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[personal profile] gervase_fen
Unblogged highlights of my year were:

Three days in Stratford in September, visiting the Birthplace Trust, eating out at the Fourteas Tearooms and Lambs, going down the canal on a barge admiring the Grand Designs style houses on the bank,  and seeing Henry Goodman deliver a masterclass in quiet winning charisma in Volpone.

RSC Live's
relay of Othello, starring Hugh Quarshie, Joanna Vanderham, Lucian Msamati and Ayesha Dharker. Spellbinding, gripping, authoritative, beautifully lit and designed.

Seeing Show of Hands live for the first time at the Anvil. The first half was songs from the forthcoming album The Long Way Home, the second half a tour round the greatest hits of their last twenty years. The only gig I'm likely to go to that will namecheck both Doctor Michael Wood and Ryman's. The most memorable performances for me were  "Innocent's Song / Gwythian", "Santiago", "AIG", "Longdog", "The Galway Farmer", "Country Life", "The Old Lych Way", and  "Breme fell at Hastings".  Tickets have already been bought for a return engagement in 2016.

On television - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Ripper Street. The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, Endeavour, The Bridge III.

At the cinema  - Sicario.

Serendipitous discovery of the year - two hours a week of country music on channel 261 Showcase TV, "Keep it Country". An ideal way to kick back after long arduous shifts,especially when it features videos for "Getting Drunk on a Plane", (Dierks Bentley), "Hush Hush", (Pistol Annies), "Sober" (Little Big Town), "Stripes" (Brandy Clark), "The One in the Middle" (Sarah Johns), and the sublime voice of Darius Rucker, the melodic acuity of Kacey Musgraves, and the gentle authority of Don Williams.  OK, so the links between the songs are pretty cringeworthy, the extracts from Shania Twain's Vegas show are very disturbing, and not every slice of flyover picket fences homespun bro-rock works for me.  But so what, I love it all.

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