April 14th, 2012

Raks New Profile Pic Square

Vote Cllr Patrick Vernon for Manchester Central

Photo credit: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/black-communities-hit-spending-cuts-says-charity

Cllr Patrick Vernon is on the shortlist to be selected as the new Labour candidate for Manchester Central. Patrick is currently Chief Executive of the Afiya Trust, one of the leading race equality health charities in the country, where he has highlighted key health issues and their impact on BME communities. He is also currently a Labour Councillor in Hackney.

Cllr Patrick Vernon has produced a booklet, entitled "New life and aspirations for the party and constituents of Manchester Central", which explains why he is standing as a potential Labour candidate and what he can offer to Manchester Central constituents.

Photo credit: http://patrickvernon.org.uk/new-life-and-aspirations-for-the-party-and-constituents-of-manchester-central-3/

Selected highlights from the booklet:

"Labour in Manchester Central needs a parliamentary candidate who is a proven, strong, energetic campaigner with a passion and commitment to social justice and tackling inequalities in education, health, housing, and environment. A person who can address equality issues with the skills to unite and build bridges in a diverse and vibrant constituency.

Too many politicians try to hide their real views or tell members what they think they want to hear. I’m not like that – I prefer to tell it as it is and earn people’s respect for my honesty and hard work. I am very proud to be a Socialist and left of the party.

The Labour Party in the past has delivered a lot for ordinary people in Manchester – a minimum wage, increased spending on schools and hospitals, more jobs, lower interest rates, greater commitment to environment and equality issues. However, to win the by-election we need to campaign with new ideas and vision to engage and support a growing class of people and communities who have little or no stake in society. We need to demonstrate that Labour is still committed to social justice for everyone and not just for the rich and privileged. We have to go out and campaign on what unites us all in a period of the privatisation of the NHS, cuts in services, mass unemployment and poverty for young people, families and pensioners."

- Cllr Patrick Vernon

You can download the full booklet here:

Cllr Patrick Vernon's new website is here:

Raks's Says

This (hopefully) proves that I am not tied to political parties but that I back people who have integrity, who I believe have the right policies, and who I trust to deliver for local people and local communities.

The Afiya Trust is one of the third sector organisations (charities) that I have been working for recently. I know Patrick reasonably well; he is a rare politician - honest, direct, straight-talking and straight-dealing; someone with integrity, passion and principles who has gone into politics to help serve his community. If anyone deserves to be an MP, it is Patrick.

Unfortunately, as I am neither a member of the Labour Party nor do I live in Manchester, I have no say whatsoever in the selection process for the new Labour candidate. And that is why I am appealing to Labour Party Members who live in Manchester Central - Please vote for Cllr Patrick Vernon on Monday!

In the meantime, I am wishing Patrick all the best with his campaigning and with his candidacy.

The selection meeting will take place on Monday 16 April (7pm start) in the Methodist Central Hall, Central Buildings, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ.
Raks New Profile Pic Square

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Greenwich Theatre

Photo credit: http://www.selladoor.com/Sell_a_Door_Theatre_Co._Ltd/Hound_of_the_Baskervilles.html

Cut and pasted from the Greenwich Theatre website:

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Greenwich Theatre
Mon 2 - Sun 8 July 2012

Sell A Door Theatre Company return to Greenwich Theatre following sell out productions of Spring Awakening and Lord of the Flies to present Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

After the death of his father under inexplicable circumstances, Sir Henry Baskerville returns to his family's manor house on the lonely moors where he is confronted with the mystery of a supernatural hound hungry for revenge upon the Baskerville family. Fearing for the safety of himself and his family, he calls upon the world famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his ever dependable assistant, Doctor Watson, to help get to the bottom of the mystery.

Holmes agrees to take the case as it becomes apparent that Sir Henry's life is in immediate danger. It is up to Holmes to uncover the truth behind the curse of the Baskervilles before it claims its next victim.

David Hutchinson directs this London revival of Tim Kelly's faithful adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's terrifying thriller.

For the full details and to book tickets (public booking is now open), follow the link:

I saw the Sell a Door Theatre Company Ltd.'s production of Lord of the Flies. It was truly outstanding and my review can be seen here:

Sell a Door Theatre Company are here:
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Olivier Awards taking place tomorrow - Sunday 15 April

Photo credit: http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest-news/article/item113037

The Olivier Awards Website can be found here:

These are the runners and riders that I am backing at the Olivier Awards which are taking place tomorrow:

Come on ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS!, National Theatre

BEST DIRECTOR - Nicholas Hytner - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST NEW PLAY - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST ACTOR - James Corden - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Oliver Chris - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
Photo credit: http://geraint-lewis.photoshelter.com/image/I0000ZtY37wuoJvQ

BEST NEW PLAY - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST REVIVAL - Noises Off at the Old Vic
BEST ACTOR - Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller - Frankenstein at the Olivier, but also James Corden - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Oliver Chris - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST NEW MUSICAL - London Road at the Cottesloe
BEST DIRECTOR - (Obviously!) Nicholas Hytner - One Man, Two Guvnors at the Lyttelton
BEST SOUND DESIGN - Frankenstein at the Olivier
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE - The Design Team for their work on the Royal Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Opera House
BEST NEW DANCE PRODUCTION - Some Like It Hip Hop by ZooNation at the Peacock

Cut and pasted from the Olivier Awards Website:

Join the Celebration

There are many ways you can follow the exciting events at the 2012 Olivier Awards on 15 April.

We would love you to come down to Covent Garden to experience the electrifying atmosphere of Olivier Awards night. You can see your favourite stars arrive in person, enjoy the exclusive live entertainment on offer in the Covent Garden piazza and watch the ceremony streamed live onto a big screen. What better way to enjoy the evening than with other passionate theatre fans? (this is what I am going to do!).

Use the BBC Red Button to watch events unfold on television. See the stunning stars arrive on the red carpet in all their glamorous glory from 17:30, then enjoy the scintillating ceremony, including the crowning of winners and specially created entertainment, from 18:00.

You can also watch coverage of the awards via olivierawards.com and bbc.com/radio2, as both websites will be live streaming events from the red carpet and Royal Opera House from 17:30.

Tune in to BBC Radio 2 from 17:30, as it will also be covering the prestigious night’s proceedings live, reporting from the red carpet in the build up to the ceremony, then bringing all the happenings from the Royal Opera House directly to your radio.

Be part of the awards from your PC, tablet or smart phone. You will find all the latest news on olivierawards.com or the Olivier Awards Twitter feed and you can be part of the night’s most popular and passionate online conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #Oliviers2012.
Raks New Profile Pic Square

Oscar Wilde: Great Lives, BBC Radio 4

Photo credit: http://www.nyu.edu/library/bobst/research/fales/exhibits/wilde/00main.htm

With multitudinous thanks to David Rose in Paris for bringing this to my attention. A BBC4 radio programme all about one of my favourite playwrights of all time, Oscar Wilde.

Cut and pasted from the BBC website:

Oscar Wilde, author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Ballad of Reading Gaol, is proposed by Will Self, a writer once described as a 'high powered satirical weapon'.

In 1895, and at the height of his success, Wilde began libel proceedings against the Marquess of Queensberry, sparking a disastrous sequence of trials, prison, exile and disgrace. A century later Oscar Wilde is often listed as one of the wittiest Britons who ever lived, but this was a life that ended in tragedy and early death.

Joining Will Self and Matthew Parris in the studio is Franny Moyle, author of a biography of Oscar Wilde's wife, Constance, an often overlooked character in Wilde's life. The programme features actor Simon Russell Beale's reading of De Profundis - From The Depths.

You can catch it on the BBC iPlayer here (and it looks to me as though it is not going to be taken off the iPlayer - hooray!):