November 30th, 2011

Raks New Profile Pic Square

Stop the War Coalition: Cut War Not Welfare: Wednesday 30 November

Cut and pasted from an email from the Stop the War Coalition:


Stop the War will be joining CND in a Cut War not Welfare - Jobs not Bombs contingent on the November 30th demonstration in London called by public sector trade unions. There will be similar demonstrations up and down the country - we urge our supporters to join them.

One third of the budget deficit could be wiped out by ending spending on foreign wars and scrapping Trident.

The Cut War not Welfare bloc will be meeting in the North West corner of Lincolns Inn Fields at 11.30 am and forming our contingent at the demonstration at 12 midday. If you want to join the contingent please meet us there.

My feature on Stop the War is here:

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:
The Stop the War Coalition (informally just Stop the War) is a United Kingdom group set up on 21 September 2001 that campaigns against what it believes are unjust wars. The coalition has opposed the various wars that are claimed to be part of the ongoing "War on Terrorism". It has been the most prominent group in Britain campaigning against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Photo credit:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

A tribute to Cagney & Lacey

Photo credit:

Yesterday, over at the BFI, they celebrated the 30th anniversary of Cagney & Lacey.

Cut and pasted from the BFI website:

Multi-award winning 80s television series Cagney & Lacey, starring Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, was often the highest-rated television drama on both sides of the Atlantic. It explored the professional and private lives of women who "just happened to be cops" with such emotional honesty that, some 30 years later, fans are still claiming it changed their lives. It also changed television history when a letter-writing campaign succeeded in reversing the show's cancellation.

Illustrated with clips from the show, Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly and Barry Rosenzweig, the show's executive producer, took part in a panel discussion examining how this iconic series changed representations of women, and influenced subsequent television history.

Raks's Take and Write-Up

I will state upfront that I absolutely LOVED Cagney & Lacey. This show was airing during my formative years as a teenager and a young woman and Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey were THE best role models a young girl/woman could have. I don't think they have their equal on television now, let alone then.

Cagney & Lacey were real women doing real jobs. Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly and Barry Rosenzweig made it clear that they wanted them to be "women who happened to be cops" rather than "cops who happened to be women". They explained that the series was made BY intelligent people FOR intelligent people (I personally wish we could say that about more of our television output now - although you can, of course, say that of Sherlock!).

Cagney & Lacey were real three-dimensional women, who were not perfect, but flawed. The show represented them in all their different roles, not just at work, but in their personal lives too. You got to see them at work and at home.

Cagney & Lacey were totally diffferent from eachother, almost the complete opposite of eachother - Cagney was an ambitious career woman, Lacey more of a wife and a mother - yet they had the strongest friendship and professional partnership going (yet another Sherlock reference - everything leads back to Sherlock for me!). Both Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly talked about the strong "chemistry" they had together. The show was very much about female friendship, and it celebrated female friendship.

It was never afraid to tackle "big social issues" - they had a storyline for Cagney being an alcoholic and a storyline for Lacey on breast cancer, at a time when the big C was unmentionable, let alone breast cancer. They always came at stories from a liberal standpoint. Both Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly said that they had not wanted to play the "victim" as they did in these storylines (alcoholism and breast cancer) but they had done so because these were social issues facing women that they wanted depicted on television.

The screening was fully booked and was full of people who, like me, just loved the show. Without a shadow of a doubt, the show spoke to women very strongly and still does. Personally I think that has everything to do with the fact that it showed strong independent feisty women, in their work and home lives, portraying them as fully rounded three dimensional characters, who were aspirational and yet flawed. It also has a lot to do with the chemistry between the two actors and their strong powerful portrayal of an enduring female friendship and professional partnership.

Let us give it up for Cagney & Lacey!

"Cagney & Lacey" are in town because:
Sharon Gless is appearing in "A Round Heeled Woman" at the Aldwych Theatre from 25 Nov 2011 - 14 Jan 2012
Tyne Daly is appearing in "Masterclass" at the Vaudeville Theatre from 21 Jan 2012 - 28 April 2012

Thank you to yvaine24 for providing this information.

Cut and pasted from Wikipedia:

Cagney & Lacey was an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from October 8, 1981 to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a single, career-minded woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan's 14th Precinct (Midtown South), which in real life was located at 357 West 35th Street. The two main actresses combined to win the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama six straight years in a row, a winning streak unmatched in any major category by a show.

Photo credit:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Public sector strike day: Wednesday 30 November

Photo credit:

I was on the march today, opposing cuts to public services. I chose to carry the banner of the Coalition of Resistance and to march with them (my banner is the one featured in the photo above).

So who are the Coalition of Resistance (CoR) and what do they stand for?

Cut and pasted from the CoR website:
The Coalition of Resistance (COR) is a broad movement against the ConDem government’s malicious attempts to dismantle the Welfare State. Basically we are seeking to develop and sustain an umbrella organisation to bring together the local and national campaigns to defend the education, NHS, pensions, housing and the Welfare State.

Follow the link for more information:

Selected chants that we were using and that I am encouraging you to use, as and when the opportunity arises:

When they say cutback, We say fightback. Cutback. Fightback. Cutback. Fightback. Cut Cut Cutback. Fight Fight Fightback.

No ifs, No buts, Stop the cuts.

When they say warfare, We say welfare. Warfare. Welfare. Warfare. Welfare. War war warfare. Well well welfare.

1234 Tax the rich, not the poor. 5678 Money for the welfare state.

Cut and pasted from the BBC news site:

Public sector strike to be 'largest for a generation'.

Unions say the strike is set to be the biggest single day of industrial unrest since the Winter of Discontent. Public sector workers around the UK are staging a strike over pensions in what unions say could be the biggest walkout for a generation. Thousands of schools are closed and hospital operations have been cancelled. Courts and government offices are among disrupted services.

Follow the link for the full story:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Collaborators gets its NT Live tomorrow (1 December)

Cut and pasted from an email from the National Theatre:

Collaborators by John Hodge, 1 December

Moscow, 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour; even more so a sense of freedom. Mikhail Bulgakov, living among dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. And then he’s offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate his sixtieth birthday. Inspired by historical fact, Collaborators is a darkly funny new play from the screenwriter of Trainspotting. Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale play Bulgakov and Stalin respectively.

To find your nearest cinema and to book tickets follow the link:

I got my ticket for this NT Live in eons ago and I will be seeing it at my usual NT Live venue - the Brixton Ritzy.