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and puddle-wonderful "

e.e.cummings

The Irrepressible Dr Bramwell

April 1st, 2020

Those of you who were at OBOD’s Winter Gathering last December will remember Dr Bramwell’s extraordinary performance piece about the river Don. 200 of us stood to give him a rapturous standing ovation – a response that has only occurred once before: after a performance by members from New Zealand, which left many of us moved to tears.

If you weren’t at the gathering, that introduction should give you an idea of what’s in store for you with his latest offering. Here’s his description:

Watling Street Podcast

 The Guardian travel section are planning to do a ‘best travel podcasts’ feature this month and I’m pleased to say that Watling Street, the four-part series I made with author John Higgs two year ago, is among those chosen.

John’s book explores how diverse, rich and ever-changing our culture is, and uses Watling Street as a convenient pathway to demonstrate this. It is, he points out, a palimpsest, forever being re-written but still bearing traces of its past. 

The podcast was rewarding to make.  John has a knack of uncovering surprising stories – who knew that Milton Keynes was partly built as a sun temple?! – and of looking at culture through a different lens. 

The series begins near Canterbury with us discussing pilgrimages, Powell and Pressburger’s film A Canterbury Tale and Brian Haw, the man who camped outside of parliament to protest against the Iraq war and ‘sacrificed his life to peace’ (Tony Benn). As the series continues, we wind our way through London, meeting Iain Sinclair and comic Miranda Kane to learn about the prostitutes’ graveyard in Southwick. We travel to Milton Keynes (for the summer solstice), Bletchley Park, Northampton (to meet Alan Moore) and finish in Wales to discuss storytelling with Cerys Matthews and to explore the symbol of the dragon in mythology.

To listen to it all on iTunes or hear Part One here:

One Response to “The Irrepressible Dr Bramwell”

  1. I listened to all 3 episodes of this fine podcast while sewing cloth masks for friends & family & employees. Wonderful. I hope to get back to the UK next year, and see more of Watling Street. Especially liked the bit about the sex workers graveyard in episode 2. Thanks for the suggestion and all your broadcasts, my favorite thing to listen to.

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