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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

The Last Confession – Hilarious

July 26th, 2013

last confession picWith only two performances to go, you need to act fast if you want to see a great show in London. Dwina Gibb’s farce ‘The Last Confession’ follows the time-honoured structure of a farce with frequent exits and entrances, cases of mistaken identity, asides to the audience, and delicious climaxes of tension as everything is about to go horribly wrong.

The premise is simple but brilliant – a man is dying in bed, he’s afraid of going to hell because he’s been a bad boy, but absolution from a priest isn’t an option because he’s been influenced by his family’s Druid ancestry so he believes no other person can give him this. He must do it himself, and the priest suggests he confesses not to him but to everyone he has sinned against, so that they can each forgive him. In that way the ‘truth will set him free’ – he’ll clear his debts before leaving. A perfect set-up for disaster! One by one the locals are called in, like witnesses being called to court. He confesses every manner of misdemeanour, and then miraculously this ‘purging of the soul’ results in him feeling much better. He recovers and now has to face the wrath of those he wronged. Cue a fake death, our man in drag, and a great deal of laughs.

Brilliant stuff – crying out for development into a sitcom that would be as hilarious as ‘Father Ted’. Info and tickets here from Tristan Bates Theatre.

Ronald Hutton Elected Fellow of the British Academy

July 26th, 2013

It’s been a very good year for the well-known and much-loved scholar of Pagan, Druid and Wiccan history Professor Ronald Hutton. His wonderful TV series, Professor Hutton’s Curiosities is airing on Yesterday TV, and last week he was elected Fellow of the British Academy. Here is the news from the Bristol University website:

Professor Ronald Hutton of the Department of History has achieved the rare distinction of being elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

The British Academy elected 42 new Fellows at its Annual General Meeting on 18 July 2013.  Each of them is a highly distinguished academic, recognised for his or her outstanding research.  The Fellows represent the full range of the Academy’s subject areas from early literature to law.

Professor Hutton is a leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.  He is also the leading historian of the ritual year in Britain and of modern paganism.

His recent publications include A Brief History of Britain, 1485-1660 and Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain.

Professor Hutton said: “Having been a historian at Bristol for over thirty years, I am delighted by the honour that the Academy has done to my subject, department, school, faculty and university, and being inherently sociable I look forward to pulling my weight as a member of one of our nation’s most valuable scholarly institutions.”