over 115,000 people,” Balbuziente says.

“Now, in 2023, its sentiment resonates more profoundly than ever, reminding us of the enduring themes of love, forgiveness and generosity that make the holiday season truly magical.  This production has become a festive tradition for many, and for us, as a company – we love getting into the Christmas spirit with our audience.”

The cast of the production is virtually unchanged these past six years and includes Will Carseldine, Eugene Gilfedder, Nelle Lee and, among others, Bryan Probets.

Gilfedder, arguably our greatest living thespian, is Scrooge. He was born to play this role and considers it something of a sacred duty.

“It’s wonderful to be doing it again,” Gilfedder says. “It’s very satisfying, And it’s a privilege. The wonderful thing about the novella by Dickens is that it became so popular that people were reawakened to the whole spirit of Christmas. Dickens’ works are full of compassion.”

It was the time of the Industrial Revolution and those “dark satanic mills” that William Blake wrote about. There was poverty amid wealth and progress, which relates the story to today.

In case you have forgotten, the story takes place on Christmas Eve when, deeply entrenched in his own misery (misery he’s happy to pass on to his close employee Bon Cratchit), Scrooge receives a visit from four ghosts who whisk him away on a journey through Christmases past, present and future.

Along the way he revisits fragments of his life and is faced with a number of choices. Redemption is his for the taking but is Scrooge capable of changing his ways before it is too late?

You probably know the answer but that doesn’t dim the power and joy of this story. And Gilfedder is nothing short of brilliant in the role he was born to play.

This production features live music and some yuletide carolling, innovative video design, lavish costumes and, of course, snow.

I don’t want it to sound too worthy, though. It also has light-hearted moments. Gilfedder says one of the things he loves about doing the role is “hearing children’s laughter”. “That’s a sustaining memory,” he says.

Gilfedder, who has been busy recently on the set of the film How to Make Gravy (he plays one of the main character’s brothers) says that under the expert guidance of Futcher he and the cast try to make A Christmas Carol fresh each year.  They come to it with renewed enthusiasm.

Following its runs at QPAC, the production will travel to Canberra Theatre Centre as a follow-up to last year’s sold-out season in the national capital.


Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and comment thank you